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Biggest Stegosaurus Fossil Ever Found Sells for $44.6M

Buyer says it 'was born in America and is going to stay in America'

(Newser) - A stegosaurus fossil found in Colorado two years ago has become the most valuable fossil ever sold, fetching $44.6 million at an auction in New York City. Sotheby's says the stegosaurus, nicknamed Apex, sold for more than 11 times pre-sale estimates, the BBC reports. Apex, found by fossil...

Pistols Napoleon Planned to Use to End His Life Are Sold

They were auctioned for $1.8M

(Newser) - As the story goes, French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte intended to shoot himself on April 12, 1814, after he was forced to abdicate. But the BBC reports his grand squire, Armand de Caulaincourt, emptied Napoleon's two pistols of their gunpowder; he instead consumed poison but vomited and survived. Those pistols...

First Edition of Frankenstein Fetches a 'Hair-Raising Sum'

Heritage Auctions sets new high price for 3 beloved book titles

(Newser) - The only privately-owned first edition of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein became the pièce de resistance of a rare book auction over the weekend, selling for a "hair-raising sum" of $843,750, nearly triple the estimate, per UPI . Just three first editions of the horror novel are known to...

It's the Most Expensive Piece of Harry Potter Paraphernalia

Illustration for cover of first book sells for $1.9M

(Newser) - An original watercolor illustration for the cover of the first Harry Potter book has sold for $1.9 million at auction, making it the most expensive piece of Potter artwork ever, reports the BBC . The illustration for Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone shows Harry waiting for his train...

Einstein Came to Regret Letter That Could Now Fetch $4M

Christie's plans to auction 1939 note urging FDR to invest in atomic energy research

(Newser) - A signed copy of the letter Albert Einstein sent to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, urging him to fund the atomic energy research that would lead to the atomic bomb, will soon hit the auction block and set a new record if it sells, the Wall Street Journal reports. In September,...

Scientists Bristle at Auction of a Rare Stegosaurus

Critic argues 'the uber-wealthy will always be able to outbid museums'

(Newser) - The rich will battle next month to claim the first stegosaurus skeleton ever to be auctioned, per the BBC . Paleontologists, meanwhile, will be cringing. As paleontologist and evolutionary biologist Steve Brusatte tells the outlet, stegosaurus fossils are quite rare and this one is 70% complete. That's "incredible for...

This Feather Is Worth 40 Times Its Weight in Gold

Feather from extinct huia sells for $28K, becoming most expensive feather ever sold

(Newser) - Someone just paid nearly $30,000 for ... a feather. Granted, it's a rare and pretty feather, but still one worth more than 40 times its weight in gold. The most expensive feather ever sold, it comes from the long-extinct huia, "the largest of New Zealand's wattlebird species,...

Tennessee Judge Blocks Foreclosure Sale of Graceland

Temporary injunction means no one is buying the King's old digs on Thursday

(Newser) - A Tennessee judge on Wednesday blocked the auction of Graceland, the iconic former home of Elvis Presley, by a company that claimed his estate failed to repay a loan that used the property as collateral. As the AP reports, Shelby County Chancellor JoeDae Jenkins issued a temporary injunction against the...

A Napkin That Spawned Messi's Epic Career Proves Pricey

Napkin bearing Barcelona's 2000 commitment to sign the future soccer legend sells for $965K

(Newser) - The famous napkin that linked a young Lionel Messi to Barcelona sold for $965,000 on Friday, British auction house Bonhams said, per the AP . An agreement in principle to sign the-then 13-year-old Messi was written on the napkin almost 24 years ago at a Barcelona tennis club. A more...

'Best Open Secret Ever' Could Sell for $72M

Butter magnate LE Bruun had asked that coin collection be safeguarded for 100 years before sale

(Newser) - The vast coin collection of a Danish butter magnate is set to finally go on sale a century after his death and could fetch up to $72 million. Lars Emil Bruun, also known as LE Bruun, stipulated in his will that his 20,000-piece collection be safeguarded for 100 years...

