Connect with us


The Most Expensive Auction Items Ever Sold



Auctions offer a unique and exciting opportunity to score amazing finds, such as antique jewelry or even a house at a fraction of its market value. Conversely, high-end sales can generate tens of millions of dollars for the seller. In fact, private auctions sometimes pass around the most valuable memorabilia in the entire world. Sotheby’s and eBay are just a few examples of places where remarkable items, such as giga-yachts, entire towns, violins, and even Marie Antoinette’s pearls, have been auctioned off to enthusiastic buyers who are willing to pay exorbitant prices for these rare treasures. These are the most expensive items purchased at auction in recent years. Which is your favorite?

Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci

Auction Year: 2017 Seller: Christie’s, New York Sold For: $450 million Even those with only a passing interest in art recognize Leonardo Da Vinci as one of the great masters of his craft. His creations are among the most valuable in the world, such as the over 500-year-old painting of Jesus Christ known as Salvator Mundi (Saviour of the World). In 2017, this iconic piece was auctioned off at Christie’s in New York and the resulting bidding war saw it sell for a staggering $450 million, making it one of the most expensive artworks ever sold.

”Rabbit” by Jeff Coons

Auction Year: 2019 Seller: Christie’s, New York Sold For: $91 million Jeff Koons is widely recognized for his impressive artistic creations, even if not everyone appreciates his style. His stainless steel sculpture titled “Rabbit” is a prime example of this, as it sold for a staggering $91 million during a Christie’s auction in New York in 2019. This record-breaking sale not only made headlines but also established “Rabbit” as the most expensive artwork by a living artist, leaving many people surprised. While Koons initially gained fame for his balloon-animal sculptures in the ’80s, the sale of “Rabbit” would undoubtedly be considered a career highlight for him.

Marie Antoinette’s Pearl Pendant

Auction Year: 2018 Seller: Sotheby’s Sold For: $32 million Marie Antoinette, the queen of France, is as renowned for her extravagant lifestyle as she is for her historical significance. In 2018, a remarkably rare pearl that once belonged to her was auctioned off at Sotheby’s for a staggering $32 million, becoming the most expensive pearl ever sold. This exquisite pendant is far from your everyday accessory and is of a quality that even renowned jewelers like Tiffany’s would struggle to match. Undoubtedly, the pearl pendant now holds a place of pride in a private collection.

1962 Ferrari 250 GTO

Auction Year: 2018 Seller: Sotheby’s Sold For: $48.4 million Classic cars have always had a solid market, with collectors willing to pay exorbitant sums to add a well-maintained model to their collection. In 2018, however, one bidder took things to a whole new level. The auction in question saw a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO sell for a jaw-dropping $48.4 million, making it the most expensive car ever sold at an auction. While this is far from a run-down old Ford, it’s hard to fathom any vehicle commanding such an astronomical price tag.

The Pink Star Diamond

Auction Year: 2017 Seller: Sotheby’s, Hong Kong Sold For: $71.2 million While diamonds are often considered a symbol of eternity, does that justify a price tag of $71.2 million? In 2017, a ring known as the Pink Star set a record for being the most expensive jewel ever sold at an auction when it was purchased by jewelry retailer Chow Tai Fook at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong. The ring features a stunning 59.60-carat diamond, which is undoubtedly a sight to behold. However, the price paid for it seems exorbitant, especially for something so small. Nevertheless, for the buyer, the purchase was undoubtedly worth every penny. It’s not every day that an item of such renown goes under the hammer.

Meules by Claude Monet

Auction Year: 2019 Seller: Sotheby’s Sold For: $110.7 million Claude Monet’s paintings have always been popular among art enthusiasts, but owning one of his pieces is a privilege reserved for the ultra-wealthy. While a museum ticket to view Monet’s works may cost just $30, actually owning one of his masterpieces costs significantly more. In 2019, Monet’s Meules from his Haystacks series set a record when it sold for a staggering $110.7 million at Sotheby’s, attracting plenty of millionaires who wanted to add it to their collections. The sale made headlines on major news platforms like Google.

