Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Used tissue makes £3,500 in auction.

A tissue used by Scarlett Johansson has been sold for over £3,000.

The actress-turned-singer put the disposable handkerchief up for sale after using it on Jay Leno's talk show 'Tonight', after claiming she caught the cold that induced her sneezing session from actor Samuel L Jackson.

The tissue was sold on eBay for $5,300 (£3,500), with the money raised going to hunger charity USA Harvest.

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Michael Jackson to auction thousands of possessions

The glittery glove famously worn by former pop idol Michael Jackson in his 1983 video for the hit song ‘Billie Jean’ is up for sale. Sources say that the glove will be auctioned off in April, together with more than 2,000 items from the ‘Neverland Ranch,’ Jackson’s home for over 15 years, until he abandoned in the aftermath of his 2005 acquittal on charges that he molested a young male visitor there.

According to celebrity memorabilia specialist Julien’s Auctions,the sale will also include the entry gates to Neverland Ranch as well many of the amusement and arcade devices that Jackson installed at Neverland to make his own private amusement park. In addition to the collection of memorabilia from Jackson’s own career the auction will also feature numerous fine art pieces and other pop culture memorabilia.

The auction came just weeks after the financially-troubled Jackson sold Neverland to a company that owned the mortgage on the property and which now plans to redevelop the 1,100 hectare ranch. Jackson’s possessions will be on display from February onwards in a highlights tour that according to Julien’s will visit major cities worldwide.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Green Party eBay auction

I'm writing to introduce you to the first ever London Green Party online auction. The items have all been donated by Green Party members and whilst anyone can bid for items,all the proceeds from this auction will go towards the London Federation's campaign funds to get Jean Lambert re-elected.

We hope that the four items on sale will be of particular interest to Green Party members and that knowing that your money will be going towards a good cause - you'll feel encouraged to bid.


Please click on the links below or search for all items on sale in ebay for the user greendean.2009 (there's a '.' in the middle).

(1) A piece of history from the 2008 US Presidential elections.Two pens - one from the Obama campaign and one from the McCain campaign.


(2) Another piece of world history - but this time from 1994.A genuine ballot paper from the 1994 Presidential Elections in South Africa with Nelson Mandela standing for the ANC.


(3) Where you a member of the party in the early 1980s? A rare example of a sweatshirt sold by the Ecology Party as it was. Likely to be in the early 1980s as the party changed its name in 1985. The label refers to "fibres from Monsanto" but I have been reassured that this is before Monsanto got into GM.


(4) Finally, a Lewes Pound. Introduced by the Lewes Transition Town. A lovely article in its own right, but further it symbolises the desire of a local community to ensure that the local economy is strengthened and enhanced. As a gift it will at the very least provoke interesting discussions amongst family and friends this Christmas.

If the items listed are not really what you're looking for but you'd like to make a contribution to the campaign funds , then please make a cheque payable to "London Green Party" and send it with your name and address to Graham Lee, London Green Party Treasurer, 58 Beech Avenue, Ruislip, HA4 8UQ.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Huge archive of Hollywood history for auction.

Film and TV fans will have a once in lifetime opportunity to purchase an unprecedented 3,000,000 pieces of Hollywood memorabilia as Profiles in History, the recognized world leader in the sale of Hollywood memorabilia presents the entire inventory of the world famous Collectors Book Store in Hollywood in their 34th Hollywood auction. This auction of the largest archive of Hollywood history outside of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will take place over three days-December 12, 13 and 14. Included in the auction will be costumes, movie posters, scripts, portraits, movie stills, lobby cards, fan magazines, press books and other miscellaneous items-some rare and one of a kind. The schedule for Worldwide bidding, which can be placed in person, via mail, phone, fax or live on the Internet via eBay Live Auctions or Live Auctioneers.

The schedule is as follows:

· Friday, December 12, 2008: 11:00 AM PST;
· Saturday and Sunday, December 13 & 14: 10:00 AM PST.

Virtually every film and television show that was made will be represented. The opening bid for each lot will be just $200-$300, making it possible for everyone to have the opportunity to take home a piece of Hollywood history. Many times there will be a collection of five, ten, twenty or even hundreds or thousands of pieces in one lot.

“The quality and sheer magnitude of this archive is hard to describe Because of the volume of merchandise, many of the items will be sold by the file cabinet. There will be some exceptions-the rarest and most valuable items - some of the oversized studio portraits of stars of the 1930s by photographers like George Hurrell will be sold separately,” said Joe Maddalena, President and CEO of Profiles in History.

Photographs include an astounding 1,300,000 8×10 photographs, many of them autographed. The huge collection of oversized photo prints-10″x13″ and 11″x14″ include Hollywood legends Joan Crawford, Greta Garbo, Jean Harlow, Myrna Loy and Marlene Dietrich among hundred of others, shot by equally legendary photographers including Clarence Sinclair Bull, George Hurrell, Ruth Harriet Louise, Otto Dyar and Eugene Robert Richee. You will also find employment contracts for Joan Crawford, Marlene Dietrich, Abbott and Costello, James Cagney, Cary Grant, W.C. Fields, Alfred Hitchcock, Boris Karloff, John Huston and many more.

The script collection-in the thousands-includes films and stars from every era. The final lot of the auction, Lot # 3009, includes a massive archive of over 4,000 scripts from all eras and genres-with an opening bid of just $200 for the whole lot!

Then, there are the movie posters and lobby cards. Tens of thousands of them, covering the gamut of movie stars and filmmaking. Some lots include three to four thousand posters, all for one price. Profiles in History has assembled special, separate collections for James Bond, Lucy and Star Wars fans. Each of the three large collections of posters, photos, lobby cards and more has an opening bid of just $200 each.

Costumes included in the auction range from those worn by John Wayne, Charlton Heston, Sylvester Stallone and Jack Nicholson, to Herve Villechez and Billy Barty! There is also a huge collection of art from costume designers including Edith Head, Bill Thomas, Cecil Beaton and Helen Rose as well as production artwork and 3,000+ 35mm movie trailers.

For more information and to download a complete catalogue of items available for auction, please visit Profiles In History http://www.profilesinhistory.com/new/

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Auction to support animals.

Tomorrow is one of the highlights of the year for Animal Rights people - The CHRISTMAS WITHOUT CRUELTY FAYRE at Kensington Town Hall, just a few yards from Kensington High Street Tube. 10am-5pm. It will be packed with stalls, so a great place to pick up ethical seasonal presents. There will also be interesting fringe events.

One of the highlights will be the annual auction that I have conducted for several years. I haven't yet seen the auction list, but there are always unusual and tempting ideas. Top lot last year was Tony Benn's pipe. The previous year it was Miss England's bikini.

I will also be running the Green Party stall, so come along and have a word.

Saturday, 15 November 2008


On December 1, Bonhams in London will auction off the famous white 1976 Lotus Esprit driven by Roger Moore as James Bond in The Spy Who Loved Me (one of two made).

Next to the classic Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger, the Lotus, which was amphibious in the movie, stands out as the iconic Bond vehicle.

Estimated at about $160,000 to $190,000, it does not unfortunately come equipped with the gadgetry deployed by Moore in the film during his eventful ride with the beautiful Barbara Bach, including a cement sprayer, sea-to-air missiles, front-mounted torpedoes, ink-cloud dispenser and mine launcher. However it does afford the purchaser a chance to join the Ian Fleming Foundation.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Battlestar Galactica to be auctioned off.

Battlestar Galactica is coming to an end with its final ever 10 episodes starting in January, when to coincide with it, props, set pieces and costumes are being auctioned off.

Among the items to be auctioned off:

A life-size Viper. A Cylon raider. Admiral Adama’s duty blue uniform. Apollo’s Viper flight suit. Caprica Six’s red dress. Consoles from the CIC. The Arrow of Apollo. Admiral Adama’s painting of the first Cylon war. Colonel Saul Tigh’s eye patch and liquor bottle. President Laura Roslin’s desk. Original production sketches. Set plans and drawings.

Preview Day – Friday, January 16, 2009 – Pasadena Convention Center (Doors open at 10:00 a.m. and close at 6:00 p.m) (Panel schedule to be announced at another date).

Live Auction Day – Saturday, January 17, 2009 (Doors open at 8:00 a.m. Auction begins at 9:00 a.m.).

Live Auction Day – Sunday, January 18, 2009 (Doors open at 9:00 a.m. Auction begins at 10:00 a.m.).

Online Auction of 200 Items – Tuesday, January 20 (Auction goes live at 9:00 a.m. (ET) and will conclude Friday, January 23, starting at 9:00 p.m. (ET).

First of Several Weekly Online Auctions – Beginning on Friday, January 23, weekly online auctions on eBay begin at 9:00 p.m. (ET).

All info is available at www.battlestarprops.com.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Winnie the Pooh honey sketch fetches sweet price

An original sketch by illustrator E. H. Shepard from The House at Pooh Corner has fetched $57,000 at auction in London, well over the pre-sale estimate.

Tiggers Don’t Like Honey shows Pooh dipping his paw in a honey pot, Tigger with a spoon of honey in his mouth and Piglet looking on.

Auctioneer Bonhams of London said the successful telephone bidder was from Germany and he bought the picture for his wife, a long-time Pooh fan.

The sketch, done for the 1928 edition of A. A. Milne’s classic, is by one of Britain’s most famous illustrators.

Shepard also was the artist for Kenneth Grahame's Wind in the Willows, and a sketch called Now pitch in, old fellow, depicting Rat and Mole lounging with a picnic on a riverbank, sold for $13,670.

A signed first edition of The Tailor of Gloucester, about a kind tailor who is helped by little mice, sold for more than $7,000.

