Knickknacks and You: Uncommon Trinkets that Fetched Large Sums

Don’t you just love visiting yard sales and thrift stores? There’s always a piece of treasure waiting to be discovered, and all of it ready to be snapped for a very affordable price. Today, we’re going to talk about the interesting part of auctioning.

Now, it is always amusing to see uncommon trinkets and knickknacks in auctions, particularly when the unassuming items are snapped up to the tune of hundreds of thousands and millions. Some of them are what most would consider as junk (such as hair), but some are clearly just priceless.

Some of the items in this list are just amusing trivialities (such as an alleged pregnancy test kit from an actress), but some are actually one-of-a-kind. Here are some of the items that tickled our fancies when we dug deep into the world of auctioning.

The Trivialities

  • Latex Casey Anthony Mask

Listed as “possibly the most frightening mask on the planet,” the starting bid for the mask was a measly $25 on eBay. Surprisingly, the mask fetched a whopping $999,900 from a self-confessed “prophunter.”

Casey Anthony was the mother of Caylee Marie Anthony, a two-year-old who was initially reported as missing, only for her remains to be found near the family home. Casey Anthony was a suspect for her child’s death. Throughout the trial, Casey was deemed “expressionless,” as was evident in the mask.

  • Princess Beatrice’s Hat

Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrice Elizabeth Mary of York wore a unique hat to the wedding of her cousin Prince William and Kate Middleton. The hat was an instant attraction, thanks to its shape that closely resembles a toilet.

It was put on eBay for auction, with HRH Princess Beatrice saying that the proceeds was to be donated to the UNICEF UK and Children in Crisis. Surprisingly, the hat sold for $131,648 – a staggering price for a single hat.

  • “Virgin Mary” Toast

One of the most unusual items to be ever sold, this was a decade-old toast that supposedly had the face of Virgin Mary. The woman who made the sandwich, Diane Duyser, said it has never gone moldy since the day she made it. Diane continued to say that she was about to eat the sandwich (a corner of it has a bite) when she noticed “a lady.”

Surprisingly, the toast was sold to the tune of $28,000 to the internet casino, which said it would be reselling the toast and would be donating the money for charity.

As for what the toast can do, Diane swore it brought her good luck, seeing as it helped her win $70,000 at a nearby casino.

  • Justin Bieber’s Hair

Then there’s this – Hollywood star Justin Bieber gave fellow star Ellen DeGeneres a lock of his hair and placed it in a box with his signature as a birthday present. Ellen proceeded to put the hair up for auction on eBay, where it was sold for an insane amount of $40,668.

The best part about the entire thing is that the proceeds were donated to The Gentle Barn Foundation, an animal rescue organization.

This list could go on and on, as there seems to be an endless amount of items being sold on auctions. Next up, our list of priceless items that were actually sold in auctions.


The Priceless

  • Albert Einstein’s Handwritten Letter

Talk about a priceless item, indeed! Albert Einstein penned a letter to Erik Gutkind, a Jewish philosopher, and talked about pertinent topics such as religion and tribalism. It also contained a firm affirmation that Einstein did not believe that God exists.

This letter was originally purchased from Bloomsbury Auctions for $404,000 in 2008.In 2012, this “God Letter” was auctioned for a staggering price of $3,000,100.

  • Original Hollywood Sign

The original Hollywood sign in Los Angeles read “Hollywoodland” until 1949, when the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce agreed to have it preserved and the last four letters removed. In 2005, the original sign was sold in eBay for $450,400.

This is clearly a priceless item, as no one else can boast of owning the original Hollywood sign that lords over the iconic place. Indeed, former owner Dan Bliss remarked, “I hope the winning bidder has exciting plans for it.”

  • A violin on the Titanic

Almost everyone who watched the timeless film Titanic can remember how the band continued to play as the ship was going down. In 2013, the violin believed to have been owned by Titanic’s bandmaster, Wallace Hartley, was sold for a staggering $1.7 million, the highest for a memorabilia tied to the Titanic’s legacy.

To vouch for its authenticity, it was authenticated according to the British auction house that handled the violin.

  • A very expensive carpet

The Clark Sickle-Leaf Carpet broke many records when it was sold in 2013. The carpet was made in Persia in the 1650s and was a remarkable display of carpet weaving. Despite being over three centuries old, the carpet remains to be in excellent condition, signifying that it was once hung on the walls as an ornament, instead of being laid on the floor.

The carpet broke records when it was sold for $33.7 million, or over $600,000 per square foot. Previously owned by American billionaire William Clark in the 1900s, it was donated to the Corcoran Gallery of Art in 1925 following his death.

  • An authentic Martian rock

A piece of the famous Mars rock Zagami was sold on eBay for $450,000. In terms of rarity, this one is literally out of this world, as only 132 known meteorite specimens came from Mars.

The Zagami meteorite fell to the Earth on October 3, 1962 near a farmer in Zagami, Nigeria. It weighed 18 kilograms and was buried in a hole about 2 feet deep.


A Martian rock, an actual letter from Albert Einstein, a toilet hat, and a piece of toast with Virgin Mary’s likeness on it. The list can actually go on and on, but we have to stop at one point. However, isn’t it just entertaining to see the number of items that are actually up for sale? Stay tuned for more.