29+ Unexpected Celebrity Items Sold in Auction
| LAST UPDATE 11/07/2022
While some show their love for their favorite stars by supporting their projects, some of the most passionate fans are willing to splash the cash on their most personal, sometimes bizarre, possessions...
Scarlett Johansson’s Used Tissue
Starting off strong, Scarlett Johansson showed us just how easy it is for celebrities to make money when she auctioned off her used Kleenex for $5,300. Signed, sealed, and delivered for her biggest fan.
Appearing on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in 2008, the actress blew her nose in a tissue while explaining that she had caught a cold from Samuel L. Jackson. "Bid high, this is Samuel Jackson's cold here," she joked before placing her DNA in the bag. Thankfully, the people listened, and the proceeds were donated to charity.
Andy Warhol’s Wig
When artist Andy Warhol began to suffer from baldness, he decided the best cover-up would be a wig. With or without his intention, these wigs became Warhol's iconic look, a staple item of his fashionable wardrobe. Would the popularity translate into a successful second-hand wig auction sale?
In 2006, this was put to the test when one of the artist's silver wigs went up for auction. Estimated to sell at a price between $4-6,000, the results were beyond anyone's expectations, selling for a staggering $10,800! At that price, it would have to be worn every day to be a worthwhile investment.
Justin Timberlake’s French Toast
Although we appreciate leftovers as much as the next person, we tend to draw the line at other people's leftovers - someone else's leftover bread crusts don't quite hit the same way. That being said, if the said toast was once in the mouth of a global star, would we feel differently?
While conducting an interview in 2006 at the New York radio station Z-100, Timberlake was fed a plate of French toast. After he left the studios, the DJ excitedly noticed some leftover scraps and put them for sale on eBay. Believe it or not, they sold for $1,025! Talk about a breakfast of champions.
Russell Crowe’s Jockstrap
To mark the occasion of his divorce - and perhaps make back some of the money lost in the legal proceedings - movie star Russell Crowe sold some of his belongings in his 'Art of Divorce' auction. Late-night host John Oliver spent $8,450 on Crowe's jockstrap worn in Gladiator.
Revealing the purchase on his talk show, he justified his reasons for splashing the cash. "[It is] a big price to pay just to find out what Russell Crowe... smelled like in 2005," he jokingly admitted. Well, all in the name of good television, right?
Joan Rivers’ Dog Bowl
Joan Rivers may have made a name for herself for her bold reviews, but when it came to her dog, Spike, she was his number one fan. Wanting only the best for her furry companion, she had none other than Tiffany & Co. create a custom dog bowl for him to eat out of.
Following her death in 2014, River's estate was put up for auction. This included a variety of dog-appropriate items, such as Louis XV-style children's armchairs for them to rest on. One item which attracted much attention was a silver 'Spike' engraved dog bowl, which sold for $14,000.
John Lennon’s Tooth
Being the successful lead singer of The Beatles, John Lennon did not rely financially on payments from the tooth fairy. For this reason, when Lennon had his molar removed, he decided to gift it to his housekeeper as a souvenir rather than stuff it under his pillow.
The tooth remained in Dorothy Jarlet's family for many years, viewed as a piece of Beatles memorabilia. On her 90th birthday, she felt the time was right to sell the tooth. Omega Auction House was responsible for the sale, with the winning bid coming in from a Canadian dentist at $31,200.
Justin Bieber’s Hair
Celebrities are always going on about the power of manifesting - putting their dreams out there and waiting for them to return. This time, Ellen DeGeneres showed us how it's done when she tweeted her birthday wish for a lock of Justin Bieber's hair. As luck would have it, the baby singer arrived to deliver just that.
Appearing on The Ellen Show in 2011, Bieber handed the host a strand of his hair, packaged in a small, signed box. Understanding the value of what she had just been given, DeGeneres made the decision to auction it off for charity. After 98 bids, the hair was sold for a whopping $40,668! That's one expensive haircut!
