Entries in Auction (25)


Vintage Apple-1 Sells for $671,000

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images(COLOGNE, Germany) -- The $10,000 gold-plated iPad has a rival in the battle of most expensive Apple computer of the year. Over the weekend, one of the first Apple-1 computers created by Apple co-founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak sold for $671,400 (516,461 euros) at an auction in Germany.

While one of the same types of computers didn’t manage to hit the $80,000 minimum at Christie’s earlier this year, the model that was auctioned off at Auction Team Breker, an auction house in Cologne, Germany, is still functioning and includes a letter from Steve Jobs himself.

According to auctioneer Uwe H. Breker, the hand-assembled Apple-1 came from Fred Hatfield. Hatfield, who worked at Computer Data Systems in Columbus, Ohio, bought the computer from Apple for around $700 in 1976. A letter from Jobs, which is included with the auctioned-off computer, offered Hatfield an exchange of the Apple-1 for the Apple II for just $400. Hatfield turned down the deal.

The computer was purchased by an anonymous buyer on Saturday.  Breker said he was not surprised that the Apple-1 went for so much. “It’s not only the technology of world’s 1st ready-to-use PC, it’s more the symbol of the American Dream,” Breker said. “The story of two dropouts, who had a superb idea. Thirty-five years later their company is the richest and highest ever valued company.”

The Apple 1 was the first computer ever made by Apple and was hand-built by Wozniak in Steve Jobs’ garage. It was priced at $666.66. It was sold without a case, keyboard or monitor.

This is the most money paid for one of the first Apple-1 computers. In November 2012 a model at Auction Team Breker went for $640,000 and in July 2012 a model went for $375,000 at Sotheby’s. According to Breker, there are only six working models of the computer left.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Honus Wagner Baseball Card Sells for Record $2.1 Million

iStockphoto(NEW YORK) -- The most sought-after and valuable baseball card ever made, the 1909-11 T206 Honus Wagner card, sold for a record-breaking $2.1 million in an online auction on Saturday morning.

The card was being auctioned by Goldin Auctions, who has not released any information about the eventual buyer. He or she spent a total of $2,105,770.50 on the card, including the commission fee.

The last time a Wagner card was offered for public sale was during the financial crisis in 2008, when it sold for $1.62 million. According to Goldin Auctions, the average Wagner card has appreciated 70 percent in value since then.

Wagner was already a baseball legend when the card was released in 1909. Wagner was one of the first five men ever inducted into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, getting an equal number of votes as Babe Ruth.  

There are reportedly fewer than 200 T206 Honus Wagner cards. It’s said that there were so few cards made because Wagner objected to the cards, since were made by the American Tobacco Company and being given to children. This is probably untrue, as Wagner was a heavy and public cigar smoker himself, and it’s far more likely he simply wanted to be paid to his image.

This particular card is known as “the jumbo Wagner,” because due to printing inconsistencies, it is slightly larger than other T206 Wagner cards.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Signed Iconic Beatles Album Auctioned for $290,500

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(DALLAS) -- A copy of The Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album autographed by all four band members has shattered expectations at auction.

The iconic album was sold Saturday for $290,500 by Heritage Auctions in Dallas. It had been listed at $30,000 before the sale.

The autographs of the band members were obtained in 1967, the same year the record was issued, according to a letter of authenticity posted on Heritage Auctions’ website.

Each of the Beatles signed next to his image on the inside spread of the album.

Beatles expert Perry Cox said the piece of memorabilia was “extraordinarily special.”

“I consider this to be one of the top two items of Beatles memorabilia I’ve ever seen — the other being a signed copy of ‘Meet the Beatles’ [the band's second album released in the U.S.],” he said, according to Heritage Auctions’ website.

The album was one of the big draws to Saturday’s auctions, which included other entertainment and music memorabilia.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Letters from 'Lost' Marilyn Monroe, Angry John Lennon Headline Auction

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A letter from a “lost” Marilyn Monroe to mentor Lee Strasberg and one from an irritated John Lennon to Linda and Paul McCartney are among the hundreds of historical objects set to be auctioned on May 30.

It is part of the second in a series of auctions intended to sell about 3,000 artifacts from an anonymous collector.

The first auction was a “blockbuster sale,” with a Vincent van Gogh letter selling for $336,000 and a Thomas Jefferson letter that sold for $300,000, according a news release announcing the latest auction. The auctions are being run by historical artifacts dealer, Profiles in History.

The upcoming auction includes letters and manuscripts from historical figures including George Washington, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Ernest Hemingway.

One of the letters already garnering buzz is a despair-filled letter on Hotel Bel-Air stationary from Marilyn Monroe to her mentor and legendary acting coach, Lee Strasberg.

The letter began, “Dear Lee, I’m embarrassed to start this, but thank you for understanding and having changed my life. Even though you changed it I still am lost. I mean I can’t get myself together.”

