You’ve probably heard of the outrageous prices paid for a unique piece of art or a rare collector’s item! From time to time, millions of dollars are paid for works of art or rare items. But it is doubtful whether the most expensive painting ever sold at an auction is genuine! On the other hand, the “most expensive things” list includes much more interesting things than works of art and collectibles. Like a kidney stone or an “empire”! Here are the 15 most expensive “things…” ever sold, including some very interesting examples.
1. Codex Leicester manuscript
The most expensive manuscript ever sold at an auction is by Leonardo da Vinci. Codex Leicester is a manuscript notebook filled with scientific thoughts and sketches by Leonardo da Vinci! The notebook is written in Leonardo da Vinci’s famous “mirror” writing system. Accordingly, the writings in the notebook can only be read with the help of a mirror!
The name “Codex Leicester” is based on the former owner of the book, Earl of Leicester Thomas Coke. This unique notebook was purchased by Bill Gates in 1994 for over $30 million!
2. Salvator Mundi painting
Leonardo da Vinci is the only name on the list of 15 most expensive things with another work! Another work of the famous genius that succeeded in making it to the list is his painting named “Salvator Mundi”. In the painting, Jesus is depicted with a globe in his hand. However, there is a “minor” problem with the painting: According to some experts, the painting does not belong to Leonardo da Vinci.
The controversial painting by Leonardo da Vinci was first sold in 1958 for just £45! The painting was later purchased by two art dealers, Robert Simon and Alexander Parrish, in 2005. As a result of their work on the painting, the duo convinced many experts that the painting is original! However, there were also those who thought that the painting was not original. In particular, some art and Renaissance experts believed that the painting was an ordinary copy! However, after prolonged debate, the view that the painting was by Leonardo da Vinci prevailed. On top of that, the painting was sold for 450 million dollars in 2017!
3. L’homme au doigt
Another piece of art on the list of the “15 most expensive things ever sold” is the sculpture named “L’homme au doigt” (The Pointing Man). The sculpture was made in one piece by Swiss sculptor Alberto Giacometti. But in the sculptor’s first design, the statue consisted of 2 parts. Giacometti changed his designs on the statue, but the “value” of the statue did not change! Years later, investor Steve Cohen bought the statue at a record price. Thus, the statue, which was sold for over 140 million dollars, became the most expensive statue in history!
4 New York Mets
“L’homme au doigt” may be the “most expensive” sculpture. But it’s not the most expensive thing owner Steve Cohen has ever bought! Steve Cohen paid $2.4 billion for the baseball team “New York Metz” in 2020! This is the highest price ever paid for a professional sports team!
5. Roman Empire
The Roman Empire is one of the most interesting “things” on the list of the 15 most expensive things! The Roman Empire is considered the most expensive empire, as it is not known how many empires have been put up for sale throughout history!
In the Roman Empire, the “Praetorian Guard”, tasked with protecting the emperor, killed Emperor Pertinax during a revolt and became the most important power center in Rome. Next, the Pratorian Guard chose a rather interesting method to identify the new emperor: putting the empire up for sale. And by auction! Didius Julianus, who participated in the auction, was the highest bidder. Didius Julianus became the new emperor of Rome, paying 25,000 sesterces (Roman currency) for each soldier!
6. George Washington’s pistols
The most expensive guns ever sold belong to George Washington, one of the founders of the United States and its first president. The pistols were sold for approximately $2 million during an auction held in 2002.
7. Queen Victoria’s underwear
Victoria Regina’s underwear attracted the attention of royal enthusiasts with its “VR” embroidery on it and its extraordinary size. The underwear, thought to have been used by the Queen in her last years, sold for a little over $16,000!
8. William Shatner’s kidney stone
The only kidney stone on the list of 15 most expensive things belongs to William Shatner! Actor William Shatner, known for his role as Captain Kirk in the Star Trek (Star Trek) series, sold his kidney stone for a charity! The sale was made through an online auction method. $15,000 was offered for kidney stone in the first place! But Shatner was sure that his own “kidney stone” was far more valuable! For this reason, he did not accept the offer. The kidney stone later sold for $25,000, making it the most expensive kidney stone in the world!
