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10. Last November, $47,777 (£25,200) was paid for a teddy bear. Bonhams, a London auction house, sold the rare Steiff teddy bear designed by Richard Steiff in 1902 but made about 1925. The straw-filled white mohair bear, 25 inches tall with brown glass eyes, pointed snout, swivel head and humped back, even had a hole in one foot pad. The price works out to $1,896 (£1,000) per inch.

9. A Rose Agate Holly spooner. just 4 inches high, sold for $25,000. One of two known pieces in the experimental color, it was made by the Indiana tumbler and Goblet Works of Greentown, Indiana in 1903.

8. What do a fish and a Dickens character have in common with a record-priced collectible? They are all named Dolly Varden. Dolly, an exuberant character in the Dickens novel "Barnaby Rudge," was known for her green with pink polka dots dress. A fish was named for her because of its light-colored "polka dots." But we met Dolly as a record-priced white metal thimble that auctioned for $2,000 at the Thimble Collectors International convention.

7. The Marx Brothers most famous movie is probably Duck Soup, made in 1933. The half sheet poster for the movie with cartoon portraits of the four brothers sold in November at a Heritage Auction for $28,680.

6. Careful cleaning can reveal new treasures. A Virginia church bought an old building and while cleaning it found a cardboard sign dumped under a stairwell. The die-cut cardboard was an ad for Lucky Strike Cigarettes picturing 1928 baseball MVP winners Mickey Cochrane and Jim Bottomley as batter and catcher. It sold at a Julia's auction in Maine for $34,500.

To be continued ...

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