Monday, December 8, 2014

Expensive Auction Items

Sotheby's holds the record for any printed book with the Bay Psalm Book. It was the first book printed in the colonies in 1640 by the Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. It sold for $14.1 million last November.

The highest price for a manuscript goes to the Codex Leicester, one of Leonardo da Vinci's notebooks, written in his mirror cursive, which sold at Christie's in November 1994 to Bill Gates for $30.8 million.

Huanghauli is a wood—the word is Chinese for yellow flowering pear, although it is actually a type of rosewood. It has a delicate fragrance and a shimmery surface that mellows in color with age. The market for furniture made of huanghuali has skyrocketed and this 15 foot table, made from a single plank, currently holds the record. It was sold at Christie's in March of 2013 for $9m.

Antiquities are setting records: The Cycladic marble figure was carved around 2400 BC somewhere in the Aegean. It sold in December 2010 for more than three times its estimate at $16 million. The bronze figure was made in Egypt some 2100 years later. It sold in June of 2013 for eight times its estimate at $2 million, a record for an Egyptian cat.

Christie's holds the record for highest sale for any work of art online with this oil on canvas from 1946, which sold for $9.6 million in November, 2012.

The 1856 magenta stamp from British Guiana. The holy Grail of stamp collecting is the only surviving 1856 one-cent magenta stamp from British Guiana. It was found by a 12-year-old Scottish boy living in South America. World record price: $9.5m. The rarest of stamps is no stranger to world records. It has set one every time it has changed hands since 1900.

The Clark Sickle-Leaf carpet circa 1700, probably from Kerman Province, in current day Iran. From the estate of William Clark on his death in 1925. It sold at Sotheby's New York, on June 5, 2013, for $33.7 million.

US violist David Aaron Carpenter plays the "Macdonald" Stradivarius viola created in 1719 by Antonio Stradivari (1641-1737). The MacDonald viola is one of 10 Stradivarius violas known to have survived. Sotheby’s anticipates that offers closer to $45 million will be made.

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