08 February, 2018

Strangest Items in Auction Part 5 - We made it!

Read time 6-7 mins

We have reached the end of our countdown and saved the best until last. However, choosing our favourite was not an easy task. Let's have a recap of what we have seen so far... We have seen one of the most feared empires in the world go up for auction. The Roman Empire experienced this and also The year of Five Emperors. Next, we had one of the most famous dresses of Marilyn Monroe's career go for several million dollars to everyone's amazement.

In addition, we had the purest of them all and no not Maleficent but the Big Maple Leaf Coin and then the multi-talented thoughts of Leonardo Da Vinci.

Who is No.1?

Here at William George and Co, we still thought there was something else and we found it. An entire country! Iceland to be exact.

The reason why we placed this at number one wasn’t due to the size and scale of the auction because it’s difficult to beat an entire country right? It was how high the bidding reached before it stopped.

The Story Behind it

During the height of the financial crisis, Iceland was experiencing a stricken economy and increasing debts which required the assistance of international allies to help them to stabilise their economy.

The country was put up for auction by an anonymous person on eBay but there was one catch. Globally renowned singer Bjork was not to be included. Was that a compliment?

Bidding started at 99 pence but reached a staggering £10m which was comprised of 26 anonymous bidders who placed 84 bids between them.

We’re not sure if the President of Iceland at the time, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, had organised the auction but fortunately, we can confirm the auction did not result in any transfer of power. However, the auction did earn the top spot in our countdown.

Honourable mentions

Now that we have our top 5 strangest/most interesting items to go into an auction, we would like to hear what you have to say. Get in touch via social media and we will share your answers! Before we conclude our series, we would like to add a few honourable mentions because, in today’s auction world, the weird and the wonderful will never cease to amaze the curious mind.

Lunch with Warren Buffet

The most expensive lunch in the World? You’re probably right at $2.3m. This was the price paid by a Chinese business owner to have a lunch with business magnate Warren Buffet.

William Shatner’s kidney stone

William Shatner is known for his time on Star Trek but in the auction world, he is known for having his kidney stones put up for auction. The nature of the auction was not the most memorable thing but the price it reached which was £25,000.

Justin Timberlake’s half-eaten French Toast

Left behind after an interview was some French toast from pop star Justin Timberlake. Unbeknown to the DJ that picked it up was the price it was going to reach. A super fan of Timberlake had forked out $1,025 to get their hands on his leftovers.

The life of Ian Usher 

This story borders on the incredible. Ian Usher has become famous for a feat which people can only dream of which is to sell everything and go somewhere.

Completely fed up with his job and his life, he put everything he owned up for auction. Literally, everything. The winning bid came with training for his current job before being put on trial and all his possessions. The goal was for him to start afresh and leave his current life behind.

The winning bidder had paid $339,300 to be Ian Usher. Ian has since travelled the world to complete his bucket list which consisted of 100 goals (one to do each week) and was completed within 2 years.

William George & Co hope you enjoyed our series and we look forward to the next one. 

Strangest Items in Auction Part 5 - Iceland (2008)
Strangest Items in Auction Part 5 - Iceland (2008)
Strangest Items in Auction Part 5 - Iceland (2008)