“You once said the first time I heard you talk at the actors studio that ‘There is only concentration between the actor and suiside [sic],” she wrote.

“My will is weak but I can’t stand anything. I sound crazy but I think I’m going crazy,” she added. “It’s just that I get before a camera and my concentration and everything I’m trying to learn leaves me. Then I feel like I’m not existing in the human race at all.”

Another letter on the block is an angry and sarcastic letter from John Lennon to Linda and Paul McCartney.

“I was reading your letter and wondering what middle aged cranky Beatle fan wrote it. I resisted looking at the last page to find out,” Lennon wrote. He ventured a few guesses and then wrote, “What the hell – it’s Linda?”

The Lennon letterhead has a circular image of Lennon and Yoko Ono almost touching lips.

The Lennon letter is expected to fetch between $40,000 and $60,000 and the Monroe letter is expected to take in between $30,000 and $50,000.

Some of the items from the auction will be on display at Douglas Elliman’s Madison Avenue Gallery from April 8-16. The online auction will take place May 30.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Napoleon and Josephine’s Engagement Ring Sells for Nearly $1 Millionn

Osenat(FONTAINBLEAU, France) -- The engagement ring that a young Napoleon bought for his fiancée Josehine sold at an auction house outside of Paris for nearly $1 million on Sunday.

The Osenat auction house sold the ring to a bidder who wanted to remain anonymous for $949,000, almost 50 times more than Osenat expected it to sell for. Including the 25 percent commission to Osenat, the buyer spent a total of  $1.17 million on the ring.

The sale was timed to coincide with the 250th anniversary of Josephina's birthday.

The golden ring is in an 18th century setting called "toi et moi," meaning "You and Me," with opposing tear-shaped jewels -- a blue sapphire and a diamond. The two gems are a little less than a carat each.

It may seem somewhat underwhelming for a ring bought by Napoleon, but he was not yet the fabulously rich Emperor of France when he bought the ring for his bride-to-be.

"At the time Napoleon was a young and promising officer, but he was not rich. He must have broken his wallet to buy this quality ring," Osenat's expert Jean-Christophe Chataignier told

Napoleon met Josephine, (Rose Tascher de la Pagerie as she was known then) in September 1795. She was 32 years old, six years older than Bonaparte. At the time she was the rich and stylish widow of Alexandre de Beauharnais, an aristocrat who supported the French Revolution but died on the guillotine. Her first marriage produced two children, Eugene and Hortense, who Napoleon later adopted.

The wedding day was March 9, 1796, but the honeymoon lasted only 36 hours. Napoleon left to lead the French army on a successful invasion of Italy, but during this absence he wrote frequently, sometimes twice a day.

Their marriage fell apart in 1810, after several instances of infidelity on both sides and Josephine’s inability to produce an heir. Still, "Josephine continued to treasure the ring and gave it to her daughter Hortense, later Queen of Holland, through whom it came down to her son, Napoleon III and his wife Empress Eugene to whose family this relic ring still belongs," claims Chataignier.

The buyer broke up something of a set. The ring had been on display alongside other historic treasures, including portraits of Napoleon's son and a sword given to the emperor by King Henry IV.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


"Miracle on Ice" Jersey Sells for Almost $660K

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The jersey hockey player Mike Eruzione wore 33 years ago in the United States' win over the more experienced Soviet Union in the 1980 Olympics has sold for over half a million dollars.

The jersey that Eruzione wore during the "Miracle on Ice" victory at the Lake Placid Olympics that day went up for auction and sold for almost $660,000. Eruzione has said he's not hurting financially, but he wanted to leave a little nest egg for his family and a charity in his hometown of Winthrop, Massachusetts.

The gold medal, on the other hand, won't be sold as long as he's alive, Eruzione said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


JFK Items Set for Presidential Auction

Library Of Congress/Getty Images(AMESBURY, Mass.) -- More than 650 pieces of memorabilia of former President John F. Kennedy will be auctioned on Sunday. The items are from the estate of David F. Powers, special assistant to Kennedy and the first curator of the JFK Library.

This is the 50th year since JFK's assassination.

Items up for auction include a portrait of John F. Kennedy in uniform in World War II by Robert J. Donovan, a birthday card signed by John, Jr. around May 29, 1963 that it was given to his father on his 46th birthday and a pen used by J.F.K. at the signing of the "Interdiction of the Delivery of Offensive Weapons to Cuba" on Oct. 23, 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis

John McInnis Auctioneers are handling the auction.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Florida Man to ‘Sublet’ Last Name for a Year

Laura Evans Photography/Facebook(NEW YORK) -- What’s in a name?  Potentially, a lot of money.

That’s what Jason Sadler believes, and it’s the reason he is auctioning off his last name at the aptly named website  The 30-year-old founder of is “subletting” his name to the highest bidder for a whole year.