Watch of Titanic's Richest Passenger Brings $1.5M
Titanic Watch
Sells for Record

Titanic Watch Sells for Record

Gold timepiece belonged to John Jacob Astor, who died in the sinking

(Newser) - A 14-carat gold pocket watch owned by the Titanic's wealthiest passenger has sold for a record-breaking amount. Expected to bring about one-tenth of the winning bid, the watch went for $1.485 million at auction Saturday, CNN reports. That's a "world record for Titanic memorabilia," said...

This USS Enterprise Was Missing for Decades. Now, It's Home

First model of famous aircraft shown in 'Star Trek' credits is back with the Rodenberry family

(Newser) - The first model of the USS Enterprise—used in the opening credits of the original Star Trek television series—has boldly gone back home, returning to creator Gene Roddenberry's son decades after it went missing. The model's disappearance sometime in the 1970s had become the subject of lore,...

Man Pays Big to Be Laid to Rest Near Marilyn Monroe

Crypt near star's sells for $195K at auction, while used lipstick nabs $7K

(Newser) - Beverly Hills tech investor Anthony Jabin "always dreamt of being next to Marilyn Monroe for the rest of my life." He didn't quite make that dream a reality, but he got close. With a bid of $195,000, Jabin nabbed a mausoleum crypt one row above and...

Infamous Titanic Prop Sells for $720K

Viewers have long wondered why DiCaprio's Jack couldn't fit on wooden slab with Winslet's Rose

(Newser) - Conspiracy theorists have long argued that Kate Winslet's Rose had plenty of room for Leonardo DiCaprio's Jack on the floating door she clung to in the icy waters of the movie Titanic, after they'd abandoned ship. Now, one lucky person will get to examine those dimensions for...

Inspiration for Clapton's 'Layla' Sells the Goods —for Millions

Pattie Boyd's auction at Christie's brings in $3.6M, way above expectations

(Newser) - The online auction of a trove of letters, photos, and other items that Pattie Boyd—ex of Eric Clapton and George Harrison—concluded Friday and surpassed all expectations, per the AP . Christie's said the auction brought in about $3.6 million, roughly seven times more than expected. The most...

Colin Firth's Sexy Shirt Sells for Twice the Estimate

Actor's outfit from 1995's 'Pride and Prejudice' nabs $25K at auction

(Newser) - The cultural impact of Colin Firth's dip in a lake cannot be in doubt now that the outfit the actor swore in that pivotal scene from 1995's Pride and Prejudice has sold at auction for $25,000—or twice the estimate. The 1810s-style outfit from costume designer Dinah...

Artifact From Famed Final Sopranos Scene Sells for $82K

It was time for Holsten's in Bloomfield, NJ, to renovate, so famed diner booth went up for auction

(Newser) - The final scene of The Sopranos capped off one of the most polarizing series finales ever , and now, the diner booth where the title family enjoyed their last meal (perhaps ever) has found a new home. The piece of TV history from Holsten's, a diner/ice cream parlor in Bloomfield,...

State's Bong Auction, Meant to Bring In Millions, Netted $2K

California's auction went bust after trying to sell confiscated fixtures

(Newser) - When the state of California raided 10 cannabis businesses that collectively owed $14 million in back taxes, officials had high hopes for the goodies they seized, with plans to put them all up for auction to raise millions. The grand haul after a Feb. 16 sale of various glass bongs...

50-Cent Harry Potter Proof Just Sold for $14K

Owner had bought first printing from a secondhand bookstore in 1997

(Newser) - The woman hardly knew what she'd bought in paying 40 pence, or about 50 cents, for three books back in 1997. Then 26, the woman "didn't have much money" but liked to browse secondhand bookshops for deals, she tells Hansons Auctioneers . She'd been looking for novels...

Star Wars Script Harrison Ford Left in Apartment Sells for $13.5K

Ford left it in a London flat he was renting in 1976

(Newser) - While in London in 1976 filming the first Star Wars movie ever made, Harrison Ford rented a flat near the studio—and when he moved out, he left behind an incomplete copy of the script that has now sold at auction for more than $13,500. Its pre-sale auction low...

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