Peter Lik’s Phantom

Auction Year: 2014 Seller: Unknown Sold For: $6.5 million In 2014, photographer Peter Lik’s Phantom was sold for a record-breaking $6.5 million at an auction, making it the most expensive photograph ever sold. While painting a portrait can take hours, days, or even months, taking a photograph is often instantaneous, making the return on investment in this case particularly impressive. Phantom is undoubtedly an artsy and stylish photo, but the question remains whether someone would be willing to spend that much money on something they could potentially produce themselves with the help of a Kodak camera.

Kurt Cobain’s “Unplugged” Guitar

Auction Year: 2020 Seller: Julien’s Auctions Sold For: $6 million The legacy of grunge icon Kurt Cobain continues to live on despite his brief 27 years on earth. In 2020, Julien’s Auctions in Los Angeles put up for sale the acoustic-electric guitar Kurt played during Nirvana’s memorable MTV Unplugged set in 1993. The auction house anticipated a thrilling sale, but they could not have predicted that the guitar would fetch a staggering $6 million. Given the significance of that particular performance to music fans, the outcome was not entirely unexpected. The guitar was purchased by Rode Microphones founder Peter Freedman.

British Guiana 1856 1 Cent Magenta Stamp

Auction Year: 2014 Seller: Sotheby’s Sold For: $9.5 million While some people may not comprehend it, the stamp collecting industry is thriving. These small pieces of paper may appear insignificant to the untrained eye, but they can be valued at millions of dollars. In 2014, Sotheby’s auctioned a rare British Guiana 1856 1 Cent Magenta stamp, and no one was prepared for how much it would fetch. The winning bidder was shoe designer Stuart Weitzman, who paid a staggering $9.5 million to acquire the stamp. It’s an astounding amount of money to spend, but Weitzman is clearly serious about his stamp collecting hobby.

Francis Bacon, Triptych Inspired by the Oresteia of Aeschylus (1981)

Auction Year: 2020 Seller: Sotheby’s Sold For: $84.6 million Triptych Inspired by the Oresteia of Aeschylus, a masterpiece by artist Francis Bacon, was auctioned at Sotheby’s in 2020, with a selling price of $84.6 million. While Bacon’s work may require more contemplation than some of the Renaissance masters, it is undoubtedly among the finest. Even though the art market wasn’t thriving at the time, the live streams and expertise of the auction house helped the paintings fetch a high price. Despite the substantial amount spent by the phone bidder, the uniqueness of the artwork made it a worthwhile investment.

Nike Air Yeezy 1 Prototypes

Auction Year: 2021 Seller: Sotheby’s Sold For: $1.8 million In the world of auctions, it’s not only vintage items that are fetching top dollar. Modern objects can also be worth a fortune. Case in point: in 2021, a pair of prototype Nike Yeezy sneakers designed by Kanye West were put up for sale. While initial estimates placed the value of the shoes at $1 million, they ended up selling for over $1.8 million. With West’s fashion line enjoying immense popularity, it’s understandable why a fan would be willing to shell out such a large sum for an original item.

Patek Philippe Watch

Auction Year: 2019 Seller: Christie’s Sold For: $31 million In 2019, a Patek Philippe watch sold for a staggering $31 million during a Christie’s auction, demonstrating the high value placed on rare watches. The watch, which was the most expensive of its kind to sell at auction, was made even more special by the fact that all proceeds went to charity. This sale broke the previous record set by a Rolex formerly owned by Paul Newman that sold for $17.7 million in 2017, showing the continued growth of the watch market.

The ‘Lady Blunt’ Stradivarius Violin

Auction Year: 2011 Seller: Online auction Sold For: $13.7 million Instruments that are rare can be incredibly valuable, especially when they are crafted by masters like Italian luthier Antonio Stradivari. In 2011, the “Lady Blunt” violin, one of just 600 Stradivari violins that still exist, went up for auction. The instrument was gifted to Lord Byron’s granddaughter in 1721, adding to its historical significance. The violin sold for a staggering $13.7 million, making it one of the most expensive musical instruments ever sold.

