20 of the most expensive celebrity memorabilia items ever sold at auction

Bettmann/Getty ImagesThe dress that Marilyn Monroe wore to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to President John F. Kennedy famously fetched $US1,267,500 at an auction in 1999.
  • Fans of the world’s biggest celebrity names will drop thousands – or even millions – to get their hands on prized memorabilia.
  • From Scarlett Johansson’s used tissue to a lock of Elvis Presley’s hair, these celebrity items sold for eye-watering sums.
  • Marilyn Monroe’s “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” dress sold for more than $US1.2 million, while James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 went for $US6.4 million.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories .

Would you spend more than $US10,000 for one of your favourite celebrity’s fake nails or $US5,000 for a used tissue?

From the iconic ruby red slippers worn by Judy Garland in “The Wizard of Oz” to One Direction singer Niall Horan’s half-eaten toast, prized celebrity memorabilia has cost mega fans and private collectors boggling amounts of cash.

Here are 20 celebrity memorabilia items that have sold for astounding amounts of money.

The skin-tight black pants that Olivia Newton-John wore as Sandy in “Grease” were sold to Spanx founder Sara Blakely for $US162,000.

Rodin Eckenroth/Getty ImagesOlivia Newton-John’s ‘Grease’ costume at Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills, California, in October 2019.

“I have been the biggest fan of Olivia since I was a little girl, since ‘Grease’ came out, and my friend called me two days before the auction. I didn’t know it was happening … and I thought, ‘Oh my God. I’ve got to try to get these,'” Blakely said on “CBS This Morning.”

Blakely says she plans to frame the iconic pants for display at the Spanx headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. She also bought a Pink Ladies jacket in the auction. A portion of the auction’s proceeds will go towards the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre in Australia.

Source: CBS News

Darth Vader’s helmet worn by actor David Prowse in “Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back” sold to an anonymous bidder for $US898,420.

FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty ImagesDarth Vader’s helmet.

It was estimated to tap out at $US400,000 at an auction in September 2019 – but the final bid was more than double.

Source: Complex

A silver dog bowl owned by Joan Rivers went for $US13,750 at a Christie’s auction.

AP Photo/Mark LennihanA dog bowl engraved with the name ‘Spike’ owned by the late comedian Joan Rivers on display at Christie’s, on June 17, 2016, in New York.

The silver dog bowl from Tiffany and Co. is engraved with the name “Spike,” Joan Rivers’ beloved and most famous pet Yorkshire terrier.

Source: Christie’s

A General Lee 1969 Charger from “The Dukes of Hazzard,” owned by actor John Schneider, sold for a whopping $US9,900,500 on eBay in 2007.

Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic/Getty Images‘The Dukes of Hazzard’ General Lee 1969 Charger.

The car was used in both the TV series and in the 2000 TV movie “The Dukes of Hazzard: Hazzard in Hollywood.”

The design of the car’s roof – a giant Confederate flag – became a source of controversy in 2015. TV Land ended up pulling scheduled reruns of the show.

Source: CNN

A 1927 “Metropolis” movie poster, one of only four known to exist, was purchased by a private collector for $US690,000 in 2005.

Movie Poster Image Art/Getty Images‘Metropolis’ movie poster.

Ralph DeLuca, who owns New Jersey-based film memorabilia company Movie Archives Inc, beat three other bidders to win the extremely rare piece of film history.

Source: Reuters

Audrey Hepburn’s personal working script from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” sold for $US811,615 at an auction of her personal items in 2018.

Leon Neal/Getty ImagesAudrey Hepburn’s script from ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s.’

Other items at the auction included a tan Burberry trench coat, a black Givenchy cocktail dress, and a working script for “My Fair Lady.”

Source: Christie’s

An iconic dress that Kate Winslet wore in “Titanic” sold for a whopping $US330,000 in 2012.

Laura Cavanaugh/FilmMagic/Getty ImagesKate Winslet’s costume from the movie ‘Titanic’ at the 2013 NYWIFT Designing Women Awards in 2013.

The dress was worn during the scene in which Kate Winslet’s character, Rose, meets Leonardo DiCaprio’s character, Jack, for the first time.

Source: Paul Fraser Collectibles

Called “the holy grail of movie memorabilia,” Judy Garland’s ruby red slippers from “The Wizard of Oz” were reportedly listed at $US6 million by auction site Moments in Time.

Alex Wong/Getty ImagesRuby slippers from ‘The Wizard of Oz.’

Several other pairs of the famous slippers also exist, including one pair that was stolen in 2005 and recovered by the FBI in 2018.

Source: Business Insider, FBI

In 2006, Andy Warhol’s signature silver wig sold for $US10,800 during his estate’s first auction since his 1987 death.

Ramin Talaie/Corbis/Getty ImagesA silver wig belonging to the late artist Andy Warhol is displayed as part of a sale of objects from his estate in New York on June 16, 2006.

