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Pete’s Posts

$25 million Vase Found in a Shoebox

A French family found a porcelain vase, intricately decorated with animals, trees and embellishments, in an old shoebox in their attic. It sold at auction for €16.2 million euros ($au25.1 million).  Continue Reading »

Sell It Again, Sam

An Italian poster for the movie Casablanca has sold for $us478,000 ($au606,000) – the equal second highest price paid at auction for a move poster.  Continue Reading »

Baseball Card Sells for More than $3 million

In October, 2016, Goldin Auctions smashed the record auction price for a baseball card by selling a Honus Wagner baseball card for $US 3,120,000.  Continue Reading »

Keep Calm and Don’t Worry about the Price

The “Keep Calm and Carry On” poster was designed by the UK Ministry of Information in 1939 to represent a message from King George VI to try to prevent widespread panic in the face of a possible German invasion. It has now gone on sale at Manning Fine Arts in London.  Continue Reading »

Provenance Adds $40 million to the Value of a Bed

Dismantled pieces of a carved four-poster bed, which had been left in a Chester hotel car park, were sold online in 2010 for £2,200 ($au4,500) as a 19th century revival. It is now valued as a national treasure at £20 million ($au41,500).  Continue Reading »

Monster Poster Price

A poster for the 1931 “Frankenstein” movie, starring Boris Karloff, has been sold by Heritage Auctions in Dallas for $262,900 ($au338,000) – a new record for an insert movie poster  Continue Reading »

High Prices for Corkscrews

Until now, only one example of a Charles Osborne corkscrew was known. In November, another version appeared on French eBay. It sold for €22,410 ($au 31,000). The next day, a second Osborne corkscrew appeared.  Continue Reading »

Record Price for Pocket Watch

A gold pocket watch made by Patek Philippe for Henry Graves, a New York banker, in 1933 has sold for a record $27 million at auction in Geneva. The previous record, set 15 years ago, was $12 million.  Continue Reading »

Record Price for Ch’ing Vase Despite Repairs

A Ch’ing Dynasty vase has been sold at auction in New England for $us24,723,000 – the highest price ever paid in the United States fr a Ch’ing vase.  Continue Reading »

Bradman Bat Sold Well Below Estimate

The bat used by Don Bradman at the start of his his Test career in 1928 has been sold at auction in Melbourne for $60,0000 more than $20,000 below the expected price.  Continue Reading »

Scrap Dealer Finds $33 million Egg

A scrap metal dealer has sold a gold Faberge egg, which he bought for $13,000, for $33.3 million. Only 50 of the imperial eggs were made. Eight were missing before the latest find but only three of those are thought to have survived the Russian Revolution.  Continue Reading »

Record Price for Chinese Porcelain

A rare Ming-era wine cup has broken the world auction record for any Chinese porcelain. The “Chicken Cup” sold for $38.5 million to the Shanghai billionaire investor, Liu Yiqian at an auction in Hong Kong.  Continue Reading »

When Is “Since Sliced Bread”?

The first automatic bread slicer was built in 1912 by Otto Frederick Rohwedder of Davenport, Iowa. However, Rohwedder was unable to attract any interest in his invention and his blueprints and prototype were destroyed in a fire in 1917.  Continue Reading »

Why the Telephone Dial Was Invented by a Frustrated Undertaker

Early telephones had no dial. You picked up the earpiece and turned a handle, This alerted an operator at the telephone exchange who plugged a cable into a jack. You could then tell the operator the number that you wanted to connect to and the operator plugged another cable into that customer’s jack.   Continue Reading »

Record Price for Olympic Memoribilia

An Olympic gold medal presented to Jesse Owens at the 1936 Olympics has been sold for $US 1,466,574 (including buyer’s premium) – the highest price paid at auction for any Olympic memoribilia.  Continue Reading »

World’s Most Expensive Printed Book

A copy of the “Bay Psalm Book”, the first book printed in the United States, has been sold for $US 14.165 million (including buyer’s premium) by Sotheby’s at auction in New York – making it the world’s most expensive printed book.  Continue Reading »

Rare Diamonds Achieve Record Prices

A huge flawless pink diamond, known as the “Pink Star” has been sold by Sotheby’s at auction in Geneva for a world record $US 83 million (including buyer’s premium).  Continue Reading »

Coming Soon: Tesla Submarine Cars?

Elon Musk, founder of the Tesla electric car company, has bought James Bond’s iconic submarine car from The Spy Who Loved Me for £616,000 ($au 1,135,,000) with the intention of making its movie transformation from car to submarine a reality.  Continue Reading »

Record Price for Patek Phillippe Watch

A Patek Philippe Reference 2499 watch has sold at auction for the record  Continue Reading »

$75,000 Cup Bought for $4

Sotheby’s Australia has sold a 17th century Chinese libation cup, carved from rhinoceros horn, for $75,640 at an auction in Melbourne. The cup was discovered in a Sydney op shop and bought for $4.  Continue Reading »

Japanese Chest Fetches $10 million

A Japanese chest which once belonged to Cardinal Mazarin, France’s Chief Minister from 1642 to 1661, has sold for €7.3 million ($au10.3 million) to Amsterdam’s famous Rijksmuseum.  Continue Reading »

High Prices for Collectable Cameras

A 1931 Leica camera, which belonged to German winemaker Karl Henkell, has sold for €528,000 euros ($705,000) at an auction in Vienna.
Other Leica models also fetched high prices. A prototype Leica M3 €432,000 ($575,000) and a prototype Leica Reporter fetched €240,000 ($320,000).  Continue Reading »

$100,000+ Comic Found in Wall

When David Gonzalez was remodelling his home in Elbow Lake, Minnesota, he noticed something unusual among the old newspapers that had been used as wall insulation.  Continue Reading »

Beatles Guitar Fetches $400K

A custom-made electric guitar played by Beatles John Lennon and George Harrison has sold at a New York auction for $US408,000.  Continue Reading »

Collecting Cakes (Which Is the Fruitcake?)

Last November, a boxed remnant of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer’s 1981 wedding cake brought $1,375 at Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills. Quite a bargain compared with the $50,000 paid at Everything Royal in Los Angeles for a piece of Queen Victoria’s wedding cake from 1840 – the fruitcake had totally disintegrated into powder.  Continue Reading »

Why QWERTY? (It’s not what you’ve been told)

Two reasons are usually given for the QWERTY layout of typewriter and computer keyboards. They are both wrong.  Continue Reading »

Why Are They Called “Grandfather Clocks”?

Did you know that “grandfather clocks” are named after the song “My Grandfather’s Clock”?  Continue Reading »

Baseball Card Sold for over $2 million

On April 5, 2013, Goldin Auctions in New Jersey set 30 record prices for baseball memorabilia including a Honus Wagner baseball card which sold for $US 2,105,770.50, the highest price ever paid for a baseball card at auction.   Continue Reading »