Celebrity is the bacon of the art and memorabilia world; they can make even the most bland and ordinary items worth stabbing a stranger in the eye to get.
It doesn’t matter if its a slightly used Yugo or a slightly used Kleenex. If any part of William Shatner’s body was in it for at least five seconds, you can slap an ad up for it on eBay and some nerd with more money than sense will give you enough cash to send your kids to college on a Carnival cruise. These X-rays of the stars went for that much and then some.
1. Marilyn Monroe’s chest
In defence of the person who shelled out the thousands for the chance to buy it, if someone came up to me and asked if I’d like to see what’s under Marilyn Monroe’s clothes, I would immediately drop whatever I was doing and follow them and that includes any activity that involves the holding of a baby. Of course, when I discovered that underneath included more than one layer of penetration for said photos, I would immediately smack the guy in the face with whatever I had in my shaking hands that includes said baby.
That didn’t stop someone from shelling out more than $45,000 for a copy of a chest X-ray taken of Marilyn Monroe’s torso back in 1954. The X-ray was part of a collection of Monroe memorabilia that was taken while she pregnant and rumoured to have suffered a miscarriage, adding just to an extra layer of creepy to an already creepy bit of pornographic Americana. They also included two full frontal shots of Monroe’s iconic breasts, so like all things in nature, the opposing forces manage to balance themselves out.
2. The British Royal Family
It’s beyond me why anyone would want a picture of any inner or outer anatomical body part of the British Royal Family, a group of people with genes that are more mutated than most neighbours of nuclear power pants or residents of Arkansas.
For some reason, an auction house in England got a hold of the dental X-rays of Queen Elizabeth II and her parents taken back in the mid 1940s, long before the British empire discovered dentistry, dental care or teeth. The X-rays were supposed to be destroyed, but when they surfaced at an auction, Buckingham Palace had a fit and demanded the items be removed from the auction block. The auction house eventually complied and they were never sold.
3. Albert Einstein
Out of all of the entries on this list, this one at least makes the most sense and probably has the most potential to contribute something meaningful to society, other than giving eBay another reason to turn America’s junk into America’s overpriced yard sale.
A British auction house that also sold one of Michael Jackson’s bedazzled gloves and used stage Fedoras also managed to get a hold of the beloved genius’ (I’m talking about Einstein, not Jackson, you VH1 bemoaning morons) brain scans that show off the huge brains that Einstein used to create all sorts of interesting theories about life and the universe. Copies of the smart one’s brains sold for over $39,000, most likely as wall pornography to a very rich and horny zombie.
4. Evel Knievel
Of course, if you’re looking to buy a famous person’s X-rays, this stuntman’s shattered everything makes the most sense since you’re bound to have a better chance of seeing something out of the ordinary on the inside other than just boring old well structured bones and muscles.
The stunt man’s X-rays taken after his disastrous jump Caesar’s Palace jump in 1968 over the casino’s iconic fountain that caused several injuries including a broken neck, collarbone and sternum among other affected areas. The auction in Palm Beach, Calif. also sold one of Knievel’s motorbikes that spawned his top selling Hasbro Knievel Stunt Cycle, a ticket from his Snake River Canyon jump and a signed Evel Knievel check. For a couple of extra bucks, the auctioneers would also splatter some fake blood on any of the items for an added bit of simulated authenticity.
5. Robert Lenkiewicz’s Masterpiece
Not all great works of an X Ray Technician are sold as X-ray art. Some of them, like the work of art in this entry, is created after the sucker, er, buyer has purchased it and chosen to stick it under a fluoroscope.
An art lover who paid more than $81,000 for a nude portrait painted by and featuring the famed artist in the throws of love with a female and nude model and after the owner took it home, he decided to have it X-rayed to see if there was anything underneath. He discovered a second portrait of an unidentified homeless man that doubled the worth of the painting, presumably just to make the homeless guy feel twice as bad about his net worth.
Written by Danny Gallagher & Greg Voakes