Five of the Best: Weird memorabilia

Items with tarnished connections

 

Be it a rare tintype photograph of Billy the Kid (sold for $2 million in 2011) or the blood stained toe tag of Lee Harvey Oswald (sold for $67,500 in 2008), there are some collectors who rush to buy the most bizarre of items at ‘murderabilia’ sales. Though many are horrified by such auctions, we thought we’d share five of the strangest items currently on offer with connections to criminals:

 

A photograph of Princess Diana from the collection of Reggie Kray

In 2009, a collection of items belonging to the late Kray twins was sold for £100,000. Amongst the lots offered were two colour photographs of Diana, Princess of Wales with a friend of Ronnie Kray’s named Jeff taken in 1993 in Nottingham. The pair fetched £1,500 but now one of them is available on eBay at a “buy it now” price of £999.97. Other bizarre memorabilia relating to the late ‘People’s Princess’ include an Indonesian Princess Beanie Baby doll signed by Paul Burrell at £600 and an authenticated Chinese “museum quality” version with three bids on it at £55,665. There’s plainly no accounting for what people will pay for.

 

World Trade Center office key and visitor badge

With the anniversary this week of the attacks on the World Trade Center, a number of television programmes have been screened about this tragic terrorist atrocity An eBay seller is currently marketing a key to an office there as well as one plastic sealed visitor guest past. They tastefully claim that this item would make a “great gift” and that “you won’t find this item at the mall”. A price of £422 is sought.

 

A drawing of Bernie Madoff by a fellow inmate at Butner prison

Five offers have been made against a £63,984 asking price for a drawing of Bernie Madoff by a bank robber named Kenneth Calvin “K.C.” White on eBay. The artist, who depicted the Ponzi schemer in a suit and tie rather than a prison jump suit, commented: “He carried on like he’d been doing time for years”. Given he was sentenced to 150 years in prison, he’s still got a fair way to go.

 

Lehman Brothers sign

Spotted by The Arts Warehouse’s Oliver Newton, a Lehman Brothers sign is again up for auction. With a guide of £8,000 to £12,000, the estimate at Christie’s in South Kensington in their 17th September sale is significantly lower than the last time the same sign was sold in 2010 for £42,050. Plainly greed’s still not that good.

 

O.J. Simpson In Pursuit of Justice mug shot

If you’re on a much lower budget, a £4 In Pursuit of Justice mug shot of O. J. Simpson taken in 1994 might be for you. It is in less than mint condition but “would look fine in a protective card case”. It is available on the charmingly named Murderauction.com website.

 

 

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