When it comes to rare collection items, people are willing to give up exorbitant sums, and these incredibly expensive auctions prove exactly that. You’ve probably already read our post on the record setting auctions of 2010 , but we’re sure you’ll find this one just as interesting.
1. Marilyn Monroe’s ‘Happy Birthday Mr. President’ Dress
President John F. Kennedy was happy to turn 45 when Marilyn Monroe sang him a lovely Happy Birthday song at his amazing party in Madison Square Garden. This was happening in 1962, and almost four decades later, in 1999, the dress Marilyn had worn on that occasion sold at an auction for no less than $1,267,500.
2. Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex Hammer
Since 1994, the manuscript has been in Bill Gates’ possession. He bought the Codex at the Hammer estate auction for a whopping $30,802,500. This rather thin manuscript (36 folios) contains the analysis of the movement of water, a little astronomy and some geology matters.
3. Guarneri del Gesù Violin
4. Elvis Presley’s Hair
It might sound weird to some, but others would pay fortunes for a famous personality’s tresses. We already told you about Michael Jackson’s burnt hair that sells for £150, but there are even more expensive strands for sale out there. John Lennon, John F. Kennedy, Che Guevara or Beethoven are also on the list, but the most expensive hair is that of Elvis Presley. In 2002 it sold at auction for $115,000.
5. Roman Statue, Artemis and the Stag
This amazing statue dates back to circa 1st century B.C. – 1st century A.D. It is a bronze representation of Artemis that made several bidders fight hard over it in 2007 at Sotheby’s New York. After about ten minutes of intense bidding, the piece went to a private European collector for a mind boggling sum: $28.6 million.
6. 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rosa
Only 22 units of the 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rosa were ever made, and one of them was sold for $12.2 million in 2009, at the Ferrari Leggenda e Passione in Maranello, Italy. The car flaunts a V12 engine capable of delivering 300 bhp. It was a star of the late ‘50s and early ‘60s.
7. Badminton Cabinet
The gem-studded cabinet got its name from the fact that it remained in Badminton, England for more than two hundred years. In 2004 it set a new record for the most expensive piece of furniture sold at auction, when it fetched $36 million. The buyer, Prince Hans Adam II of Liechtenstein, donated the piece to the Liechtenstein Museum in Austria.
8. Wittelsbach Diamond
This is a 35.56-karat blue diamond from the 17th century. Back then it belonged to King Philip IV of Spain. Christie’s auction house tried to sell it back in the early 1930s, but found no buyer. It was later purchased by a private collector (in 1964), who finally sold the piece in 2008 for no less than $23.4 million.
9. Mark McGwire’s Baseball
Not just any baseball, this is Mark McGwire’s 70th Home Run baseball and it sold in 1999 for the record price of $3 million. Today the ball would sell for a considerably lower price, due to the fact that McGwire admitted to have used steroids when he won the game in 1998.