The Gigayacht

Auction Year: 2006 Seller: eBay Sold For: $168 million The Gigayacht’s sale was not a common sight on eBay, as high-value items are usually sold through auction houses such as Christie’s due to high costs. However, in 2006, the Gigayacht was auctioned on eBay for an undisclosed reason. The luxurious yacht was an impressive 450 feet long and included amenities such as a movie theater, 18 guest rooms, and a professional kitchen. It was eventually sold for $168 million, and while it is unknown what the seller fees were, the final price showed that the seller was able to afford it.

Harry Garner Reticulated Vase

Auction Year: 2020 Seller: Sotheby’s Sold For: $9 million In 2020, a Chinese vase worth $9 million was discovered in the home of a deceased relative, having been previously bought for just $530 in today’s money at an auction in 1954. The vase was named after one of its former owners, Harry Garner, and was highly sought-after by the winning bidder. It’s a remarkable find and a testament to how valuable antiques can be.

Marilyn Monroe’s “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” Gown

Auction Year: 2016 Seller: Julien’s Auctions Sold For: $4.8 million In 2016, Marilyn Monroe’s iconic dress that she wore when she sang “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” was sold by Julien’s Auctions for a staggering $4.8 million in Los Angeles. The dress was highly coveted by bidders due to its cultural significance. Surprisingly, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! won the auction, with the intention of displaying the dress and attracting more visitors.

The Oppenheimer Blue

Auction Year: 2016 Seller: Christie’s Sold For: $57.9 million The Oppenheimer Blue, a 14.62-carat emerald-cut blue diamond, was sold at Christie’s in 2016. The diamond got its name from Sir Philip Oppenheimer, the original owner. The diamond was highly sought after and eventually sold for $57.9 million. The new owner not only has an exquisite piece of jewelry but also a valuable piece of history.

The Town of Albert, TX

Auction Year: 2007 Seller: eBay Sold For: $2.5 million In 2007, the town of Albert, Texas, was put up for sale on eBay, offering a rare opportunity for someone to own their own town. Despite its small size and population, the town included a dance hall, a tractor shed, a house, and a post office. The winning bid was $2.5 million, making it a relatively affordable investment for someone looking to own a slice of small-town America. Although the details of the sale are not known, the charm and quaintness of the location make it a unique and attractive purchase.

Lunch with Warren Buffett

Auction Year: 2019 Seller: eBay Sold For: $4.5 million Warren Buffet holds an annual charity auction in which the highest bidder gets to have lunch with him. Though the auction usually raises a good sum of money, in 2019 it was listed on eBay and exceeded all expectations, fetching $4.5 million. Justin Sun was the winning bidder, likely hoping to gain insight from the investment guru. The sale set a new record for the highest-earning charity item ever sold on the site, showcasing the value of Buffet’s time.

NFT “Everydays: The First 5,000 Days” by Beeple

Auction Year: 2020 Seller: Nifty Gateway Sold For: $777,777 The emergence of blockchain-based art is relatively recent, but it didn’t deter a buyer from paying a hefty sum for a particular piece in 2020. The Completely MF Collection by Beeple sold for a whopping $777,777 on Nifty Gateway. However, according to Insider, the sale included more than just the digital artwork. It also included a “physical artifact of the NFT featuring a signed, numbered titanium backplate.” While some may not comprehend the reasoning behind such a high-priced purchase, there’s always a buyer for every item.

Edvard Munch’s “The Scream”

Auction Year: 2012 Seller: Sotheby’s Sold For: $120 million The Scream, painted by Edvard Munch, is a widely recognized artwork across the globe. While prints of the painting are affordable for most people, buying the original painting is a different story. In 2012, the painting was sold at Sotheby’s for $120 million, making it one of the most expensive paintings ever sold. The buyer was Leon Black, a financier from New York, and it is believed that the painting would command an even higher price if it were to be sold again today.

