Most Expensive Auction Items ever
Auctions are a fantastic way to find the maximum price for a highly-desired item, which means that they’re still popular today all over the world. This means that, from Christie’s in New York to Sotheby’s in Hong Kong, auctions are still held frequently to sell particular collector’s items to the rich and famous. It’s only at the top auctions will you find items for sale such as Napoleon’s Sword, which sold for a whopping £3.26m in 2007, and Marilyn Monroe’s Dress that she wore when she gave her iconic performance of “Happy Birthday, Mr President” to John F. Kennedy in 1962, which was auctioned off for £3.87m in 2016.
While auctions are happening all the time with rare and collectible items, there are obviously some pieces which attract a lot more attention than others. For example, a Patek Philippe Wristwatch was sold in 2016 to an anonymous buyer for £8.7m after auction-goers entered into a 13-minute bidding war to get their hands on the piece, which dates back to 1943. There was also a set of 114 bottles of Conti wine which still holds the record for the most expensive wine lot ever sold at auction, going for £1m in 2014. These examples just go to show that even at these extortionate prices, there’s still an awful lot of competition for these rare collectible items.
However, it’s not just items that have been sold at auction, controversially. In Ancient Rome, it was reported that Didius Julianus bought the Roman Empire in 193 AD after beating a rival bidder with a promise worth 40 years of take-home pay to each moment of the guard, around $750,000 in today’s money. Unfortunately for him, he failed to pay up and so was murdered 3 months after the auction. This goes to show just how long auctions have been around, and how they’ve often been used to sell the most desirable items, even an entire empire.
Take a look at the infographic below to find out more about the most expensive items that have ever been auctioned, where they were sold and who to as well as the crazily expensive price they were sold off for. Remember, even when items are very collectible, there’s still a time when you shouldn’t scratch your ear, particularly when items, such as the 3G Telecom Licenses, are being sold at an auction for as much as £22.47bn.