Marilyn Monroe’s X-Rays
She may have been deemed one of the sexiest women alive, but Marilyn Monroe was constantly accused of having gone under the cosmetic knife to get there. X-rays and doctor notes which claim to confirm these rumors, went on sale in 2013, expecting to go for $15-30,000.
According to the seller, the file contained notes written by Michael Gurdin - Monroe's plastic surgeon. Here, he detailed the Hollywood star's alleged procedures, including a chin implant and rhinoplasty in 1950. A person desperate for the truth bought them for $25,600.
Elvis Presley’s Bible
In 2012, a bible belonging to the late rock n roll legend Evil Presley was sold at auction. According to the BBC, the bible had been a Christmas gift in 1957 from his aunt and uncle. Seemingly, Presley spent much time reading the 1,600 pages as they contain numerous personal annotations.
Talking of the sale event, auctioneer Karen Fairweather described the buzz. "It was a really exciting atmosphere in the room," she said. "we had 300 people, and there was bidding online and on the telephone across the world," While we don't know the identity of the winner, we know he's now $94,000 less off!
Michael Jordan’s Sneakers
If one pair of sneakers was going to win the Guinness World Record for the highest price paid at auction, it was always going to be those belonging to Michael Jordan. Who wouldn't want to step into the shoes of one of the greatest basketball legends who ever lived?
The red, black, and white pair of Nike Air Jordan 1's were signed by the athlete and put up for auction at Sotheby's online. They eventually sold for an astonishing $560,000. Fun fact: Michael was known to mismatch his shoe sizes for the sport, so the pair included one size 13 and one size 13.5. We'd still happily take them!
Rihanna’s Broken iPhone
iPhones are known to cost an arm and a leg nowadays. That said, it all feels worth it when we slowly unbox it from the perfect packaging. But when this guy dropped $65,500 on an iPhone that appeared to be smashed and cracked, he couldn't have been more pleased. Why? Rihanna held it and signed it.
When RiRi accidentally dropped the iPhone of L.A. Police Commission President Steve Soboroff while taking a selfie at a sports game, she felt awful. After vowing to buy him a new one, she signed the broken item and donated $25,000 to the L.A. Police. Soboroff then auctioned off the broken phone to raise additional funds.
Pharrell's Signature Hat
Perhaps the only thing more iconic than Pharrell's performance at the 2014 Grammy awards was the hat he wore on the red carpet. The Vivienne Westwood accessory was the talk of the town, finding viral fame with its own Twitter profile. Noticing this, the singer decided to capitalize on the exposure.
Taking the matter to the world of eBay, Pharrell put the hat up for auction, publishing his plans to donate the earnings to a charity close to his heart. Funnily enough, Arby's (the restaurant) was elated to see that the hat highly resembled their brand's logo and threw down $44,100 to get their hands on it.
Madonna’s Love Letters
Is there anything more personal than reading someone's diary? Yes, reading the love letters between them and their love interest will do the trick. Unfortunately for Madonna, love letters and other personal items of hers were stolen and put up for auction.
Twenty-one faxed love letters between her and then-boyfriend James Albright from 1992-1994 were displayed at the Gotta Have It! Rock & Roll Pop Art Auction in 2009. While they were estimated to go for $10,000, it is believed that a Judge canceled the sale at Madonna's request.
Britney Spears’ Chewing Gum
Most people would shudder at touching someone else's chewed gum. Apparently, if that piece of gum was in the mouth of a big celeb, that changes things. A cameraman working backstage at Britney's Toronto concert in 2004 recognized a lucrative opportunity when he spotted the star spitting out her gum.
Posting the ad to eBay, the man included photos of the chewed gum and a short description of how it was found. Bidding against himself, the seller drove the price up to $14,000! When news broke of this valuable product, many followed suit, attempting to sell their own collection of Britney-chewed gums. It's Hubba Bubba crazy!
James Blunt’s Sister
When James Blunt's sister was unable to get to a funeral in Ireland due to various transportation restrictions, her famous brother recruited his powerful fan base to get the job done. In one of the most bizarre celebrity auctions, he decided to sell his sister on eBay...