So what gives?  Is Sadler just sick of his last name, or is this all a shameless publicity stunt?

Both, actually -- along with a mini identity crisis.

“Throughout my life, I’ve had three separate last names, none of which have carried any real meaning for me or my sense of identity,” Sadler writes on his website.  ”Though I’m incredibly close with the members of my family, I’ve never gotten my sense of self from any family lineage or last name.  Instead, my sense of self has come from the hard work I’ve put in to building my company.”

So when his mother told him earlier this year that she was divorcing his stepfather, Sadler laughed and said, “Now I’ve got to change my last name, too!”

He was joking -- sort of.  But then he and his colleagues at I Wear Your Shirt, a marketing firm in Jacksonville, Fla., were brainstorming ways to get more exposure.  And then it hit him.  

”I want to change my name anyway,” he told ABC News.  “Let’s see what the world picks for me.”

On Nov. 1, Sadler launched his website, with bidding set at $0.  To date, 22 companies have placed a bid, with a high of $34,500 by JLabAudio.  

After the auction, which ends Dec. 12 at midnight, Sadler will legally change his name in the state of Florida, and on his Twitter, Facebook and YouTube accounts.  Under the terms and conditions, Sadler is only requiring a 25 percent down payment, with the remaining 75 percent to be paid by Jan. 2, 2013.

“I’m going to buy a domain for whatever my new last name is,” he said.  “That will be my new personal blog for the next year.”  He will also use the new name as his byline for various articles and blog posts.

Sadler said he would invest the profits of his name change into his company, with 10 percent going to the charity Cheerful Givers, which provides birthday gift bags to disadvantaged children.

And when the year is up, who knows?

“I’m not going to change it back to Sadler.  I’ll either pick a random last name or put it up for auction,” he said.  “I really haven’t thought about it yet.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Paintings and Rare Diamond Sell at Auction for Millions

FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- You may still be counting pennies while the economy slowly recovers, but some folks are confident enough to spend millions on fine art and diamonds.  

A painting by abstract artist Mark Rothko was sold at auction Tuesday at Sotheby’s in New York City for $75.1 million dollars.

Rothko’s "No. 1 (Royal Red and Blue)" from 1954 was sold to a telephone bidder for $67 million -- $75.1 million with Sotheby’s fees.  Earlier in the evening at the same auction, a Jackson Pollock painting sold for more than $40 million.

Meanwhile, across the pond in Europe, a 76-carat colorless diamond was sold at Christie’s in Geneva Tuesday for more than $21.5 million, including commission.  

The price paid for the Archduke Joseph Diamond was more than triple the price paid for it at auction almost two decades ago.  Christie’s says the sale set a record price per carat for a colorless diamond.

The diamond came from a mine in India and was named after Archduke Joseph August of Austria.  The buyer wished to remain anonymous.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Cabbage Patch Kids Go Presidential with Obamas, Romney, Biden, Ryan Dolls

Cabbage Patch Kids / Jakks Pacific Inc.(NEW YORK) -- Move over Barack Obama action figure, there’s a new presidential toy in town. Instead of bad-guy fighting plastic prowess, this Obama-inspired doll sports a soft suit, graying hair and the rounded baby face that can only come from the Cabbage Patch.

The Obama Cabbage Patch Kid, along with the similarly suited and smiling likenesses of Vice President Joe Biden and  GOP rivals Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, will be auctioned off on eBay the week before the election to raise money for charity.

While Cabbage Patch Kids, and its parent company Jakks Pacific Inc., have created presidential election-themed dolls for charity since 2004, this is the first year that a first lady is included in the Cabbage Patch candidate mix.

The Michelle Obama version of a Cabbage Patch Kid is as fashionable as the first lady, sporting a pink dress, thick black belt, cheetah-patterned purple blazer and black peep-toe pumps.

All five election-inspired dolls will be auctioned off on eBay Oct. 30 through Election Day on Nov. 6. But if history is any guide, the highest bidder will likely not be the highest vote-getter.

In the 2008 election, the Sarah Palin doll fetched more than four times the amount that her vice presidential rival Joe Biden’s was sold for, yet the Obama-Biden ticket took the most votes in the election.

Palin’s Cabbage Patch Kid was auctioned for $19,000. Biden’s went for $3,550. All together, the four dolls brought in about $37,000, all of which was donated to the Marine Toys for Tots.

In 2004, Republican incumbent president George W. Bush’s Cabbage Patch likeness sold for about $1,000 and his Democratic rival Sen. John Kerry’s doll was bought for $1,200. Those proceeds benefited the American Red Cross.

This year’s auction will benefit Rock the Vote. The presidential election dolls join the likes of celebrity talk show host Ellen DeGeneres and Oprah, who are also represented in the cabbage patch.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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