One question often asked by hardcore antique fans and collectors alike is, “What are the most expensive items ever sold at auctions?” . No comic books, action figures or other licensed collectibles even come close to what these top 7 items got sold for. From Gigayachts to Marilyn Monroe Happy Birthday Mr. President Dress, here is a of the most expensive items sold at auctions.


Marilyn Monroe’s “Happy Birthday Mr. President” Dress

The Dress was sold in 1999 for $4,600,000.

When Marilyn Monroe delivered an engaging “Happy Birthday” serenade to President John F. Kennedy on May 19, 1962, the blonde bombshell wore a flesh-colored, curve-hugging, jewel-encrusted dress so tight and sheer that, according to reliable source, Monroe was sewn into the gown and wore nothing under it. Yikes!

It is rumored that the two had an affair and everyone could see from the way she presented the song, she was definitely in love.

L’Homme Qui March I by Albert Giacometti

This Giacometti sculpture sold at Sotehby’s in London on February 3, 2010 for $103,700,000.

The sculpture was billed as the star of the auction and everyone expected it to sell well and it did. A sweepstake among dealers predicted it would go for around £40million. It went for more.

The etiolated, life-size figure of a man walking was placed to the left of the auctioneer’s rostrum and the opening bid was £12m. There were gasps as the price passed £35m, laughter at £50m.

Nude Green Leaves and Bust by Pablo Picasso

This painting was sold at Christie’s in New York on May 4, 2010 for $106,482,500.

”Nude, Green Leaves and Bust” is a part of the sequence of paintings of Picasso’s muse, Marie-Therese Walter, made by the artist at Boisgeloup, Normandy, in early 1932. They are widely regarded as among his greatest achievements during the inter-war period.”

The painting, which has been lent to the gallery by a private collector, will be on display in a new Pablo Picasso room in the Poetry and Dream wing on Level 3 of the building.


1721 “Lady Blunt” Stradivarius Violin

This historic violin was sold at Tarisio Auction House for $15,894,000.

Confronted by the tragic events of the 11 March 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and resulting nuclear crisis, The Nippon Music Foundation made an extraordinary offer to assist in the recovery efforts of their native Japan.

In a gesture of profound generosity they decided to sell what is considered the finest violin of their collection, the ‘Lady Blunt’ Stradivarius of 1721, and pledged the entire proceeds of the sale to The Nippon Foundation’s Northeastern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund. Very Generous Indeed!

Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex Hammer

This manuscript got sold for $30,802,500 in 1994.

Leonardo da Vinci, the true Renaissance man he was, meticulously recorded his thoughts, musings and sketches in journals throughout his life. Of the 30 that still remain, his most famous is the Codex Hammer, named for the British nobleman who acquired the 72-page journal in 1717. Three years after Bill Gates bought the historic diary, he released a digitally scanned version for all the world to enjoy. Now it has been sold again this time for one hefty price.

He was not always as successful as we think of him today. Throughout his life Leonardo da Vinci was plagued by a sense of failure, in-completion and time wasted. His favorite phrase, which he unconsciously repeated to himself whenever he scribbled something to see if a newly cut pen was working, was “Tell me, tell me if anything got finished.”


One of the most expensive items to ever be auctioned on eBay was the gigayacht. The gigayacht sold for a record breaking $168 million. The 405-ft boat was designed by naval architect Frank Mulder and sold by a Florida company called 4Yacht. It came complete with a helicopter garage and 14 multilevel VIP Suites.

Qianlong Vase

This vase sold for $53 million.

This is the most expensive Chinese vase that was sold at Bainbridges Auction House in just 30 minutes of bidding. It was actually an 18th century origin that believed to be in present during the Qing Dynasty period under the reign of the 4th emperor. It is 16 inches tall and you could find engravings of fishes that serve as its adornments.