Collecting can range from a mild interest to an obsessive behavior.  There are collectibles for every interest level and every budget; what is valuable to some, may be unsalable to others.  Pieces can spike in price based on consumer and pop culture trends, as well as bidding wars within the auction house. No matter how much you are willing to spend, some, items are always going, going, gone…Here are the 10 most expensive collectibles ever sold at auction:

1.“Women of Algiers (Version O)” Pablo Picasso (1955) — $179 Million- The Guardian

Women of Algiers

In May 2015, Christie’s Auction House, NY made history by selling the single most expensive piece of art sold at auction.  The price tag of this one of a kind Picasso was just over $179 million.  Picasso began painting this series, A through O, in 1954.  Version O is now owned by an anonymous phone bidder.

2.“Three Studies of Lucian Freud” Francis Bacon (1969) — $142.4 Million-New York Times

Painting of the Three Studies of Lucian Freud by Francis Bacon

Christie’s Auction House sold this three painting series within 10 minutes to an anonymous bidder in November 2013.  The oil on canvas painting features Bacon’s friend and artistic colleague, Freud.

3.“The Scream” Edvard Munch (1895) — $119.9 Million-Forbes

Painting of The Scream by Edward Munch

Sold in May 2012, this is the only one of four versions to be privately owned.  The lucky winner of this auction took “The Scream” home for a cool $119.9 million after only 12 minutes of bidding between 8 interested buyers.

4.“Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster)” Andy Warhol (1963) — $105.4 Million-Forbes

The silk screen piece Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster) by Andy Warhol

This silk-screen printed piece was sold in November of 2013 after a telephone bidding war.  The piece was only publicly exhibited once, and with a price tag of $105.4 million, this is one of the most expensive Warhol pieces ever.

5.“L’Homme Qui Marche I” (Walking Man I) Alberto Giacometti (1961) — $104.3 Million-Forbes

The sculpture L'Homme Qui Marche I by Alberto Giacometti

Sold in February of 2010, this bronze sculpture is the most expensive sculpture ever sold at auction.  This piece was originally intended to be part of an exhibit at the New York’s Chase Manhattan Plaza.

6.“Balloon Dog, Orange” Jeff Koons (1994-2000) — $58.4 Million-Town & Country Magazine

Sculpture of Balloon Dog, Orange by Jeff Koons

This orange sculpture, made of stainless steel and a mirrored finish, is part of a five-piece collection boasting balloon dogs of orange, blue, magenta, red, and yellow.  Sold in November 2013,  Balloon Dog helped Koons set the record for most expensive price for a living sculptor.

7.Mesopotamian Sculpture — $57 Million-Fravahr

Mesopotamian sculpture

Sold in December 2007, this 5,000-year-old white limestone sculpture measures just over eight centimeters (3.25 inches) tall.  The tiny sculpture is extremely rare due to its age.  Sotheby’s Auction House explained that this figure is one of the last known pieces from the Mesopotamian era, the dawn of civilization, which has remained in private collection.

8.L’Incomparable Necklace — $55 Million-The Richest

L'Incomparable Necklace

Sourced from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the feature yellow diamond, known as “The Golden Giant”, is more than 407 internally flawless carats.   The center stone is complemented by 90 white diamonds, which bring the total weight of the necklace to 637 carats.  This necklace was sold at auction in 2013 in Singapore, a country famous for it’s ultra wealthy residents.

9.The Clark Sickle-Leaf Carpet — $33.7 Million-Town & Country Magazine

The Clark Sickle-Leaf Carpet

In June 2013, this vine scroll and palmette carpet sold for $33.7 million.  The carpet dates back to the 1700’s, where it is thought to originate from the Kerman Province, modern day Iran.

10.One Cent Stamp — $9.5 Million-Town & Country Magazine

The One Cent Stamp

Selling in June 2014, this magenta one-cent stamp dates back to 1856 British Guiana.  This stamp is currently the most expensive stamp sold at auction.  This piece has set the world record for most expensive stamp three additional times: in 1932 it sold for $32,500, in 1970 for $280,000, and in 1980 for $935,000.

Written by Gemr
Gemr is the leading platform for collectors to discover, display, discuss, and buy & sell collectibles. Sometimes our team gets chummy and decides to write a blog together. Or maybe someone wants to keep their identity a secret. Pick which option you like best and we'll just say that's correct.