The most expensive watch ever to be sold at auction went under the hammer last week. However, just two days before the sale, its most recent owner died suddenly at home, at the age of just 48. It's not the first time that the owner of the watch has faced tragedy, and it is feeding superstitious notions that the watch is cursed.
Sheikh Saud bin Mohammed Al-Thani was one of the biggest art collectors in the world, but reportedly built up some debts two year ago with auction houses, and handed the watch to Sotheby's to settle the debts.
The watch went on to fetch just under $24 million at auction last week. It makes it by far the most valuable watch in the world - which has more than doubled in price since it last sold in 1999 - when it earned the title of the most valuable watch ever sold at auction.
The new anonymous owner is likely to be delighted with their purchase, but the conspiracy theorists have been at work. The Daily Mail said that the original owner was immediately depressed by his purchase. Henry Graves, became a much-hated figure, as he hit the headlines for buying an incredibly expensive watch at a time when the Great Depression meant many people were suffering extreme poverty.
The Mirror pointed out that after he took possession of the watch he was hit with a succession of terrible losses. First his best friend died, and then his son George was killed in a car crash. His daughter said that Graves had not wanted to see the watch after that, and that she kept hold of it until she inherited it in 1953.
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It's not the first time that bad luck has been ascribed to an antique. The Koh-i-Noor diamond, which is set in the late Queen Mother's crown, was said to bring misery to any male owner. Legend has it that a succession of male owners met violent ends, before it became the property of the East India Company after it annexed the Punjab.
James Dean's Porsche Spyder has also been the subject of many theories. After he died in the car in 1955, the wreck was sold on to a customiser, and while it was unloaded it fell and hurt two mechanics. Later two cars which had parts from the car crashed and one of the drivers died, and a man trying to steal the car suffered injuries to his arm. Problems associated with the car were reported until 1960, when it disappeared on its way to an exhibition.
And an antique doesn't have to be famous or expensive to become the subject of theories. Last year a group of flatmates in Muswell Hill said they had nothing but back luck and misery since reclaiming an antique mirror from a skip outside their home. Two of them saw shadows in the mirror, and another woke in the night with stabbing pains in his stomach. Eventually they decided to sell their 'haunted mirror' on eBay.
But what do you think? is there anything in these stories?
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