The 10 Most Expensive Pieces of Celebrity Memorabilia

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Over the weekend, three X-rays of Marilyn Monroe’s chest were sold for a grand total of $45,000 at a movie memorabilia auction in Las Vegas. The X-rays were originally taken from a hospital visit in 1954, when Monroe was 28. Experts estimated the X-rays would fetch $3,000, but it turns out the price of owning objects that have some sort of relationship to famous people, no matter how tenuous, is worth a whole lot more.

To celebrate celebrities — because that’s what they’re for, aren’t they? — we decided to make a list of cherished memorabilia that people were willing to pay a hefty fee to possess. The list includes a helmet, wig, and pair of glasses.

1. Darth Vader’s Helmet

Olympic fencing champion Bob Anderson wore this Dearth Vader helmet for the fight sequences in Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. The universally feared helmet sold for $115,000 at an auction in April 2003.

2. The Dukes of Hazzard‘s General Lee

When John Schneider, who played Bo Duke in the hit series The Dukes of Hazzard, decided to sell his personal 1969 “General Lee” Dodge Charger, he was surprised how badly people wanted it. In May 2007, Schneider ended up selling the car on eBayMotors.com for $9,900,500.

3. Metropolis Movie Poster

In 2005, a private collector paid $690,000 for one of the last remaining original movies posters for the 1927 sci-fi classic, Metropolis. Only three other posters like it are known to exist.

4. Dorothy Gale’s Ruby Slippers

These were the magical slippers Dorothy used to get back home in The Wizard of Oz. Although a few pairs were made for the movie, in 2000 David Elkouby paid $666,000 for a set of his very own.

5. Andy Warhol’s Wig

In the ’60s, Andy Warhol started wearing a wig to cover his receding hair line. In 2006, the wig was sold at an auction for $10,800, and it apparently still had the original three strips of tape inside used to keep the hairpiece in place.

6. Marilyn Monroe’s Dress

This isn’t any old dress; this was the dress Marilyn Monroe wore when she sang “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” to John F. Kennedy for his 45th birthday. The dress that originally cost $12,000 was sold for $1,267,500 in 1999 to a collections company based in New York.

7. Keith Moon’s Drum Set

For an item meant to be hit with sticks, Keith Moon’s drum set “Moon the Loon” was auctioned off for an incredible $252,487 in 2004. The Premier drum kit was custom made for The Who drummer in 1968.

8. William Shakespeare’s Autograph

With a plethora of celebrity autographs changing hands these days, it’s the scarcity of William Shakespeare’s John Hancock that makes it so valuable. With only six autographs known to exist, experts estimate each to be worth somewhere between $3,000,000 to $5,000,000.

9. The Maltese Falcon

The central prop used in Humphrey Bogart’s 1941 detective film of the same name was sold to The House of Harry Winston in 1994 for $389,500. Mystery solved.

10. Buddy Holly’s Glasses

Decades after his death in 1959, Buddy Holly’s widow, Maria Elena Holly, sold the musician’s trademark glasses for $80,000 to Civic Lubbock Inc., a nonprofit organization. The company then donated the famous spectacles to the Buddy Holly Center in Lubbock, TX, the city where the singer was born.