Friday, 31 October 2008

Texas Samaritan buys woman her house at auction

A woman distraught over losing her house showed up to watch it auctioned off, but that wasn't the end of the story. Tracy Orr will return home after a stranger bought the house back for her Saturday.

"It means so much to all of us," Orr said. "It's not just a house."

Marilyn Mock said she decided on the spot to buy the house after striking up a conversation with a sobbing Orr at the auction Saturday. Mock was there to help her 27-year-old son bid on a house.

Mock successfully bid $30,000 for Orr's house in Pottsboro. Orr will make payments to her once the deal is finalized.

"She needed help. That was it," Mock said. "I just happened to be there, and anybody else would have done the same thing."

Orr bought the house for $80,000 in 2004 but lost her job a month after taking out the loan. She fell behind on her payments and lost the house this year — an increasingly common story across the nation.

"She didn't even know if I had a job or was a nut case," Orr said in the Wednesday online edition of The Dallas Morning News. "She didn't even see a picture of the house."

The two are waiting on final approval from mortgage giant Fannie Mae before visiting the home. Mock's son also bought a house at the auction.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Mary Pickford's autograph book for auction

H.G. Wells wrote that Mary Pickford was "his life-long devotion", Thomas Edison dedicated his entry to "the sweetheart of the Americas" and Benito Mussolini simply signed his name and the date, May 10, 1926.

More than 120 famous names from 1926 to 1981 signed the silent film star's personal autograph book, which is among more than 750 lots from the Pickford estate going up for auction for the first time on November 22-23

"These books contain the Who's Who of the 1920s and 1930s," said auctioneer Darren Julien of the autograph book and two leather bound guest books signed by visitors to the Pickfair mansion in Beverly Hills shared by Pickford and actor Douglas Fairbanks.

Pickford's autograph book, which also includes dedications from playwright George Bernard Shaw, aviator Amelia Earhart, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and car maker Henry Ford, carries a pre-sale estimate of $6,000-8,000.

That estimate will be exceeded by a huge margin. I predict well over $50,000.

Dinnerware from parties thrown by the Hollywood couple for royalty and the leading minds of the times are also up for sale along with paintings that once graced the walls of Pickfair, as well as furniture, photos and jewellery.

Before the auction, which will be held live, televised and online by Julien's Auctions, highlights of the sale will go on public exhibit at the Beverly Hilton hotel from Nov 17-21.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

*Yeats poem sold at auction

A rare first edition of the renowned W B Yeats poem EASTER 1916 has sold for 7,100 euros.

The poem, which was one of just 25 copies privately published the year after the rising. It had been expected to fetch between 3,000 and 4,000 euro at Adam's auctioneers in Dublin.

Written between May and September 1916, the poem sets out Yeats' mixed feelings on the tumultuous event. It was distributed among only a select number of people for fear of its political impact.

There is a first edition copy in the National Library in Dublin and one in the British Library, but the whereabouts of the other 22 copies are unknown.

Prince Charles' and Camilla's 'crude' drawings up for auction

A Fortnum and Mason chocolate box on which the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall scribbled "crude" jokes and drawings 30 years ago is being put up for auction.

The tin shows a picture of Mr Fortnum and Mr Mason delivering Christmas presents in a horse-drawn carriage.

But the Prince and the Duchess have drawn a pile of horse manure and a puddle under the horse and scribbled silly jokes about diarrhoea and yellow rivers.

Both the royals have signed the chocolate box which shows early evidence of their friendship in the late 1970s.

It is expected to fetch up to £600 when it is put up for auction at Ludlow, in Shropshire, later this year.

Richard Westwood-Brookes, of Mullock's Auctioneers, said: "This is clearly the product of a jovial evening between Charles and Camilla.

"As we now know today they were very much in love at this time and some of the comments are somewhat ribald."

Mr Westwood-Brookes said the box had originally been given to member of staff at Blenheim Palace before they acquired it for auction.

Charles and Camilla's signatures on the box have been cross-checked with other documents to make sure they are legitimate.

The Fortnum and Mason box was on sale in Christmas 1977 - three years after the Duchess married Andrew Parker Bowles.

Mr Westwood-Brookes has put an estimated price of £600 on the box but says the bidding could go a lot higher.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

$596,000 for Einstein wristwatch

Antiquorum auctioned off Albert Einstein's 1930 Longines wristwatch on Thursday.

The house estimated the watch would fetch up to $35,000. It went for $520,000. (With fees, the total came to $596,000.) That's over 2000% higher than the estimated price, and a record for any Longines at auction.

The watch is inscribed to "Prof. Albert Einstein," and is also marked with the date on which it was presented to him, February 16, 1931.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Rare Sooty puppet to be auctioned

Fans of children's favourite Sooty will have the chance to own an early version of the bear puppet when it is sold at an auction in Derby later this month.

The yellow bear, who was created by puppeteer Harry Corbett, will be sold with a guide price of £200 to £300, although I predict a price of four figures.

Hansons Auctioneer manager Charles Hanson said: "Apparently this puppet was one of Harry Corbett's most cherished ones."

Sooty has been a fixture on children's TV since the 1950s.

The original puppet was bought on Blackpool Pier for 7/6 in 1948.

It was completely yellow but Corbett sewed on a black nose, mouth and ears so that he stood out on black and white TV.

Sooty, who communicated by apparently whispering in Corbett's ear, was later joined by Sweep, a dog puppet and Soo the panda.

The Sooty puppet was given to senior BBC receptionist Violet Marley in 1962.
Ms Marley gave the puppet to her niece, Sally Keene, who has put it up for sale.

Hanson said the auction is "poignant" because Sooty is 60 this year.
"We hope it will find a good home and stay in the country," he said.

Entertainer Richard Cadell recently bought the rights to the bear, with plans to revive the classic puppet for the next generation of children.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Norwich elephants generate £203,000 at auction

The 53 fibreglass model elephants that have graced Norwich this summer were sold at auction this week for a total of £203,000. Seventy five per cent of this will be split between the Born Free Foundation and CLIC Sargent.

'Jemima' by Susan Gunn sold for £25,000 with 'Angel' by Kate Munro selling for £16,000.

The project was created by The Forum Trust in partnership with Wild in Art, and had already raised nearly £200,000 in sponsorship from local businesses.


Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Jacques Brel notebooks for auction in Paris.

Sotheby's is set to auction off a private collection of notebooks, autographs and memorabilia of iconic singer Jacques Brel who died thirty years ago.

The auction will take place, in Paris, tomorrow, October 8th.

The sale consists of 94 lots, the top item being a notebook that Brel used to jot down the draft lyrics of his masterpiece Amsterdam which is estimated to sell for between 50,000 and 70,000 euros.

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Exceptionally Rare Molière Signature for auction. None sold since 1895!

A document calling in a debt, and signed by the French playwright Molière, is to be sold by auctioneers Bonhams & Butterfields on October 15.

Born in 1622, Jean Baptiste Poquelin de Molière is considered the godfather of French theater. His signatures are exceptionally rare – no other examples are known to have been sold in auction since 1895 – and this is believed to be the last in private hands.

The document bearing his signature and dating from 1667 authorizes a certain Claude Le Long to collect a debt that had been owed to the playwright since 1665. Molière had lent the money to a gentleman named François de La Court.

The one-page document was previously sold at auction in Paris in 1860, and purchased by a collector named Dubrunfaut for 950 francs – at the time the second highest price ever paid for a signature in France- befitting Molière’s status as France’s answer to Shakespeare.

This document, signed by Molière in his precise handwriting, is being sold together with two other documents signed by members of his family, and is expected to fetch between $40,000-60,000.

The illustrated auction catalog will be online for review and purchase in the weeks preceding the sale at www.bonhams.com/

Friday, 26 September 2008

Brain Imaging Study Provides New Insight Into Why People Pay Too Much In Auctions

ScienceDaily (Sep. 25, 2008) — Auctions are an old and widely used method for allocating goods that have become increasingly common with the advent of internet auctions sites such as Ebay. Previous economic research has shown that in an auction people tend to bid "too high," or overbid, given the value of the item for sale.

By combining brain imaging techniques with behavioral economic research, neuroscientists and economists at New York University were able to provide new insight into this tendency to overbid. Specifically, they show that the fear of losing the social competition inherent in an auction may, in part, cause people to pay too much. The research, which suggests an expanded role for neuroscience in understanding economic behavior, appears in the latest issue of the journal Science.

The goal of the study was to provide insight into the neural circuitry of experimental auctions, and then to use this insight to generate and test a novel economic approach to understand overbidding. It was conducted by a team of NYU neuroscientsts and economists. The neuroscientists were NYU Professor Elizabeth Phelps and Mauricio Delgado, now an assistant professor at Rutgers University in Newark, N.J. The economists were Andrew Schotter, a professor in NYU's Department of Economics, and Erkut Ozbay, a former NYU doctoral student and now an assistant professor in the University of Maryland's Department of Economics.

The researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine patterns of brain activation as participants played either an auction game with a partner or a lottery game. In both games participants could win money, but in the auction game winning depended on outbidding a partner. An examination of activation in the striatum, part of the brain's reward circuitry, showed the primary difference when winning or losing in the auction vs. lottery games was an exaggerated response to losses in the auction game. The magnitude of this exaggerated loss response in the striatum during the auction game correlated with the tendency to overbid, suggesting the intriguing hypothesis that perhaps the prospect of losing the social competition inherent in an auction may lead people to bid "too high."
To confirm this hypothesis, a follow-up behavioral economic study was conducted. Three groups of participants played an auction game against a partner under different circumstances. The control group was simply given values and asked to make bids. The Bonus-Frame group was told that if they won the auction, they would also receive a bonus of 15 experimental dollars. The Loss-Frame group was given 15 experimental dollars prior to the auction, but participants were told they would lose the 15 dollars if they failed to win the auction.

