Rare photo of teenage Diana sells for $18,369
This photo of a Diana, then 19, lying in bed was believed to have been taken around the time she got engaged to Prince Charles.
January 25th, 2013
08:10 PM ET

Rare photo of teenage Diana sells for $18,369

An intimate black-and-white photograph of Princess Diana as a teenager sold today for $18,396, a New Hampshire auction company said.

The photograph - which may never before have been seen by the public, RR Auction says - offers a glimpse of the future wife of Prince Charles lying down, perhaps on a bed, wearing a light sweater or top. Only her head and arms can be seen. Behind her a young man leans against the wall, reading, his book resting on her shoulder.

The only indication of date is a stamp on the back of the print saying "26 February 1981," which would be two days after the engagement of Diana, then 19, and Prince Charles was announced by Buckingham Palace. They married in July of that year.

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Filed under: Auctions • Prince Charles • United Kingdom
October 25th, 2012
06:03 PM ET

Iconic Afghan girl photo among National Geographic items up for auction

National Geographic has made its mark by bringing the world - in all its grandeur, beauty and horror - into people's living rooms.

Soon, some won't be limited to a glimpse from a magazine or a snippet from a TV show: They can get the full picture, literally, from the National Geographic Society as it auctions off originals of some of its  most well-known, evocative works.

The auction house Christie's announced this week that it will put up for sale "fine art from the archives of the National Geographic Society." The items will be available for viewing from December 1 and 5 at Christie's gallery in New York, then go up for bid on December 6.

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Filed under: Art • Auctions
Babe Ruth jersey sells for record $4.4 million at auction
May 21st, 2012
01:18 PM ET

Babe Ruth jersey sells for record $4.4 million at auction

A jersey worn by New York Yankee Hall of Famer Babe Ruth has sold at auction for $4.4 million, the most ever paid for a piece of sports memorabilia, a California auction house announced.

The $4,415,658 paid for the 1920s away jersey eclipsed the $4,338,500 paid in 2010 for an original copy of James Naismith's founding rules of basketball, SCP Auctions of Laguna Niguel said in a statement.

The 1920s jersey was on display in a Baltimore museum.

"We are honored to, once again, be a part of history,” David Kohler, president of SCP Auctions, said in a statement. “This proves again that Babe Ruth is king in the sports memorabilia world."

The jersey was bought by Lelands.com, a New York auctioneer of memorabilia from sports, rock 'n' roll, American collectibles and vintage photography.

"We are ecstatic about the purchase of his earliest known Yankees jersey," Mike Heffner, president of Lelands.com, said in a statement. "It's like buying a priceless painting, the pinnacle of sports memorabilia."

The company plans to offer the jersey to a private buyer.

The jersey had been on display in the Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum in Baltimore.

Also sold during the auction was a Ruth cap from the 1930s. Owned by former Yankees pitcher David Wells, it went for $537,278, a record for a cap, according to the auction house. Wells wore the cap while pitching for the Yankees on June 28, 1997, it said.

Ruth played for the Yankees from 1920 through 1934, part of a 22-year career that began in 1914 with the Boston Red Sox and finished in 1935 with the Boston Braves.

Ruth hit 714 home runs in his career and was baseball's all-time home run leader until Hank Aaron passed him in 1974. Barry Bonds subsequently passed both Ruth and Aaron to become baseball's home run king.

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Filed under: Auctions • Baseball • Sports
Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days
January 15th, 2012
07:52 PM ET

Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days

Here is a look at some of the stories that CNN plans on covering this week:

Martin Luther King Jr. documents go online

Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, one of 10 national holidays in the United States.

Besides marking the day as a federal holiday for the 26th time, January 16, 2012, begins a new age of online accessibility for those wanting to know more about King and his work.

The King Center Imaging Project, which makes 200,000 of  the civil rights leader's documents quickly accessible online, goes live Monday. King's "I Have a Dream" speech, his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech and his letter from a Birmingham, Alabama, jail are among the documents available.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Non-violent Social Change in Atlanta and JPMorgan Chase & Co., working in partnership with AT&T Business Solutions and EMC, are responsible for the project.

