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The 10 Dumbest Historical Objects That Sold for Big Bucks

by DannyGallagher   May 02, 2011 at 10:00AM  |  Views: 4,105

There are a lot of important artifacts worthy of historical recognition and preservation in order to commemorate their impact on the development of mankind and society: the original Gettysburg address, the hammer used to nail Martin Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses, and the first Wonderbra, to name a few examples. These high-priced garage sale knick-knacks shouldn’t be among them, even though some very rich suckers paid just as much to own them.

Source: Keystone/Stringer/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

10. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Mustache Trimmings

The creator of Sherlock Holmes wasn’t just your typical writer who spends anywhere from 70 to 94 hours a week in their pajamas looking up nut-shot videos on YouTube. He actually did stuff that would probably make a military paratrooper think that he wasted his life.

It’s hard to know exactly where he derived his power for laughing in death’s pimply face, but it must come from his awesome man-stache, a mustache so awesome that it is worthy of pun-infused misspelling. That’s the only reason I can fathom for why someone would pay good money to buy his facial hair trimmings for more than 150 British pounds ($247 in American coinage). The purchase also came with a portrait of the author taken for his second wedding and the original envelope they were kept in for so many years that reads “My beloved mustache hairs,” which makes me wonder if he loved them enough to name all of them.

9. Lee Harvey Oswald’s Coffin

Source: Hulton Archive/Stringer/Getty Images

No other event in history (except perhaps for the Apollo 11 moon landing, the Roswell crash landing, or the break-up of Van Halen) has created more wild, drug-fueled speculation and conspiracy theories than the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

The wild, wackjob hypotheses surrounding his death have turned every minuscule prop, fixture, and piece of trash from Dealey Plaza into items worth more than you or I could ever hope to be worth. For instance, the coffin of the man who most rational people believe killed JFK went on the auction block for a starting bid of $1,000. Of course, it didn’t come with Oswald’s body since it was the first coffin he was buried in before his body was exhumed in 1981, but I’m sure the auction house would have been willing to sell that on some kind of installment plan.

8. Queen Victoria’s Panties

Source: Rischgitz/Stringer/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

It’s hard to understand the kind of twisted billionaire who would want to own the knickers of one of the biggest and most powerful women in the world. It’s more likely my mind just doesn’t want to venture that down that flesh-colored, elephant-skinned road of elderly perverted delicacies about the man who purchased one of the biggest and most powerful ass coverings of all time.

Someone in Derby with more money than brains (or a common sense of decency) purchased the late queen’s “knickers” for 4,500 pounds (or just under $7,400) to do God knows what with them. So to keep myself from vomiting uncontrollably, I just imagine they turned them into the world’s most regal pup tent.

7. Elvis Presley’s Army Haircut Trimmings

Source: Michael Ochs Archives/Stringer/Getty Images

Remember the “Elvis is Alive” conspiracy theories? When the King of Rock and Roll started making surprise appearances around the country after spending months in seclusion, the world was stunned and rightfully so, considering the fact that he had been dead for at least 10 years.

However, turning the King into the King of Kings is probably the most sane thing his fans have done to honor his musical legacy. Someone at the Army base where Elvis had gotten his military issue haircut collected a big chunk of the trimmings as they fell from that barber’s golden hair chair. They popped up at an auction and were sold to an anonymous bidder for $18,300. I’m sure he wanted to remain anonymous because cloning is a felony.

6. Michael Jackson’s Syringe

Source: Ron Galella/WireImage/Getty Images

The late King of Pop has long been the target of high-priced auctions since his fabled Neverland Ranch estate went up for sale. However, the strangest keepsake in the MJ collection (strange even for a man who lived in what can ostensibly be described as the world's creepiest Dave and Busters and listed Peter Pan as a reference on his resume) is the syringe that delivered the fatal dose of drugs into his bloodstream. What’s even more shocking is the asking price: $5 million. For that kind of money, you should also be able to get Jackson’s entire circulatory system.