One Little Monster paid a hefty sum for a fake nail worn by Gaga. And that's hardly the only creepy bit of memorabilia auctioned off in recent years
1. Lady Gaga's fake fingernail
A savvy stage manager in Ireland knew that Gaga's fans would do just about anything to own something of Mother Monster's. So when he found Gaga's black and gold acrylic nail on stage after a performance, he put it up for auction. Judging by the final $13,000 price tag, says Alexis L. Loniaz at Entertainment Online, "it looks like somebody thought the memento was worth fighting tooth and nail over."
2. Jennifer Lawrence's dirty sports bra
It's no secret that deep-pocketed film buffs eager to own a piece of movie history can bid on film props in Hollywood auctions. But the sports bra Jennifer Lawrence wore in her Oscar-winning performance in Silver Linings Playbook is perhaps one of the smellier pieces of memorabilia that a collector can buy at auction. The final bid on the teal bra (and a long-sleeved blue shirt Lawrence also wore during filming) was north of $3,000. "Just think," says Laura Beck at Jezebel, "for the mere cost of a semester's tuition or a decent used car, you could be guaranteed boob buddies with your imaginary bestie."
3. Ronald Reagan's blood
There used to be a thriving trade in the (sometimes dubious) relics of Christian saints — St. Anthony's voice box, a vial of St. Gennaro's blood, splinters from the cross used in Jesus' crucifixion — and by those standards, a British auction for a tube of Ronald Reagan's dried blood makes perfect sense, especially if you revere the former president. Of course, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation didn't see it that way. After the top bid for a vial of the former president's blood (purportedly from Reagan's hospital stay when he was recovering from being shot in 1981) crossed the $30,000 mark, the foundation called the auction a "craven act" and threatened legal action. In the end, the foundation successfully shut down the auction and obtained the vial as a donation.
4. Queen Elizabeth II's panties
"In a twisted, odd, and stomach-churning turn of events, someone got a hold of a vintage pair of Queen Elizabeth's underwear" for $18,101, says Jessica Grabert at Pop Blend. The estate of Miami-based artist-aristocrat Baron Joseph "Sepy" de Bicske Dobronyi sold the monogrammed silk underwear with lace trim on eBay, and the buyer has opted to remain anonymous. Dobronyi was reportedly given the bloomers by the pilot of a private plane that the Queen rode on during a 1968 trip to Chile. The royal undies' authenticity hasn't been verified, the estate warns, but either way, they're "an excellent example of a vintage undergarment of that era and very collectable."
5. Scarlett Johansson's used tissue
In December 2008, at the urging of Jay Leno, a sick Johansson blew her nose into a tissue on national TV, sealed the dirty Kleenex in a bag with a kiss, then put it up for auction on eBay. Seven days later, someone bought it for $5,300. The proceeds went to the charity Harvest USA, but there must be a better, and more sanitary, way to feed the needy, says Tina Molly Lang at Yahoo. "Let's hope the winning bidder has a strong immune system."
6. Justin Timberlake's French toast
In March 2000, the boy band 'N Sync sat down for a breakfast interview with New York City radio station Z100, and Timberlake barely touched his food. An enterprising staffer put the two slices of French toast, plate, and extra syrup in a bag, and the radio station put the package on eBay. A University of Wisconsin student Kathy Summers, paid $1,025 for Timberlake's leftovers, and Z100 threw in an equal amount and gave the whole kitty to charity. Summers said she would freeze-dry the slightly burnt French toast, seal it up, and display it on her dresser.
7. Britney Spears' chewed gum
Spears was once so hot that fans were snapping up her used chewing gum for as much as $100 a wad. One enterprising seller even drove up the price to $14,000 by bidding against himself, before being discovered. The various discarded pieces of gum were purportedly rescued from backstage after Spears' performances. "People want a piece of someone they like and admire," psychologist Joyce Brothers told the AP. "It's like obtaining somebody's halo."
8. Elvis Presley's hair
In October 2009, an Elvis fan bought a lock of the King's hair at auction for $15,000, plus $3,300 in fees to the Chicago auction house. The hair, from the late Elvis friend and fan club chief Gary Pepper, was reportedly saved when Elvis shaved his head to go into the Army in 1958. If $18,300 sounds like a lot, consider that a "big Elvis collector" bought a jar of the singer's hair, collected by his barber, for $115,000, in 2002, and that Justin Bieber sold a lock of his hair for $40,688 in March 2011. But hair is relatively normal, says Andrew Limbong at Death and Taxes, compared with the "absolutely creepy" (and quickly canceled) auction of the instruments used in Elvis' autopsy.
9. Marilyn Monroe's chest X-rays
Monroe's chest is famous, of course, but while "the outline of her bust can be made out" on three 1954 X-rays, the images of Marilyn's lungs and stomach far exceeded expectations when they sold for $45,000 in June 2010, says Britain's The Telegraph. This just shows that people will "shell out the big bucks" for anything Marilyn-related, says Andrea Uku at StyleCaster. Unlike the dress she wore while singing "Happy Birthday" to JFK, which sold for $1.3 million in 1999, or the "subway dress" from The Seven-Year Itch, which sold for a cool $5.6 million in June 2011, these X-rays are "neither iconic nor worth spending thousands on."
10. John Lennon's tooth
"Only a man with a strong love for The Beatles would pay $30,000 for John Lennon’s tooth," says Dan Evon at The Inquisitr. "Or maybe just a man who really loves teeth." It turns out that Canadian dentist Michael Zuk is both, as he forked over $30,5000 for Lennon's tooth in November 2011. Lennon gave the tooth to his housekeeper in the 1960s after a trip to the dentist. It's not a particularly attractive specimen, says Karen Fairweather at Omega Auctions. "It's rather gruesome, yellowy, browny with a cavity." But Zuk still said he planned to display it in his office. "Some people will think it's gross, others will be fascinated by it."
Editor's note: This story — originally published on May 23, 2012 — was last updated on June 6, 2013.
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