Surprising successes at celebrity auctions

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.

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10 incredible auctions
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10 incredible auctions

The most expensive watch ever sold at auction fetched just under $24 million in November 2014. The gold pocket watch was made by Patek Philippe, and is the most complex ever made without the use of computer technology.

The Henry Graves Supercomplication was commissioned in 1925, and took eight years to make.

The world's most expensive stamp sold at auction in 2014 for over $9 million.

The British Guiana One-Cent Magenta is as rare as a stamp can get. British Guiana was one of the first countries in the New World to start issuing stamps, but in 1856, they ran out, and asked the local newspaper printer to produce extras.

There were two denominations: the four-cent, which is very rare, and the one-cent - of which only one has ever been discovered.

In May 2015, an anonymous London businesswoman snapped up the licence plate KR15 HNA for £233,000, making it the most expensive standard number plate ever to be sold in the UK.

Queen Victoria's bloomers sold at auction for £6,200, along with a pair of her silk stockings.

They have a 52-inch waist, and belonged to the monarch in the 1890s - "towards the end of her life when she had eaten a lot more than most people could afford to," said auctioneer Michael Hogben. In today's sizing, they'd be a size 26.

In 2014, a three-year-old slice of cake sold at auction for $7,500 (£4,800). The reason the stale cake was in such demand was that it was from the marriage of Prince William to Kate Middleton in 2011.

The buyer said he intended to give it away as part of promoting his Silicon Valley start-up.

A British coin sold at auction for a record-breaking £430,000 in 2014. After fees, the buyer paid £516,000 - making it the most expensive modern British coin ever to be sold.

The coin is only one of two in existence. It was a 'proof' for a gold sovereign which was meant to be produced to commemorate the coronation of Edward VIII in 1937. However, Edward abdicated in 1936, so the coronation never happened and the coins were never made

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