Auctions are held across the world daily, buyers fighting to get a bargain and sellers hoping the bidding stays high. Everyday items, along with antiques, are bought and sold during several types of auction events. The English auction is the most common used today, where participants can openly bid against each other by increasing the amount they are willing to pay for the item. The word ‘auction’ actually means ‘I increase’.
There are also Dutch auctions where the price starts high and the auctioneer lowers the price until someone is willing to accept the price, this is known as an open descending price auction.
The last most common auction is a sealed bid or blind auction, where you submit a sealed price and no-one else can see your bid. The auction ends and whoever has submitted the highest price, gets the item for the amount they offered. In any auction you have all sorts of art, jewelry, ornaments etc. However, there are also some very strange and rare items that sell for large amounts of money.
7) Monica Lewinsky’s lingerie
Any mention of Monica Lewinsky’s name and Bill Clinton springs to mind, right? Monica was a White House intern when Bill Clinton was president of the United States. During her time at the White House, Clinton admitted to having an inappropriate relationship with Lewinsky.
The affair caused massive repercussions and was known worldwide as the Lewinsky Scandal, which in turn gained her celebrity status across the world.
During the impeachment trial, lingerie, along with other items of Monica Lewinsky’s, were submitted as evidence. Thirty-Two pieces of memorabilia submitted as evidence went up for sale this year, including a floor length negligee. The lot was expected to sell for nearly $50,000 but sold for just over $12,000.
6) Lee Harvey Oswald’s Wedding Ring
Lee Harvey Oswald was convicted of the assassination of John. F. Kennedy.
Being a criminal, especially a murderer, you would think that no-one would want to own anything that belonged to them, although it is highly disputed as to whether he was actually responsible for the shooting. Many believe that it wasn’t Oswald, due to vast discrepancies in evidence and policing. Of course, this will be hard to ever prove, as he was shot dead by Jack Ruby whilst Oswald was being taken to the county jail. The shooting was broadcast live nationally and millions of people witnessed the killing.
Maybe many people do believe that Oswald was innocent, which might explain his wedding ring being sold for $118,000 to someone living in Texas.
5) Andy Warhol Line Graph Drawing
Andy Warhol is renowned for his artistic style known as Pop Art, so it would not be surprising to learn that one of his pieces sold for over $32,000 at an auction recently.
Warhol started his career as a commercial illustrator and he soon gained fame for his drawings of shoe advertisements, which consisted of whimsical ink. His talents were spotted by RCA Records, who hired him to design album covers.
His forms of art varied from hand drawing and painting, to photography and computer generated art. He exhibited his work and became a huge name in the art world. He came up with the expression “15 minutes of fame” which is still a widely popular saying. This being said, this auction was not for one of his famous artistic pieces, it was for a basic line graph drawing of his depiction of the US unemployment rate, between 1980 and 1984.
4) Han Solo’s Blaster Gun
The Star Wars Trilogy films are classics, starting with the first movie hitting the big screen in 1977. Even if you’re not a sci-fi fan, you would undoubtedly be familiar with names like Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, Yoda and many other characters exclusive to Star Wars, including Han Solo.
Han Solo was played by Harrison Ford and was one of the most popular characters from the original Star Wars trilogy. George Lucas modeled Solo’s rogue character on the gunslingers in the western films. The non-firing blaster gun appeared in, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi and would have been used in most of the scenes that starred Solo. When the close-up shots were being filmed, a heavier live-fire version was used.
The gun was expected to reach as much as $300,000, so its $200,000 end price was undoubtedly a little light.
3) 1923 Leica Camera
Photography has evolved massively over the last 10 years, especially with the expulsion of film and introduction of digital. Leica has made a huge name in Photography throughout the years. They are a German optics company who manufacture Leica cameras. The first Leica was built in 1913 and was intended to be a compact camera. It was the first practical 35mm film camera which moves the film horizontally, rather than the favored vertical movement by other camera makers. Leica went onto enter the medium format market and is still one of the leading makers of high quality cameras and lenses.
Leica made around 25 test versions of this particular Leica O-series camera, which was produced in 1923. Less then half of these 25 units still remain. The camera sold for $2.8 million in Vienna, deeming it the most expensive camera ever to be sold. The exact model also sold a year earlier for $1.89 million.
2) Violin from Titanic
Wallace Hartley was an English violinist. He was the bandleader of the eight piece band playing as the Titanic sank in 1912, where he met his death.
After the famous ship hit an iceberg, Hartley and his band members played music to help calm the passengers as they loaded onto the lifeboats. Survivors of the disaster spoke of how the band continued playing until the very end. Newspapers reported “the part played by the orchestra on board the Titanic in her last dreadful moments will rank among the nobles in the annals of heroism at sea”.
Hartley’s body was found nearly 2 weeks after the ship had sunk and he was said to be fully dressed with his music case strapped to him. His violin was found 101 years later in a British man’s attic, and it was confirmed that this was the violin he had been playing during the ships demise. At auction, the violin recently sold for more than $1.7 million.
1) Elephant Bird Egg
Elephant birds are now extinct. They walked the earth up until around the 17th century, when they are believed to have become extinct. They were large flightless birds that lived in Madagascar and it is rumored that human activity was the cause of their demise, as one of their eggs could feed an entire family. However, it is not confirmed as the true cause.
These birds were among the heaviest of their species, weighing in at half a tonne. When it came to height, they competed with New Zealand’s moas bird, at over 3 meters tall. It is not surprising that an egg from this bird that was recently sold at auction, measured over a foot long and 9 inches in diameter.
The partly fossilized Elephant Bird Egg sold for more than $100,000 and shook the bidding room alive, with competitive bidding ending within 10 minutes.