Tutankhamen’s head

Credit: Christie’s

When it comes to priceless historical artifacts, it’s hard to imagine finding something more amazing than the Egyptian Brown Quartzite Head of the God Amen, which sold for a whopping $6.4 million at auction in 2019. The head was dated to the reign of Tutankhamen, circa 1333-1323 BC, making it more than 3,300 years old.

Hitler’s phone

As far as physical reminders of Hitler’s reign go, it would be hard to find something more chilling than his red phone. The device was said to have been near Hitler’s desk in his infamous bunker, and it was used during a time in which he ordered the deaths of countless people. The phone sold in 2017 at Alexander Historical Auctions for $243,000 to an anonymous bidder.

Queen Elizabeth II’s wedding cake

The Queen’s wedding to Prince Phillip in 1947 was the first British royal wedding to be televised, and the event is still commemorated today. One of the most iconic components of the day was the cake, which was a four-tiered fruitcake. In 2013, almost 65 years after it was created, it sold for £560 (or about $700).

The World’s smallest Bible

In 2017, Catawiki, an online auction site headquartered in the Netherlands, sold a small book that measures only 19 by 15 millimeters. It is the world’s smallest legible and illustrated copy of the Bible, printed in 1727. The winning bid for this tiny treasure was $2,848.

The oldest meteorite

Credit: Catawiki

The most ancient item ever to be sold at an auction was a stone meteorite found in northern Sweden. Found in 1906, it is called Muonionalusta, which means “the most northern of the North,” and it is a relatively rare type of meteorite. In 2017, it was sold at a Christie’s auction for $18,900.

A letter from a Titanic passenger

One of the most famous disasters in history, the sinking of the Titanic, is immortalized in this letter from a passenger named Alexander Oskar Holverson. Before his ship sank, he wrote a short note to his mother to reassure her that all was well and they would arrive on Wednesday. But then luck turned for the worst when the ship crashed the next day. The letter sold at auction for $141,000!

Queen Victoria’s underwear

The drawers belonged to Queen Victoria, who ruled the United Kingdom from 1837 to 1901. The royal drawers were auctioned in 2015 by John Nicholson & Sons, Ltd., a London-based auction house that specializes in the sale of fine antiques. They were purchased by an anonymous bidder for $16,300. Excuse us while we pick our jaws up off the floor…

Violin from the Titanic

Credit: NBC News

It’s hard to imagine the panic and fear that must have been felt on the deck of the Titanic when it started to sink into the icy Atlantic waters, but one eight-piece band played on as the ship went down, trying to bring some peace and calm to the doomed passengers. One hundred years later, the violin belonging to band member Wallace Hartley sold at an auction for $1.7 million.

Albert Einstein’s notes

Credit: NBC News

Albert Einstein, one of the most revered scientific minds in history, was also known for frequently dispensing wisdom to both friends and strangers. A 1922 trip to Japan saw a bellboy receive two pieces of paper from Einstein after he couldn’t find change for a tip. The two pages were auctioned off in 2017 and brought in an astronomical $1.56 million and $250,000 respectively.

Lee Harvey Oswald’s wedding ring

Lee Harvey Oswald was one of the most famous murderers in American History. He changed the course of history when he shot and killed President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, while the president was passing through Dallas, Texas in a motorcade. In 2013, Oswald’s wedding ring was sold at auction for $118,000 to an anonymous Texas buyer.

A taxidermy ostrich

Credit: Christie’s

The Christie’s auction house has a tradition of having themed sales, including their yearly “Out of the Ordinary” sale. One item that caught interest was a stuffed ostrich dating back to 1785. It sold for $33,150, which seems like it would be one interesting conversation piece in your home.

A cracker from the Titanic

Credit: ABC News

Many people know the tale of the Titanic and how it sank in freezing waters. But did you know that a cracker from the ship survived? James Fenwick was on a rescue boat and he took a biscuit from a survival kit on one of the lifeboats! He slipped it into an envelope and kept it as a souvenir. The cracker was eventually bought at an auction for $23,000.

Elephant bird egg

Credit: Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters

The elephant bird, or Aepyornis maximus, was a flightless species native to Madagascar. The largest of the elephant birds was as tall as 13 feet and weighed close to 1000 pounds. A fossilized egg from the species was sold in 2013 for over $100,000, demonstrating that even something that’s been lying dormant for hundreds of years can fetch an exorbitant price if it’s rare enough.

The world’s oldest champagne

Credit: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images

It’s no secret that some of the truly exceptional bottles of wine out there can sell for thousands of dollars. But even the most expensive bottles pale in comparison to a bottle of champagne that sold in 2011 for a record-breaking $43,630. The item in question was a bottle of Veuve Clicquot that had been sitting at the bottom of the ocean for nearly 200 years.

