A COL­LEC­TOR’S DE­LIGHT

The world is a trea­sure trove of cu­rios that any lover of col­lectibles would love to ac­quire, ir­re­spec­tive of the price ticket. Here are some of the big­gest draws guar­an­teed to ap­peal to afi­ciona­dos

MillionaireAsia India - - Feature -

Imag­ine if you dis­cov­ered that the painting you just laid your hands on in your at­tic was a rare Michelangelo or a Vin­cent Van Gogh piece. One is bound to be ec­static, for you would have joined the league of trea­sure hun­ters who have suc­cess­fully un­earthed unique col­lectibles in rather in­de­ter­mi­nate lo­ca­tions. The list of the world’s most pre­cious and price­less an­tiques and col­lectibles range from the prici­est base­ball card, an old pair of faded Levi’s, curl­ing base­ball card, to a vase from the Yuan Dy­nasty and bot­tle of wine ini­tialed by a leg­endary Amer­i­can Pres­i­dent. A sneak peek into the list of the world’s most ex­pen­sive col­lectible items. This is just aboiut as ma­jor league as it gets.

SPI­DER-MAN COMIC BOOK: $40,000+

De­buted in Novem­ber of 1962 and noted as “one the most im­por­tant comics in his­tory,” the Mar­vel Comic, Spi­derman is the world’s most rare and most ex­pen­sive comic col­lectible. Cre­ated by writer-ed­i­tor Stan-Lee and writer-artist Steve Ditko, the orig­i­nal sale price of the comic book was just 12 cents per copy and is now val­ued at over $40,000. An orig­i­nal copy of the comic book was lo­cated by BBC pre­sen­ter, Jonathan Ross, who put it up for auc­tion for ‘comic re­lief’. Ross known

his comic col­lec­tion, ap­par­ently spent years try­ing to track down the Spi­derMan col­lectible, and re­gards it as one of his “most prized pos­ses­sions.”

PAIR OF LEVI STRAUSS & CO 501: $60,000

An orig­i­nal pair of Levi Strauss & Co (USA) 501 jeans, aged over 115 years, was sold for $60,000 (ap­prox­i­mately ` 40 lakh) through an on­line auc­tion on eBay in 2005, mak­ing it the most ex­pen­sive jeans sold at an auc­tion on­line. It is said to be the only com­plete pair of au­then­tic pre-1900 Levi’s 501 jeans in ex­is­tence that is still wear­able. Le­vis Strauss and tai­lor Ja­cob Davis pro­duced the rst men’s work pant made out of denim in 1873, some 20 years af­ter the Bavar­ian, Strauss moved to San Fran­cisco, Cal­i­for­nia (1853). Ac­cord­ing to Amer­i­can nan­cial his­tory, a dozen pairs of Levi Strauss blue jeans at that time cost mere $13.50. Al­though the most ex­pen­sive pair of jeans (also pro­duced by Levi’s) are a gold, di­a­mond and ruby em­bel­lished pair, val­ued at $85,000, they are not the most valu­able. The Guinness Book of World Records states that the most valu­able pair jeans is one orig­i­nal pair from Levi Strauss & Co 501. The mak­ers bid $46,532 to buy back the col­lectible denim off an ebay auc­tion, but the jeans man­u­fac­tured in the 1880’s were sold to a Ja­panese col­lec­tor in 2005 for $60,000.

THE GUTEN­BERG BIBLE: $20,000 – $100,000

Writ­ten in Latin, printed in the 1450s, and the rst ma­jor book printed in the west­ern world us­ing mov­able type, the Guten­berg Bible, also known as the ‘42-line Bible’, the ‘Mazarin Bible’, or the ‘B42’, holds an iconic sta­tus and is re­puted for its high aes­thetic and artis­tic qual­i­ties. It is be­lieved that at present there are only 42-48 copies of the Bible left, each which is worth be­tween $20,000 – $100,000.

Al­though there is con­tra­dict­ing in­for­ma­tion about how many copies of this type of Bible ex­ist as on date, but as of 2007 it was es­ti­mated that there are be­tween 42-48 copies that have sur­vived ei­ther in frag­ments or in en­tirety. It is cur­rently be­lieved to be amongst the most valu­able books in world.

1787 CHATEAU LAFITE: $160,000

Con­sid­ered the world’s most ex­pen­sive bot­tle of wine at $160,000, Château Late was pro­duced on a French wine es­tate owned by the Roth­schild fam­ily dat­ing back to the 19th cen­tury. The bot­tle of wine was pur­chased by the third Pres­i­dent the United States, Thomas Jef­fer­son, in France, signed and later sold for $156,000-160,000. Jef­fer­son’s ini­tials can be seen un­der “Late.” Awarded ‘rst growth’ sta­tus (a classication of wines pri­mar­ily from the Bordeaux re­gion of France), Late was one of four wines pro­duced by Châteaux of Bordeaux, and has since re­mained a con­sis­tent pro­ducer of one of the world’s most ex­pen­sive red wines. This par­tic­u­lar brand, Chateau Late 1787, is con­sid­ered the world’s most ex­pen­sive bot­tle of wine.

