Most expensive unconventional auctions of 2011
‘Old is gold’- that’s a true fact for everything which has been rare, or simply has a historical or scientific significance attached to it. That is perhaps the reason why collectors like investing in them, and wouldn’t mind paying a premium price. The following list brings forward the most expensive auction items of 2011, which have managed to fetch the highest prices in their category, and what their attached significance is.
1) Elizabeth Taylor jewelry collection
Winning bid: $116 million
Elizabeth Taylor as an actress and cinematic superstar still goes unparalleled on many grounds. It is rather tough to summarize her magnum opus status in the field of cinema. However, it seemed that the craze for her memorabilia and personal belonging touched an almost equal status, when her personal collection of precious items sold for a record $116 million in all. This total sum of money was what was collected after more than 100 items went under the hammer including the charm bracelets, 33-carat diamond ring, ivory and gold necklace, 203-grain pear shaped 16th century pearl, and also the Taj Mahal diamond, with each of them fetching multiple times the price of the final estimates. Such a large sale also ensured that this was the most expensive ever for a single jewelry collection.
2) Rare 1787 Gold Coin
Winning bid: $7.4 million
At a time when the US Mint hadn’t started the production of coins, a Gold Brasher Doubloon coin had already been in circulation, since 1787 when it was minted by Ephraim Brasher. A neighbor of former president George Washington, the goldsmith crafted this coin using 26.66 grams of gold, which was valued at $15 when created. Today the gold content, if sold separately, would have fetched in excess of $1,500. Also, this coin is known as the first American made gold coin which has been denominated in dollars.
3) Jean Paul Lemieux “1910 remembered” painting
Winning Bid: $2.34 million
After including the buyer’s premium, this particular painting by Jean Paul Lemieux, broke all records previously set by works with a Canadian origin. As a picture, it shows the artist standing between his parents as a child, in the background landscape of a cold and barren stretch. In an age where most others were beginning to show signs of abstract art, Jean Paul Lemieux stuck to conventional art forms which one would be able to access with ease in this work of art.
4) 1938 Action Comics No.1
Winning bid: $2.1 million
Just when we believed that comic books were always related as a fantasy item of the kids, but as it turns out now, they feature as one of the many collectibles which collectors vouch for with large sums of money. Action Comics bought many an iconic characters alive during the 30’s and 40’s, which were eventually seen in this edition of the comic book as well. Known to be one of the only 100 still in existence, that too in such pristine condition, this particular copy from Series 1 also has an interesting past. Stolen from actor Nicolas Cage’s house in 2000, it was later re-discovered at antique furniture sale in South California before being handed over, graded and later traded for a record breaking price.
5) Original Apple Contract
Winning Bid: $1.6 million
Back in 1976, when Apple Computers founding members Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniack, and Ronald Wayne signed the partnership agreement, they would document and sign on a charter, which would then translate into one of the world’s most celebrated technology companies. Also, in 2011 when Steve Jobs passed away, he managed to garner much of world’s attention towards the company, and it was only natural that such an important part of its history, receive such a premium treatment. Finally selling for as much as 10 times the original bidding estimate, this document was accompanied by the notice to remove Ronald Wayne from partnership share of 10% equity, for which he got $1,500 in payment. The lucky winner turned out to be a bidder through offered the price through phone.
6) Star Wars Panavision R-200 movie camera
Winning Bid: $625,000
The legendary status of Star Wars as a sci-fi series is well documented and needs no repeat mentioning. There have been collectors known to gather the smallest to the most iconic pieces of memorabilia associated with the franchise, and one of them was this Panavision R-200 camera used by George Lucas in 1977. Rather obviously, the price paid for this camera set a record, for being the highest paid for a single movie camera. The winner of the auction got the camera, as well as a couple 1000-foot magazines of film, a Panaspeed motor, matte box, follow focus, Moy geared head, and an Italian Elemack camera dolly with lens.
7) Lalique car mascot
Winning bid: $ 204,750
During the 1920s, R Lalique became famous in the automobile world for creating special limited edition car mascots, the most being the Fox series. Created in a group of 5 unique designs and colors, these mascots were used as a part of memorabilia of high end vehicles of its time. But unlike other luxury, it wasn’t created out of any precious metal or gemstone, but out of frosted glass instead. Wiederseim Auctions had undertaken the task of auctioning these limited edition mascots, after a Lalique mansion staff member spotted it, and bought it to everyone’s notice. Since they weren’t signed or numbered, it was kept as a part of other memorabilia, but when it was discovered, it turned out to be a true collector’s item.
8) 55-year old Glenfiddich Single malt whiskey
Winning Bid: $69,770
Janet Sheed Roberts may not be very popular around the world, but she carries with her, one of the greatest legacies in the history of Scotch whiskey making. She is the granddaughter of William Grant, who founded the Glenfiddich distilleries, and in 2011, she celebrated her 110th birthday and became the oldest person in Scotland. To mark the occasion, the distillery launched a limited edition single malt whiskey, which was casked when Ms. Janet was 54, and had been maturing till date. Though much of it had been soaked up, and evaporated, a lot of it was then bottled and sold off, which then ended up fetching a premium price.
9) Tyrannosaurus Rex Tooth
Winning bid: $56,000
67 million years ago, when the Cretaceous period was nearing its end, a breed of dinosaurs existed with the name of Tyrannosaurus which was known for their carnivorous activities. It was only natural that they had very sharp and pointed teeth. One of the rarest in this category, one specimen of the Tyrannosaurus Rex tooth has recently gone under the hammer for a world record price. Extremely well-preserved, this tooth is known to have the tiny serrated edges in place, which denote the food habits of this pre-historic animal. The man to discover this tooth was a farmer in Montana, who found it sticking out in his field during his everyday activities there.