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Originally published at ianwhittock.com.

Many people like to attend auctions, but not everyone knows the fascinating history behind them. Here are a few interesting facts about auctions:

  • Auctions were used in the Roman Empire.

Auctions have been recorded as early as 500 B.C. The word “auction” comes from the Latin word for “I increase” or “I augment”. This makes sense because this is exactly what bidders do in auctions when they add to the previous bid. The entire Roman Empire was put up for auction.

Many people get a thrill from big auctions, but this auction in 193 A.D. took big auctions to the next level. The Praetorian Guard killed emperor Pertinax and proceeded to offer the Roman Empire to the highest bidder. Didius Julianus bid 6,250 drachmas per guard, outbidding everyone else and causing a brief civil war. Two months later, Septimius Severus conquered Rome and Didius Julianus was beheaded. …


Princess Diana’s Letters Sold at Auction

Letters written by the ‘honourable’ Lady Di were recently sold for thousands at auction.

Diana Spencer, Princess of Wales, who was the first wife of Charles Philip Arthur George, Prince of Wales, wrote countless letters throughout her lifetime and a handful were recently sold at a UK auction. …


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Expensive and treasured artwork once owned by David Bowie, the late, great English-born singer-songwriter, was unveiled for a public exhibition ahead of an auction. During the first day of the auction, which took place at Sotheby’s in London on Thursday, November 10th, approximately 47 pieces of artwork were auctioned off. Please visit the following link to learn more: http://ianwhittock.com/legend-david-bowies-pricey-artwork-sold-at-auction/

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