In both the Loss and Bonus-Frame conditions, only the winners would get an additional 15 experimental dollars, so the auctions were strategically identical. The difference was simply the way it was framed to emphasize losing or winning. Consistent with the hypothesis that contemplation of loss may, in part, drive overbidding, participants in the Loss-Frame condition consistently bid higher than the other two groups, resulting in a greater potential profit for a hypothetical auctioneer.

According to Schotter, "such a result would not have been predicted by existing economic theory. While there have been investigations of overbidding which have attributed the phenomenon to either risk aversion or the 'joy of winning,' it was the use of imaging data which allowed us to distinguish between these conflicting explanations and actually arrive at a new and different one, the 'fear of losing.' Our results provide evidence of how an understanding of the neural systems of economic behavior might inform economic theory."

"These results highlight a role for the contemplation of social loss in understanding the tendency to bid 'too high' in auctions and emphasize the importance of considering social factors in economic decisions," Phelps explained. "By combining neuroeconomic and behavioral economic techniques we were able to provide novel insight into a classic economic problem."

"Although there have been a number of neuroeconomic studies that have used economic games to further our understanding of brain function, the benefits to traditional behavioral economics as a result are unclear," Delgado added. "Because of recent advances in neuroeconomics and our knowledge of the neural circuitry related to reward, we were able to use neuroimaging results to highlight the importance of framing, and specifically the contemplated loss, as an explanation for overbidding during experimental auctions."

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Nelson barrel makes £8,160 in Bonhams auction.

A box believed to be made of wood from a barrel that held Admiral Lord Nelson's body on its voyage back to Britain from the Battle of Trafalgar was sold for £8,160 at auction yesterday.

The box was one of several items of memorabilia associated with the naval hero in a marine sale at Bonhams in London.

They didn’t have deepfreeze in those days, so his body was sent back in a keg of brandy. I read, somewhere, that the sailors tapped the barrel and that the admiral was fairly ‘sniffy’ when it was opened in London.

Friday, 19 September 2008

£1,000,000 note for auction

Spink are to offer a £1m Treasury Note. Dated London 30 August 1948, and printed with the red serial number 000008, it is one of only two surviving examples from the nine thought to have been printed in connection with the Marshall Plan.

They were intended for internal use as “records of movement” and were in use for only a period of six weeks.

Unlike the usual banknotes, which carry a promise from the Bank of England to pay the bearer on demand the sum shown, this Treasury Note states that it “entitles the Bank of England to payment of one million pounds out of the Consolidation Fund of the United Kingdom”.

Number seven was first sold in 1977 and is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as being the highest denomination note in private hands.

Estimate is £40,000 and will be up for auction in Spinks sale on October 1st.

Olympics furniture auction given cold shoulder

The Olympics and Paralympics might have left many Chinese with fond memories, but that isn't translating into buying interest at auctions for memorabilia and furniture used during the events.

More than 60,000 pieces of furniture used during the dual Games, as well as souvenirs, got the cold shoulder at an auction on Thursday, according to the Beijing Times.

The newspaper reported on Friday that the auction, the third of its kind, drew only 17 bidders for beds, mattresses, desks and refrigerators. The items were mainly from two media villages -- North Star and Huiyuan -- and were offered in 18 lots.

Four lots comprising 13,000 items only sold after their asking prices were slashed by 10 percent.

The remaining 14 lots, involving more than 50,000 items, went unsold, said the newspaper.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Einstein’s watch for auction

A Longines watch which belonged to the Nobel Prize winner for the theory of relativity, Albert Einstein, will be auctioned on October, 16th in New York by Antiquorum.

The 14ct gold wristwatch was presented in Einstein in 1931 and is estimated to make $25,000-$35,000

Sunday, 14 September 2008


A lion from the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines will be one of several zoo animals whose artwork will be auctioned Tuesday in Milwaukee.

The unusual auction will raise money for the zoos to help with wildlife conservation efforts.

The other artists from around the U.S. include two Milwaukee County Zoo penguins and a porcupine from Pueblo Zoo in Colorado.

Sixty-one items are listed for sale at the live auction. The auction will run from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and be streamed online.

The Auction Network is holding the sale during the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' annual conference in Milwaukee.

Liquid gold . . . 150-year whisky up for auction

A BOTTLE of Scotch whisky believed to be the oldest in existence is to be auctioned later this month.

The Glenavon Special Liqueur Whisky, believed to be almost 150 years old, is expected to fetch between £5,000 and £10,000 when it goes under the hammer at Bonhams on November 29.

The bottle, which is unusually small in size, contains about 14 fluid ounces of pale gold liquid and is believed to have been bottled by the Glenavon Distillery, in Banffshire, Scotland, between 1851 and 1858.

The precious whisky bottle has been in the family of a woman in Ireland for generations

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Kidney for sale in online auction

A Pakistani has put his kidney up for sale at a leading auction website of the country.

In recent years, Pakistan has emerged as one of the largest centers for commerce in renal transplantation but an anonymous 26-year-old "healthy male" deciding to sell his kidney on bolee.com is a pointer towards the thriving trade.

An advertisement on 'Pakistan’s First Auction Site’ reads, "Kidney for Sale: I am a 26-year-old healthy person and want to sell one of my kidneys for AB+ compatible person. My demand is Rs 600,000 (operation and other medical expenses will be borne by kidney purchaser)."

There have been no bids yet.

According to a recent research, Pakistan has now emerged as one of the largest centers for commerce and tourism in renal transplantation. Of the 239 kidney vendors contacted by the researchers, 69% were bonded labourers, 12% labourers, 8.5% housewives and 11% unemployed.

Their mean age was around 35 years. Though kidneys are sold for about $1,500, post-operation the donors hardly ever benefit.


A painting relegated to an attic for the last thirty years is about to make it’s unappreciative owner a tidy sum when it comes up for auction later this month.

The painting – Windlesham Moor - was given to the vendor by his mother who was secretary to one of the PMs colleagues.


One of the earliest number plates ever issued could go under the hammer later this month.

The registration mark "S1" has been estimated to fetch between £200,000 and £250,000.

The historic plate was the first registration number to be issued in Edinburgh and it belonged to a leading pioneer of motoring.

This month's sale marks the first time the registration number has come on the market since it was created in 1903.

Friday, 12 September 2008

“£100 ewer” expected to make $5,000,000.

A 1,000-year-old carved rock crystal ewer will go on auction at Christie's Islamic art sale next month.

This ewer, one of the only seven known surviving rock crystal ewers, will fetch some 5.3 million dollars, auctioneers estimated.

The piece was produced for the court of the Fatimid rulers of Cairo in the late 10th or early 11th century.

Embellished in enameled gold mounts made in 1854 by a French silversmith, it is the same ewer that came up for auction in Britain last January, expecting to make £220,000, or more than one thousand times its pre-sale estimate.

Experts however discovered the ewer to be an extremely rare one from the Fatimid dynasty though it was catalogued as a "19th century French claret jug" valued at £100-200.

Christie's said the January auction was stopped as such "by agreement," but giving no further details.

The Fatimid dynasty, ruling parts of Northern Africa and the Middle East, became so impoverished that much of its Royal Treasury had to be sold, including the ewers.

The ewer was carved from a single piece of flawless rock crystal which was hollowed out and carved by hand, and was decorated with cheetahs and link-chains.

Christie's is to hold sale of Islamic and Indian art on Oct. 7 in London.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Marilyn Monroe ‘love’ sofa up for auction

A sofa on which actor Glenn Ford supposedly made love with Marilyn Monroe is to be auctioned off in October.

Peter Ford, son of the actor who died in 2006 at the age of 90, said his father secretly commemorated the rendezvous on the eight-foot long plaid couch in his Beverly Hills home.

Glenn Ford marked the event by writing on the back of an oil painting that was dear to Monroe and hung near the sofa, Peter Ford said in a statement.

"When we made love she whispered, 'I wish I could die now, while I'm happy,'" Ford wrote on the back of the painting. The story first came to light when Peter Ford discovered the writing after his father's death.

The auction on October 4-6 by Heritage Auction Galleries in Dallas, Texas, will also feature other personal items from Ford's estate.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Queen Victoria's stockings make £8,000 in auction

A pair of Queen Victoria's stockings has fetched £8,000 at auction in the Mackworth Hotel near Derby.

The black and white stockings were bought for the Ruddington Framework Knitters' Museum in Nottingham by David Alcock, whose father-in-law Jack Smirfitt was a curator at the museum.

Mr Alcock, a 52-year-old mechanic from North Wales, saw off bids from as far away as Canada for the stockings, which were discovered in the loft of a former teacher.

The list price for the stockings in the auction's catalogue was £200.

After his successful bid, Mr Alcock said he bought the stockings for the museum on behalf of one its curators, his father-in-law, Mr Smirfitt, who died in May.

Helen Brownett, a curator at the museum, said: "They were probably made in Nottingham or Derby. It was really important to keep them local and where the public can see them. If they had been bought by a private collector the public wouldn't see them."

Friday, 29 August 2008

Diana wedding cake slice makes £1,200 at auction

A piece of 27-year-old cake from the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana has been sold to an anonymous bidder at auction for £1,200.

The slice of marzipan and icing -- decorated with the royal coat of arms -- came from one of 22 cakes distributed to royal staff after Charles and Diana's nuptials in July 1981.

It was given to Moyra Smith, a member of the Queen Mother's household, who kept the topping in cling film as a souvenir. When she died, her husband Don saw no reason to keep it.

"He had no particular feeling for it and will donate the money to several charities," said auctioneer Dominic Winter in Gloucestershire, who sold the item on Wednesday.

