Wealthy celebrities aren’t the only ones who use their loaded bank accounts to splurge. There are plenty of wealthy private citizens who don’t let money separate them from something they want. From chairs to historic paintings, people are willing to pay big bucks to satisfy their heart’s desire.
Take a look at the most expensive items sold in history.
1. Nu Couché (Sur le Côté Gauche)
Cost: $157.2 million
A 1917 painting of a nude woman by Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani became the most expensive painting ever sold at Sotheby’s Auction House in May 2018. The painting, which sold for $157.2 million, is considered Modigliani’s greatest work from an iconic series that transformed the nude style of art for the modern era.
High-end art is a luxury item that doesn’t lose its value.
2. 1963 Ferrari GTO
Cost: $70 million
WeatherTech founder David MacNeil bought a Tour de France-winning 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO for a reported $70 million in 2018. The silver-colored Ferrari is one of only 39 models ever built, according to CNN. Those who have owned or own the elite car model include designer Ralph Lauren and Walmart heir Rob Walton.
3. Marilyn Monroe's Dress
Cost: $4.8 million
The iconic dress Marilyn Monroe wore when she serenaded President John F. Kennedy for his birthday sold at Julien’s Auctions for $4.8 million in 2016. The dress, which was purchased by Ripley’s Believe It or Not! is the most expensive dress ever sold, according to Guinness World Records.
4. Pink Star Diamond
Cost: $71.2 million
Bought by Hong Kong-based jewelry retailer Chow Tai Fook, the 59.6-carat pink diamond became the most expensive gem ever sold when it was purchased for $71.2 million in 2017. At the time, it was the largest internally flawless fancy vivid pink diamond that the Gemological Institute of America had ever graded. It was mined in Africa in 1999 and polished over two years.
High-end diamonds regularly sell for millions.
5. 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon
In 2017, a bottle of 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon became the most expensive wine ever purchased when it was sold for $350,000 at a charity auction to a private Southern wine collector, according to the Los Angeles Times. The 750-milliliter wine bottle was created by celebrity winemaker Jesse Katz and originally made for Hollywood agent Shep Gordon, who ultimately donated the bottle to the Emeril Lagasse Foundation’s annual charity event.
6. Guarneri del Gesù Violin
Cost: $3.9 million
The 250-year-old violin, which belonged to the grandson of the famous Italian stringed-instrument maker Antonio Stradivari, sold to a Russian lawyer in 2007 at Sotheby’s for $3.9 million. It became the most expensive musical instrument ever sold, according to Time.
7. Patek Philippe Gold Watch
Cost: $24.4 million
Forget a Rolex — this 1933 gold watch from Swiss maker Patek Philippe is the most expensive watch ever sold at auction. It sold in 2014 for $24.4 million. Originally created for a prominent banker in the early 20th century, the watch, fashioned out of 24-karat gold, took eight years to make and was the “most advanced timepiece ever made without the assistance of computers,” CNN reported.
There are very few watches that hold their value, but a Patek Philippe is one of them.
8. East Hampton Estate
Cost: $147 million
Barry Rosenstein, founder of Jana Partners, bought an 18-acre beachfront property in the East Hamptons at a record-setting $147 million in 2014 to make it the most expensive home ever sold. The home — which had plush gardens, a pond and Jerry Seinfeld as a neighbor — formerly belonged to Christopher H. Browne, the managing director of an investment firm.
The home is near the town of Sagaponack, the zip code with the highest cost of living in the entire country.
9. Babe Ruth Jersey
Cost: $4.4 million
Hall of Famer and American sports icon Babe Ruth proved to be the most beloved baseball figure when his 1920s New York Yankee jersey sold for $4.4 million, making it the most expensive piece of sports memorabilia ever sold at auction, according to ESPN. The famous jersey was purchased by the sports memorabilia site Lelands at the SCP Auctions in California in 2012.
10. The Macallan in Lalique — The Legacy Collection
Sotheby’s set a world record for the most expensive single lot of whisky sold at auction with the sale of The Macallan in Lalique — The Legacy Collection in 2017 for $989,423. According to Sotheby’s, the lot contained single malts aged from 50 to 65 years housed in a unique cabinet by French glassmaker Lalique.
11. The Rothschild Prayerbook
Cost: $13.6 million
Sold in 2014 to an unidentified buyer for $13.6 million, the Rothschild Prayerbook is the most expensive manuscript ever sold at Christie’s auction. The piece from the Renaissance is a Flemish book bound in red velvet. The manuscript has a long history of owners, at one point belonging to a 16th-century family by the name of Wittelsbach before landing in the possession of the Austrian Rothschild family.
12. James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5
Cost: $4.6 million
The car that helped iconic movie character James Bond get around in the films “Goldfinger” and “Thunderball” is one of the most expensive movie props sold. The Aston Martin DB5 was purchased by collector Harry Yeaggy for $4.6 million in 2010 by the auction house RM Auctions Automobiles of London, according to the Guardian.
The right movie collectibles can make you millions.
13. Apollo and Artemis Diamonds
Cost: $57.4 million
Although the Apollo Blue and Artemis Pink diamond earrings are technically a pair, they were sold at Sotheby’s auction separately for $42,087,302 and $15,338,176, respectively. The Apollo Blue diamond weighs nearly 15 carats and its sister diamond earring weighs 16 carats. At the time, the two were considered the most chemically pure diamonds.
14. Ringo Starr’s Copy of 'The White Album'
Although “The White Album” might have received mixed reviews from Beatles fans, that didn’t stop one unidentified buyer from purchasing drummer Ringo Starr’s personal copy. For $790,000, the album became the most expensive record ever sold at auction when it sold at Julien’s Auctions in 2015.
15. Bob Dylan's Lyrics Sheet
Cost: $2 million
Fans of the iconic songwriter Bob Dylan showed up in a big way in 2014 when an unidentified fan paid $2.04 million for the handwritten lyrics to the seminal hit “Like a Rolling Stone” at Sotheby’s auction. The four sheets of lyrics were described by Sotheby’s as “the only known surviving draft of the final lyrics for this transformative rock anthem,” according to Rolling Stone.
Bob Dylan Diversifies: He Launches Heaven’s Door Spirits
16. A Rare 1933 U.S. Double Eagle Coin
Cost: $7.6 million
Although it was worth $20 in 1933, the coin gained value over the years. According to CNN, it was one of the last gold coins to be minted in the U.S. and had been shipped to Egypt and almost destroyed twice before being auctioned by Sotheby’s and sold for $7.6 million in 2002.
17. Corcoran’s Clark Sickle-Leaf Carpet
Cost: $33.8 million
The 17th-century Persian piece was once owned by William Clark, “the industrialist and U.S. senator who donated more than 200 works of fine art and rugs to Corcoran upon his death in 1925,” according to the Washington Post. Bought by an anonymous bidder, Corcoran’s Clark Sickle-Leaf Carpet broke the record for the most expensive rug sold at auction when it was purchased for $33.8 million in 2013.
18. Eileen Gray’s 'Dragons' Armchair
Cost: $28.3 million
Once owned by the famous high-end French designer Yves Saint Laurent, the brown leather chair fetched $28.3 million at Christie’s auction. Known as the “dragons” armchair because of the swooping armrests, the chair became the most expensive furniture piece from the 20th century to be sold at auction.
Click through to see 10 collectible investments that are more valuable than gold.
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The image for the East Hampton estate is representational.