An auction house is a magical place where anything can happen- and quite often an auction house is where world records are broken (usually for items selling at higher and higher prices) but as this list explores, it’s not always about what in the LOT list. An auctioneer under 10 years old features in Featonby’s, north east auction house’s list of our favourite Top Ten World Records!
All records were taken from the Guinness World Record’s website and were correct as the time of writing- August, 2017
1) MOST EXPENSIVE DRESS
We kick off the top ten with the most expensive dress sold. Inevitably, it belongs to the iconic Marilyn Monroe and was the dress worn for her rendition of ‘Happy birthday, Mr President’ to president Kennedy at a fundraising gala in May of 1962. The gown was purchased by Ripley’s Believe It or Not! (based in the USA) for a whopping $4,800,000 USD equating to £3,857,200 in GBP. The auction took place at Julien’s Auction House in Los Angeles, California, USA, on 17 November 2016.
Not surprising, the second most expensive dress sold, and previous record holder, was also one belonging to Ms Monroe.
2) MOST ITEMS AUCTIONED IN A DAY
We get through a lot of items here at Featonby’s especially at our antique auction- however this next record for the most items auctioned in 24 hours is 610 and is held by Brazilian Mauro Zukerman. He hit this record number of auction lots auctioning cars and motorbikes that had been repossessed by the traffic department of Sao Paulo, in January 2010. At Featonby’s we auction about 400 LOTS per week, so we reckon we could give him a run for his money.
3) MOST EXPENSIVE TOOTH
Now we love seeing weird and wonderful items up for auction, but a tooth has got to be one of the strangest. The most expensive to ever be sold under the gavel cost Dr Michael Zuk from Canada £23,010 ($36,857) on 5 November 2011. The tooth is reported to have belonged to none other than John Lennon. The final hammer price was £19,500 and the auction house commission was £3,510. Not a bad commission!
4) MOST EXPENSIVE KISS
You might have heard of kissing booths as a fun way to raise money for charity, but have you heard of auctioning kisses? In August 2003, actress Sharon Stone auctioned just one kiss in aid of Project Angel Foods – a charity based in LA providing free meals for people with HIV and AIDS. Joni Rimm was the winning bidder and pledged $50,000 (£31,000) for one smacker off the Hollywood star.
5) MOST EXPENSIVE PRINT
Art in general is a very popular item for auctions and paintings can often fetch high amounts. Usually prints don’t achieve the same high prices original paintings can, but this next print is a different story. Edvard Munch, a Norwegian 19th century artist, made an aquatint print, which is a process in which the artist etches the image into a copper or zinc plate using acid. The plate is then inked and run through a printing press to transfer the image to paper. This one in particular was of a girl in a white dress looking out across the ocean and is entitled Young Woman on the Beach
The print is dated 1896 and is one of only 11 copies made- it sold at Christie’s auction house London, in March 2013, for £2,100,000 making it the most expensive original print ever sold at auction.
6) YOUNGEST AUCTIONEER
Many people think auctions are an old person’s game- but here to debunk that myth, Megan Davies from Wales has been auctioning cars at her grandfather’s business since she was just 9 years old, becoming a certified auctioneer on 7 January 2014, aged just 9 years 204 days.
Now officially the Guinness World Record ‘Youngest Auctioneer’ having already sold around 50 vehicles.
7) MOST EXPENSIVE SANDWICH
We all loved a cheese toastie- or as our American friends call them a ‘grilled cheese’. But when Diane Duyser from Miami was about to tuck into her lunch back in November 2004, she noticed a sign from heaven on it! An image of the Virgin Mary had been charred into the bread- making it worth a staggering £15,000 ($28,000) when she sold it on eBay 10 YEARS LATER! (she kept it sealed to prevent it from going mouldy).
8) WORLD’S LARGEST GAVEL
The world’s largest gavel is 9ft 8in long with a head circumference of 5ft 4in. The gigantic auctioneer’s gavel was made from a single teak tree in an Indonesian furniture factory on behalf of Vikki Vines’ Gallery Auctions, Houston, Texas, USA. It takes seven men to lift it!
9) BIGGEST ONLINE AUCTION HOUSE
Of course the biggest auction house is actually the online site eBay- which is now up to a massive 157 million users (from 1995 when it first launched to 2015 when the record was recorded). Launched by Pierre Omidyar of France, it has since moved its headquarters to San Jose, California, USA.
10) MOST EXPENSIVE CAR SOLD
A 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO serial number 3851GT sold at Bonham’s Quail Auction on August 14, 2014 for US$38,115,000.00 (including buyers premium), breaking the record previously held by a 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196R race car, sold for a record $31 million at an auction in England on July 12, 2013. While collectible cars have been sold privately for more, this is the highest price ever paid for a car at a public auction.