Currently on display at Christie’s in Hong Kong, the Mouawad 1001 Nights Diamond Purse, has been put up for sale. The heart-shaped accessory holds the 2011 Guinness World Record for being the most expensive handbag ever produced, with a value of US $3.8 million. The statement piece, designed by the jeweller Robert Mouawad, is made of 18-karat gold which is covered with 4,517 diamonds - 105 of them yellow, 56 pink and 4,356 colourless with a total weight of 381.92 carats.
The House of Mouawad design was hand crafted by 10 highly skilled artisans working for a total of 8,800 hours, according to Christie’s auction house, which is handling the private sale. The purse will be exhibited in the gallery of Christie’s Hong Kong until October 20, followed by a tour to Christie’s Geneva from November 9 to 13 before going to London.
The one-of-a-kind handbag was first unveiled in 2011 at the Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition, where Mouawad was quoted by Reuters as saying: “The Mouawad 1001 Nights Diamond Purse is designed to mesmerise with its lavish attention to detail and elaborate workmanship incorporating thousands of diamonds.”
The 1001 Nights Diamond Purse, is the luxury jewellery brand's second record-breaking attempt. In 2003, the $11m Very Sexy Fantasy Bra, was unveiled in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show by model Heidi Klum in New York. The bra was certified by the Guinness World Records as the most expensive bra ever made. The stunning lingerie piece was covered with 2,809 white diamonds, yellow-orange sapphires, rhodolites, and amethysts and weighed 2,200 carats.
The Dubai-based jewelry design house was founded by David Mouawad in 1890. The brand counts royalty, Hollywood celebrities among its clientele. Handbags have become a sought-after investment for high net-worth individuals. In May, Christie’s sold a Hermès Birkin bag adorned with 18 karat gold and 10 carats of diamonds for $380,000.