Top five greatest pieces of memorabilia ever

As a culture obsessed society, it’s nice to know we can own a slice of the high life- for a small fee, or rather, fortune.

As a culture obsessed society, it’s nice to know we can own a slice of the high life- for a small fee, or rather, fortune. Last week the books and manuscripts of the late Beatle John Lennon fetched $2.9m (£1.7m) at a New York auction – proof that legendary memorabilia is still highly coveted.

Personal items of Lennon have been a favourite at auctions for decades; his free thinking approach has provided many a scribbled, misunderstood note and sketchy drawing that often fetch thousands.

New items of John Lennon have also recently come to light including hand-written lyrics to the trackBeing For the Benefit of Mr Kite! – the sixth track on the on the band’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album. Possessions of fellow Beatle Paul McCartney are also featured in the sale. A page setting out the structure of hit Hey Jude hand-written by McCartney is set to go under the hammer.

Although I doubt that my signed Chuckle Brothers poster will ever turn many heads at Sotheby’s, here are five of the most obscenely expensive memorabilia items.

Michael Jackson’s Thriller jacket

MJ’S famous red jacket from arguably one of his most iconic videos far surpassed its estimated $400,000 and reached a staggering $1.8m in 2001.

The jacket, a star in its own right, is still channelled today through the likes of artists Chris Brown and Kanye West.

The autographed item from 1983’s Thriller was labelled “the greatest piece of rock and roll memorabilia in history.”


Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

The fully-functioning motor from the 1968 hit film starring Dick Van Dyke and Julie Andrews had competed in charity races around the country for over thirty years before being sold at a Los Angeles auction in 2011.

A lucky buyer bagged themselves a slice of movie history for a modest £500,000.


James Bond’s car

Bond’s instantly recognisable Aston Martin DB5 made its debut in 1964 and has been 007’s trusty motor ever since.

The car driven by Sean Connery in Goldfinger and Thunderball was dubbed the “most famous car in the world.” 

Fetching £2.6m in a London auction in 2010, it can most certainly hold on to that title.


Buddy Holly’s glasses

Decades after the star’s tragic death in 1959, Buddy’s widow Maria Elena Holly sold his trademark thick-rimmed specs.

Having only having originally paid $10-$20 for them, they went for a respectable $80,000 in 1990.

The glasses, which Holly was wearing “the day the music died,” are now on display at the Buddy Holly Center in his birthplace of Lubbock, Texas.


Liz Taylor’s jewellery

Fetching an incredible $116m in 2011, the late actress’ sizeable collection of jewellery consisted of gifts from on-off husband Richard Burton and set seven world records including the highest ever price for the sale of jewellery.

Some of the most notable items included a 16th century pearl that sold for $11.8m, and the actress’ famous diamond ring, given to her by Burton, which amassed $8.8m.

Part of the proceeds went to the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation which she established in 1991.

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Cover image: Jlahorn / Wikimedia Commons