Roy Lichtenstein’s “Sleeping Girl”

Auction Year: 2012 Seller: Sotheby’s Sold For: $44 million Roy Lichenstein’s unique pop art style, utilizing dots to create cartoon-like paintings, has made him a famous artist. His iconic work, Sleeping Girl, sold for $44 million in 2012 at a Sotheby’s auction. This painting had been previously showcased at prestigious locations such as the Pasadena Art Museum, the Walker Art Center, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. Lichenstein produced around 5,000 artworks before his death in 1997.

The “Chariot” by Alberto Giacometti

Auction Year: 2014 Seller: Sotheby’s Sold For: $101 million Art appreciation is subjective and not everyone may comprehend the essence of certain artworks, such as Alberto Giacometti’s Chariot. While some may fail to understand its meaning or purpose, others may appreciate it enough to shell out $101 million in 2014. The 20th-century sculpture was sold at a dedicated Impressionist and Modern Art sale at Sotheby’s, where intense bidding resulted in the artwork being purchased by a fortunate and wealthy collector. Sotheby’s certainly knows how to attract the right audience.

The Flowing Hair Silver Dollar

Auction Year: 2013 Seller: Stack’s Bowers Galleries Sold For: $10 million Coins, like stamps, can be collected, and there are some rare pieces that are incredibly valuable. The Flowing Hair Silver Dollar holds a special place in history as it was the first dollar coin produced by the United States after Alexander Hamilton established the national Mint. In 2013, it was sold by Stack’s Bowers Galleries for an impressive $10 million to Legend Numismatics, a New Jersey-based company that specializes in rare coins. With few of these coins in existence, it’s no wonder that the buyer was willing to spend such a substantial amount to add it to their collection.

Leonardo Da Vinci’s Codex Leicester

Auction Year: 1994 Seller: Unknown Sold For: $30,800,000 Bill Gates, with a net worth of $103 billion, has the financial resources to buy almost anything he wants. In 1994, he attended an auction where he found a fascinating item, a 72-page notebook once owned by Leonardo Da Vinci. The notebook, known as the Codex Leicester, contained a wealth of notes and scientific theories penned by the artist. Gates was captivated by the notebook and ended up paying nearly $31 million for it.

Pablo Picasso’s Nude, Green Leaves, and Bust

Auction Year: 2010 Seller: Christie’s Sold For: $106.5 Million Pablo Picasso’s artwork has been selling for millions of dollars at auctions worldwide, making him one of the most well-known and influential artists in modern history. One of his paintings, Nude, Green Leaves, and Bust, was put up for sale by Christie’s auction house in London on May 4, 2010. Despite an estimated sale price of $80 million, the painting sold for a then-record-breaking amount of $106.5 million, including the $11.5 million buyer’s premium. The painting was a depiction of Picasso’s mistress/muse and was created in 1932.

Tresses from Elvis Presley

Auction Year: 2002 Seller: MastroNet Inc Sold For: $115,000 Elvis Presley’s personal barber had a unique habit of collecting strands of his client’s iconic pompadour during haircuts. In 2002, some of these hair strands were sold at an auction for a whopping $115,000. This amount is equivalent to the cost of two Tesla cars. It seems that Elvis’ fans are willing to pay any price for a piece of the legendary singer’s legacy.

1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa

Auction Year: 2009 Seller: RM Auctions and Sotheby’s Sold For: $12.2 Million The 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa model won over half of the races it entered during the 1958-1961 international racing seasons. At a 2009 auction organized by RM Auctions and Sotheby’s, one of the rare Testa Rossas sold for $12.2 million. Surprisingly, this specific model had never won or even placed in the top three, but due to its unique design and rarity, it fetched such a high price. It held the title of the highest-selling Ferrari car until it was replaced by the 250 GTO nine years later.

Mark McGwire’s 70th-home-run Baseball

Auction Year: 1999 Seller: Guernsey’s Sold For: $3 Million In 1998, Major League Baseball was recovering from a work stoppage that cost millions of fans and games. Mark McGwire, a St. Louis Cardinals slugger, rejuvenated baseball’s popularity with his legendary home run chase. Todd McFarlane, a comic book creator, bought the baseball that marked McGwire’s 70th and final home run for $3 million, a record amount for a souvenir baseball, which is significantly higher than the $5 price tag of a Rawlings baseball at Dick’s Sporting Goods store.