Read a TIME.com history of MLK day

Taking King at his words

The memorial to Martin Luther King Jr. has sparked controversy, and perhaps this is fitting. He was a controversial man whose humanity and words still speak volumes today.

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Filed under: Ahead of the curve • Auctions • Automobiles • Civil Rights • Civil War • Herman Cain • History • Holidays • Human rights • Media • Nobel Peace Prize • Oprah Winfrey • Race • Religion • Showbiz • South Carolina • TV
Bruce Lee memorabilia goes to auction
August 6th, 2011
02:01 PM ET

Bruce Lee's jacket sells for $77,000

An American couple submitted the winning auction bid for a flamboyant fur-lined blue jacket worn by Bruce Lee in his final film appearance, entertainment website NME.com reported Saturday.

The martial arts movie icon wore the long blue jacket in the unfinished film "Game of Death" as well as at the premiere of his best-known film, "Enter the Dragon."

The auction winners bid $77,000 for the jacket, BBC reported.

Phila China auction house of Hong Kong sold a dozen other Lee items, including a neatly written 1966 letter detailing plans and hopes for his budding career, for a total of more than $217,000, according to BBC.

Lee grew up in Hong Kong before moving to the United States in his late teens, according to imdb.com. His acting career was kick-started by his role in the one-season series "The Green Hornet," in which he played valet/bodyguard Kato. His films include "Fists of Fury" and "The Way of the Dragon."

Lee died in 1973 at age 32 of cerebral edema caused by a bad reaction to medication, according to imdb.

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Filed under: Auctions • Hong Kong • Movies • Showbiz
Before the Aston Martin, there was Kate Middleton's VW Golf
Before her wedding day ride in this vintage Aston Martin, Kate Middleton's ride was a VW Golf.
July 25th, 2011
01:44 PM ET

Before the Aston Martin, there was Kate Middleton's VW Golf

If a commemorative tea set just won't cut it, collectors of royal memorabilia may still have a shot at snagging Kate Middleton's beat-up old Volkswagen Golf.

According to the eBay listing for the car, the bidding for Princess Catherine's pre-royal chariot, which she bought in 2001, got up to £48,100, which comes out to a little more than $78,000.

The bidding ended before getting up to the seller's minimum asking price, which is not disclosed on the page.

According to the seller's description, the car comes with documentation showing that it was passed from Middleton to her brother before the family sold it as part of an exchange with car dealer Al Brazil, the seller's father.

On Yahoo Autos, 2001 Golfs are going for between $5,000 and $8,000.

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Filed under: Auctions • Kate Middleton
Austen manuscript fetches $1.6 million
Jane Austen never finished her novel "The Watsons," believed started in 1804, Sotheby's says.
July 14th, 2011
09:52 AM ET

Austen manuscript fetches $1.6 million

Sotheby's London auction house on Thursday sold a handwritten manuscript by Jane Austen for 993,250 British pounds, or about $1.6 million, more than triple the highest pre-sale estimate.

The partial manuscript of the unpublished novel "The Watsons" is full of corrections and strike-throughs in the author's own hand, Sotheby's e-catalog says.

"It is a tantalizing, delightful and highly accomplished fragment, which must surely have proved the equal of her other six novels, had she finished it," British author Margaret Drabble wrote in the description.

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Filed under: Auctions • Literature • United Kingdom
For sale: Waterfront property; cozy, great views, plenty of light, needs TLC
Bidding stands at $13,000 for the Kenosha North Pierhead Light in Wisconsin.
July 12th, 2011
11:28 AM ET

For sale: Waterfront property; cozy, great views, plenty of light, needs TLC

If you have always wanted the tallest house in your neighborhood, here's your chance.

The federal government is auctioning off three decommissioned lighthouses, and the bids are still pretty low.

As of Tuesday morning, the Kenosha North Pierhead Light in Wisconsin is sitting at $13,000. In Ohio, three bids for the Fairport Harbor West Breakwater Light have risen to $39,500. The bidding ends Wednesday for both.

