Surprising successes at celebrity auctions

Jackie Collins' kitsch sofa proves a big draw at auction - as do Hitler’s Trousers and John Lennon’s toilet

The latest celebrity auction was of the estate of Jackie Collins. As an author whose characters loved the finest things in life, it's hardly a big surprise there was an air of opulence among the auction lots - including a gold Jaguar, and a diamond solitaire ring.

Every lot in the sale sold - making an impressive $3.4 million. And while the car fetched an impressive $43,750 and the diamond ring $187,500, less obviously valuable items flew out of the auction too. They included a kitsch leopard-print three piece suite that sold for £12,533 and a pair of marble sphinxes that sold for £9,159.

See also: Iconic Coronation Street costume sells for over £4,000

See also: This guitar's famous owner means it could be worth over £750,000

See also: Eva Braun's Hitler photo album up for auction


It goes to show that there's a huge demand for less obviously valuable items, if they have been in the right hands. Over the years we have seen a number of celebrity auctions yield interesting results. Here are seven surprises.

1. Einstein's leather jacket
The Cossack leather jacket was an unexpected fashion choice for the genius, but one welcomed by Levi Strauss & Co - which paid £110,500 for it in 2000.

2. Hitler's trousers
A controversial auction of Nazi memorabilia in Germany last year apparently sold a pair of Hitler's black leather-lined trousers, for £53,000.

3. John Lennon's toilet
A fancy ceramic patterned toilet was ripped out of Tittenhurst Park in Berkshire, and someone thought it might be worth selling. They noted that John Lennon had lived there for three years between 1969 and 1972, so this was, in fact, John Lennon's toilet. It went into a sale of Beatles memorabilia, and sold for £9,500.

4. David Bowie's record player
The stereo cabinet was an impressive piece of 1960s design, and when they put it up for sale after Bowie's death, the auctioneers estimated that it could fetch as much as £1,200. It actually sold for £257,000.

5. Prince's tambourine
In March this year, Bonhams sold a tambourine once used by Prince for the bargain price of £1,446. A birthday card he had signed went in the same sale for £1,156.

6.Patrick Swayze's DeLorean
The star owned a 1981 DeLorean, which went up for sale with the rest of his estate earlier this year. The estimate was £31,000, but in the end it sold for £62,000.

7. Michael Jackson auction catalogue
Even memorabilia from an auction is apparently worth something to someone. Michael Jackson sold a number of his items off at the Michael Jackson Collection Auction. Someone at the auction persuaded him to sign their catalogue, and it sold this spring for £1,928.

10 incredible auctions

10 incredible auctions