It is no secret that rare antique items are sold for millions of dollars. So, if you’re looking for motivation or a big reason to clean out your attic, basement, or garage this spring, this is the sign you were looking for. Some of the most valuable antique items, nowadays worth millions of dollars, were found in the most unusual places; thrift stores, garage sales, attics, and even old apartments, couches, and beds. One woman even found a rare painting in her old kitchen cabinet. We’ve gathered the most valuable antique items, all in one place, for you to see, read about, and get motivated to get that spring cleaning started right away.
Antiques That Are Worth Millions – A Reason To Clean The Attic This Spring
Spring’s just around the corner, and so is the spring cleaning. Now, with spring cleaning, the focus is always on those parts of your home that you use every day; however, the attic, which you probably haven’t cleaned in a while, is calling your name as well. Now, we know it’s a hassle, but here’s a good reason for you to clean your attic this spring; you might come across a valuable antique piece worth millions.
And, this isn’t even a joke, people have experienced such situations many times. Some managed to find a long-lost painting worth dozens of millions, while others found antique dolls, rare glass or porcelain dishes, and even salt and pepper shakers worth thousands of dollars.
If this still doesn’t sound inviting, we suggest you keep on reading and see all the antique pieces and items experts have appraised and concluded they’re worth millions of dollars. So, without further ado, let’s get digging!
Types of Highly Valuable Antiques
So, if you decide to actually clean out the attic, make sure you’re paying special attention to the following types of antiques; these can be worth a lot of money, especially if they’re in good condition;
Video Game Consoles
Okay, before you all get confused; no, video game consoles aren’t really considered antiques, but more as vintage pieces. Either way, those super old consoles we all have from our childhood; well, they might be worth a lot of money, especially if they come with the original games.
People are raving about video game consoles from the 1980s, and some have managed to find consoles in their homes that are untouched, still packaged, and potentially super scarce/rare. Antique and rare video game consoles as well as their respective video games can be sold for up to 300,000 USD. For example, someone found a rare Nintendo Play Station fusion video game console prototype (so far, there’s only been one), and managed to sell it for 360,000 USD.
Antique glassware, especially one produced in the mid-19th, through the early-20th century, as well as the Depression era, is nowadays worth a ton of money. Such glassware, often originating in the US and Europe, was made in different styles, respective to the year and age when it was made. Sure, one may come across Depression glassware that is common; for example, glassware that has yellow or amber hue/color, chances are it is rare and worth 20 USD to 50 USD.
But, glassware made from European glass (Italian, Scandinavian, British, etc.), or glassware made in popular artistic styles (Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Depression glass), can be highly valuable. Some pieces are sold for around 20,000 USD, while the price increases the rarer the piece is determined to be.
Duck decoys, to many peoples’ surprise, are highly valuable and highly collectible pieces, ever since the mid-20th century. Now, most antique duck decoys are sold for around 200 USD. But, there are those rare, unique duck decoys that are sold for incredible amounts of money. So, what’s the deal with these antique pieces?
Well, duck decoys are handmade, wooden pieces of art, that were often used in waterfowl hunting to attract real ducks. Because of that, they had to look as real as possible, which turned these pieces into realistic artworks, and duck decoy making into an expert job. Nowadays, rare duck decoys are sold for around 200,000 USD, while the price did reach a 7-digit number when a duck decoy was sold for 1.13 million USD (duck carved by Elmer Crowell, who was one of the greatest decoy carvers in the States, in the early 20th-century).
Rare Vinyl Records
Of course, rare vinyl records are on the list, but they’re here for a reason. Before digitalization, vinyl records were the only way a musician could release singles and albums and reach millions of fans. And, because of that, many believe that vinyl records are common and often low in value, especially nowadays when the majority cannot even listen to them (meaning, people rarely have turntables). However, some vinyl records are super rare and can be sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
For example, did you know that before The Beatles, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, and George Harrison were part of a group called The Quarrymen? Probably not, right? Well, their album was released in 1958 in the UK and was valued at 250,000 USD. John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s ‘Double Fantasy’ vinyl record was sold for around 400,000 USD in 1999. Other highly valuable and rare vinyls include those from the Sex Pistols (God Save The Queen, Single), Darrell Banks, and The Beatles (Sgt. Pepper’s ‘Lonely Hearts Club).