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Filed under: Architecture • Auctions
Big bid for Madoff's boxers
Once Bernie Madoff's, this bull sculpture sold at a Miami auction for $5,000.
June 6th, 2011
07:41 AM ET

Big bid for Madoff's boxers

Someone dropped $400 on Bernie Madoff's underwear during a weekend auction of the convicted Ponzi schemer's stuff in Miami.

That's 14 pairs for that price, but still.

The boxers certainly weren't the highest-priced items up for bid at the Miami Beach Convention Center, according to The Miami Herald. About 150 buyers showed up in person, and 6,000 got into the action online, the paper said. The bids brought in more than $400,000, most of which will go to Madoff’s fraud victims.

Here's a quick receipt from the event staged by the U.S. Marshals Service:

Golf clubs: $15,000

Sculpture of a bull: $5,000 (though appraised at $210)

Rolex watch: $31,000

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Filed under: Auctions • Justice
March 4th, 2011
01:03 PM ET

'Archie' comic book brings record bid

Archie Comics #1 originally sold for 10 cents in 1942.

Comic book character Archie has always been a sort of awkward, goofy dude, but to at least one collector, he's a superhero.

A copy of Archie Comics No. 1 sold at auction last week for $167,300, the highest amount ever paid for a non-superhero comic book, according to Heritage Auction Galleries of Dallas.

"Archie may have a ways to go to catch the likes of Superman and Batman, his Golden Age counterparts, but you can bet that collectors sat up and took notice when this comic brought that price," said Lon Allen, managing director of comics at Heritage Auction Galleries. "This amount exceeds the priciest of Spidey and Hulk comic books we've sold, which brought in excess of $125,000 each."

Archie Comics No. 1 was published in 1942, according to Comic Book Resources, and the brand continues today.

The winning bidder, who chose to remain anonymous, had been hunting a long time for a copy in great condition, according to the auction house.

"It's not going to leave my possession until I die," he reportedly told the auction house.

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Filed under: Art • Auctions • Literature • Texas
Who profits from foreclosures?
Hundreds were at Manhattan's Sheraton New York Hotel on January 29 for an auction of bank-owned foreclosed properties.
February 7th, 2011
06:41 PM ET

Who profits from foreclosures?

By all accounts, the nation is still in the midst of a foreclosure crisis. In 2010, foreclosure activity increased in 149 of the nation's 206 metropolitan areas with a population of 200,000 or more, according the foreclosure tracking company RealtyTrac. Last year, more than 2.8 million homes in the U.S. had foreclosure filings.

But one man's loss is another's gain. Foreclosed homes are often up for sale at bargain prices. Some businesses and property owners have used that to their advantage and are finding ways to turn a profit on properties that have depreciated in value and have been repossessed by banks.

Auction.com held more than 600 auctions of foreclosed properties last year. "It's truly what we call the perfect storm of opportunity," said Trent Ferris, the company's vice president of auctions.

On the last Sunday in January, a few hundred people filled a ballroom at a hotel in Midtown Manhattan to bid on more than 140 foreclosed homes in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. As an auctioneer called out for bids at a blistering pace, the homes sold for a fraction of their fair market value. Each auction took about one minute, and Auction.com received a fee of 5 percent of the sale price on each house.

"At this particular point in time, nothing good comes from the empty house that's sitting there," Ferris said. "So by giving people the opportunity to buy at auction price to turn that empty house back into a home is absolutely phenomenal."

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Filed under: Auctions • Economy
October 21st, 2010
04:54 PM ET

Diamond sold for $15.7 million sets record price per carat

A rare, two-stone ring set a new record price per carat for a blue diamond at auction when it sold for $15.7 million to an Asian collector, Christie's auction house said.

The Bvlgari Blue Diamond, a ring designed in the 1970s, was expected to fetch around $12 million at an auction Wednesday in New York, owing to the rarity and size.

Featuring a triangular-shaped Fancy Vivid blue diamond of 10.95 carats paired with triangular-shaped colorless diamond of 9.87 carats it was the largest triangular-shaped Fancy Vivid blue diamond ever to appear at auction, Christie's said.

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Filed under: Auctions