Most expensive memorabilia auctions

By MSN News Screen shot
1 of 17 To full screen

These items sold for top dollar

Does $408,000 sound like too much to pay for a guitar? Did we mention it belonged to two Beatles? Here's a list of crazy memorabilia auctioned for top dollar. See gallery

 

'Bea Arthur Naked' painting — $1.9 million

The Goods: 1991 oil painting of the late "The Golden Girls" actress Bea Arthur.

The painting, entitled "Bea Arthur Naked," depicts Arthur nude from the waist up. Christie's said the painting was based on a photograph of her fully clothed.

The Auction: The painting sold for $1.9 million at Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Sale in New York City on May 15.

The Buyer: Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel was revealed as the buyer when comedian Jeffrey Ross tweeted a photo of himself with the painting, which allegedly was a gift from Kimmel.

 

——

MSN News on Facebook and Twitter

Stay up to date on breaking news and current events.

Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/news.msn

Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/msnnews

Getty Images: Peter Macdiarmid
2 of 17 To full screen

Apple 1 computer — $671,400

The Goods: One of the first hand-made Apple 1 computers made by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak in Steve Jobs' garage in 1976

The Apple 1 retailed for $666.66 in 1976 and didn't include a box, keyboard or monitor. The computer sold at this auction is believed to be one of only six working Apple 1 models left.

The Auction: The computer was sold for a record $671,400 on May 25 at Auction Team Breker, an auction house in Cologne, Germany. The previous high for auction of an Apple 1 model was $640,000 in November 2012.

The Buyer: The buyer is anonymous. The hand-assembled Apple 1 was provided by Fred Hatfield, a former employee at Computer Data Systems in Columbus, Ohio, who bought the machine from Apple for about $700 in 1976. The auctioned item also includes a letter from Jobs, the contents of which contain an offer to trade in the Apple-1 model for the new Apple II for $400. Hatfield, of course, declined.

Video: MSN News coverage of the auction

 

——

MSN News on Facebook and Twitter

Stay up to date on breaking news and current events.

Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/news.msn

Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/msnnews

Reuters
3 of 17 To full screen

Guitar strummed by a pair of Beatles — $408,000

The Goods: Custom-made Vox electric guitar played by the late John Lennon and George Harrison during the Beatles' "Magical Mystery Tour" movie.

This hollow-body guitar was used by Lennon while practicing "I Am the Walrus" and in a video session for "Hello Goodbye." It's distinguished by its twin flared shoulders and was given as a gift in 1967 by Lennon to Yanni "Magic Alex" Mardas, an electronics engineer for the band's Apple Records label.

The Auction: The guitar was sold for $408,000 on May 18 at the "Music Icons" auction organized by Beverly Hills, Calif.-based Julien's Auctions and held at the Hard Rock Cafe in Manhattan.

The Buyer: Julien's Auctions CEO Darren Julian tells MSN News that the buyer has asked to remain anonymous.

Find out what other item owned by Lennon is about to be auctioned

 

——

MSN News on Facebook and Twitter

Stay up to date on breaking news and current events.

Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/news.msn

Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/msnnews

 

 

AP Photo: SCP Auctions
4 of 17 To full screen

The Great Bambino's jersey — $4.4 million

The Goods: 1920s-era New York Yankees jersey worn by baseball legend Babe Ruth

The gray away-model shirt is said to be the earliest known Yankees jersey worn by Ruth following his coming to New York from Boston.

The Auction: The jersey sold for a whopping $4,415,658 through California-based SCP Auctions on May 20, 2012, setting a record for the highest amount paid for a single sport item. Other items at the auction included a 1930s-era bat and a cap used by Ruth, which sold for $591,007 and $537,278, respectively.

The Buyer: The jersey was purchased by sports and Americana memorabilia company Lelands.com. The company's president, Michael Heffner, said in a statement he planned to sell the item to a private collector.

Find out how much an item signed by Ruth and mobster Al Capone is going for

——

MSN News on Facebook and Twitter

Stay up to date on breaking news and current events.

Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/news.msn

Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/msnnews

AP Photo
5 of 17 To full screen

The 'Bible of Basketball' — $4.3 million

The Goods: Dr. James Naismith's two-page "Founding Rules of Basketball"

Sometimes referred to as "the Bible of Basketball," this document was written by Naismith, a Canadian physical education instructor working at a New England YMCA, in 1891 as a way to give kids an indoor game that could be played in the winter. At the time, the game had no physical contact and required players to throw a ball into an elevated peach basket. Little did he know it would become the game of basketball as we know it.

