The most unusual items auctioned in recent months

Sotheby’s, one of the more traditional auction houses, recorded its highest sales in 2021. Photo: Getty Creative.

  • Tender firm Sotheby’s to generate $7.3 billion in 2021;

  • Even the pandemic hasn’t stopped avid millionaires from chasing exclusive and rare items for their private collections.

  • Some items that have been auctioned off in recent months have drawn attention, either because of their rarity or because they are at least unusual.

In recent months, whether in 2021 or 2022, the auction world has been moving the millionaire numbers. Sotheby’s, one of the most traditional bidding houses, recorded its highest sales in 277 years in 2021 alone: ​​$7.3 billion (R$34.4 billion at current prices), an increase of 71% compared to 2020, 26% higher than in 2019.

The numbers show that even the pandemic hasn’t stopped avid millionaires from chasing exclusive and rare items for their private collections. Homes that go to auction work in a hybrid way, in person and online, to keep the sales pace.

Some items that have been auctioned off in recent months have drawn attention, either because of their rarity or because they are at least unusual. From NFTs to giant whisky bottles, here are some wacky items:

  1. Beeple’s NFT

  2. Into Space with Jeff Bezos

  3. revolver used to kill billy the kid

  4. The final text of the U.S. Constitution

  5. Double Eagle Coin

  6. The largest whisky bottle in the world

Beeple’s NFT

Artist Mike Winkelmann, a pioneer in digital art, also known as Beeple, auctioned one of his NFT-formatted works at Christie’s for $69 million, one of the largest records for a non-fungible token.

The archive for the auction is a collage of artworks created by Beeple over 5,000 consecutive days since 2007. Christie’s reports that the sale puts the artist among the three most popular artists of all time.

Into Space with Jeff Bezos

Bezoz's itinerary was bought by an unidentified person for $28 million (132 million reais). REUTERS/Joe Skipper TPX Photo of the Day

Bezoz’s itinerary was bought by an unidentified person for $28 million (132 million reais). REUTERS/Joe Skipper TPX Photo of the Day

Can you imagine going into space with billionaire Jeff Bezos? Some see this as a unique opportunity. A seat next to the Amazon boss has been auctioned off for the inaugural flight of Bezos’ space tourism company Blue Origin. The event was held virtually, with 7,600 participants and an initial bid of US$20 million (R$94.3 million). The trip was sold by an unidentified person for $28 million (132 million reais).

revolver used to kill billy the kid

The famous American Wild West criminal Billy the Kid was murdered by Sheriff Pat Garrett in New Mexico City in 1881 became one of the most mythical true stories in Hollywood movies. The used revolver was auctioned last year for $6.03 million (R$28.4 million).

Originally valued at between $2 million and $3 million, the revolver was a Col 44 caliber and was the most expensive firearm ever made.

The final text of the U.S. Constitution

Last year, Sotheby’s auctioned off the first printing of the final text of the U.S. Constitution for $43 million (202.8 million reais). The sale of a copy believed to be the official edition broke an auction document record.

The piece was one of 13 originals from 1787, purchased by an unknown buyer.

Double Eagle Coin

A 1933 Double Eagle American Gold Coin sold for $18.87 million at Sotheby’s in New York, with a record-breaking estimate of over $5 million.

The auctioned replica never entered circulation, but some collectors obtained the coin, which was later confiscated by the U.S. Secret Service.

The largest whisky bottle in the world

The world’s largest bottle of whisky, Intrepid, was auctioned for $1.4 million by Lyon and Turnbull in the last week of May.

At 1.80 m high, the bottle broke the Guinness World Record in September 2021. The container holds 311 liters of distillate, the equivalent of 444 standard bottles or approximately 82 US gallons.

This is a 1989 Macallan single malt whisky that was aged for 32 years in oak barrels at The Macallan Scotch Distillery until bottling last year.

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