Portrait of an Artist (Pool With Two Figures) by David Hockney

Auction Year: 2018 Seller: Christie’s Sold For: $90 Million David Hockney, a British artist and openly gay painter, arrived in Los Angeles in the 1960s. He was inspired by the swimming pools he saw from the plane as it descended into L.A., leading him to create a series of paintings that focused on the reflections and movements of the water. One of his most poignant pieces from the pool collection is “Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures),” which portrays a former lover looking at another man. In 2018, over four decades after its creation, the painting sold for a then-record-breaking $90 million at a Christie’s auction.

The Clark Sickle-Leaf Carpet

Auction Year: 2012 Seller: Sotheby’s Sold For: $33.7 Million The Clark sickle-leaf carpet is a stunning piece with a floral pattern and eye-catching vines, and it is considered one of the most beautifully designed handwoven carpets in the world. For years, it was packed away and stored by the Corcoran Gallery of Art. However, in 2012, it was sold at a Sotheby’s auction to an anonymous buyer for $33.7 million, making it one of the most expensive carpets ever sold.

The Cadbury’s Conundrum Egg

Auction Year: 2022 Seller: Batemans of Stamford Sold For: $49,200 Cadbury buried twelve golden eggs around the United Kingdom in 1983, sparking a nationwide treasure hunt that was eventually canceled due to damage caused by egg hunters. Despite the cancellation, a persistent few continued to search for the eggs. The golden eggs were not the same as the regular Cadbury eggs found in stores, and one of them was recently sold at an auction in 2022 for approximately $49,200, more than double its pre-sale estimated price.

Pokemon First Edition Holographic Charizard Card

Auction Year: 2020 Seller: TCG Goldin Sold For: $369,000 When Pokemon debuted in the 1990s, it became more than just a video game or a trading card game, it became a way of life. As fans grew older, the focus shifted from “catching them all” to obtaining the most valuable cards. One of the most coveted cards was the first edition holographic Charizard card released in 1999. In 2020, 21 years after its initial release, the card was sold at an auction for a record-breaking $369,000, making it the most expensive Pokemon card ever sold.

Badminton Cabinet

Auction Year: 2004 Seller: Christie’s Sold For: $36 Million It may seem crazy to spend millions on a cabinet that holds badminton equipment, but that’s not what happened here. Instead, someone paid a fortune for a cabinet that was named after the village it had resided in for over 200 years, Badminton, England, despite having nothing to do with the sport. The Badminton cabinet is no ordinary piece of furniture and has been sold at Christie’s for a high price before. Back in 1990, Barbara Piasecka Johnson used some of her Johnson & Johnson fortune to acquire the centuries-old chest made of Florentine ebony and gemstones for $16.5 million. In 2004, it was sold again for a staggering $36 million.

Wittelsbach Diamond

Auction Year: 2008 Seller: Private Seller Sold For: $23.4 Million The Wittelsbach diamond exudes a movie-like allure. Its true beauty can only be fully appreciated in person, yet only a select few individuals living today have had the privilege of doing so. The stone was originally an important component of the dowry given by Spain’s King Philip IV to his daughter in the 1600s. After being passed down through royal families for centuries, the diamond eventually ended up in the hands of private collectors in the 20th century. American jeweler Signet has an impressive collection, but neither it nor Tiffany’s can compare to this 35.56-carat blue diamond that a private seller sold for $23.4 million in 2008.

Double Eagle Gold Coin

Auction Year: 2021 Seller: Sotheby’s Sold For: $18.9 Million The scarcity of an item is directly proportional to its value. In 1933, the U.S. ceased producing gold currency after all but two double eagle coins were destroyed. One of them is held by the Smithsonian, and the other was sold by luxury shoe designer Stuart Weitzman for $18.9 million in 2021 at a Sotheby’s auction to an anonymous buyer, after he had purchased it for $7.9 million in 2002. This highlights how collectors are willing to pay an exorbitant price to own a piece of history.

