The 10 most valuable pieces of Nelson Mandela memorabilia sold at auction

Nelson Mandela was a political leader, philanthropist, and human rights activist who inspired millions of people around the world with his lifelong commitment to social justice.

In addition to his legacy as a leader, Mandela’s personal belongings have also captured the attention of collectors and admirers alike.

Here are 10 pieces of Nelson Mandela memorabilia that have sold at auction:

1. Nelson Mandela’s Prison Robes:

In 2013, a set of prison robes worn by Mandela during his imprisonment on Robben Island sold for $66,000 at auction.

2. Nelson Mandela’s Handwritten Letter:

A letter that Mandela wrote in 1969 while in prison sold for $30,000 at auction in 2018.

3. Nelson Mandela’s Nobel Peace Prize Medal:

In 2019, Mandela’s Nobel Peace Prize medal, awarded in 1993, sold for $1.3 million at auction.

4. Nelson Mandela’s Autobiography:

A first edition of Mandela’s autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, signed by the author, sold for $50,000 at auction in 2019.

5. Nelson Mandela’s Handprint:

A bronze handprint of Mandela’s, created by artist Richard Stone, sold for $27,000 at auction in 2018.

6. Nelson Mandela’s Wristwatch:

A watch gifted to Mandela by former South African president FW de Klerk sold for $25,000 at auction in 2017.

7. Nelson Mandela’s Passport:

A passport issued to Mandela in 1994, shortly after he became South Africa’s first black president, sold for $19,000 at auction in 2016.

8. Nelson Mandela’s Robben Island Bible:

A Bible that Mandela kept with him during his imprisonment on Robben Island sold for $90,000 at auction in 2018.

9. Nelson Mandela’s A Long Walk to Freedom

A signed copy of A Long Walk to Freedom inscribed by Mandela "Aan Kapl. Prinsbo, Beste wense aan 'n hoogs bekwame ambtenaar [Best wishes to a highly competent official], N. Mandela" sold for $1,059 at RR Auction in America, in January 2021.

10. Nelson Mandela’s Handwritten Notes:

A set of Mandela’s handwritten notes on the formation of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing of the African National Congress, sold for $50,000 at auction in 2016.

In conclusion, Nelson Mandela’s impact on the world goes beyond his role as a political leader.

His personal belongings offer a glimpse into his life and legacy, and these items continue to inspire admiration and awe among collectors and fans around the world.

About your Author:

Adrian Roose has over 30 years’ experience covering all aspects of the rare stamp & memorabilia industry during which he has sold over £50m of unique items, helping build collections for Royalty, household name celebrities and 1,000s of collectors around the world.

Adrian was previously a Director at Stanley Gibbons, a Board Member of Stampex, and Executive Director of Paul Fraser Collectibles, PFC Auctions and JustCollecting, prior to founding The Memorabilia Club.

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