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Fundraising company auctions its services

Company Solutions Ltd is trialling an innovative way of selling some of its fundraising services.

This Summer it is auctioning two services to the highest bidder. Charities are invited to place bids on 20 training course places or 100 grantmaking trust applications.

The top single or multiple bids will win the prizes, "depending on the number of bids and value".

Gareth Edwards of Company Solutions says "If charities like the concept, we will be repeating it regularly".

The normal price for the training courses would be £1,386.50 including VAT, and £1762.50 including VAT for the 100 trust applications researched and carried out.

Selling fundraising services or products to the highest bidder is unlikely to appeal to many of the larger fundraising agencies with a certain degree of fixed costs, but for a smaller agency it might help it stand out from the crowd and give charity clients the sense that they are acquiring services at a discount.


I know Gareth Edwards from the Green Party and can recommend him

Monday, 25 August 2008

Suitcase Full of Explosives Found in Auction

Another item for my series of peculiar things that turn up at auction. I have conducted over 2,000 auctions, but, thankfully have never come across something like this.

A recently deceased Navy veteran's belongings were ready to be sold at an estate auction on Saturday morning.

Just before the start of the auction, auctioneers opened a padlocked and rusting suitcase and discovered three blocks of military-grade C-4.

The C-4 was estimated to be at least 15 years old, degraded and unstable. Two tubes of a similar explosive, a blasting cap and dynamite were also discovered in the suitcase.

They were placed in a special container and destroyed by the bomb squad.
Faulkner County Sheriff Karl Byrd stressed that owning dynamite or plastic explosives without the proper permissions is "definitely illegal".

No one was injured in the incident.

See also previous postings:


Saturday, 23 August 2008

Mary, Queen of Scots hair for auction

From the Lyon & Turnbull auction in Edinburgh:

Sale No 219 - Scottish Silver
26 Aug 2008 14:00 - Edinburgh
Lot 262
A mid Victorian velvet casket, set with a memoriam locket of Mary Queen of Scots hair, 15.5cm x 12cm x 9cm
Estimate: £2000 - 3000

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Capt. Cook’s boomerang for auction

A BOOMERANG collected by Captain James Cook on his expedition to Australia is being put up for sale in London next month and is expected to fetch up to £60,000.

The boomerang, along with two wooden clubs that belonged to Aborigines Cook met in 1770, are believed to represent one of the first points of contact between Aborigines and Europeans.

Captain Cook had little idea what a boomerang was (he believed it was a wooden weapon) when he returned to England and left it to his wife, Elizabeth. She gave the boomerang and clubs to the executor of her will, John Leach Bennett. They have since remained in the Bennett family, which has now decided to sell them.

Christie's auctioneers believe the boomerang, which measures just under 56 centimeters in length and has no markings on it, will be highly sought after by international collectors when it goes on sale on September 25.

So far only six other Aboriginal artifacts — three fish spears, a lance or javelin, a spear shaft and a shield — have been traced to Cook's first visit to Australian soil.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Damages award for man who bought marijuana-stuffed SUV at police auction and subsequently got arrested for possession.

A federal judge in San Diego has awarded $551,000 in damages to a man who bought a car with 37 pounds of marijuana hidden in it at a government auction.

Francisco Rivera Agrendano spent a year in a Mexican prison after he was busted at a roadblock near Ensenada while driving an SUV that turned out to have packages of moldering pot stuffed in the door panels and seats.

The San Diego Union-Tribune said Monday that U.S. District Judge Emily Hewitt wrote in a her recently released opinion that U.S. Customs officials could not explain how they missed so much contraband when they originally searched the vehicle; however she dismissed the contention that agents didn't tear it apart too much so they could maintain the resale value.

Federal attorneys were not required to go into much detail on their search procedures in order to prevent their techniques from being made public.

Rivera told The Union-Tribune in Tijuana that he was pleased with Hewitt's decision but said the amount wouldn't cover the expenses of his ordeal. Hewitt's order specified how much of the award would go to legal expenses, lost income, the price of the SUV and psychiatric treatment.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Beatles first contract expected to make £250,000 at London Auction

The Beatles' first fully signed contract with manager Brian Epstein is expected to raise £250,000 when it comes up for auction in London in September.

Epstein's personal copy of the historic document will be included in auctioneer The Fame Bureau's Sept. 4 sale of rock and pop memorabilia at the Idea Generation Gallery in east London, said an e-mailed statement issued on behalf of the specialist auction house.

The contract, which entitled the manager to 25 percent of the band's gross earnings, was signed by Epstein on Oct. 1, 1962, after he secured the Beatles' first record agreement with EMI.

John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr (under his birth name Richard Starkey) had signed the contract earlier that year, on Jan. 24, 1962; Epstein withheld his signature until he had clinched their first deal. The fathers of Harrison and McCartney were also signatories, as their sons were under 21 at the time, said the statement.

``This is the most important pop music document that's left in private hands,'' said Ted Owen, managing director of The Fame Bureau, in a phone interview. ``It's a life-changing contract for the Beatles.''

The contract has been put up for sale by a businessman from northern England who collects pop memorabilia, said Owen. It last came up for auction at Christie's, London, in May 2004, when it fetched £122,850 with saleroom fees.

The Fame Bureau auction will also include the Bechstein piano used by the Beatles to record ``Hey Jude,'' estimated at between £300,00 and £400,000.

In October 2000, at a joint New York and London auction organized by Fleetwood Mac drummer Mick Fleetwood and Ted Owen, singer George Michael paid £1.67 million with fees for the piano on which Lennon wrote ``Imagine.''

In 1985, Sotheby's sold Lennon's hand-painted Rolls-Royce Phantom V for $2.3 million.
A 1965 Fender Stratocaster that Jimi Hendrix set alight at the Finsbury Astoria theater in London in March 1967 is estimated at £500,000. According to The Fame Bureau, this was the first guitar that Hendrix set fire to during a live performance

An auction tale of huge knickers and a small condom.

An Australian woman has taken revenge on her cheating husband by auctioning his mistress's "huge" panties and his "size small" condom packet on eBay.

The seller, named only as Anna from Queensland state, says next in line for auction will probably be her husband's Harley Davidson motorcycle "at a start price of 99 cents and, of course, with no reserve!"

A photograph shows the lacy black underpants, described as "size humongous" and the "size small" condom wrapper, which the woman found in her bed after her husband's alleged affair with a woman named Kylie.

Anna says of the panties: "They are so huge I thought they may make someone a nice shawl or, even better, something for Halloween perhaps."

She describes how she returned home early from work after her "soon to be ex-husband" of 22 years mistakenly sent her a romantic text message meant for the other woman, to find him discouraging her from entering their bedroom.

In the room she found the empty condom wrapper under his pillow and "The Tart's panties at the foot of the bed".

The listing was initially taken down by eBay because of its policy of refusing to sell secondhand underwear, spokeswoman Inessa Jackson told Brisbane's Courier Mail.
"We let her know about the policy and instead she's now selling a photograph of the offending knickers," Jackson said.

"eBay does connect colourful buyers with colourful sellers and I wouldn't be surprised if someone did buy these items, though I couldn't speculate on who would buy them or why.

"This is obviously very therapeutic for this woman and it must be a great channel for her views on cheating and the sanctity of marriage."

The photograph, which had a starting price of just 69 US cents, down from the original 99 cents asked for the actual items, had received 47 bids by Thursday, with the top offer standing at 127.50 US dollars with four days to go.

The listing, along with the wife's story, has been added to eBay Australia's Best of eBay site at http://bestof.ebay.com.au.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

New combined Online Auction and Social Networking combined site.

New Online Auctions and Social Networking Website Launches at myAuctionNetwork.com

A new website launching this week aims to wed the unlike web worlds of online auctions and social networking by being one site that does it all.

It just might be the best of both worlds. Or all three worlds for that matter.
Three worlds, because the recently launched myAuctionNetwork.com has not contented itself with combining the vast marketing reach of the Internet with a decidedly down-to-earth customer service approach rooted in fostering personal relationships.

It also aims to wed the unlike web worlds of online auctions and social networking by being one site that does it all.

The result, the site’s creator said, is a one-stop destination built on a “community of sellers, buyers and social visitors,” rather than taking on the traditionally utilitarian and impersonal feel of most auction sites.

“It has the bells and whistles of MySpace, plus it has auctions,” said Brian Schwartz, the Boynton Beach entrepreneur behind myAuctionNetwork.com.

“One of my goals is to bring more transparency into the online auction market,” he said.

That market has seen some turmoil this year, with such upheavals as a fee hikes at eBay that had sellers up in arms and questioning the viability of continuing to sell their wares as profit margins shrank.

Sellers at myAuctionNetwork.com do not pay the “listing fees” other sites charge and commissions are capped at five percent, as opposed to as much as 12 percent elsewhere, Schwartz said.

As important as the economics, however, is the social aspect of myAuctionNetwork.com, he added, noting that relationships can develop when buyers and sellers and browsers mingle in the marketplace.

“Shopping should be a social event,” he said. “Isn’t that how we live in our actual communities?”

Friday, 8 August 2008

Elvis jumpsuit makes $300K in online auction

Elvis Presley's favorite performance costume, the peacock jumpsuit, sold for $300,000 Thursday, making it the most expensive piece of Elvis memorabilia sold at auction.

The online sale by auctioneer Gotta Have It! ended at 3 a.m. The pre-sale estimate was $275,000 to $325,000.

Presley paid $10,000 to have the outfit made by Los Angeles designer Bill Belew, who created all of The King's stage wardrobe between 1968-1977. It captured the rock 'n' roll legend's fascination with peacocks as a good luck symbol and the auction house said it was among his favorite Belew designs.

Elvis first wore the costume at the Forum in Los Angeles on May 11, 1974, and later for the cover of his album "Promised Land."