Gerhard Richter’s Cathedral Square

Auction Year: 2013 Seller: Sotheby’s Sold For: $37.1 Million Gerhard Richter’s painting of Milan’s Cathedral Square, which measures 9 feet by 9.5 feet, is considered one of the most significant works of the 20th-century European art scene, not just in popularity. In 2021, it was sold for a record-breaking $37.1 million, making it the most expensive piece by a living artist ever sold at auction, and more than $20 million over the expected sale price. This record was also previously held by another one of Richter’s pieces.

Emerald and Diamond Tiara

Auction Year: 2011 Seller: Sotheby’s Sold For: $12.3 Million Throughout history, people have shown affection to each other by exchanging or gifting valuable items. At the turn of the 20th century, Prince Guido Henckel von Donnersmarck of Germany commissioned a one-of-a-kind tiara for his wife as a sign of his love for her. The tiara, adorned with hundreds of diamonds and 11 pear-shaped emeralds, was sold for an incredible $12.3 million at a Sotheby’s auction in 2011, proving that it is truly fit for royalty.

Ringo Starr’s Drum Kit

Auction Year: 2015 Seller: Julien’s Auctions Sold For: $2.2 Million The success of the British invasion of the North American music scene in the 1960s was largely due to The Beatles’ efforts in paving the way for other musicians. And crucially, keeping the “Fab 4” on beat was Ringo Starr on drums. The three-piece Ludwig Oyster Black Pearl drum kit that Ringo played during hundreds of performances in ’63 and ’64, which is an important part of Rock & Roll history, was sold at an auction for $2.2 million to Jim Irsay, the owner of the Indianapolis Colts’ football team.

The Graff Pink Diamond

Auction Year: 2011 Seller: Sotheby’s Sold For: $45.6 Million The record for the most expensive sold stone was recently broken, but prior to that, it belonged to a pink diamond with rounded corners and an emerald cut, which was once owned by renowned American jeweler Harry Winston. The diamond weighed 24.78 carats and was sold for $45.6 million to Lawrence Graff, the founder of Graff Diamonds, at a Sotheby’s auction in 2011. Graff subsequently renamed the diamond after his family. The diamond’s rarity is evident from the fact that less than 2% of all diamonds in the world belong to its color category.

Elizabeth Taylor’s Jewelry Collection

Auction Year: 2011 Seller: Christie’s Sold For: $116 Million In 2011, Christie’s auctioned off Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry collection, revealing that the legendary actress wanted to be seen as a queen. The collection set numerous records, with her La Peregrina pearl necklace becoming the most expensive auction-sold pearl, selling for $11.8 million. The collection, which brought in a total of $116 million, included gifts from her friend Michael Jackson, the “Prince of Pop.”

Wallis Simpson Panther Bracelet

Auction Year: 2010 Seller: Sotheby’s Sold For: $7 Million The panther bracelet originally owned by Wallis Simpson, whose love story with Edward is like a fairy tale, has an interesting history. Due to Simpson’s multiple past marriages, Edward abdicated his throne as King of England to be with her. This diamond and onyx panther bracelet was designed for royalty to wear elegantly on their wrist. Sold at a Sotheby’s auction over a decade ago for $7 million, it set a new record for the most expensive Cartier item ever auctioned. The current owner of the bracelet is unknown.

James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5

Auction Year: 2019 Seller: Sotheby’s Sold For: $6.4 Million The early James Bond films featured the iconic character cruising around in a sophisticated and sporty Aston Martin DB5. Today, only three of these models exist, and one was sold for a staggering $6.4 million at a Sotheby’s auction several years ago. The DB5 was meticulously restored to its original Goldfinger form, complete with tire-slashers, .30 caliber machine guns mounted on the fenders, and all the stylish flair expected of a Double-O agent. The only thing missing is a direct video link to MI6.