Napoléon’s sword

Credit: Laurent Cipriani/AP

How about a sword that once belonged to Napoléon Bonaparte and was used at the Battle of Marengo in 1800? That’s right, you can own this weapon if you’re willing to spend $3.26 million for it. This sword holds the Guinness World Record for the most expensive weapon ever sold at auction.

Vampire slaying kit

Credit: CNN

The vampire-slaying kit is one of the most unique objects ever sold at Hansons Auctioneers in Derby. The kit, which originally belonged to Lord Hailey who was the administrator of British India, was sold for $20,000. It came with a Gothic Bible, a wooden stake and mallet decorated with metal accents, a pair of brass candlesticks, another crucifix, a mirror and a rosary.

Marilyn Monroe’s X-Ray

When you think of Marilyn Monroe, you probably think of her beauty first. But what if we were to tell you that Marilyn Monroe’s x-ray was sold for $45,000 in an auction? Well, the X-ray was taken when Marilyn was 28 and is believed to have miscarried. The X-ray was sold at Julien’s Auctions in Las Vegas on November 19, 2010.

John Lennon’s toilet

The porcelain toilet is reported to be the most unusual item of all things that were auctioned in 2010. It was sold for $14,740. The toilet was said to have been used by John Lennon after he moved into his England home from 1969 to 1971.

The first typewriter

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Typewriters are a large part of the history of writing, communication, and technology. The original typewriters were called “writing-balls” and were invented to help the deaf. They came with a special keyboard that curved around in front of the user to soften the sound of each strike. The 1867 Malling-Hansen sold for $123,125 at auction!

Mozart’s hair

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

For historical figures like Mozart, who has been deceased for over 200 years, it’s not surprising that people would want to keep a piece of him with them. After all, he was known for being a musical prodigy and considered one of the greatest composers in history. So, when a lock of his hair went up for auction at Sotheby’s in 2015, it sold for over $50,000.

Antique ship bell

In this episode of Pawn Stars, two experts were brought in to examine an old bell. The owner claimed that it was from a ship owned by the Dutch East India Company back in 1602. The experts agreed with him after examining the bell. They even dated the shipwreck it came from to 1604. The value of this bell was estimated at $15,000.

Original Hollywood sign

Ever since the symbolic Hollywood sign was first erected in 1923, it’s been an icon of fame and fortune. The original sign was originally crafted by a group of real estate developers in 1923, who dreamed of turning the Hollywood Hills into a bustling tourist destination. The original sign is gone now – in fact, it was auctioned off in 2005 for $450,400 after being replaced in 1978.

1-cent stamp from British Guiana

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The 1-cent magenta is named after British Guiana, the former name for the country of Guyana in South America. It was printed on a newspaper press brought over from England in 1856 to print stamps for the colony. The stamp came into the possession of a 12-year-old Scottish boy in 1873 and sold in 1980 for $935,000.

World’s oldest postcard

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

If you’re one of those people who can’t fathom why people continue to send postcards when we have email, text, and social media, then it might surprise you to learn that the first postcard was sent in 1840. The sender? Theodore Hook, an English playwright and novelist. The postcard was discovered in 2001 and sold at auction in 2002 for $41,758.

117-year-old chocolate bar

The Antarctic might be the last place you’d think of for a chocolate bar, but in 1901, the British were exploring the continent for the first time and looking to set up a permanent base. Capt. Robert Scott brought with him 3,306 pounds of cocoa and chocolate, and a 4-inch chocolate bar sold for $700 at an auction in 2001.

A giant cat painting

It’s not often that someone buys a painting so heavy that it requires special reinforcement for the wall where it’s hung. This particular painting weighs 227 pounds and is 6 feet by 8 1/2 feet, so it would require some serious support to keep from crushing someone. It was commissioned in 1893 by wealthy aristocrat and cat-lover Kate Birdsall Johnson and sold for $826,000.

Clyde Barrow’s gun

From the 1920s to the early 1930s, two young lovers – Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow – left an indelible mark on American culture. They were a notorious couple that robbed banks and killed at least thirteen people before police caught up with them in 1934. In 2012, one of Barrow’s pistols was auctioned off for $240,000.

The Winnie the Pooh map

One of the most memorable parts of A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh series is the Hundred Acre Wood, where Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, Eeyore and their friends all live together in harmony. E.H. Shepard’s original sketch of Hundred Acre Wood hit the auction block in 2018, where it sold for a record $570,000 – a lot of money to spend on a drawing!

An old condom

While most of us would have no idea what to do with a sheep intestine condom, some people are willing to shell out hundreds of dollars for just one. In 2016, an auction house in Sweden estimated that a condom from the early 1800s would sell for $200-$300. The bidding war resulted in the condom being sold twice its estimated value: $556.