The previous record for an Elvis collectible is $295,000 for his 1956 Lincoln Continental Mark II.

The most ever paid previously for one of his stage costumes, the so-called aloha cape, which was worn during one of his last television shows, was $105,250. Both were sold at a 1999 auction at Graceland in Memphis, Tenn., run by Guernsey's.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Queen Victoria’s knickers make £4,500 in auction

A pair of Queen Victoria’s bloomers, with a 50-inch waist, were snapped up for £4,500 by a Canadian woman at Mackworth in Derby on Wednesday.

Auctioneer Charles Hanson said Queen Victoria’s underpants belonged to “a very big lady of quite small stature with a very wide girth.” She was said to be 5 feet tall.

The handmade knickers — which date to the 1890s — bear the monogram “VR” for Victoria Regina. They are open-crotch style, with separate legs joined by a drawstring at the waist, a popular style in the late Victorian era.

The royal drawers belonged to a family in western England whose ancestor was a lady-in-waiting for the queen.

Also up for auction was Queen Victoria’s chemise, with a 66-inch bust, which sold for £3,800. Her nightgown sold for £5,200.

1909 baseball card makes $1.62 million at auction

An Arkansas man bought a 1909 Honus Wagner baseball card for $1.62 million at a memorabilia auction in Chicago.

The new owner of the T206 Wagner card was a man from Little Rock, Ark., according to auctioneer Doug Allen, chief operating officer of Mastro Auctions of Burr Ridge.

The record price for a baseball card is $2.8 million—paid in 2007 for a near-mint condition Wagner card released in 1909 by the American Tobacco Company.

Wagner's card was among the first of hundreds of cards of major league players produced by the American Tobacco Co. and included in packages of cigarettes.

Unlike other players, however, Wagner quickly demanded his card be withdrawn.

Theories vary as to why, with one being that he didn't believe American Tobacco paid him enough.
There are fewer than 100 Wagner baseball cards in existence, said Julie Stoklosa, a spokeswoman for Mastro Auctions, and fewer than 10 are in excellent condition.

Allen said even the lowest graded Wagner baseball cards can fetch more than $150,000.

Friday, 1 August 2008

George Best Faberge egg for auction, in Manchester on Sunday

Football Collectors from across the world are expected to go to Manchester when a Fabergé Egg tribute to late Manchester United legend George Best goes up for auction.

The egg followed a similar sporting tribute to Jimmy Johnstone of Celtic.

The rare egg will feature at a special sale of football memorabilia and is expected to fetch at least £45,000. Auction organiser David Goldemann said: "Fabergé has only ever made tribute eggs to four Westerners - George Best being one. This is a very rare egg and we are really excited to have it at our auction in Manchester. I think it will attract a lot of interest from the serious collectors."

Peter Carl Fabergé, goldsmith to the Imperial Court of Russia, became renowned for his exquisite series of jewelled Easter eggs, the first commissioned by Alexander III for the Tsarina in 1884. The George best egg was made by his great-grand-daughter Sarah.

Only 68 of the George Best Fabergé Eggs were made and this is only the second time one has come up for sale. The egg, made of 24 carat gold and just nine and a half inches tall, features a detachable top half. When this is removed, a gold figurine of Northern Ireland and United striker George Best kicking a football is revealed. It has been on display at Belfast City Airport, in George Best's home town, for a number of years now, but the owner has now decided to sell.

The auction is being held at the Greater Manchester Police sports and social club in Chorlton on August 3 - with lots of other football memorabilia also up for sale.

Catalogue can be viewed here: www.goldemannauctions.co.uk

Friday, 25 July 2008

Kray painting for auction tomorrow.

Seven paintings by Ronnie Kray dating back to the early 1970s are to be auctioned by Mander Auctioneers of Clare, near Sudbury, UK on 26th July. The paintings were produced while the notorious gangland leader was in jail on the Isle of Wight.

James Mander, of Mander Auctioneers, said: “These paintings are part of an important piece of modern social history. I am particularly pleased to have these for our next auction, since the opportunity to see this many examples in close proximity enables us to really begin to get a feel for their work, which can be very dark at times. Having such good provenance and being fresh to the market is also an important aspect of this small collection.”

Viewing Friday, July 25 at:
The Auction Room,
Church Street,
Tel: +44 (0) 1787 277993

Auction info www.manderauctions.co.uk

Friday, 11 July 2008

Drum-skin makes £450,000 in London auction.

The drum-skin, that was featured on the cover of the famous Beatles album Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band album was sold for £450,000 at Christie's auction on Thursday.

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Angel’s smaller sister makes £2.28m at Sotheby’s auction.

A 6.5 ft model of The Angel of the North has sold for £2.28 in Sotheby’s on Tuesday.
This version of Anthony Gormley’s 65ft original was one of five that he created from a cast of his own body.

The Angel of the North design was chosen by Gateshead Council from a shortlist of international artists in 1994. It took four years to build and install beside the A1 and has its tenth anniversary this year. It has a wingspan of 177ft (54m) - wider than a Boeing 767’s - compared with 16ft for the small statue.

Friday, 4 July 2008

Black rhinos to be auctioned.

Namibian wildlife officials say six species of rare animals, including eight black rhinos, will be sold in an auction to boost funds for conservation in the country.

Teams were deployed this week into Etosha National Park -- the country's famous game sanctuary -- to capture sable and black-faced impala. The rhinos and buffaloes were captured last month and are being kept in pens.

Fanuel Demas, director of scientific services in the ministry of environment and tourism, said Wednesday that the auction will be held July 25.

Five female and three male black rhinos will be sold in Namibia, as well as 40 buffaloes, 90 black-faced impala, 16 sables and 21 giraffe.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Biggest auction since 193ad? 200 million items for sale.

Beijing Olympic organisers will auction 200 million items of Olympic memorabilia after the August Games, including the bed of the country's 2.29-metre NBA All-star Yao Ming.

Organisers hope to raise up to $150 million from the sale of "furniture and fixtures, timepieces, light bulbs and tubes, and a variety of sport equipment", according to China Daily.

"We will highlight items (like Yao's bed) for bidders," the paper quoted Xiong Yan, president of the Beijing Equity Exchange, as saying.

Some 200 types of Olympic Village furniture, including closets and coffee tables, had already been listed online for sale, with "electronic items" and sports equipment to follow, the paper said.

"This is not the first time Olympic organisers have auctioned memorabilia, but as far as I know it is the biggest," Xiong said.

Land reserved for temporary Olympic venues would also go under the hammer after the Games, the paper said.

In 193 AD the praetorian guards auctioned off the Roman Empire. The winner was a rich elderly senator Didius Julianius who was deposed and executed six weeks later.

Monday, 30 June 2008

Terry Pratchett auctions manuscript for Alzheimer's charity.


$2.1m is top auction bid for dinner with Warren Buffett

A Chinese fund manager has paid $2.1m at an annual charity auction for a meal with financier Warren Buffett.

Zhao Danyang, who runs a Hong Kong fund called Pureheart China Growth, emerged victorious from a frenzy of last-minute bidding on eBay. He earns the right to bring up to seven friends for a meal with Buffett at an upmarket New York steakhouse, Smith & Wollensky.

When Buffett began his annual practice of auctioning a lunch eight years ago, the meal went for $25,000. Last year, the price reached $650,100.

The proceeds will go to the Glide Foundation, an organisation which helps the homeless and needy in San Francisco. It is a huge boost for the charity's $12m annual budget and staff shouted in celebration when the outcome became clear.

Buffett has pledged most of his $49bn fortune to the Gates Foundation, which tackles diseases in developing countries.

Sunday, 29 June 2008

The wedding auctioneer

Amusing short clip of an auctioneer conducting a wedding ceremony:


Pawned Renoir sells at auction

A Renoir pastel by Renoir sold for 190,000 euros at an auction on Thursday by France’s oldest pawnshop.

Dated around 1881, "Young Girl Seated in a Garden," a 24 by 19 inch drawing, was acquired by an anonymous telephone bidder.

A household institution, the Paris Credit Municipal was set up in 1777 to offer the poor an alternative to the punitive interest rates of usurers.

Run on a not-for-profit basis in partnership with the city, it accepts everything from artwork to jewels or wine as collateral for short-term loans, for as little as 30 euros.

Ninety-three percent of all borrowers repay their loans in full and reclaim their possessions, the broker says. The remaining seven percent are sold to pay off the debt.

Most pieces such as the Renoir come from French aristocrats, according to Credit Municipal spokesman Vincent Vogt.

Located in the heart of the historic Marais district, the Credit Municipal acquired its nickname -- "Ma Tante" or "Auntie" -- when a son of the 19th-century monarch Louis Philippe pawned his watch and chain to cover a gambling debt, telling his mother he left it "chez ma tante."

Saturday, 28 June 2008


A 23-year-old hairdresser from Virginia, Kelly Gray, set up an eBay auction, last week, for the bridesmaid spot in her wedding.

She hoped to pay for some of the $7,000 wedding costs. Her expectations were more than exceeded when the winning bid came to $5,700.

But more good news was on the way. The winning bid was from the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group who also offered to pay for all the booze and upped their offer to $10,000.

They intend to launch an online contest or get a celebrity to appear as the bridesmaid.

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Entire city to be auctioned.

Higgenbotham Auctioneers International announced today that their firm would sell at auction White's City, New Mexico. The entire municipality as well as its surrounding acreage will be offered on July 14th at 11am. The city, which was founded in the early 1920's by Charlie L. White, is a national icon and has been managed by the White family since its beginnings in the roaring 20's.

