For the Truly, Insanely Rich: A Vial of Ronald Reagan’s Blood
This May’s contemporary art auctions seem tame when compared to the other high-dollar items at auction; a T-Rex skeleton was sold last week and now, a vial of Ronald Reagan’s blood has made its way to an online auction house. Gross factor aside, purchasing a vial of blood is bound to be less strategic than purchasing a multi-million dollar painting.
There’s some sort of use-value with paintings. Even if there’s not always a huge investment return, collectors can at some point donate that T-Rex or that painting to a museum. There’s a level of altruism in putting your collection on view for others, and a financial motive by getting a tax-deductible write-off. A vial of blood in the Smithsonian? They’d never display that type of bodily memorabilia. And the type of refrigeration requirements for that vial would be fine for a medical facility, but not a museum.
Without any public use, these memorabilia purchases become no more than whims for the truly, insanely rich. Someone might have a basement viewing area built specifically for that vial, but it’s not going to be for everyone.