News-Antique.com - Jan 03,2011 - This is the time to remember 2010. Here are the Most Surprising Prices, Record Prices and Great Stories from 2010.
It was "save our history" week at New York auctions, with record prices set at Sotheby's for three items:
1) The highest price ever paid at auction for a U.S. Presidential document was $3,778,500 for an 1863 copy of the Lincoln Emancipation Proclamation
2) The guidon (the flag carried on a pole that identifies the unit going into battle) carried in Custer's 1876 Battle of the Little Bighorn sold for $2,210,500
3) The third bit of history was the document that listed the 13 rules for the game of basketball invented by James Naismith in 1891. It sold for the highest price of all, $4,338,500. See Dec. 15, 2010, Kovels Komments.
Another piece of history was auctioned in February. George Washington's personal map of the Battle of Yorktown, which descended through the family of an aide to Washington, auctioned for $1.15 million at James Julia Auctions. See Feb. 17, 2010, Kovels Komments.
Some of the jewelry owned by the Duchess of Windsor (Wallis Simpson) was sold at Sotheby's London on November 30. Her flamingo pin made of diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds sold for $2.7 million. See Dec. 1, 2010, Kovels Komments.
Bottles of vintage champagne were salvaged last summer from a shipwreck that happened near Finland and Sweden sometime between 1832 and 1844. Close to 50 sealed bottles are expected to sell for about $68,000 each. See Dec. 1, 2010, Kovels Komments.
A signed Babe Ruth home run baseball hit in 1934 sold earlier this month for $264,500 at an auction at the Louisville Slugger Museum in Kentucky. See Nov. 24, 2010, Kovels Komments.
"The Maltese Falcon," a 1941 classic movie starring Humphrey Bogart, also featured an 11 1/2-inch statue of the bird. A group of collectors paid $305,000 for the resin bird. See Nov. 24, 2010, Kovels Komments.
Another found-in-the-attic story has a happy ending. Two relatives were cleaning up their inherited house near Heathrow Airport in England. They found a number of Chinese items, including a colorful 16-inch vase. They were wise enough to take it to a suburban London auction house, Bainbridge's. Peter Bainbridge estimated the value of the vase at $1.3 million to $2 million. But the final auction price was $85.9 million (including the buyer's premium and value-added tax). It's a new world record price for a piece of porcelain and for a piece of Chinese art. It's also the 11th-most-expensive piece of art ever sold at auction. See Nov. 17, 2010, Kovels Komments.
A Honus Wagner T206 baseball card in poor condition sold for $262,000 at a Heritage Auction Galleries sale. The card belonged to an order of U.S. Catholic nuns, the School Sisters of Notre Dame. However, the winning bidder didn't pay and the auction house contacted another regular customer, who paid the full bid price to be sure the nuns got all the money. See Nov. 10,