During a 2009 auction in Bonhams, New York, an anonymous buyer forked out a whopping $9,150 for an ivory and gold toothpick, an object notably owned by a prolific British writer, Charles Dickens. The precious piece has a stamp of authenticity with the author’s name engraved on it. The former owners, Barnes & Noble family members, have also certified that the toothpick genuinely belonged to the famous author.
Around $3000-$5000 was the price range they had in mind when they put the toothpick for auction. But the item got sold for more than twice their anticipated price. The sale surpassed their Great Expectations, making this the most expensive toothpick on record.
Granted you’re an avid Dickens fan and a billionaire at the same time, can you imagine spending around $10,000 on such memorabilia? What do you fancy doing with it? I don’t know who’s telling people that they could become the next Dickens if they get ahold of his favorite toothpick.
If you’ve been lingering here for some time, you could probably see the stupendous buying patterns of the rich, famous, and mysterious. They don’t mind handing out thousands of dollars for a hideously expensive but barely functional mini cooper, uberexpensive used bikinis, or uber-pricey yet ordinary-looking saxophone.
Perhaps, auctions of celebrity memorabilia thrive because the buyers feel a sense of affinity with the former prominent owners of the objects. After all, one man’s litter can be someone else’s treasure.
P.S. If you’re an author who aims to be popular someday, organize your things for your future fans to collect. Your heirs, if not your publishers, would thank and remember you fondly.