"I ended up whacking it on eBay: 'Damsel in distress seeks knight in shining armor! Desperate to get to a funeral in southern Ireland, please help!' The bids flooded in, and the guy who won had a helicopter. He flew her to the funeral," Blunt told GQ. After falling in love mid-flight, the pair got married three years later!
Charles & Diana's Royal Wedding Cake
Of all the fandoms out there, the Royal stans are by far the most dedicated. One of the more peculiar royal traditions is for a piece of each royal wedding cake to be auctioned to the highest bidder. In 2013, a piece of cake from Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip's wedding was sold for £560 ($876).
After the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana, a slice from 1 of their 23 official cakes was given to a member of the royal staff, Moyra Smith. 40 years later, in 2021, Smith took the cake out of hiding and put it up for auction. The gold, red, blue, and silver iced cake exceeded expectations, selling for £1,850 ($2,095).
Kurt Cobain’s Broken Guitar
Budding musicians will be startingly aware of the burdening expense of buying a guitar. While many opt for a less desirable, cheaper model, a broken guitar would still be a hard sell. This recent auction suggests, however, that if it once belonged to a famous musician, the demand is off the charts!
While performing in Argentina in 1992 as the Nirvana frontman, Kurt Cobain played on and then broke his cream Stratocaster guitar. Following the gig, it was signed by Cobain and fellow band members Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl. Starting out at $55,000, it was eventually auctioned off for $153,000.
Willie Nelson’s Braids
If passionate Beliebers were willing to pay $40,668 for just a lock of Justin Bieber's hair, it only makes sense that there would be a handful of people fighting for the chance to own Willie Nelson's trademark braids. After dying them red, the singer cut them off in the early 1980s.
At the time, they were gifted to the late singer Waylon Jennings on the occasion of his sobriety. While Nelson still rocks braids in a grey version, this pair was put up for auction as part of Jenning's 2014 estate sale. It turns out he was sleeping on a goldmine because they sold for $37,000!
Yeezus Tour Air
They say everything a Kardashian touches turns to gold, but even Kim Kardashian herself could not believe the power of this sentiment. When a bag of air from her then-husband's 'Yeezus' show reached $60,100 in an online auction, Kim was taken aback at her family's ability to make money out of thin air. Literally.
Although the eBay seller offered up no proof of said-concert attendance, he confirmed in the listing that he comforted potential buyers by clarifying he "held [the] bag open and sealed air in." With 60k at stake, why would we do anything but take their word for it?!
Queen Victoria’s Underwear
The Royal fanatics who were bummed to have missed out on the very stale piece of Royal wedding cake will likely have turned their attention to the next best thing - a pair of royal undergarments. While nothing other than the description suggests they are anything more than just regular cotton underwear, it was enough to get many bids.
The 45-inch (114cm) waist underwear worn by Queen Victoria in the late 1890s was sold on auction. The winning bid belonged to a private English collector who paid $14,500 for the (historical?) item. We're hoping, for his sake, it went through a wash cycle before being delivered.
J.K. Rowling’s Chair
Even the mildest Harry Potter fans will be aware of the "boy who lived's" origin story. J.K. Rowling, a poor, struggling writer, sat day after day on her oak wooden chair, penning the story that changed the world. The 1930s furniture piece aided Rowling's process but also left her with a sore back.
After the first two books' success, Rowling decided to upgrade her chair in 2002, auctioning off this beloved item. Grasping what this item would mean to her fans, she painted on the words, "I wrote Happy Potter while sitting on this chair." It was sold for $394,000.
Britney Spears’ Used Pregnancy Test
Oops, she's done it again! Britney Spears unintentionally made it on the auction charts with yet another DNA-containing item. For a second time, the singer's personal items were sold to the highest bidder - this time, a used pregnancy test. And to think, this isn't even the oddest entry on this list...
It's believed the singer left the used positive test in the garbage bin of her hotel room in Los Angeles, only to be found and sold online by an Ottawa radio station. After an online auction fetched $5,001 from GoldenPalace.com, Britney publicly confirmed her pregnancy with her then-husband, Kevin Federline, shortly after.
