The Tower of Babel – Shop of the Day No. 74We have reached the top! There are 11 levels to the Tower of Babel, each with a different price band, reflecting their status or perceived status in our capital. The top level of the Tower is made up of 10 shops. Still to be hotly debated but surely Christie’s needs to be there. With annual sales last year of £5.1 billion – $8.4 billion I think the big auction houses have a unique status in the fact that you can actually pay whatever you want and you never quite know what may come up for sale! Most expensive things sold at Christie’s:Most expensive painting sold: Pablo Picasso’s Nude, Green Leaves and Bust $106.5 millionMost expensive furniture: Badminton Cabinet $36 millionMost expensive clothes – Marilyn Monroe’s “Happy Birthday Mr. President” $1,267,500 Most expensive manuscript – Da Vinci’s Codex Hammer – $30,802,500Most expensive instrument – Guarneri del Gesù violin – $3.9 millionMost Expensive Lock of Hair – Tresses from Elvis Presley – $115,000Most Expensive Antiquity – Roman-era statue, Artemis and the Stag – $28.6 millionMost Expensive Car – 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa – $12.2 millionMost Expensive Diamond – Wittelsbach diamond – $23.4 millionand most importantly: Most Expensive Barbie Doll – $302,500The official company literature states that founder James Christie conducted the first sale in London, England, on 5 December 1766, Christie’s soon established a reputation as a leading auction house, and took advantage of London’s new found status as the major centre of the international art trade after the French Revolution
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