A Selection of Some of the Highest priced Items Sold at Auction

ValueMyStuff gives you a selection of some of the highest priced items sold at aution.

Antique Furniture

Most expensive item of Clothing
Item: Marilyn Monroe's "Happy Birthday Mr. President" Dress

Winning Bid: $1,267,500

Sold: 1999

Perhaps one of the most famous moments in Marilyn Monroe’s life was her sexy “Happy Birthday” serenade to President John F. Kennedy on 19 May, 1962. On this occasion she wore a hip-hugging flesh-toned bejeweled dress, so tight, delicate, and sheer that according to legend, Monroe needed to be sewn into the gown and wore nothing under it.
The one-of-a-kind garment was bought in 1999 by the aptly named Manhattan-based collectible company Gotta Have It! after the dress was put up for auction by the widow of Monroe's acting coach, Lee Strasberg.


Most expensive Manuscript
Item: Leonardo da Vinci's Codex Hammer

Winning Bid: $30,802,500

Sold: 1994

Holding a firm place in history and epitomizing genius, Leonardo da Vinci was a Renaissance man who’s talents stretched from being a painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, botanist, and writer. Da Vinci meticulously recorded his thoughts, musings and sketches in journals throughout his life. Of the 30 that remain, his most famous is the Codex Hammer, named for the British nobleman who acquired the 72-page journal in 1717. Three years after Bill Gates bought the historic diary, he released a digitally scanned version so all the world could read and enjoy.

Most Expensive Lock of Hair
Item: Tresses from Elvis Presley

Winning Bid: $115,000

Sold: 2002

Elvis Presley was known for three things: his avant-garde moves, soulful voice, and flowing black hair. Yet it is still surprising to know that just a single strand of the King of Rock’s hair sold for over 100 thousand dollars. The piece of hair was kept by the singer’s barber, but at the time had no idea that this relic would bring on more money than hair from singer John Lennon ($48,000), JFK ($3,000), Beethoven (7,300), Mickey Mantle ($6,900), and Neil Armstrong, ($3,000) all combined.


Most expensive Car
Item: 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa

Winning Bid: $12.2 million

Sold: 2009

There are only 21 other cars like it, but this particular version went on to reach extreme heights. The 1957 Testa Rossas won 10 of the 19 international races that they entered from 1958 and 1961, however this particular vehicle never finished better than fourth. Not seeming the matter, the car’s bold lines and beauty perhaps outweigh its ability for extreme speed. The body made by famed Italian automobile designer Sergio Scaglietti, the Testa Rossa shows off pontoon fenders and is said to have been one of Scaglietti's favorites. The record-breaking Ferrari auction was organized by RM Auctions and Sotheby's, in May 2009.

Most Expensive Piece of Furniture
Item: Badminton Cabinet

Winning Bid: $36 million

Sold: 2004

This over-the-top elaborately decorated cabinet is not something that would necessarily fit well in anyone’s living room. This conversation piece realized the most amount of money ever for a piece of furniture when it sold for $36 million at a 2004 Christie's auction, breaking Christie’s own previous record in 1990 when the Christie’s sold the same exact cabinet to billionaire Barabra Piasecha Johnson (of the Johnson & Johnson fortune) for $16.59 million. The Badminton Cabinet, so named because it remained in Badminton, England, for over two centuries; the cabinet is 18th century Florentine ebony chest inlaid with amethyst quartz, agate, lapis lazuli and other stones. Johnson put it up for sale in 2004, when it was bought by Prince Hans Adam II of Liechtenstein, who donated it to the Liechtenstein Museum in Austria.

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