Thought the recent sale of singer Justin Bieber’s hair was weird? That’s only the tip of the iceberg…
1) Lee Harvey Oswald’s coffin – $87,469
The coffin which contained Lee Harvey Oswald’s body for 18 years after his death was sold by a Texas funeral home owner, last year. He exchanged it with Oswald’s family for a new one when the body was exhumed in 1981.
Oswald’s body was dug up to disprove the popular conspiracy theory that the man buried inside was actually a Soviet agent. It was believed that the agent had taken Oswald’s identity to kill President John F. Kennedy – which the exhumation disproved.
Bids for the coffin were taken online and by telephone. It was sold for $87,469 in December 2010.
2) Marilyn Monroe’s X-rays – $45,000
In June 2010, a Julien’s Auctions sale featured three lots of X-rays of the Hollywood starlet Marilyn Monroe.
The X-rays achieved $45,000 in total but were sold as three separate lots. Naturally, the most coveted of the three was that of Monroe’s chest. It was auctioned for $25,000.
Monroe’s X-rays were scanned at the Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in Florida, where the Some Like It Hot star had surgery for endometriosis in November 1954.
3) Justin Bieber’s hair – $40,668
In March 2011, the teen pop sensation traded in his trademark fringe for a new ‘do – and presented his offcut hair as a belated birthday gift to US TV star Ellen DeGeneres when he appeared on her chat show, last February.
DeGeneres then sold the hair on eBay with the proceeds going to the Gentle Barn organisation, a charity which rescues abused farm animals and rehabilitates them to help at-risk and special needs children.
According to the online collectibles guide, Wikicollecting, the 17-year-old singer’s hair was sold for $40,668.
Believe it or not, celebrity hair is becoming increasingly popular with collectors. For instance, a chunk of Michael Jackson’s hair from an infamous 1984 Pepsi Cola commercial is being sold for £149.99 per strand by online celebrity hair retailer asmallpieceofhistory.com.
4) William Shatner’s kidney stone – $25,000
In 2006, William Shatner sold his kidney stone, alongside the surgical stint and string used to permit the passage of the stone, to online casino GoldenPalace.com for $25,000.
The casino originally offered $15,000. But Shatner declined after noting that his old Star Trek tunics have been known to sell for over $100,000.
With typical gusto, Shatner said of the matter: “The stone was so big, you’d want to wear it on your finger.”
5) Winston Churchill’s false teeth – £15,200
In 2010, the British wartime Prime Minister’s gold-plated upper dentures were sold by Keys in Aylsham, Norfolk, UK for £15,200.
The dentures were previously owned by the son of dental technician Derek Cudlipp, who originally made them.
According to Paul Fraser Collectibles, the false teeth even had a slight gap to preserve Churchill’s famous trademark lisp.
6) Napoleon’s tooth – £11,000
A tooth which is believed to have belonged to French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte was sold at auction in 2005 in Wiltshire, England.
The canine, which is believed to have been pulled in 1817 when Napoleon suffered from scurvy, was sold by Dominic Winter Book Auctions for £11,000.
7) Tissue used by Scarlet Johansson – $5,300
A tissue used by the Lost in Translation star was sold for $5,300 on eBay in 2008. It was handed to Johansson by Tonight host Jay Leno after the film star said that she had caught a cold.
After blowing her nose on the tissue, she put it in a bag and signed it. The proceeds from the sale went to Johansson’s chosen charity, USA Harvest.
8) Britney Spears’ pregnancy test – $5,001
A pregnancy test used by Britney at a Los Angeles hotel, while staying there with then-husband Kevin Federline, sold to GoldenPalace.com in 2005 for $5,001.
The pregnancy test was secured by Ottowa music station Hot 89.9 through a connection it had in the hotel.
The proceeds from the sale were donated to two charities; Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation and the Easter Seal Society.
9) Justin Timberlake’s half eaten French toast – $3,154
A piece of French toast half eaten by former N-Sync and Social Network star Justin Timberlake sold for $3,154 on the online auction site, eBay in March 2006.
The toast was sold by a DJ from the radio station Z-100, where Timberlake had been a guest. The DJ noted that Timberlake had only eaten one bite of his toast and speedily posted the remains on eBay, with the proceeds going to charity.
The toast was purchased by 19 year-old N-Sync fan Kathy Summers who said that she would “probably freeze-dry it, then seal it … then put it on my dresser.”
10) Frisky the Coronation Street cat’s ashes – £844
The ashes of the cat that starred in the opening credits of the long-running UK soap, Coronation Street, were sold by Dominic Winter Book Auctions in July 2010 for £844 – well exceeding the £150 pre-sale estimate.
The ashes of the cat, which died in 2000, were accompanied by a cremation certificate and photographs of the cat with actors from the show.