Going, going, gone...

Way back on 5th December 1766, James Christie founded his world famous auction house. This has led to many of the biggest money records on our database, as well as some quirky ones - judge for yourself from the following collection of ultimates:

Largest auction of comic books
The world's largest auction of comic books, comic art, movie posters and related memorabilia took place on 13 October 2002. The four-day auction, conducted by Heritage Comic Auctions of Dallas, Texas, USA realized $5,207,430.65 (£3,335,958).

Largest online auction house
The largest online auction house is eBay, which had over 210 million worldwide registered users as of October 2006, trading items worth $12.6 billion (£6.7 billion). Pierre Omidyar (France) launched eBay on 4 September 1995 from the USA.

Most expensive baseball card sold at auction
The most valuable baseball card is a rare tobacco card issued by the American Tobacco Company in 1909 and known as T206 Honus Wagner. It was sold in a deal brokered by SCP Auctions of Mission Viejo, California, USA, to an anoymous collector for $2.8million (£1.37 million) and announced on 6 September 2007.

Most expensive book sold at auction
An original four-volume subscriber set of J.J. Audubon's The Birds of America was auctioned for $8,802,500 (£5,567,573) by Christie's, New York, USA, on 10 March 2000.

Most expensive car registration
The most expensive car license plate - made up of the single digit, '5' - was sold to Al Awail Holding company (UAE) for Dh25.2 million ($6.86 million, £3.46 million) during a special number-plate auction organised by Emirates Auction Company, and held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on 12 May 2007.

Most expensive cow sold at auction
The highest price paid for a cow is US$1.3 million (£914,000) for a Friesian at an 1985 auction in East Montpelier, Vermont, USA.

Most expensive kiss sold at auction
In August 2003, Joni Rimm (USA) paid $50,000 (£31,000) at a charity auction for the privilege of one kiss with Hollywood actress Sharon Stone.

Sharon auctioned the kiss in aid of Project Angel Foods - a Los Angeles based charity providing free meals for people with HIV and AIDS.

Most expensive living artist at auction
The most expensive piece of work by a living artist sold at auction is Lullaby Spring a pill cabinet created in 2002 by Damien Hirst (UK), which sold at Sotheby's in London, UK on 21 June 2007 for £9,652,000 ($19.2 million). The stainless steel cabinet is one of four and measures 3 m (9 ft 10 in) wide and displays 6,136 hand-crafted pills. This broke the long-standing record held by Jasper Johns (USA) whose Figure 4 (1959) sold for $17.4 million (£8.7 million) at Christie's, New York, USA on 16 May 2007.

04 December 2007

Hammer & Gavel