An auction house made a pretty good profit on Elvis Presley’s “hair”! In November 2002, the hair of the world-famous singer was sold for 115,000 dollars! The auction house put another hair up for sale in 2003, which it claims belongs to Elvis Presley! However, it was a matter of debate whether the hair sold later belonged to Presley. After DNA tests on the hair, it was revealed that the hair sold in 2003 did not belong to Elvis Presley! The auction house returned the money from the sale. Also, the manager of the auction house was sentenced to 20 months in prison for fraud!
The “authenticity” of the “hair” sold in 2002 has not been questioned. For this reason, it is not known for certain whether it belongs to Elvis Presley. Despite this, it continues to be “the most expensive hair in the world”…
10. Stag beetle
Stag beetles have a “collection” value in some parts of the world. For this reason, the stag beetle trade is quite common. The only living thing on the “15 most expensive things” list, the stag beetle, was sold in Japan! The stag beetle, which has a buyer for 89,000 dollars, is almost 10 cm tall!
11. Cormac McCarthy’s typewriter
Some typewriters can be quite valuable. For example, a handcrafted typewriter sold for over $140,000 in 2019. However, it still failed to become the “most expensive typewriter”! The typewriter, owned by the famous American novelist Cormac McCaty, sold for as high as $254,000 in 2009, making it the most expensive typewriter in history.
12. First issue of Action Comics
The first issue of Action Comics’ comic book series, the “most expensive” comic book in the world! The most expensive comic book sold for 10 cents when it was published in 1938! Priced at just 10 cents “originally”, this comic sold for $3.2 million in 2014. Of course, there was an important reason why this comic was the most expensive of all time. The world-famous hero Superman made his first appearance in this comic!
13. Double eagle coin
The double eagle coin, which is on the “most expensive things” list, was sold twice at different times and broke a “record” in both sales!
In 1904, US President Theodore Roosevelt described the existing coins on the market as “artistically disgusting.” On top of that, the sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens designed the double eagle coin. But in 1933, during the presidency of Franklin Roosevelt, a distant relative of Theodore Roosevelt, the coins were collected and nearly all destroyed. However, very few coins were “secretly” recovered from the destruction.
One of the coins that was secretly saved from destruction has appeared in the collection of King Farouk of Egypt! Later, the coin with the double eagle fell into the hands of an unknown person named Stephen Fenton! Fenton brought the money to New York in 1996 to “sell” the money, but was caught! The police confiscated the money and Fenton was arrested.
In the following period, it was decided to “sell” the money. Thus, the double eagle coin was sold at an auction in 2002 for a “record” price of $7.6 million. But in 2013, one of the first silver coins minted in the US broke the record for the double eagle coin with a selling price of $10 million! However, the double eagle coin was put up for sale again in 2021 and sold for $18.9 million! Thus, the double eagle coin once again took the title of “most expensive coin” in the world.
14. 1-cent postage stamp
The most expensive postage stamp today was issued in 1856 in British colonial Guyana! Its value at that time was only 1 cent! There is only 1 in the world of this “postage stamp” in the list of the most expensive things! The “1 Cent Magenta” postage stamp was sold for $9.5 million in 2014! 1 Cent Magenta goes on sale once again in 2021. This unique postage stamp sold for a slightly lower price this time, for $8.4 million. However, it remains the most expensive postage stamp in history.
15. Wu-Tang Clan’s album “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin”
The album by the hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan may be one of the cheapest things on the most expensive stuff list, but it’s still the most expensive album in the world! There is only one copy of the album “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin” and the songs in it were never released! The album was purchased by businessman Martin Shkreli for $2 million in 2015. On the other hand, according to the contract between the group and Shkreli, the songs cannot be released before the year 2103!