Saturday, 30 August 2014

Expensive Auction Items

The hand-scribbled lyrics to Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" sold for $2 million, a world record for a popular music manuscript and the "the only known surviving draft of the final lyrics for this transformative rock anthem."

It trounced the previous record holder, John Lennon, whose lyrics for "A Day in the Life" sold for $1.2 million.
Jeff Koons' Michael Jackson and Bubbles sculpture. Sold: $5.6 million, 2001.

John Lennon's Rolls Royce. Sold: $2,230,000, 1985.
Eric Clapton’s “Blackie” Stratocaster Guitar by Fender. Sold:$959,500, 2004.

Jerry Garcia's "Tiger" guitar. Sold: $957,500, 2002.
A “Beatles ’65” album signed by all four members of the band. $300,000.

George Harrison's guitar fetched $657,000.
Babe Ruth finished his career with 714 home runs and is widely regarded as the greatest professional baseball player in the history of the sport. $ 5,300.

Shaquille O'Neal custom Michael Jackson glove. $ 3800.

Michael Jordan signed basketball. $ 1400.
A stubless ticket from Cassius Clay's first fight versus Sonny Liston that took place on February 25, 1964 in Miami Beach, Florida. The ticket features head shots of both fighters. Ali would defeat Liston to become the Heavyweight Champion of the World. $ 1920.

Muhammad Ali standing over Sonny Liston after knocking him down in the first minute of the first round of their championship fight on May 25, 1965. The poster has been signed twice by Ali. $ 1250
The King's memorabilia remains in high demand. His jumpsuit was valued at $80,000-100,000, though bidders boosted it to $197,000.

Elvis can be seen wearing the suit on stage in Las Vegas in the MGM documentary Elvis: That's the Way It Is (MGM, 1970).

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Sunken Treasure = That Sinking Feeling (Forbes)

Every armchair pirate dreams of finding sunken treasure, but it turns out hauling up chests full of gold bars and pieces of eight is a lousy way to get rich. Recovery usually costs millions of dollars, and even before the loot is on dry land you can look forward to being sued by insurers and other claimants.

A few years back Odyssey Marine Exploration, the biggest player in the game, spent $ 2.6 million recovering an estimated $500 million in gold coins from a Spanish shipwreck and then had to give it all back to Spain–plus a $1 million fine. And that’s just one of the misadventures on our treasure map of misery.
PORT NICHOLSON. In 2008 Greg Brooks, a Maine treasure hunter, finds a World War II British freighter and later insists it carried $3 billion in precious metals. The U.K. says there’s little more onboard than auto and weapon parts–and it owns it all anyway.

April 17, 2014 --Treasure hunter Greg Brooks is wrestling with two court cases, angry investors and an expedition that hasn't produced anything more valuable than a box of rusty hatchets. That's been nothing near the $3 billion to $5 billion in platinum and diamonds that Brooks, based in Portland, Maine, claims is onboard a World War II freighter sunk in 800 feet of water 50 miles off Province-town. And this week, the Maine Office of Securities announced it is seeking information from investors about Brooks and his companies. That could be a prelude to an investigation.
WHYDAH GALLEY. A pirate ship ran aground in 1717 and was discovered in 1982. It’s said to have carried treasure worth $400 million. Salvagers have found artifacts like cannons and the ship’s bell but no massive hoard of gold.

After 15 years of searching the ocean floor off the town of Wellfleet, Massachusetts, Clifford believes he's finally zeroing in on what's left of the hull and loot from the first pirate ship ever discovered in North America. Called the Whydah Galley, it was said to be heavy with treasure stolen from at least 53 ships when it sank in a storm on April 26, 1717.
CENTRAL AMERICA Treasure hunter Tommy Thompson discovers the Gold Rush ship in 1987. He eventually sells a reported $52 million worth of gold–then skips town without paying his investors a cent. In 2014 they pick Odyssey to resume salvage, and this spring the company pulls up its first 60 pounds.
SAN JOSE. A salvage company signs a deal with Colombia in 1984 to find a ship supposedly laden with billions of dollars’ worth of Spanish treasure and share the proceeds. After the company claims to locate the vessel, Colombia reneges, insisting on full ownership. The matter remains in litigation 30 years later.

The Spanish galleon San Jose was trying to outrun a fleet of British warships off Colombia on June 8, 1708, when a mysterious explosion sent it to the bottom.
BLACK SWAN. Odyssey announces a discovery in 2007, which it code-names “Black Swan,” and extracts an estimated half-billion dollars’ worth of coins. Spain sues for ownership, saying the ship is a naval frigate sunk in 1804, and wins. Odyssey gets nothing and is ordered to pay Spain $1 million for “bad faith and abusive litigation.”
NUESTRA SENORA DE ATOCHA. A Spanish ship sunk in 1622 is discovered in the 1970s by adventurer Mel Fisher, who claims it holds $400 million in gold. Historians suspect the number is closer to $20 million. Fisher’s heirs continue to dive the wreck.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Bonhams Greenwich Concours d'Elegance Auction

(June 2, 2014) Greenwich, CT – Standing room only crowds packed the Bonhams tent at the 7th annual Greenwich collector motorcar auction with the sale totalling in excess of $8 million, with over 93% of lots offered sold. The capacity crowd grew nearly silent as the catalogue cover lot, a 1975 Lamborghini Countach LP 400 'Periscopica', sold for over $1.2m.