Warhol was a leading pop art figure. “He was a generous man and always gave us little gifts. But they have been lying around in the attic ever since and we decided now was the time to sell them,” Jeffrey Warhol, one of the artist’s nephews, said after the auction was announced.

Source: Telegraph

Marilyn Monroe’s “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” dress, which was covered in 2,500 rhinestones, sold for $US1,267,500 at a Christie’s auction in 1999.

Dan Callister/Getty ImagesMarilyn Monroe’s ‘Happy Birthday Mr. President’ dress and other possessions are displayed at Christie’s auction on August 19, 1999, in Beverly Hills, California.

The gown was said to be so tight-fitting, Monroe had to be sewn into it on the day of JFK’s birthday party.

Source: Today

A fully restored version of James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5, which appeared in the “Goldfinger” film, was sold at an RM Sotheby’s auction for an impressive $US6.4 million.

Francois Mori/APJames Bond’s Aston Martin DB5.

It is one of only three “Bond-modified” DB5 vehicles in existence. “No other car in history has played a more important leading role on film and in pop culture than the Aston Martin DB5,” Barney Ruprecht, a car specialist at RM Sotheby’s, said in a press release ahead of the sale.

Source: CNN

In 2009, Michael Jackson’s famous white glove, covered in glittering crystals, sold for $US350,000 to Hong Kong businessman Hoffman Ma.

Ethan Miller/Getty ImagesMichael Jackson’s glove is displayed at Julien’s Auctions annual summer sale at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.

According to Reuters, the glove was worn by Jackson when he famously moonwalked across the stage for the first time at the 1983 Motown 25 television special. The glove has become a trademark of the star’s incredible career, almost synonymous with the man himself.

It was sold at a memorabilia auction held by Julien’s Auctions.

Source: Reuters

Elizabeth Taylor’s jewellery collection sold for a record-breaking $US116 million in 2011.

STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images‘La Peregrina,’ a Cartier pearl, diamond, and ruby necklace owned by Elizabeth Taylor on display at Christie’s in New York.

The iconic actress’ “La Peregrina” natural pearl, diamond, ruby, and cultured pearl necklace sold for $US11.8 million, including fees.

At the time, it was the most expensive pearl ever sold at auction. This record was recently surpassed with an auction of one of Marie Antoinette’s pearls, which sold for a whopping $US36 million.

Source: Business Insider

A lock of Elvis’ hair, which was believed to have been trimmed from his head in 1958, sold for $US15,000 in 2009, plus an additional $US3,300 in auction house fees.


A shirt that once belonged to Presley also sold for a whopping $US52,000.

Source: Today

A “Batman Returns” costume worn by Michael Keaton sold for $US41,250 at auction in 2017.

Warner Bros.Michael Keaton’s suit from 1992’s ‘Batman Returns.’

A “Superman” costume from the 1978 original movie also went to the auction block but failed to get a minimum $US40,000 bid.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

A bullwhip used by Harrison Ford in “Indiana Jones” sold for $US35,460, not including fees.

ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty ImagesAn employee poses holding the bullwhip used by Harrison Ford in the 1981 film ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ at Bonhams Knightsbridge in London in 2011.

Estimated only to fetch a mere $US5,000, the whip was originally donated by Harrison Ford to the Institute of Archaeology in London to help build a new Centre for Conservation and Museum Science at University College, London University.

Source: Christie’s

Scarlett Johansson’s used tissue was reportedly sold on eBay for $US2,050 after the star said she’d caught a cold from costar Samuel L. Jackson.

REUTERS/Kyle Grillot‘Avengers’ actress Scarlett Johansson.

Johansson announced she would sell the tissue while appearing on “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” in 2008 and then give the proceeds to charity.

Source: Today

Lady Gaga’s acrylic nail was auctioned off for $US12,000 after a crew member on “The Born This Way Ball” tour found it backstage.

Toru Hanai/ReutersLady Gaga.

The auction included not only the nail, but also a letter of provenance from the crewmember, two photographs of Gaga with and without the nail, an Aviva Stadium staff handbook, an event crew wristband, and a Lady Gaga “The Born This Way Ball” grey crew t-shirt.

Source: Business Insider

A chair that J.K. Rowling sat in while writing the first two “Harry Potter” books fetched $US394,000 at an auction in 2016.

REUTERS/Alessia PierdomenicoJ.K. Rowling poses with a copy of ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ in 2007.

Sold to a private collector, the 1930s-era chair had previously sold for $US29,000.

Source: AP

Perhaps one of the more ridiculous celebrity memorabilia sales, Niall Horan’s half-eaten toast was reportedly sold for an astounding $US100,000.

Dave Kotinsky/GettyNiall Horan.

After appearing on the Australian morning program “Sunrise,” Horan failed to finish his Vegemite-covered toast, and it wasn’t long before the snack ended up on eBay.

Source: MTV

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