Situated at the entrance to Carlsbad Caverns National Park, White's City thrives on the parks national draw of daily visitors and boasts many amenities, which cater to the constant flow of vehicular traffic and tourist. The city has two operating motels with 105 rooms, RV park with 46 spaces with water and electricity, 25 campsites, U.S. Post Office, grocery store, two restaurants, gift shops, gas station, museum, opera house, ice cream parlor and all the desert beauty of the Guadalupe Mountains.

Included in the auction are all the assets of the city, which include its water rights for 460 acre-feet of daily potable water usage. As the only source of potable water for nearly 20 miles, this asset is truly significant as it is the life's blood of the community.

Also to be sold at auction will be the 30,000 items that are currently housed in the city's Million Dollar Museum.

A short list features firearms, antiques, collectibles, countless items of a by gone era, carriages, geological and archaeological fossils, dollhouses, clocks, china, glass, furniture, precious stones, southwestern antiquities and so forth. These items will be offered individually and the auction will be held after the close of the real estate sale and will span three days, July 14th through 16th.

For more information on the White's City Auction please contact Laura Whitt at Higgenbotham Auctioneers (800) 257-4161 or visit our website at www.Higgenbotham.com.

Friday, 20 June 2008

Early phone book makes $170,000

An 1878 New Haven telephone book that was one of the first directories in the USA has been sold for $170,500 at Christie's in New York.

Auctioneers had expected the phone book to fetch between $30,000 and $40,000, but the price skyrocketed in a battle among six collectors.

The dingy white New Haven directory is no thicker than a junk mail flyer and lists 400 merchants, lawyers, doctors and others who subscribed to the phone service in 1878.

Christie's auctioneer Tom Lecky says the bidding war came after new details about the book emerged. He says additional research showed that an earlier Chicago directory is a reproduction and an earlier San Francisco book is less comprehensive than New Haven's.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

19th Century phone book for auction.

One of the first telephone books in the United States, published in Connecticut in 1878, is expected to fetch between $30,000 and $40,000 at an auction today.

New Haven's early phone book, published by the Connecticut District Telephone Co., is the earliest to come on the auction market, said Tom Lecky, head of books and manuscripts at Christie's, the New York auction house that is selling the small piece of history.

It was no thicker than a junk mail flyer, but it offered more than telephone numbers. It advised callers to speak slowly and distinctly, greet the person on the other line with "Hulloa!" and end the conversation with "That is All."

The early directory, printed on a sheet of cardboard, listed 50 subscribers.

Skyjacker cash sold at auction

Buyers at a Dallas auction on Friday paid a total of $37,433 for 15 tattered $20 bills taken by notorious skyjacker D.B. Cooper in 1971.

The bills went for as much as three times as much as expected, Heritage Auction Galleries said in a news release.

Two of the bills that bear the clearly visible handwritten initials of investigators who handled the money after it was discovered in 1980 went for $6,572 each. A buyer paid $358 for a remnant of a note that consisted of a small portion of the printed San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank seal in the design.

Cooper hijacked a jetliner in the U.S. Northwest, was given $200,000 in $20 bills, and then parachuted somewhere between Reno, Nev., and Seattle. He was never apprehended.

Brian Ingram of Mena, Ark., was 8-years-old in 1980 when he found the money in the sand along the banks of the Columbia River near Vancouver, Wash.

Monday, 16 June 2008

Princess Diana's notes to butler for auction

Deeply personal letters written by Diana, Princess of Wales to one of the Royal Family's most trusted servants will feature in an auction of his possessions expected to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds.

In one of the most heartfelt letters - written just seven days after the birth of her first son, Prince William - she thanks William Tallon, commonly known as 'Backstairs Billy', for all his "lovely presents" and describes her emotions over the first flush of parenthood.

"We are not sure at the moment what has hit us, except a very strong pair of lungs!," the Princess writes. "Both parents are making little sense, we just seem to spend most of our time gazing at this tiny person!"

The letter is one of eight between the Princess and Mr Tallon which form part of a collection of 694 items expected to fetch more than £200,000 when sold off by auctioneers Reeman Dansie of Colchester, Essex, next month.

William Tallon worked in the Royal household from 1951 to 2002, including 25 years as Steward and Page of the Backstairs.

He never sought to profit from his 51 years' service to the family and took his secrets to the grave. However, it was one of the conditions of his will that the items would be sold after his death and the money passed to the beneficiaries of his estate. He died last November at the age of 72.

Of her first pregnancy Diana wrote: "It goes without saying how delighted we are at the prospect of the PoW [Princess of Wales] expanding in more ways than one! It should make Ascot week exciting."

Auctioneer James Grinter said the letters themselves should fetch between £500 and £1,500.

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Pamela Anderson’s car for auction to help PETA

Pamela Anderson is selling her prized Dodge Viper and donating the proceeds to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

The 40-year-old actress recently held a private estate sale to benefit the animal organization, and she's planning to personally oversee the sale of her 2000 Viper, which she customized herself with white racing stripes. The car plays a prominent role in Anderson's forthcoming E! series, "Pam: Girl on the Loose,"

The car will be among the offerings at Julien's Auctions' Summer Entertainment Sale of Hollywood memorabilia,to be held June 21 and 22 at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.

Friday, 13 June 2008

100 Chanel bags for auction.

Portero.com is holding an online auction featuring a curated collection of more than 100 vintage Chanel bags in pristine condition. The collection is an assortment of one-of-a kind and classic Chanel bags.

The online auction event open to the public beginning June 19 and running through June 30 at www.Portero.com.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008


Hitchcock’s driver’s license is coming up for sale at Julien's Auctions' Summer Entertainment Sale of Hollywood memorabilia, to be held June 21 and 22 at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.

Other items available include personal snapshots of Marilyn Monroe and Sammy Davis Jr. and an original "Ben Hur" script signed by Charlton Heston.

The sale will be broadcast live on Auction Network.

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Famous Porsche coming up for auction.

The Porsche made famous by Steve McQueen in the 70s is going up on the auction block this August.

The 1970 Porsche 908/2 was raced several times by McQueen, including once when he was driving with a duct-taped cast on a broken foot and once when there were cameras attached to the vehicle to collect movie footage. The car has a 3.0 litre 350hp engine and is expected to sell for between $1.5 - $2 million at the auction in Carmel Valley, CA by Bonhams & Butterfields.

Saturday, 7 June 2008


Just a reminder to folks out there that I am freelance auctioneer and always interested in work.

I have conducted over 2,000 auctions in almost every category under the sun. While I have mostly specialised in antiques and collectables, I have done property, land lettings, hay and produce, saddles and tack, cars and even gold auctions. I once conducted an auction literally from the back of a truck! Goods advertised had been delayed in traffic and there was no time to unload, so I just sold from the tailboard as the items were being unpacked. Another time the lights failed in the middle of a night auction. As luck would have it there was a box of torches in the auction, so while the auction owner was looking for an electrician, I carried on the auction with a torch in one hand and the gavel in the other. On yet another occasion, the whole staff forgot to turn up, so I conducted the auction, did the clerking, acted as porter and did the accounts. It was a small auction of around 150 lots, but was still tricky having to hold up the goods, do the selling and writing the buyer number and hammer price.

I have also conducted hundreds of charity auctions. I love doing these as you don’t need to do the same speed as at a commercial auction so there is more time to enjoy yourself and drag out the money in a good atmosphere. The biggest one that I ever conducted was in a colossal marquee in Wandsworth Park. There were probably over 1,000 people present with a door price of £100 each. It was so big that we could not see to the back of the marquee, so we had staff with light sabres strategically stationed. Comedian Ben Elton was my warm-up act. He complimented me after the sale on my selling and speaking ability. From a motormouth like him, it was quite a compliment. The first item sold was £15,000. It was a trip to Hawaii and island hopping for 14 days. The second lot was a day on a coastguard cutter chasing smugglers. That made £800.

Hitler ballot paper for auction

A ballot paper from the 1933 election that brought Adolf Hitler to power is to be auctioned by Mullock's Auctioneers.

The paper, to be sold on June 25 at an auction of historical documents at Ludlow Racecourse, bears the name of Hitler with those of Rudolf Hess and Hermann Goering.

On the matter of ballot papers, The Green Room (a charity shop that I manage) has a couple of original, unused ballot papers of the first free elections in South Africa in 1994.

These are very colourful and each party has a photo of its leader, including Nelson Mandela.

Price £10 each. These are highly decorative and a piece of history. All profits go to environmental causes.

Friday, 6 June 2008

Titanic life-jacket for auction.

Christie’s plans to put it on the auction block in New York City on June 25.

Christie’s sold another Titanic life-jacket last year in London for $119,000. This is the first to be sold at auction in the United States and one of only six believed to have survived to this day.

The vendor, Mr. MacQuarrie never met his maternal grandfather, John James Dunbar, who traveled to Halifax to help with the cleanup after the sinking of the Titanic. But through family lore, he knows Mr. Dunbar brought the life-jacket back to Cape Breton after finding it on a beach while working with crews recovering debris and bodies from the April 14, 1912, disaster that cost at least 1,496 passengers their lives. It has been in his family’s possession for 96 years.

Mr. MacQuarrie was turned down flat by several Ontario auctioneers, until he contacted Christie’s and sent photos of the life-jacket.

The Titanic life-jacket that sold for $119,000 last year might have fetched such a high price because it belonged to Lady Duff Gordon’s secretary. And also the story about the Gordons was that he had been accused of paying off the officers and crew members in the lifeboat to row away from the Titanic before the boat was completely filled. He was later cleared of that during the inquiries.

Christie’s estimates the life-jacket will fetch $60,000 to $80,000.

Mother offers baby son for auction on EBay.

A number of people called authorities across Germany after seeing the offer on eBay that read: "Baby -- collection only. Offer my nearly new baby for sale because it cries too much. Male, 70 cm long."