The Auction: Naismith's basketball rules document was sold for $4,338,500 on Dec. 10, 2012, through Sotheby's.

The Buyer:David and Suzanne Booth purchased the document. David G. Booth is the co-founder and co-CEO of the Texas mutual fund company Dimensional Fund Advisors. Booth reportedly said he plans to give the document to the University of Kansas, where Naismith spent much of his life and is buried, "as soon as they create a venue to house it and persuade us that they will maintain it."

Video: Naismith's 'Founding Rules' document explained

——

MSN News on Facebook and Twitter

Stay up to date on breaking news and current events.

Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/news.msn

Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/msnnews

AP Photo: Matt Sayles
6 of 17 To full screen

Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' threads — $1.8 million

The Goods: Black and red calf-leather jacket worn by Michael Jackson in the iconic "Thriller" music video

One of two jackets used in the video, the coat features winged shoulders and a Marc Laurent Paris label and was autographed by Jackson.

The Auction: The "Thriller" jacket sold for $1.8 million on June 26, 2011, through Julien's Auctions. A portion of the proceeds from the sale went to benefit the Shambala Preserve, where Jackson's two Bengal tigers are kept.

The Buyer: Texas gold trader and philanthropist Milton Verret purchased the jacket. He told the media at the time that he planned to display the iconic jacket at the Dell Children's Hospital in Austin, Texas, and that he plans to use it to raise money for children's hospitals around the world, a fact confirmed by Austin station KVUE in July 2011.

Video: Watch the 'Thriller' music video

——

MSN News on Facebook and Twitter

Stay up to date on breaking news and current events.

Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/news.msn

Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/msnnews

AP Photo: Ron Frehm
7 of 17 To full screen

Mark McGwire's 70th dinger — $3 million

The Goods: Baseball hit by former St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Mark McGwire for his 70th home run in 1998

Facing Montreal Expos rookie pitcher Carl Pavano at Busch Stadium on Sept. 27, 1998, McGwire knocked the ball into the left-field stands, into the hands of 26-year-old research scientist Phil Ozersky and into the record books. When McGwire broke the long-standing major league record with his 62nd home run 19 days before, a groundskeeper retrieved the ball and returned it to McGwire. The ball, his bat, his uniform and the jersey his son wore that night were donated to the Hall of Fame. McGwire's record for 70 home runs stood only three years, as San Francisco's Barry Bonds hit 73 homers in 2001.  

The Auction: The ball was sold for $3 million on Jan. 12, 1999, through Guernsey's auction house.

The Buyer: "Spawn" comic book creator and sports memorabilia collector Todd McFarlane purchased the ball. Ironically, after paying $3 million for McGwire's ball he ended up buying current record holder Barry Bonds' 73rd home run ball three years later for only $517,500.

Video: McGwire hits 70th home run

——

MSN News on Facebook and Twitter

Stay up to date on breaking news and current events.

Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/news.msn

Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/msnnews

Rex Features: Solent News & Photo Agency
8 of 17 To full screen

'Star Wars' T.I.E. Fighter for the win — $350,000

The Goods: Original "T.I.E. Fighter" model used in the 1977 film "Star Wars: A New Hope

This 18-inch-tall model is perhaps best remembered as the ship that knocked Darth Vader's ship out of the trench that allowed Luke Skywalker to destroy the Death Star.

The Auction: The model sold for $350,000 on Aug. 4, 2008, through Hollywood-based auction house Profiles in History. The auction also reportedly sold the hoverboard used by character Marty McFly in "Back to the Future" for $55,000 and Charlton Heston's stone tablets from "The Ten Commandments" for $60,000.

The Buyer: A Profiles in History spokesman tells MSN News that nearly all of its buyers prefer to remain anonymous, as was the case with this auction.

Video: Watch the famous attack on the Death Star scene from 'Star Wars: A New Hope'

——

MSN News on Facebook and Twitter

Stay up to date on breaking news and current events.

Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/news.msn

Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/msnnews

Rex Features
9 of 17 To full screen

007's stand-in gun — $439,000

The Goods: Walther air pistol used by Sean Connery as James Bond in a famous poster from 1964's "From Russia With Love"

Movie buffs may notice that the air pistol featured in the promo poster is not Bond's weapon of choice on screen, where he uses a shorter-barreled Walther PPK. According to the Internet Movie Firearm Database and MI6-HQ.com, the particular gun sold here was actually owned by photographer David Hurn and was used in the poster photo shoot as a replacement when Bond's normal weapon was forgotten.

The Auction: The Walther air pistol sold for $439,000 in November 2010 through Christie’s South Kensington auction house.

The Buyer: The late film director and Sunday Times columnist Michael Winner purchased the pistol. Before his death in January 2013, Winner sold the pistol through Sotheby's for less than half of what he paid for it.

Find out how much Bond's watch is expected to sell for

——

MSN News on Facebook and Twitter

Stay up to date on breaking news and current events.

Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/news.msn

Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/msnnews

AP Photo: Tina Fineberg
10 of 17 To full screen

Jerry Garcia's 'Wolf' and 'Tiger' — $1.74 million

The Goods:Grateful Dead frontman Jerry Garcia's "Wolf" and "Tiger" guitars

Custom made by famed guitar maker Doug Irwin, these two instruments were played frequently in the studio and onstage by Garcia. Tiger is said to be the last guitar Garcia ever played. After his death, he willed the guitars to Irwin, which brought a legal fight over whether he had the right to give them away. After all was settled, Irwin did receive the guitars but was reportedly destitute when he sold them.

The Auction: The pair of guitars sold for a combined $1.74 million on May 7, 2002. Each instrument broke the previous record for the most expensive guitar sold at auction, previously held by the Fender Stratocaster "Brownie" that Eric Clapton used to record "Layla."

The Buyer: Though initially remaining anonymous, Indianapolis Colts owner and guitar aficionado Jim Irsay was later reported to be the buyer who snatched up the instruments.

Video: Watch Garcia perform with 'Tiger'

——

MSN News on Facebook and Twitter

Stay up to date on breaking news and current events.

Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/news.msn

Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/msnnews

Getty Images: Hulton Archive
11 of 17 To full screen

Superman's debut comic book — $2.1 million

The Goods: 1938 Action Comics No. 1 comic book

The comic book that introduced Superman to the world, Action Comics' debut issue is often credited with ushering the superhero genre into popular culture. The comic contained 11 features, but the feature on the cover character of Superman, written by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, would become the most famous. This copy was reportedly stolen from the home of a California collector in 2000 and found 11 years later.

The Auction: The comic book sold for $2.1 millionin December 2011 through ComicConnect.com — the highest price ever paid for a comic book. The owner of the website reportedly called the book "the holy grail of holy grails in the comic book world." The comic cost 10 cents when it was first sold, in 1938.

The Buyer: The buyer of the comic has chosen to remain anonymous.

Find out where someone recently discovered another copy of Action Comics No. 1

——

MSN News on Facebook and Twitter

Stay up to date on breaking news and current events.

Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/news.msn

Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/msnnews

Rex Features
12 of 17 To full screen

Apple's original contract — $1.6 million

The Goods: Original contract forming Apple Computer Co. in 1976

This set of Santa Clara County, Calif., documents signed by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne formed what would later become one of the world's largest and most profitable companies. Interestingly, Wayne would go on to sell his 10 percent stake in the company for $800 shortly after signing the documents. Today a 10 percent stake in Apple would be worth $36 billion, according to Apple Insider.

The Auction: The contract sold for $1.6 million, including fees, through Sotheby's on Dec. 13, 2011, far past the presale estimate of $100,000 to $150,000.

The Buyer: Eduardo Cisneros, chief executive officer of Cisneros Corp., offered the winning bid for the contract.

Video: Footage from the auction for the Apple documents

——

MSN News on Facebook and Twitter

Stay up to date on breaking news and current events.

Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/news.msn

Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/msnnews

Reuters: Mike Segar
13 of 17 To full screen

Liz Taylor's crown jewels — $116 million

The Goods: A massive collection of jewelry owned by the late Elizabeth Taylor

This collection of some 80 gems includes the famed 16th-century La Peregrina Pearl and Taj Mahal Diamond. Much of the collection came to Taylor as gifts from her on again, off again husband, Richard Burton, and from stars like Michael Jackson.