Georgia O’Keeffe, Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1 (1932)

Auction Year: 2014 Seller: Sotheby’s Sold For: $44.4 Million Georgia O’Keeffe is known for her ability to portray the beauty of flowers up-close and her art has been highly valued. In 2014, a group of buyers joined forces to purchase one of her most famous pieces at a Sotheby’s auction, paying three times more than any other female-made artwork in history. Leading the group was Alice Walton, heiress to Walmart’s fortune, who contributed a significant amount of the $44.4 million paid for the painting, titled Jimson Weed/White Flower No.1. The piece was later donated to the Crystal Bridges Museum in Arkansas.

Ruyao Washer

Auction Year: 2017 Seller: Sotheby’s Sold For: $38 Million Instead of bidding on flashy jewelry or rare sports memorabilia, there are collectors who devote their fortunes to purchasing actual pieces of history. These are items that once belonged to long-gone empires. In 2012, an almost 1,000-year-old porcelain bowl from the Song Dynasty was sold at a Sotheby’s auction for $26.7 million. However, that was just the beginning. Five years later, at another Sotheby’s event, the Ruyao washer bowl changed hands again. This time, the anonymous buyer paid nearly $38 million for the rare artifact of a defunct empire.

Alberto Giacometti “L’homme Au Doigt” or “Pointing Man”

Auction Year: 2015 Seller: Christie’s Sold For: $141.3 Million In 1947, Alberto Giacometti, a Swiss artist, was in a rush to finish his first exhibit in New York City. He decided to hand-paint over the bronze of one of the six identical pieces that he had cast, which turned out to be the only noticeable difference between the models, but it was enough to give it tremendous value. At a Christie’s auction in 2015, L’homme Au Doigt shattered the old record of $104 million, which was held by Giacometti’s other piece, Walking Man, since 2010. The sculpture sold for a final price of $141.3 million, making it the highest-selling sculpture ever.

Soviet Vostok 3KA-2 Space Capsule

Auction Year: 2011 Seller: Sotheby’s Sold For: $2.9 During the cold war, the United States and the Soviet Union engaged in a race to space with both nations making significant gains, but only one could claim the title of being the first. To gain an edge in the race, the Soviets used a Vostok 3KA-2 Space Capsule to house their first astronauts, including a dog named Star. The capsule successfully brought Star and a mannequin named Ivan back to Earth in 1961. In 2011, an avid space enthusiast paid $2.9 million to add this iconic capsule, which paved the way for human space travel, to their private collection.

Vintage Leica Camera

Auction Year: 2012 Seller: WestLicht Photographica Auction Sold For: $2.8 Million Prior to disposable or polaroid cameras, the Leica O-series of 35mm film cameras was the go-to camera for high-quality photographs. Made in 1923, only 25 Leica O-series cameras were manufactured, and today only 12 are believed to still exist. Due to their scarcity, the one sold at the WestLicht Photographica auction in 2012 fetched an inflated price. The anonymous buyer paid a whopping $2.8 million, making it the most expensive camera ever sold in the history of photography.

Romanée Conti (1945)

Auction Year: 2018 Seller: Sotheby’s Sold For: $558,000 In 2018, Sotheby’s made history by breaking the record for the most expensive bottle of wine ever sold, not once but twice. The bottles, both from the wine cellar of Robert Drouhin, a wine expert from Maison Joseph Drouhin, were 1945 Romanée Conti. While spending over $500,000 on a single bottle of wine may showcase one’s knowledge of the subject or their wealth, it may also be difficult for the buyer to bring themselves to open it and take a sip.

The Original Poster for Dracula (1931)

Auction Year: 2017 Seller: Heritage Auctions Sold For: $525,800 One of the most terrifying and unforgettable cinematic characters of all time was Bela Legosi’s Dracula in 1931. Although the vampire was a nightmare for many moviegoers, it was a dream come true for a collector who purchased one of two known original posters for the film. After being kept in a private collection for over six decades, the poster was sold at Heritage Auctions for a whopping $525,800, making it a pricey but cherished addition to the buyer’s collection.

Auto Overload provides our community with the latest trending automotive entertainment news and insight from around the world. We explore insider tips on the newest cars debuting, the best performance parts and the hottest racing events to visit when traveling the globe. We're inspired by exploring new automotive experiences and can't wait to share all of our exciting deals, guides and reviews to help you live your auto life to the fullest.