The listing was online for approximately two hours before it was removed.

The woman told the German newspaper The Bild that the whole thing was a joke.

She said, "It was only a joke. I just wanted to see if someone would make an offer. They’ve taken my son to hospital and I’ve got to take psychiatric tests next week."

The auction received no bids at the starting price of 1 euro.

Sunday, 1 June 2008


A device used on stage circa 1920 by Harry Houdini to cut a girl into eight pieces is coming up for sale at Bonhams in Los Angeles on June 16 (lot 3173W).

Estimate is only $4,000, but expect it to make more.

Saturday, 31 May 2008

Soprano outfits for auction.

James Gandolfini, who starred on the hit television series about a Mafia family, is selling off 24 outfits, including the button-down blue shirt he wore in the opening credits and the bathrobe he donned to fetch the morning newspaper.

Proceeds from the June 25 pop culture auction at Christie's will go to the Wounded Warrior Project, a nonprofit group that assists severely wounded soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. Estimates for the costumes start at $500.

Gandolfini's wardrobe, which includes many outfits with the original production tags attached, is expected to bring up to $36,500.

The actor's contract allowed him to keep the clothes after the show ended its six-season run last year, Christie's said. He has authenticated all the outfits in the sale.

A tan cotton bathrobe with lavender trim and "S" insignia on the breast pocket, featured in the pilot when he got the newspaper and fed the ducks in his pool, may bring as much as $1,500 (€950).

The auction house is also offering the "blood"-splattered costume worn in the scene when Tony is shot by a demented Uncle Junior. Consisting of a black-and-beige short-sleeve polo shirt, white tank top and black pants, the costume could fetch up to $3,000 (€1,900).

The costumes for the series were designed by Juliet Polsca, who earned two Emmy nominations and a Costume Designers Guild Award.

Jane Austen's hair for auction

A curio containing hair believed to have come from the author Jane Austen is expected to fetch £5,000 at auction.

The unusual item shows a lock of fine brown hair which has been made into a weeping willow with its branches shading Jane Austen's gravestone.

Dominic Winter Auction House's cataloguing team thinks the truth of whether it really is Ms Austen's hair may never be known.

The crafting of hair into lockets and brooches was common in Victorian times.

It is well-documented that Jane's sister Cassandra Austen cut off several locks of hair as mementoes, before her sister's coffin was finally closed.

Nobody knows what happened to them, but one theory is that they were given to one of her six brothers and made into decorative items.

Dominic Winter of the auction house said: "The best suggestion is her brother Edward but this is speculation and the truth may never be known, as all we know is that the owner unearthed it in an antiques shop in Worcestershire over 20 years ago."

Auctioneer Chris Albury said: "There is new DNA technology available (which would identify who the hair belonged to) but this has proved too expensive."

The lock of hair will go under the hammer on 18 June at the auction house in Cirencester.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Biotech Company to Auction Chances to Clone a Dog

A California company is planning a string of online auctions next month to clone five dogs, with the bidding to start at $100,000.

Scientists consider dogs among the most difficult animals to clone because they have an unusual reproductive biology, more so than humans. But the company behind the auctions, BioArts International, maintains that the technology is ready, and it is calling the dog cloning project Best Friends Again. It has scheduled the auctions for June 18.

The opening and closing times for the auctions would be staggered, to reach potential customers in different time zones, and that the starting bids for the later auctions would be higher “to steer people to participate in the earlier auctions if they can, and avoid a phenomenon of everyone waiting to see how they go.”

But Dr. Robert Lanza, the chief scientific officer of Advanced Cell Technology, a biotech company with laboratories in Worcester, Mass., voiced concern when a reporter described Best Friends Again.

“If anyone thinks they’re going to get Fluffy back,” Dr. Lanza said, “they’re gravely mistaken.” A cloned dog is “likely to be a totally unknown dog, just as if you went to the pound and adopted another, unknown animal.”

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Queen Mary WW11 ID Card for auction

An ID card issued to Queen Mary is to be sold at auction in Lichfield. The National Registration card, numbered ODPH/180/1 and issued on May 22, 1940, is signed “Mary, Her Majesty Queen”.

The three-page document survived because an Army officer assigned to shred cards after the war kept it as a memento.

Hanson’s auctioneers of Lichfield, Staffordshire, expect it to fetch £500.

Don’t be surprised if it makes more!

Auction info www.hansonsauctioneers.co.uk

Monday, 26 May 2008


Iran is to auction a ton of caviar, in the United Kingdom at an expected price of $10m.

Caviar which is Sturgeon eggs have a market value of nearly $1,000 per 50g, the sale also includes 700kg of ossetra caviar and 100kg of sevruga caviar.

The Caspian Sea produces 90 per cent of the world’s caviar, harvested by Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Russia.

Russia is the biggest consumer.

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Einstein letter auctioned for record £207,600

A letter by Albert Einstein was sold this week at Bloomsbury Auctions in Mayfair, London, for a world record £207,600.

The letter, written in German in 1954 to philosopher Eric Gutkind, was sold to a private collector. Extra phone lines had to be installed to cope with worldwide interest.

It was expected to fetch up to £8,000.

In the letter, Einstein, who was Jewish, rejects the notion that Jews were God’s chosen people

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Madonna lip gloss at AIDS Auction

A benefit on the sidelines of the Cannes Film Festival last Thursday raised more than $10 million for the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR), a record for the annual event.

Sharon Stone was the auctioneer.

Madonna emptied her purse and came up with a magnifying mirror, hair clips, skin blotting tissues and lip gloss. She put it on the block along with a one-of-a-kind diamond-encrusted alligator bag donated by Chanel. The lot sold for $472,000.
The 49-year-old singer asked the crowd not to insult her with low bids: "This lip gloss touched my lips."

The event was held at the Moulin de Mougins outside Cannes.

Monday, 19 May 2008

Olympic Torch for Auction

An Olympic Torches used in 1948 to carry the Olympic Flame onto British soil for the first time will highlight in Bonhams sporting memorabilia sale in Chester on 4 June 2008. The torch, which carried the flame for part of the last stretch of its journey from Greece to Wembley for the opening ceremony of the 1948 London Olympics, is expected to sell for over £2,000.

The torch was carried by British athlete John Jenkin who ran through Canterbury on the penultimate day of the Olympic Torch Relay, before the start of the games on 29 July 1948.

The following inscription is engraved on the side:
“Olympia to London with thanks to the bearer XIVth Olympiad 1948.” It also carries the bearer’s name “John W.I. Jenkin 28th July 1948.”

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Chester auction features Linford Christie's running shoes.

In Bonhams ‘Sporting Legends’ sale in Chester on 4 June, is the pair of running shoes that made Linford Christie the fastest man on earth.

In the 100m final of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, Christie sprinted to victory in 9.96 seconds, a phenomenal achievement that made him – at 32 – the oldest man ever to win the title.

In an international career spanning 17 years Christie represented his country over 60 times and won more major championship medals than any other British male sprinter. The shoes he wore to win gold in Barcelona are estimated to sell for £600 – 800.

I predict that the bidding will run well past that figure.

Auction info www.bonhams.com

Friday, 16 May 2008


The Spitting Image puppet of George Best dressed in a Manchester United kit is to be auctioned off along with other personal sporting items at Bonham’s Sporting Legends auction in Chester on 4 June.

The rubber caricature, which has been on display in the National Football Museum at Preston, is expected to make £5,000.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

John Lennon Lyrics for London Auction

John Lennon’s lyrics for Give Peace a Chance are to be offered for sale at a London auction.

The lyrics were given to teenage fan Gail Renard during one of his famous “Bed-In” peace protests with his wife Yoko Ono in a Montreal hotel room in 1969.

The lyrics, along with a number of personal photos, are now due to be sold at Christie’s auction house in South Kensington, London.

The collection, including photos which have never been seen in public before, is expected to fetch up to £300,000.

The auction will take place on July 10

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Hitler China for Auction

The china set was made by Hutschenreuther, a family firm, in a classic 1930s flo-blue style with gold edging, Nordic signs and a north-star pattern.

It was believed to have been used on board the SS Albert Ballin, built by Blohm and Voss, Hamburg, in 1922 for the Hamburg-American Line.

All the plates and dishes carry the symbol of the “Leibstandarte-SS Adolf Hitler” (LAH), the name of the elite guard, in elaborate gold lettering.

The items are being sold at Henry Aldridge and Son auctioneers in Devizes, Wilts, on May 17, for an estimated £1,000.

Andrew Aldridge said: “They turned up just a few miles from us here and the vendor has no idea how he came by them.

“Hitler’s personal guards - the best of the best - travelled incognito on the ships in case there were any attacks by communists or subversive elements.

“They had the best of everything including their china that included the items we have for sale.

“Some would have posed as crew and others as passengers - they were the equivalent of air marshalls.

“And they would have used these items in their own quarters, so no one would have seen them.

“Collectors of marine memorabilia and second world war memorabilia will be interested so there is a cross over which will help them sell.”

Auction info www.henry-aldridge.co.uk

Sunday, 4 May 2008


Readers may have noticed a drop-off in postings over the last month or so. This was because, as Coordinator of the London Green Party, I was heavily involved in organising the campaign for the London Assembly.

In 2000, 180,000 votes won us three seats in the 25 seat Assembly. This time, we increased our vote to 203,465 but it was only good enough for two seats. We were just 24,409 short for my seat. Really frustrating!!

I am proud to have been part of what was our best campaign ever. We stood a full slate for the 25 seats and the Mayor. This alone was a considerable logistical and financial operation. I was on the board of London Green News. We published two editions with a print run of 510,000 as well as 600,000 campaign leaflets plus manifestos, mini manifestos, posters etc. The distribution of that lot took a lot of planning and implementation! Our TV broadcast was well received and our media hits were considerable.