The Auction: The collection sold for a combined $116 million on Dec. 13, 2011. The auction set seven world records, including the highest price paid for a private jewelry collection and the highest per-carat price for a colorless diamond, Indian jewel and ruby.

The Buyer: South Korean businessman Daniel Pang, bidding on behalf of the E.Land Group hotel and retail conglomerate, reportedly bought the Taylor collection, with plans to display the jewelry in the company's flagship hotel in Seoul.

Video: A look at Taylor's jewels

——

MSN News on Facebook and Twitter

Stay up to date on breaking news and current events.

Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/news.msn

Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/msnnews

AP Photo: Mike Groll
14 of 17 To full screen

Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation — $3.7 million

The Goods: Copy of Emancipation Proclamation speech signed by President Abraham Lincoln

This framed copy of arguably Lincoln's most famous speech, in which he proclaims all slaves "forever free," was owned for many years by the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy. It is said to be one of 48 printed copies signed by Lincoln, about half of which are known to have survived. The original Emancipation Proclamation is housed in the National Archives.

The Auction: The document was sold for $3,778,500 on Dec. 10, 2010, through Sotheby's in New York. The sale price more than doubled the maximum presale estimate of $1.5 million.

The Buyer: The buyer of the document has chosen to remain anonymous.

Video: Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation

——

MSN News on Facebook and Twitter

Stay up to date on breaking news and current events.

Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/news.msn

Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/msnnews

Getty Images: George S. Zimbel
15 of 17 To full screen

Marilyn Monroe's 'subway' dress — $5.6 million

The Goods: Iconic white dress worn by actress Marilyn Monroe

Perhaps Monroe's most famous clothing item, this dress was worn in the 1955 film "The Seven-Year Itch." A photo of Monroe standing above a subway grate with the air partially blowing the dress up is often regarded as one of the most iconic photos of the 20th century.

The Auction: The dress sold for $5.6 million, including fees, on June 18, 2011, through the Profiles in History auction house — more than twice the $2 million it had been expected to go for.

The Buyer: The buyer has chosen to remain anonymous, according to Profiles in History.

See photos of Monroe wearing the famous dress

——

MSN News on Facebook and Twitter

Stay up to date on breaking news and current events.

Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/news.msn

Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/msnnews

Newscom: RTR: Mario Anzuoni
16 of 17 To full screen

The 'Dukes of Hazzard' high-flying ride — $110,000

The Goods: The first 1969 Dodge Charger used in the "Dukes of Hazzard" TV series

Nicknamed the "the General Lee" after Confederate general Robert E. Lee, this car was the first of at least 200 used in the TV series (most were reportedly destroyed in filming the show's famous car jumps). This particular vehicle was previously owned by John Schneider, who played Bo Duke, one-half of the Duke brothers from the show.

The Auction: The General Lee sold for $110,000 in January 2012 through Barrett-Jackson auctions in Scottsdale, Ariz. Four years before that, the car had brought in $450,000 in a similar auction.

The Buyer: Pro golfer Bubba Watson announced on Twitter that he had purchased the car, posting a photo of himself filling it up with gas and a video of him demonstrating the car's horn, which plays the first line from the song "Dixie."

Video: Watch the General Lee jump through a barn

——

MSN News on Facebook and Twitter

Stay up to date on breaking news and current events.

Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/news.msn

Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/msnnews

Wikimedia
17 of 17 To full screen

George Washington's personal Constitution — $9.8 million

The Goods: A book containing a copy of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights personally annotated by President George Washington

This 224-year-old, gold-embossed volume is said to have been printed specifically for Washington in the first year of his presidency. The pages include the president's large, flowing signature and several margins that have been annotated with his interpretation of his constitutional duties and key phrases from the documents.

The Auction: The book was sold for a record-setting $9.8 million, including fees, through Christie's New York on June 22, 2012 — the highest price ever paid for an American book or historic document.

The Buyer: The nonprofit group Mount Vernon Ladies Association of the Union purchased the book. The group maintains the historic Mount Vernon estate in Virginia, where Washington lived and where the book had been housed until 1876, when it went to the first of several owners.

Video: See footage from the auction for the Constitution

——

MSN News on Facebook and Twitter

Stay up to date on breaking news and current events.

Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/news.msn

Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/msnnews

 

——

MSN News on Facebook and Twitter

Stay up to date on breaking news and current events.

Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/news.msn

Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/msnnews