Auction Sales: The Weird and Wonderful
The world of antiques is full of surprises. From gorgeous Victorian-era furniture to rare paintings, you never know what gems will show up at auction sales. Part of the joy of the antique world is that auctions are different every time, and you never know what will show up on the block. Collectors in search of military memorabilia, furniture, art, musical instruments, cars, and pop culture items can all score big at auction sales. Sometimes, the items up for grabs cross the line from rare to downright strange. People in search of unique and rare items have gotten lucky over the years at auctions that feature one-of-a-kind goods.
AUCTION SALES: THE WEIRD AND WONDERFUL
Here’s a look at some of the strangest, rarest items to ever grace the auction block. From the most expensive to the most unique, these items aren’t business as usual:
1. JUSTIN BIEBER’S HAIR
Celebrity keepsakes are popular with fans and collectors. For music enthusiasts, original compositions or concert costumes are coveted items at auction sales. For some superfans, physical pieces of their favorite celebrity are irresistible opportunities to own a piece of pop culture. A seller on Ebay once received $40,668 for a lock of Justin Bieber’s hair in a signed box from one Belieber. Is it too late now to say “sold”?
2. A HOLY DORITO
The Pope is a symbol of faith and religion to millions worldwide. Even for non-catholics, the Pope’s robes and hat a instantly recognizable. Maybe that’s why a Dorito chip shaped like the Pope’s hat sold for $1,209 on Ebay. Strangely, the purchaser was an online casino company. Maybe they were placing bets on the afterlife, and wanted a boost. Either way, that’s the most costly snack on the market.
3. THE COUNTRY OF NEW ZEALAND
Yes, the whole thing. Although it didn’t sell, one Australian man tried to auction off the whole island nation of New Zealand on eBay at a starting bid of one cent. Ebay shut down the auction, but not before the bid had risen to over $3,000. That’s a great deal on a whole country!
4. A BALLOON ANIMAL
Modern art is prized for its contemporary style and cutting-edge subject material. One of the most expensive works of art ever to appear at auction was a sculpture depicting a dog-shaped balloon animal by artist Jeff Koons. The orange metallic pooch sold for a whopping $58.4 million in 2013 at Christie’s online auction.
5. A TINY TOWN IN TEXAS
Unlike the entrepreneur who tried to make a quick buck on New Zealand, the residents of the town of Albert, Texas proved that you can successfully sell geographic locations. The five-person town sold for over $200,000 to an insurance broker, who then invested and resold the town for $2.5 million. How’s that for turnover?
6. CHUNKS OF MARS
The closest most of us will ever get to the Red Planet, unless Elon Musk has his way, is through a telescope on a clear night. In 2003, one lucky bidder got to own a chunk of Mars when he bought a meteorite that hailed from outer space. The price tag was $450,000- probably even more than a seat on the space shuttle to our next door space neighbor!
7. A ROYAL DESSERT
Wedding cakes can get expensive, but they usually sell for a lot less than $900 a slice. That’s what a collector paid in 2013 for a slice of the fruit cake served at Queen Elizabeth of England’s wedding to Prince Philip in 1947. Even that hefty price tag is less than the $7,500 paid for a slice of Prince William’s wedding cake from his marriage to Kate Middleton in 2011. That’s quite a pricey dessert order!
8. CHEWED GUM
Major League Baseball outfielder was playing for the Arizona Diamondbacks when he discarded a wad of chewed up gum on the ball field in 2002. A fan managed to swipe it from the grass, and put it up for auction where it sold for $10,000 to a baseball superfan.
9. A WEEKEND WITH A KARDASHIAN
In 2006, four men auctioned off their time, promising to spend a fun weekend with the winning bidder. The package included a promise of beer and fun, along with a mystery celebrity joining the crew. That turned out to be Rob Kardashian, the famous younger brother of Khloe, Kourtney, and Kim. The winner paid $45,000 for the privilege of keeping up with a Kardashian on the weekend trip.
10. A BABY NAME
Raising children is a beautiful undertaking that can also be quite expensive. Between diapers, toys, food, school, and clothes, the bill can really add up. Connecticut mom Melissa Heuschkel came up with a unique way to offset those costs: Heuschkel auctioned off the rights to name her unborn daughter for $15,500. The buyer? The online casino Golden Palace. The little girl is called Goldie, short for Golden Palace. That’s one creative way to beat the house!
AUCTION SALES AT FOUR SEASONS AUCTION GALLERY
Here at Four Seasons Auction Gallery, we offer a variety of beautiful antiqued and unique collectibles, from pop culture memorabilia to historical items. You may not find any locks of celebrity hair in our galleries, but you will find gorgeous hand-crafted furniture, art, classic automobiles, rare heirlooms, and much more. To appraise or consign your goods, or to browse upcoming auction items, call us at 470-589-1653 or email us at [email protected]