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August 09, 2021

Strange items can fetch a pretty penny

Sometimes you can come across some unusual items when you're cruising yard or estate sales, auctions and second-hand shops.

And sometimes they can be worth a small fortune -- or at least make a great conversation piece.

For instance, an 1865 baseball card found at a yard sale earlier this year was expected to fetch six figures at auction.

And a bowl purchased for just a few dollars at a garage sale fetched more than $2.2 million at auction.

You often hear about these stories in the news and it seems I find myself hunting for the unusual on my weekend treasure hunts and hoping I unearth something rare.

I have to admit, the only really unique thing I have ever found was a five-foot knight in shining armour at a yard sale. Well, it wasn't really shining, so after a little polishing up it was almost as good as new... or, should I say as good as old.

And now Christie's Auction House in London is counting on our love of the unusual at an Out of the Ordinary sale on September 5.

Some of the items up for auction include a rare pair of large-scale Victorian leather "Ivy Brand" Exhibition Balmoral boots, circa 1880 estimated to fetch between 10,000 and 12,000 pounds or about $16,000 to $19,000CAD.

Or if you can't afford an $86 million painting by Francis Bacon, how about bidding on the late artist's eight paintbrushes he gave to fellow artist Clive Barker?

Other unusual items up for auction in Christie's Out of the Ordinary sale include a rocking horse as tall as a house; a flying machine from Steven Spielberg's Young Sherlock Holmes; a stuffed ostrich; and a Triceratops skull valued at between 150,000 and 250,000 pounds (about $239,000 to $398,000CAD).

Any bidders?

By Donna Donaldson, MSN Money

What is the most unusual or rare thing you have found at an auction or yard sale?



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...