Have you ever heard of the Hermès horseshoe? Neither had we—until recently, that is, when our friends at Christie’s Auction House filled us in. According to Rachel Koffsky, Christie’s associate specialist of handbags and accessories, "a horseshoe stamp [found on the left side of the front-facing Hermès logo] signifies that a Birkin or Kelly bag was made by Hermès to the specifications of a top collector." In other words, these bags are a small subsection of an already extremely rare and in-demand handbag style, thus making it even more expensive than your average Birkin.
How much more? Says Koffsky: "At auction, a horseshoe stamp can increase the auction estimate of a bag by up to 200%." These personalized touches indicated by the stamp can include anything from a contrasting interior to bicolor or tricolor exterior, contrasting stitching, or a brushed finish to the hardware. This horseshoe-stamped crocodile Birkin, which was estimated to go for anywhere from $80,000–$100,000, actually sold for a whopping $149,000 at Christie's Handbags and Accessories auction, just last month! Similarly, this seemingly simple black style (which, as you'll see, actually has a custom magenta-colored interior), also sold for high above its estimated value at the same auction.
Scroll through for an up-close look at the horseshoe stamp.