Wouldn’t it be nice if you could sell a jacket, shoe, or random item you owned for millions of dollars? For famous people, they have the chance to do this since there are people who are willing to break the bank to have something they owned, or once wore. Over the years, celebrity items have sold for record breaking amounts of money ranging from hair, jewelry, an autographed urinal, and X-Rays.
Prepare yourself to be surprised by the following list of celebrity memorabilia sold at an auction to the highest bidder.
10) Justin Bieber’s Hair
In 2011, superstar singer Justin Bieber decided to cut his well-known long locks. He then took some of his hair to Ellen DeGeneres on her show who then put it up on eBay. What inspired him to do this was a Tweet exchange between the two celebrities right before his appearance. Ellen told the teen sensation to bring her a ‘surprise’ when he came to see her, which he did. The price of the hairy gift quickly skyrocketed online and went to $10,000 in the first hour. In the end, the final price was $40,668. In addition to owning a piece of Justin, the lucky bidder was able to meet him the next time he appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. All of the proceeds went to The Gentle Barn Foundation according to People magazine.
9) Marilyn Monroe’s Chest X-rays
Famous beauty and actress Marilyn Monroe may no longer be alive, but the desire in people to have anything associated with her is thriving. An example of this is a set of three of her chest X-rays as a young woman selling for $45,000 at the Hollywood Legends auction in Las Vegas. They were taken in 1954 and clearly show part of Monroe’s famous figure. A young doctor working in the radiology department at the Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in Florida got his hands on the X-rays when he taught classes at the medical school. He would use them during class as a teaching tool. Eventually, the doctor gave the set of X-rays to his daughter who was able to pocket thousands of dollars.
8) Michael Jackson’s Crystal Glove
It’s been proven that people all around the world will spend a very large amount on items worn by the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. An executive, Hoffman Ma, spent $420,000 in addition to the 25% buyer’s premium for the legendary singer’s iconic sequined glove from a 1983 performance of Billie Jean which is where he did his trademarked moonwalk for the first time.
The late singer’s glove was the top item in a group of Michael memorability in the auction at the Hard Rock Cafe in 2009. The rhinestone-studded, modified golf glove was estimated to go for $40,000-$60,000. Although it went for over 7 times that amount, the 36-year-old executive from Ponte 16 Resort Hotel in Macau was happy to pay that amount. He, like the audience at the auction, cheered as the price kept soaring.
7) Lady Gaga’s Autographed Urinal
Superstar singer Lady Gaga donated a sculpture of a urinal with her autograph on it to the fashion website, SHOWstudio.com. The memorabilia was used by her in a photo shoot for Vogue Homme Japan, and put up for sale with a $460,000 price tag. It has the following written on it: ‘I’m not f**king Duchamp but I love p*ssing with you.’ Her words refer to the artist Marcel Duchamp. The bathroom accessory that Lady Gaga briefly sat on–not used–sold on eBay to an unknown buyer. She even titled the piece of artwork she created, “Armitage Shanks.”
6) Richard Gere’s Guitar Collection
Actor Richard Gere had a love for guitars starting at a young age, which is when he started collecting them. In 2011, he decided to put his vintage guitar and amplifier collection in an auction at Christie’s, which is located in New York. The 107-lot group garnered much attention at the auction house, and ended up raising $936,438 for charity. When asked about the memorability, Richard said: “Without ever thinking I was putting a collection together, there seems to be one. I just bought what I liked, what sounded good – what played well.” The most popular item and biggest draw was a Les Paul electric Guitar by Gibson, which went for $98, 500. Since four of the popular instruments didn’t sell, the award-winning actor still has something to cherish from his childhood.
5) Steve McQueen’s ‘Le Mans’ Racing Suit
Morry Barmak, owner of Collector Studio, spent almost a decade trying to get Steve McQueen’s racing suit from the film Le Mans into his gallery of motor sports art and memorabilia. That finally happened and gave him a new goal: sell the jacket for a profit. For a year, Morry marketed the suit in magazines, blogs and other advertisements. He also told all of his friends, colleagues, and customers. He ended up selling it in 2011 for $155,000. However, almost four months later, Morry read a press release stating the same racing suit would be sold as part of the “Icons of Hollywood” auction. In the end, the next buyer paid $984,000 for it. Making a profit of over $600,000 in less than a month is something many people would love to do.
4) Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ Jacket
The pre-sale estimate for the iconic jacket worn by Michael Jackson in his music video, Thriller was $200,000. It surpassed expectations when it sold online for $1.8 million dollars, which was a bidding record for Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills. Michael gave the jacket to costume designers Dennis Tompkins and Michael Bush. The inside of it is inscribed with the words, “To Bush and Dennis, All My Love, Michael Jackson.”
Milton Verret from Texas was the winning bidder who decided to display it at Austin’s Dell Children’s Hospital. He made the purchase to help raise money for children’s hospitals and charities around the world in tribute of Michael Jackson. Thriller remains the top-grossing single of all time, which is a part of the biggest-selling album of all time that was released in 1982.
3) The Last Pair of Judy Garland’s ‘Wizard of Oz’ Ruby Slippers
The most recognizable red-soled heels of all time, many would argue, are the ruby slippers from the classic film Wizard of Oz. There were only four pairs made for the 1939 flick, all worth over $500,000 dollars. One pair is on display at the Smithsonian, another belongs to a private collector, and the third was stolen from Judy Garland’s museum in Minnesota. So, when the last pair was to be sold an an auction, many expected it to rake in big bucks. As the Los Angeles auction house prepared to offer the famous shoes to the world, Leonardo DiCaprio and Steven Spielberg worked together to get them. Then, they donated the well-known heels to The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2012. No one knows the exact amount that was paid by the celebrities, but they were set to be sold for $2-$3 million dollars the previous year.
2) Marilyn Monroe’s Dress From ‘The Seven Year Itch’
The selling of Marilyn Monroe‘s highly recognizable ivory pleased crepe dress from the film The Seven Year Itch broke records when it went for $5.52 million. That was the highest priced selling item ever for auction house Profiles in History, which hosted the sale of Monroe’s famous dress at a venue in Los Angeles. A spokesperson for Profiles in History said, “The dress is the most famous dress — not just in film — but of all time in history.” 586 other items went on sale that day, all from actress Debbie Reynolds. The amount the winning bidder said over the phone to get the dress was $4.6 million dollars. After you add taxes and fees, you get to the final amount of $1.8 million dollars for one of the most cherished dresses in American cinema worn by, arguably, one of the most beautiful women ever.
1) Elizabeth Taylor’s La Peregrina Necklace
At an auction in Los Angeles for the late actress Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry collection, her La Peregrina necklace went for $11.8 million in 2011. The necklace was meant to display a 50.6 carat historical pearl, which was bought in 1969 for $37,000 by her two-time husband Richard Burton. The pearl was once owned by Spanish royalty and dates back 500 years. Sources have said an African slave found the pearl on the shore in the Gulf of Panama in the mid-16th century. Then, it was owned by numerous people: Mary I of England, Philip II of Spain, and two spanish queens. When it went for $11.8 million at auction house Christie’s New York, a record price was set for any pearl ever sold at an auction. Other Elizabeth Taylor memorabilia was up for auction, raising over $100 million, but the La Peregrina pearl necklace took home the grand prize by selling for the most money.
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