The World’s Most Expensive Auction Items: Part 2
More of the world’s most expensive auction items
We’ve already brought you some of the world’s most expensive items ever sold at auction, but those were just the tip of the hugely extravagant iceberg. The list goes on (and on, and on) – take a look at what else the rich and famous raise their paddles for…
The Bay Psalm Book and the Codex Leicester – $30.8 million
Everyone reads Kindles and e-readers these days right? So how valuable can books actually be? Turns out, very – if you’re a fan of auction houses, that is. With a sale of $14.1 million, Sotheby’s holds the record for the most expensive printed book ever sold – that being the Bay Psalm Book, a volume with the distinction of being the first book ever printed in the colonies, by the Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Not to be outdone, the most expensive manuscript ever sold went under the hammer at Christie’s in 1994 – a notebook of Leonardo da Vinci’s, to be exact, written in his distinctive mirror hand. Who was it that made the record-breaking $30.8 million purchase? None other than Bill Gates – one of the few people who could afford to. Big business in windows, it seems…
Rhein II by Andreas Gursky – $4.8 million
Digitally altered photographs don’t seem particularly valuable, however Rhein II by Andreas Gursky fetched a massive $4.8 million when it went up for sale at Christie’s in November 2011. What makes this photograph so distinctive? The thought and the artistry behind it. Not satisfied with representing reality in his photographs, Gursky went one step further, using technology to alter the pictures he took, highlighting certain features and bringing out philosophical themes and messages. It was this unique way of working that many people responded to, particularly in Rhein II – no doubt the reason for its hugely expensive price tag.
Marilyn Monroe’s Dresses – $5.5 million
Think silver screen bombshell and you’ll likely think of Marilyn Monroe, one of Hollywood’s most iconic sex symbols. Small wonder then that her dresses have sold for millions at auction, like the flesh-coloured, rhinestone-studded dress she wore when she famously sang ‘Happy Birthday Mr President’ to John F. Kennedy in May 1962. The sultry performance was almost something of a scandal at the time, and the price of the dress when it was sold just over 50 years later was no less scandalous – $4.81 million, purchased by Ripley’s Believe it or Not.
Even more memorable was the ivory cocktail dress Monroe wore in the 1955 film The Seven Year Itch. Who can forget the legendary photos of the star standing over a subway grate, trying to cover herself with her billowing dress? You’ve seen the images – now you can see the dress itself at the Profiles in History auction house in California, following its sale in June 2011 for a whopping $5.5 million. We’re not suggesting you make a bid for the actual dress, as there are plenty of designer gowns you can commission for far less – but perhaps a trip out to sunny California with your casino jackpot, and a stop in to have a look while you’re there? History never looked so glamorous!
Happy Spinning 🙂