Archaeologists spend their days discovering buried treasures from ancient civilizations. Some of the antique items found are only worth a few dollars, while others are absolutely priceless. Our lives here on Earth may be short, but many of these antiquities continue to live for hundreds of years later. Billionaire collectors who really know how to appreciate these rare pieces of history pay millions at auctions to add them to their private collections. Here are the most expensive antique objects ever sold in the world.
Ancient Rosetta Stone
Here is an Egyptian treasure with a unique history. This stone is inscribed with tiny Ancient Greek and Ancient Demotic Egyptian hieroglyphs. This stone, found in Rosetta, Egypt, in 1799 is 2,200 years old and is made of black basalt stone. It is said to be the key to deciphering ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. A French officer discovered and removed the Rosetta Stone from his Egyptian home in 1799, and took it to England with him. When the British defeated the French in 1801, it was recovered and placed in the British Museum where it remains today. Unfortunately, Egypt’s request to return the Rosetta Stone to its original home has not been granted.
Antique Jaguar Diamond Bracelet
The ancient Jaguar diamond bracelet is one of the most expensive antique objects in the world. When the Duchess of Windsor and King Edward VIII married in 1937, people were not happy that the King married an American divorcee. The king was willing to renounce the crown to marry her, but since that was not necessary, he wanted to give her a very special gift as a token of her affection. Then the king commissioned one of the most beautiful ancient objects for his wife, a unique bracelet made of black and white diamonds. It was designed in the shape of an elongated jaguar with diamonds and emeralds in the eyes. At the time of his order, the bracelet cost $ 7 million. Almost 100 years later, the bracelet is probably worth billions of dollars.
Ancient sword inlaid with gold of Napoleon
During the historic Battle of Marengo in 1800, Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte led his troops in a surprise attack to drive the Austrians out of Italy. During the attack, the republican general held in his hand a sword adorned with gold inlays, the same sword that he used in his campaign in Egypt. It is not just the opulent gold design that makes this sword so valuable. Its historical role makes it one of the most valuable antique objects in the world, worth $ 6.5 million (€ 5.8 million) when it was last sold at auction in 2007. The smoothly curved sword, inlaid with gold and 32 inches long, was an inspiration Napoleon drew from his campaign in Egypt.
Ancient emerald and diamond tiara
The ancient emerald and diamond tiara, could be among the 5 most expensive antique objects ever sold. The emerald and diamond tiara, previously in the collection of Princess Katharina Henckel von Donnersmarck, sold in 2011 for $ 12.7 million (€ 11.3 million) at Sotheby’s “Magnificent & Noble Jewels Sale” auction in Geneva. The tiara was commissioned around 1900, possibly from Chaumet jewelery, by the first Prince von Donnersmarck, for his second wife, Princess Katharina, Sotheby’s said. “It was only used when royalty was present.”
The olifantes were wind instruments carved from an elephant’s tusk that were used by knights during the Middle Ages by making them sound as a warning signal. An olifant can also be used as a hunting horn. It is traditionally made by hand of carved antique ivory and decorated with fine ornaments and figures, constituting authentic works of art. This instrument is often mistakenly called “horn”. This particular Olifant was created sometime in the 11th century in Scandinavia. Extremely rare, this ornamental Olifant is one of only six known to exist in the world. It is also one of the most expensive antique objects ever sold. Scandinavia, fetching $ 17 million (€ 15.1 million) at auction, the second highest price ever paid for a work of art from the region.