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Sunday, 9 October 2011


The Romans were passionate about fish and the best quality eels, lampreys etc were kept, transported and sold live. The highest recorded price for an auctioned fish (two live red mullets) ever paid was 20 000 sestertii, (about $20,000).

James Christie (1730–1803), the founder of auction house Christie's, held his first sale on December 5, 1766, at rooms in Pall Mall, London, formerly occupied by the print warehouse of Richard Dalton. His sale included a pair of sheets, two pillowcases and two chamber pots.

Thomas Gainsborough Portrait of James Christie Wikipedia Commons

The 1933 double eagle is a gold coin of the United States with a $20 face value. 445,500 specimens of this Saint-Gaudens double eagle were minted in 1933, the last year of production for the double eagle, but no specimens ever officially circulated.  It currently holds the record for the highest price paid at auction for a single US coin, having been sold for $7.59 million.

Houston tavern owner Jim Anderson paid $3,000 at a British Columbia auction in 1983 for a pair of "bloomers" once worn by Queen Victoria. They are history's most expensive used bloomers.

A lock of British naval hero Lord Nelson's hair sold at an auction in 1997 for $8,096.

At a San Francisco auction in 2000, somebody ponied up almost $5,000 for a lot featuring Al Capone's toe-nail clipper, as well as dice, a christening medal and an ivory cigar holder once owned by the legendary crime boss.

The mobile phone number 666 6666 fetched £1.5 million in a charity auction in Qatar in 2007.

The most expensive melon in the world is the prized Yubari grown in Japan. In 2008 a pair of them were bought at an auction for £14,369.

A car number plate bearing only the number ‘1’ sold for £7.1 million at a charity auction in the United Arab Emirates in February, 2008.

The see-through dress that sparked Prince William's interest in Kate Middleton when she wore it at a university fashion show in 2002 was auctioned in 2011 for more than $120,000.

In 2005, executives from Christie’s and Sotheby’s played a game of Rock Paper Scissors to determine who’d get to sell a $20 million art collection that included works by Picasso, Van Gogh, and C├ęzanne. Christie’s scissors beat Sotheby’s paper.

A well-preserved Stradivarius violin was sold on June 20, 2011 in an online auction for £9.8 million ($15.9m) to raise money for disaster relief in Japan.

Antonio Stradivari violin of 1703, By User:Husky  

The world auction record for cars was set in August 2011 by a 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa at $16.4 million.

The most expensive book or manuscript ever sold at an auction was The Codex Hammer, a notebook belonging to Leonardo da Vinci. It sold for $30.8 million.

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