We’ve put together a list of 10 of the most expensive antiques in the world, from different categories and different eras. However they do have one thing in common, they’re all exceptionally expensive.
If you’re an antiques aficionado you might have heard of the pieces we will mention in the article.
These curled-toed golden slippers were worn in the beginning of the 19th century by Nizam Sikandar Jan, the ruler of a powerful dynasty in India. The exquisite shoes were stolen from the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto in 2006. Fortunately they were recovered a few months later.
Price: $160, 000
The gold-encrusted sword in the picture actually belonged to Napoleon and used in battle back in the early 1800s. Napoleon later gave the sword to his brother as a wedding present, and it stayed in the family for generations. The sword was declared a French national treasure in 1978 and estimated to be worth just under £1 000 000. It was sold in 2007 for a whopping £3.3 million, to a woman who bought it for her husband as a Father’s Day gift.
Price: £3.3 million
This beautiful silver tureen was made in 1733 for Louis XV by a French silversmith called Thomas Germain. In 1996 the tureen was sold for $10 287 500 at Sotheby’s, New York – setting the world record for the highest price paid for a single piece of silver at auction, tripling the former record. We have a feeling it won’t be used as a soup bowl.
Price: $10, 287, 500
This gorgeous porcelain vase that made for the Qianlong emperor in the 18th century was found in a house clearance in Pinner, London, a few years ago. It’s believed to have left China in 1860 and acquired by an English family in the 1930s, but no one knows how it ended up in a bungalow in Pinner. The vase was auctioned in 2010 and sold to one of China’s richest men for a meagre £51.6 million.
Price: £51.6 million
This old fiddle from 1721 was named after its 19th-century owner Lady Anne Blunt, who was an Arabian horse breeder and Lord Byron’s granddaughter. It was sold by the Nippon music foundation in 2011 to raise money for Japan’s tsunami relief fund, and bought by an unnamed bidder for four times the previous Stradivarius violin record.
Price: £9.8 million
This collection of scientific writings by Leonardo da Vinci himself was named after the Earl of Leicester, who owned the codex back in 1719. In November 1994 it was sold in New York for around $30.8 million to no other than Bill Gates. As the kind man he is he’s had the codex digitally scanned and it’s available on CD.
Price: $30.8 million
A man was in for a real surprise when he took this old silver teapot to the BBC programme Flog it! and it sold for no less than £140 000 – after experts had valued it at only £120. This ornate tea pot was seized by an ancestor to a man who took part in in the controversial British expedition to Tibet in 1903 led by Colonel Francis Younghusband. The image shows the Flog it! presenter Paul Martin holding the teapot.
Price £140 000
Believe it or not, this cedar wood and gold lacquer chest that is one of only ten in the world was being used as a TV stand and drinks cabinet in a private home, without the owner realising the value of it. The owner, a French engineer living in London, bought the box for only £100 at a private sale in 1970. In fact, the Victoria and Albert museum in London had been searching worldwide for the chest since 1941. The container that dates back to 1640 was bought by Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum for £6.3 million pounds.
Price: £6.3 million
This exquisite tiara is composed of 11 exceptionally rare Colombian pear-shaped drops, which weigh over 500 carats. The tiara was given to Princess Katharina by her husband, the extremely wealthy German nobleman Guido Henckel von Donnersmarck. It was sold in 2011 for $12.76 million in Geneva at Sotheby’s Magnificent and Noble Jewels sale.
Price: $12.76 million
Last but not least, this very old 1906 whisky from Aisla T’Orten Distillery was miraculously discovered by Allie Sisell in 2011 and bottled by Master of Malt in England. The bottle was sold for a measly £870 000 to a private collector.
No, wait, this was actually an April fool’s Day prank in 2011. If you rearrange the letters in Aisla T’Orten distillery you get: ‘It’s not a real distillery’ and the letters in Allie Sisell can be rearranged to ‘Lies, all lies’.
Did we fool anyone?
Price: £870 000
We sell a range of beautiful antique silver pieces, but don’t worry, the prices are nowhere near the prices mentioned in this article.