I was also involved in the fundraising committee which raised the needed £100,000. This, also took a lot of advance planning. We came out of the election, without debts, probably for the first time ever.

Ah well, back to normal.

ANYONE KNOW OF ANY AUCTIONEER JOBS, OUT THERE? Seeing that I will not now be a high paid Assembly Member, I desperately need to earn a living.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Article in this week's Antiques Trade Gazette.

London’s Green Party candidate has recycled antiques for years

HAVING conducted over 2000 sales, freelance auctioneer Noel Lynch is used to standing on a platform. But on May 1, he will be looking for votes rather than bids as he aims to win a seat in the London Assembly for the Green Party.

A swing of just 1.5 per cent would see Mr Lynch returned as the party's third candidate. He sat in the assembly for 13 months before losing out in the 2004 election where the Greens took 8.5 per cent of the vote.

But with environmental issues now taking greater prominence and with the Green Party averaging 13.5 per cent across the London borough elections in 2006, he is confident of returning to the chamber.

Mr Lynch told ATG that as a member of the London Assembly he would do all he could to support small shops including art and antiques traders. He described the threats to the London's antiques areas from chains and high-street fashion outlets as a scandal.

"Every bit of individuality in our city is being hammered away," he said. "If we don't do something now London will become a clone town."

He also pointed out that the antiques trade could make more of its green credentials as it has been a cornerstone of the recycling industry for centuries.

When not on the campaign trail, Noel Lynch conducts sales for Hornsey Auctions and other salerooms on a freelance basis. He also runs a collectors' charity shop in Archway Road called The Green Room, which he opened in 2005. Although primarily offering books and records, the curiosities currently on offer include a Victorian haemorrhoid removal device. Time Out described it as the "most unusual shop in London".

Having originally trained as an auctioneer in his native Ireland, Mr Lynch has lived in Britain for 21 years and been a member of the Green Party for 19 years.

He spent 12 years running The Bargain Centre in East Finchley, where he was a founder member of the East Finchley Traders Association.

"Small businesses are essential to a thriving local community," he said. "They are the glue of a community. It has even been shown that where there are many small businesses, there is less crime

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Camels bought at auction - for weed control

There was one definite conclusion from the first-ever camel auction held in Charters Towers, North Queensland, on the weekend - they weren’t as dear as chemical weed killers.

With camels having proven their ability to assist in weed control, several graziers took the opportunity on Saturday to invest in something other than chemicals to reduce woody weed numbers.

A total of 73 camels were sold under the hammer at the Dalrymple Stadium, while others sold after the auction.

Top price for a single camel was for a cow, at $650.

Cows averaged $350 and a cow with calf sold for $800.

Top price bull camel went for $500, with bull camels averaging $246.

The top priced bullock also sold for $500, with an average of $420, and the top yearling bull made $200, with an average of $200.

In all, the total sale grossed $26,500 for the 81 camels sold, with an average of $328.

Vendors for the sale were WH Carter and Co, and J and M Wharton.

The sale was conducted by Geaney's, Charters Towers.

Auctioneer Jim Geaney said he was pleased with the result from the auction and that the prices had met the market.

SOURCE: North Queensland Register, April 10

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Auction opportunity: a worm to be named after you!

Here’s a new way to have your named something named a species named after you without you having discovered it. You pay for it. You could get a new species of nudibranch, which is a pleasantly plump hermaphrodite mollusk with bright orange speckles named after you for $15,000. Doesn’t take your fancy? Oh come on! Be adventurous! And how is all of this coming to be? Well, UCSD's Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla is offering the chance to name about a dozen newly discovered species for a tax-deductible donation. Bids start at $5,000.

The money will benefit the Scripps Oceanographic Collections, a massive repository of ocean life and rock samples collected over the past 100 years. Curators have been scrambling to keep the collections afloat since losing state funding six years ago. The collections are used by students and researchers here and around the world.

And these guys aren’t the only ones in this “naming” business. Last year, Monaco's Oceanographic Museum sold the naming rights to a new shark species at a Christie's auction. Two years earlier, the online Golden Gate Casino gambling site paid the Wildlife Conservation Society to name a new species of Bolivian monkey. So what you waiting for? Get your own mollusk named after you. Or even better, your own hydrothermal vent worm for $50,000. I’m sure after you’ve paid up and named the worm after you, you’ll start seeing the resemblance!

Sunday, 30 March 2008

Auction of Guru’s relic.

As expected, the proposed auction of a rare piece of body armour that experts believe belonged to Guru Gobind Singh in Sotheby's Arts of the Islamic World Sale has triggered condemnation from the Sikh community.

The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), the highest temporal body of Sikhs, has urged the countrymen to oppose the auction of the relic of "the Guru who had stood like a rock in the face of attack by foreign invaders".

It has also exhorted the Sikh Diaspora to purchase the relic "since it carries the name of Guru Gobind Singh" and has asked the prime minister to intervene and stop the auction as it would amount to the violation of maryada .

It goes under the hammer on April 9th.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

*Meeting with the Irish Environment Minister.

With our London Mayor candidate, Sian Berry and Irish Green Party leader, John Gormley, Environment minister in the Irish Government.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Nuclear power plant for auction.

Bulgaria will auction its Bobov Dol thermal power plant in three months, after two previous failed attempts to sell the outdated generator to a strategic investor, the privatization agency has announced.

Opening bid for the 420-megawatt, coal-fired plant in western Bulgaria is set at 100 million levs ($79.74 million).


The space suit patches from Buzz Aldrin's Gemini 12 space suit, presented by the astronaut to his parents as a Christmas gift in 1966, are estimated to sell for as much as $75,000 at a public auction today.

Aldrin's patches — given to his parents "with a grateful son's love," according to the inscription — are among the more expensive items available Tuesday at the Heritage Auction Galleries sale of air and space artifacts.

The priciest item looks like a dustpan with a foot-long aluminum handle. It's actually a scoop used by astronauts Alan Shepard and Edgar Mitchell to pick up moon dust on the 1971 Apollo 14 mission. Its estimated worth: as much as $300,000.

Other items being auctioned include an American flag that went to the moon's surface on the Apollo 14 mission, a pair of needle-nose pliers from Apollo 16 and a lunar chart used during Apollo 17.

"When one considers ... just how few actual objects have been off-planet, it's amazing to think that any of us would have the opportunity to actually own one of these incredibly rare pieces," said Tom Slater, director of Americana auctions for Heritage.

Slater said the space memorabilia have "impeccable provenance." More than 100 lots in the auction come directly from astronauts such as Aldrin, Charles Duke and Richard Gordon.

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Oddjob’s hat from Goldfinger makes $134,200 at auction.

The gun that shot Lee Harvey Oswald, and Marilyn Monroe's purse, were among items at an auction last week.

The man behind a 41,000-acre "green, eco-sustainable community" in south Osceola County decided to do a little housecleaning this weekend - by unloading the Wicked Witch's hat from The Wizard of Oz, the whip that Harrison Ford used as Indiana Jones and the gun that Jack Ruby used to shoot Harvey Oswald.

Those pieces, along with more than 800 other relics of 20th-century history, went on the auction block in Las Vegas on Saturday because their owner, eccentric South Florida developer Anthony Pugliese, decided to unload much of his pop-culture collection and focus on his new community.

More than 50 bidders gathered at the Palms Casino to bid on about 450 pieces of movie-related memorabilia, while most of the approximately 200 bidders joined the auction by telephone or on the Internet.

Though the crowd was small, the prices were high. Bidders drove up the price of the Wicked Witch's hat to $197,400. The holy grail that Ford sought in the film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade sold for $42,700, and bidders ran the price on Indiana Jones' bullwhip up to $70,150. Remember Odd Job from the James Bond movie Goldfinger? His famous bowler hat that could slice a statue in half sold for $134,200, said Arlan Ettinger of Guernsey's Auction House, the firm handling the auction.

The Jack Ruby gun failed to sell.

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Titanic watch for sale on EBay auction.

A pocket watch found on the body of the last victim of the Titanic to be recovered has been put up for sale.

The item, which belonged to Dumfries-born steward Thomas Mullin, hopes to attract bidders on the internet auction website eBay.

The 20-year-old, who later moved to Southampton, was one of more than 1,500 victims of the 1912 disaster.

A crew badge belonging to Mr Mullin was sold at auction for £28,000 nearly four years ago.

The watch has a white face but has lost both its hands and is damaged beyond repair.

It comes with a certificate of authenticity and documents detailing Mr Mullin's childhood, family life and employment history.

It is being sold on internet auction site eBay by collector Paul Thorpe, from East Grinstead, West Sussex who bought it from another collector a couple of years ago.

The Titanic struck an iceberg and sank on 15 April 1912, as it traveled from Southampton to New York.

Mr Mullin, of Onslow Road in Southampton, was one of more than 1,500 people who died in the tragedy.

On 20 April 1912 reports in the Dumfries and Galloway Standard newspaper confirmed that Mr Mullin's body had not yet been found.

Two days later, the cable ship Minia was commissioned by White Star Line to search for bodies.

Poor weather conditions hampered the search but the crew of the ship managed to recover 17 bodies, of which Mr Mullin was the last.

He was buried at Fairview Lawn Cemetery, Halifax, Nova Scotia on 10 May 1912.

A memorial stone still stands in Dumfries dedicated to Mr Mullin and band member John Law Hume - the only two natives of the area who died on the Titanic.

Following his death, the watch was recovered and returned to Mr Mullin's family along with his steward's badge and a leather memo pad.

However, fearing that the artefacts brought bad luck, relatives sold them for just £102.

The badge alone later changed hands for a £28,000.