Sports cards, especially baseball ones, and other varieties of trading cards are some of the most valuable vintage items. The general rule is, when it comes to baseball cards, that the older a card is, the more millions you’ll get for it. For example, the current record for the most valuable baseball card is that of the Mickey Mantle baseball card, which was sold for a whopping 12.6 million USD just last year.
The second-most-expensive baseball card is that of Honus Wagner, from the 1910s, which was sold for around 7 million USD. Other rare, truly vintage baseball cards are still highly valued and priced at several hundred thousand dollars, which is still a crazy amount. So, if you come across some sports trading cards in your attic, make sure to have them appraised by an expert. You never know; maybe they’re highly valuable and will make you a millionaire.
Some of the rarest paintings, done by the master artists of the past, have been lost for decades, even centuries. Nowadays, people find them in the most unusual places and sell them for incredible amounts of money. A story of a French family finding a rare Caravaggio painting in their attic made it to the global headlines, especially because the painting was valued at 170 million USD. People even found rare, millions-of-dollars-worth paintings on a bus, in a thrift store, in garages, in old apartments, or even in a couch.
Other Highly Valuable Antiques
Now that we’ve learned a thing or two about the most valuable types of antique items, let’s take a look at the most expensive antique ever sold, just to put things in perspective;
PinnerQing Dynasty Porcelain Vase
One of the most famous and valuable rare antiques is the Pinner Qing Dynasty Vase, which sold at auction in London for a staggering 83.2 million USD in 2010. This vase, which dates back to the 18th century, is one of only three known examples in the world, and it is the only one that is in perfect condition. The vase was originally owned by the Qianlong Emperor, and it features intricate paintings of deer, birds, and other wildlife. The vase’s rarity, historical significance, and exquisite craftsmanship make it a highly sought-after piece among collectors and art enthusiasts.
The 18th Century Badminton Cabinet
Another rare antique that is worth millions is the Badminton Cabinet, which was created in the early 18th century by a team of master craftsmen led by the renowned German cabinetmaker Johann Heinrich Riesener. This cabinet, made from ebony, gilt-bronze, and other precious materials, stands over 12 feet tall and features intricate designs of flowers, animals, and mythical creatures. The cabinet was originally commissioned by Henry Somerset, the 3rd Duke of Beaufort, at the age of 19. He displayed it at his country estate in Gloucestershire, England. Today, the Badminton Cabinet is considered one of the most valuable pieces of furniture in the world, and it sold for $37 million at auction in 2004.
Leonardo da Vinci’s “Codex Leicester”
Another rare antique that is highly valued by collectors is the Codex Leicester, a manuscript that was created by the famous artist and inventor Leonardo da Vinci in the early 16th century. This manuscript, which is named after the Earl of Leicester who acquired it in the 18th century, contains detailed drawings and notes on a wide range of subjects, including astronomy, geology, and botany. The Codex Leicester is one of only a few dozen surviving manuscripts by Leonardo da Vinci, and it sold at auction in 1994 for a record-breaking 30.8 million USD. It was Microsoft’s co-founder Bill Gates who bought it.
The Bugatti Type 57 SC Atlantic
One of the rarest and most valuable antique cars in the world is the Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic, which was produced in the late 1930s. This car, which is known for its streamlined design and unique riveted seams, is one of only four examples that were ever built, and only two of them remain in existence today. The car was owned by several prominent collectors and car enthusiasts over the years, including the fashion designer Ralph Lauren, and it was valued at over $40 million in 2010.
Diamonds and Treasures
Other rare antiques that are worth millions include the Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond, a blue diamond that was once owned by the Bavarian royal family and is valued at 80 million USD. The diamond originates from 17th-century India, where King Felipe IV of Castile purchased it and included it in his daughter’s dowry. There is also the HMS Sussex Shipwreck Treasure, a collection of gold and silver coins and other artifacts that was recovered from a sunken British warship and is valued at 100 million USD.
Rare antiques are generally worth millions of dollars and are owned by the super-rich. Nevertheless, they offer a unique insight into the history of humans and are preserved to do the same in the future, for future generations. These rare and valuable items represent a piece of history, and some of them might be resting in your very attic. But, all jokes aside, if you do come across something that might look antique and valuable, make sure to have it checked and appraised by experts. Hopefully, you’ll have some luck, and we most definitely wish you all the luck!