In the March 2013 issue of Downhome, we get an inside look at the fast-paced world of auctions from St. JohnÂ’s-based FitzpatrickÂ’s Auctioneers, Liquidators and Appraisers. The founder shares the tricks of his trade, as well as some of the oddities that have been sold on his auction block over the years. Actually, auctions are the perfect place to find wild and wacky items for purchase. Read on for the weirdest of the weird Â“stuffÂ” sold at auctions around the world.
Name My Baby!
Most new parents spend months coming up with the perfect name for their bundle of joy. Not this Connecticut mom. Melissa Heuschkel auctioned off her unborn childÂ’s name on eBay in 2005. The winning bid ($15,100) came from online casino GoldenPalace.com, which named the bouncing baby girl Â– what else? Golden Palace.
Everything from Marilyn MonroeÂ’s evening gowns and jewelry to chest x-rays and photos of her dog have been sold at auctions since her death in 1962. But one of the stranger sales happened in 2009, when a widow had her husbandÂ’s body relocated from an above ground burial plot located above MonroeÂ’s resting place. She auctioned off the prime plot for a whopping $4.6 million.
The CaptainÂ’s Kidney Stone
One thingÂ’s for certain, Star Trek legend William Shatner went through great pains to earn this cash. After Â“Captain KirkÂ” passed a kidney stone in 2005, he put it up for auction on eBay. Online casino GoldenPalace.com purchased the stone for $25,000, which Shatner donated to charity.
If you think paying thousands for a kidney stone is nothing to sneeze at, hear this: in 2008 Hollywood bombshell Scarlett Johansson blew her nose during an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. The germ-ridden tissue later sold for $5,300, with proceeds going to charity.
The ashes of a beloved Coronation Street star were auctioned off in 2010, a full decade after his death. Frisky the tabby cat was featured for a few seconds during the opening credits of the much-loved British soap opera throughout the 1990s. Though the felineÂ’s remains were expected to fetch about £150 ($233 CAD), the winning bid rang in at £844 ($1,300 CAD). FriskyÂ’s owner donated the money to a local animal charity.
In 2012, an Indiana man put something pretty personal up on the auction block: his face. Eric Hartsburg put the side of his face up for sale on eBay as advertising space. The winning bidder shelled out $15,000 to have Mitt RomneyÂ’s signature Â“RÂ” logo tattooed on the manÂ’s face. Only weeks after getting inked, however, Hartsburg had already begun the process of having the tattoo removed with the help of laser surgery.
A ManÂ’s Life
After splitting from his wife, Ian Usher of Australia decided he needed to make a change Â– a BIG change. So in 2008, he put his whole life up for auction on eBay Â– everything from his house and all the contents, to his vehicle, job and even introductions to his friends. The highest bidder paid £192,000 (about $300,000 CAD) to take over UsherÂ’s life, with Usher using the proceeds to embark on a whirlwind tour across the globeÂ…not exactly your typical mid-life crisis.
Definitely NOT Edible
While the 28,000-dollar, 10-year-old grilled cheese sandwich featuring a likeness of the Virgin Mary might just be the most famous of auctioned food items, it is far from the only one. Other food items sold at auction include a Doritos chip shaped like the PopeÂ’s Mitre ($1,209), a Corn Flake shaped like the state of Illinois ($1,350) and a George Washington-shaped Chicken McNugget from McDonaldÂ’s ($8,100). So the next time youÂ’re out of cash, it might just pay to check your cupboards.