1959 Jaguar XK150S 3.4-Liter Roadster US$ 203,500.

1925 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Piccadilly Roadster Coachwork by Merrimac. US$ 250,000

1927 Amilcar CGSS Two Seater Sports US$ 191,400

1967 Aston Martin DB6 Sports Saloon US$ 313,500

1961 Jaguar E-Type Series 1 3.8-Liter Roadster US$ 335,500

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Gems from Space

A tiny fraction of meteorites on Earth contain strikingly beautiful, translucent, olive-green crystals embedded in an iron-nickel matrix. Called pallasites, these "space gems" have fascinated scientists since they were first identified as originating from outer space more than 200 years ago.
Impactites are often colorful glasses that can be faceted, cut into cabochons, or carved into small sculptures.

The highest quality "as found" specimens are of greatest interest to scientists, meteorite collectors, and mineral collectors. The best gem-quality materials generally go to a small number of designer jewelers who use them to create one-of-a-kind pieces. Smaller and lower quality items fall into the novelty gem and collectibles markets.
The largest demand for extraterrestrial gem materials comes from people interested in alternative and complementary medicine.

They believe that these materials have special properties that are helpful in promoting wellness.
Pallasite Peridot. A faceted piece of gem-quality olivine, known as peridot in the gem trade, that was removed from a pallasite meteorite. Extraterrestrial peridot is one of the rarest gem materials on Earth.
Libyan Desert Glass is a material that is thought to have formed during a meteorite impact in the Libyan desert about 26 million years ago near what is now the border between Egypt and Libya. One theory has the meteorite exploding in an air burst that flash-melted sand and other material on Earth's surface below. Many pieces of glass have shallow surface indentations, similar to the regmaglypts of meteorites, that suggest ablation as the glass moved rapidly through Earth's atmosphere. Like moldavite, desert glass is considered to be an impactite.
Over 3300 years ago, the ancient Egyptians knew about Libyan Desert Glass and held it in high regard. The pendant shown was one of several buried with King Tutankhamun (King Tut) who ruled between 1332 and 1323 BC.

Tektites are fragments of ejecta produced when a large extraterrestrial object strikes the Earth. The heat of the impact flash melts rock in the impact area and ejects it in the molten state. These molten masses solidify in flight and fall to Earth in the area around the imact. The impact that produced the tektites of the Indochina strewn field occurred about 800,000 years ago.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Jewels of HM Queen Elizabeth II

Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary; born 21 April 1926) is the constitutional monarch of sixteen realms of the 53-member Commonwealth of Nations. She is also the head of the Commonwealth, and the Supreme Governor of the Church of England.

Upon her accession on February 6 1952, Elizabeth became head of the Commonwealth and queen regnant of seven independent Commonwealth countries: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan and Ceylon. Her coronation the following year was the first to be televised.

H.M. Queen Elizabeth II upon her Coronation in 1953. She holds the Sovereign's Orb, the Sceptre with the Cross and wears the Imperial State Crown.
On Friday, June 20, 2014, Her Majesty wore one-of-a-kind brooch designed by Canadian jeweller, Hillberg & Berk to the Royal Ascot racecourse. The contemporary floral design is set in 18K white gold and features Madagascar tourmaline, a white freshwater pearl and 300 diamonds.

The brooch was presented to The Queen in October 2013 and first worn while attending Sunday service on February 2, 2014.
The Flower Basket Brooch

A present to Princess Elizabeth from King George VI and Queen Elizabeth to mark the birth of her first child and their first grandchild, Prince Charles on 14 November 1948. It is reported to be her favorite.
Pink and blue sapphire, diamond and ruby brooch made by Cartier. Given to Princess Elizabeth by her parents King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1945.

King George VI Sapphire and Diamond Suite. Purchased by King George VI from Carrington & Co and given to Princess Elizabeth as a wedding present in 1947.

The necklace originally consisted of eighteen emerald-cut sapphires in diamond clusters. In 1952 it was shortened by four stones, the largest of which was converted into a pendant to the necklace in 1959.
The exquisitely crafted emerald and diamond encrusted Godman Necklace was a gift by the two elderly Godman sisters to her majesty the Queen.

The two sisters who remained unmarried and were spinsters inherited the necklace from their father Frederick Du Cann, a British naturalist, who purchased the necklace whilst on a holiday in Bavaria in the 1890s
Aquamarine Clips.

An eighteenth birthday present to Princess Elizabeth from her parents King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1944. These clips are a personal favorite and seen frequently on the queen.
Williamson diamond broach. The central diamond of 23.6 carats is one of the finest pinks known. It was excavated from a mine in Tanganyika (Tanzania) belonging to the Canadian geologist Dr John Williamson, who gave it as a wedding present to Princess Elizabeth in 1947.

Brazilian Aquamarine Suite. The earrings and matching necklace were a Coronation gift to The Queen from the President and People of Brazil in 1953. A bracelet and matching brooch were presented to The Queen by the Brazilian Government in 1958 as a matching addition to the original gift.

See ----->
See ----->
See ----->