Rarest Items Sold at Auctions: How They Got the Highest Bid

Bidding at an Auction Researchers say that human’s passion for collecting pre-dates the dawn of defined cultures. They say that ‘collecting’ was a matter of hunting for food to survive.

Today, apart from aesthetic purposes, people collect and buy gold coins, artwork or famous old items as a form of investment. Most of the time, it is the rare items that cost millions in an auction, and Atkinsons Bullion believes that collectors with genuine passion get to possess such items.

Rarity is a prime reason for a high bid. Here are some of the most expensive items sold at auctions:

The Intrigue of Art

For over eight minutes of bidding, Pablo Picasso’s Nude, Green Leaves and Bust sold for $106.5 million or £85.2 million. The painting shows Picasso’s mistress Marie-Therese Walter, a philodendron plant and a bust. He depicted his lover in most of his work, and this piece is the most intense in his collection.

Tip: Search for other items or art pieces that tell good stories or controversies.

The Richest Man and the Renaissance Man

In 1994, Bill Gates bought Leonardo da Vinci’s journal, the Hammer Codex or the Leicester Codex for $30.8 million or £24.6 million. The 72-page manuscript contains Da Vinci’s thoughts on water and the relationship between the moon, Earth and the sun.

Tip: Study history’s famous geniuses and hunt for their most valuable items.

The Legend of Complication

In 1932, Patek Philippe created the Supercomplication watch for banker Henry Graves. The pocket watch included instruments gaging sunrise, sunset and moon phases, and a dial showing star charts. An anonymous timepiece collector bought it for $24 million or £19.2 million, making it the most expensive watch.

Tip: Look for simple items that possess unusual or complex features.

Collectors end up selling their items because they want to share their beauty and stories. Before buying an item to collect and put up for auction, learn to appreciate its history to sell it beyond its monetary value.