‘DOU­BLE FAN­TASY’ JOHN LEN­NON AL­BUM: $525,000

The last al­bum re­leased by John Len­non just three weeks be­fore his death, Dou­ble Fan­tasy was a col­lab­o­ra­tion by the artist with his beloved Yoko Ono. The al­bum was awarded the ‘1981 Al­bum of the Year’ dur­ing the 24th An­nual Grammy Awards, and is now worth $525,000. Re­leased in 1980, the al­bum didn’t re­ceive rave re­views ini­tially, but later be­came a global phe­nom­e­non, as well as a com­mer­cial suc­cess. This was also the last al­bum to be signed by the artist, mak­ing it the most valu­able record ever.

PORCE­LAIN VASE: $1.2 MIL­LION

The only one of its kind in ex­is­tence from the XIV cen­tury, this porce­lain vase dates back to the Yuan Dy­nasty (1271-1368), also known as the Mon­gol Dy­nasty, the em­pire es­tab­lished by Mon­go­lian gen­eral Kublai Khan. Stand­ing 34 cen­time­ters high and de­signed in Yuan Style, the vase was sold in 1993 for $1.2 mil­lion. It was dur­ing this pe­riod that the Chi­nese white and blue dec­o­rated porce­lain was made for ex­clu­sive ex­port to Europe and North Amer­ica, gain­ing great pop­u­lar­ity be­tween the 16th and the 20th cen­tury.

T206 HONUS WAG­NER BASE­BALL CARD: $1.26 MIL­LION

Nick­named “The Fly­ing Dutch­man” for his speed and Ger­man her­itage, Jo­hannes Peter “Honus” Wag­ner was hailed as one of the best base­ball play­ers of all time. The T206 Honus Wag­ner base­ball card was made by the Amer­i­can To­bacco Com­pany (ATC) that pro­duced and dis­trib­uted 200 cards be­fore ceas­ing pro­duc­tion. In 1933, the card val­ued at $50 was the most ex­pen­sive base­ball card in the world. To­day, the re­mains the rarest base­ball card ever, in 2000 was sold for $1.26 mil­lion, and may be worth three times that value to­day. Wag­ner was a Ma­jor League Base­ball short­stop who played in the Na­tional League from 1897 to 1917. He was in­ducted into the Base­ball Hall of Fame in 1936 and his im­pres­sive sta­tis­tics in­clude eight bat­ting ti­tles, six slug­ging ti­tles, and ve stolen base ti­tles.

TRESKILLING YEL­LOW STAMP: $2.3 MIL­LION

The Swedish postage stamp known as the “Treskilling Yel­low” is the world’s most valu­able stamp. First is­sued in 1855, the par­tic­u­lar Swedish postage stamp fea­tures a set of ve val­ues de­pict­ing the Swedish coat of arms and Swedish Skilling in var­i­ous dom­i­na­tions. The stamp nor­mally printed in a blue-green colour, got printed in the wrong colour er­ronously. Given that only one copy of the Treskilling yel­low stamp was ever dis­cov­ered, it is ex­tremely rare, and was sold in 1996 for $2.3 mil­lion.

WILLIAM SHAKE­SPEARE AU­TO­GRAPH: $3-5 MIL­LION

Con­sid­ered Eng­land’s na­tional poet, William Shake­speare only left six known copies of his sig­na­ture. While none of the sig­na­tures are at­tached to any his manuscripts and have not been au­then­ti­cated, if an au­then­ti­cated au­to­graph was ever sold it would be worth $3-5 mil­lion. Three of Shake­speare’s au­then­ti­cated sig­na­tures were linked to the deed of his house, while the other three were linked to his will.

WORLD’S LARGEST DI­A­MOND NECK­LACE: $55 MIL­LION

This magnicent piece of jew­ellery known as L’In­com­pa­ra­ble has an egg-sized yel­low stone called ‘The Golden Gi­ant’ sur­rounded by 90 white di­a­monds and sus­pended from a rose gold set­ting weighs a whop­ping 637 karats. The egg-sized yel­low di­a­mond, which is the sta­ple piece to the world’s most as­ton­ish­ing neck­lace, was found by a young girl in a pile of min­ing rub­ble in the Demo­cratic Re­pub­lic Congo 30 years ago and was re­cently auc­tioned for $55 mil­lion in Sin­ga­pore. The neck­lace, afrmed the most ex­pen­sive one that ex­ists by Guinness World Records ear­lier in the year, is the hand­i­work of lux­ury jew­ellery Mouawad.

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