Katy Perry’s Trampoline
For Katy Perry fans, this is perhaps as good as it's ever gonna get. Not only was the singer offering her groupies the chance to own a trampoline shaped like a cupcake, but it was also a valuable piece of her California Dreams Tour. Jumping on it during her performance, it's pop star memorabilia at its best.
Perry decided to sell the cupcake trampoline as part of efforts to raise money for the people in Japan who suffered from the terrible earthquake and tsunami in 2011. We can't help but be surprised by the low $1,600 winning bid - we'd probably pay that even if Katy hadn't jumped on it!
Ronald Reagan’s Blood
Coming in as the creepiest entry on this list is a vial of blood from the late president Ronald Reagan. Listed by PFCAuctions.com as "dried blood residue from President Reagan," there was an immediate media and public backlash. That didn't stop the offers from reaching $30,000, though!
As for the source? It's believed that the sample came from the lab used to test Reagan's blood after his assassination attempt in March 1981. It's said that the lab worker took the vial home only to be sold by her son. Ultimately the auction was canceled, but the idea still leaves our blood a little cold...
David Bowie’s Hair
In yet another hair entry on this list, it appears that the ultimate way to display one's fandom is to buy a piece of their idol's DNA-containing hair. This time, the locks belonged to none other than David Bowie. It was appropriately auctioned off in Beverly Hills, where stars are born.
This was not the work of those running David Bowie's estate but rather a wig-maker who had kept hold of a piece of the singer's hair when working with him. Although it was intended to be used for a David Bowie wax figure, it was sold at auction for $18,000.
Jennifer Lawrence’s Sports Bra
It's no secret that when it comes to movie memorabilia, there is no limit to what die-hard fans will pay. From prop swords to iconic shoes, it's the ultimate collector's item. However, while it's clear how these items induce exciting conversation, the same can't be said for this entry.
The sports bra and workout top worn by Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook were sold to the highest bidder. While we cannot confirm or deny whether these items had been washed since being donned, we'd say the $3,175-paying buyer wasn't too fussed either way.
Lady Gaga’s Nail
While most of us are guilty of paying for an overpriced manicure on occasion, the world's dedication to nail art was put to the test when one of Gaga's fake nails was put up for auction. During a concert in Dublin, the singer lost the Aya Fukuda-designed black and gold acrylic nail from her pinky finger.
The nail was picked up by a crew member backstage who mistook it for a guitar pick. Once identified, it was sold online with "a letter of provenance from its rescuer, two photographs of Gaga with and without the nail at the perfume event and on-stage." The winning bid was $12,000.
William Shatner’s Kidney Stone
While most patients would be excited to see the last of their kidney stones, when William Shatner got his removed, he wanted to take them home as a souvenir! After sitting with them for a while, the Star Trek actor decided to sell them to the highest bidder in 2006.
In the product description, Shatner wrote, "this takes organ donors to a new height, to a new low, maybe. How much is a piece of me worth?" The answer was $25,000, which he immediately donated to Habitat for Humanity. As joked by the auction coordinator, it would be "the first Habitat for Humanity house made from stone."
Celebrity nails and teeth are one thing, but matters took a turn for the crazier when a jar containing Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's breath was put up for auction. The 'air molecules' are believed to have been 'snatched up' by a fan attending the Mr. and Mrs. Smith Los Angeles film premiere.
"Be the first to own this jar of Celebrity air, which may contain air molecules that came in direct contact with Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt," read the ad. Although the sellers rightfully clarified that they were "not guaranteeing it came in contact with any celebrity respiratory system," it still sold for $530!
J.D. Salinger’s Toilet
This auction item had everyone asking the same question - if one loved a book, does that mean they would one day want to own the author's toilet? In 2010, the author of the 1951 novel The Catcher In The Rye had his legacy cemented in a whole new way.
The toilet was taken from the New Hampshire house belonging to J.D. Salinger in the 80s. The "simple, white Crane Oxford model" may not have come cleaned or with a seat or lid, but there was an accompanying authenticity letter to prove that Salinger sat on it. Did anyone pay the $1 million price tag? We'll never know...