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Some of the Most Expensive Antiques in the World

Expensive antiques, Sotheby, Valuables

Auction houses and antique markets can be the home to so many treasures and surprises, as seemingly worthless items may be worth fortunes. Whilst you comb through your house for forgotten-about treasures, here is a list of items you can only dream of finding:

Humble Souvenir or a Persian Treasure

If you happen to find a rolled-up rug in your home, you might question its origins before giving it away to any flea-markets. A Sotheby’s rug sold from the William Andrews Clark’s estate auction wracked up over £23 million, so if your rug is an antique from the Middle East it might be worth getting an appraisal. That isn’t to say every antique rug is worth something, but these intricately woven rugs from revered weavers are certainly worth a lot.

Chinese Ceramics

Antique ceramics have become incredibly valuable, as China values its ancient culture and tradition. The most exciting example, the 18th century Pinner Qing Dynasty Vase, is an elaborately decorated vase that is said to have been owned by royals. This exquisite vase sold at Bainbridge’s for over £51 million, much to the surprise to the dealers who had significantly underestimated its value.

Diamonds and Pearls

If jewellery is more your thing, you will be very interested in La Peregrina Pearl Necklace by Cartier, designed and made for Elizabeth Taylor. One of the most famous pearls in the world, the Peregrina Pearl originally belonged to the Hamilton family, before being sold at a Sotheby’s auction to Richard Burton. An already expensive gift, Taylor later commissioned Cartier to re-design the necklace, which later sold at a Christie’s auction for over £8.6 million. Maybe this sort of budget is a little out of your range but if you are a lover of antique jewellery, certainly make the time to visit where you will find the most beautiful and timeless pieces.

Not Just a Simple Piece of Furniture

Constructed in Florence, the ornate Badminton Cabinet is a work of art. Originally belonging to the 3rd Duke of Beaufort, this cabinet can now be found in the Liechtenstein Museum, where you can feast your eyes on it yourself. It is easy to see the amount of expert craftsmanship, dedication, and passion that went into making this antique piece of furniture and it appears well-deserving of the £19 million price tag.

Film Buff Fantasy

If you’re an avid collector of film and television memorabilia, this is probably the antique that would catch your eye. Heritage Auction broke their own world record for the most expensive movie poster, after a 1931 Dracula movie poster sold for £411,438.50. Featuring the face of actor Bela Lugosi, the poster is apparently 1 of only 2 left in existence, a valuable rarity that won its enormous price-tag. Heritage Auction also held the previous two records, for the sale of the only known surviving poster of the 1946 film Casablanca and similarly, only-one-known copy of the 1927 film, London After Midnight. Both of which sold for over £374,000.

The value of antiques is determined by a number of factors, including age, rarity, and quality. Many items can go unnoticed in you or your parents’ homes, but if you come from a wealthy ancestry, your past-relations may have valuable antiques stored away that are worth uncovering.

Have you found any valuable antiques unexpectedly? If you have we would love to hear from you. 💜


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