The Trumps' wedding cake, an obscene snow globe, and Monet's glasses

Curious objects at auction.

Lot 1: Let Them Eat Cake

Courtesy of Julien’s Auctions

Auction houses occasionally serve up pieces of famous people’s old wedding cakes for reasons unfathomable to all but a few. This stale morsel was given as a souvenir at the multi-million-dollar wedding of our esteemed president Donald J. Trump and his third wife, Melania Knauss, in 2005. The actual cake—seven tiers of Grand Marnier-soaked sponge cake decorated with 3,000 white icing roses that reportedly cost $50,000—was inedible due to the amount of wire needed to undergird it (how’s that for a metaphor?).

To take the Palm Beach affair beyond grossly excessive (because, duh), a batch of mini chocolate truffle cakes was sent home with guests as wedding favors. No Jordan almonds or personalized matchboxes here. This un-nibbled example from an anonymous source—no A-lister wants to admit they attended the ceremony—heads to auction in Los Angeles on November 17, estimated at $1,000+.

Lot 2: Love is a Four-letter Word

Courtesy of Doyle

There is something so utterly perfect about a middle finger encased in a whimsical snow globe. The resin, glass, and concrete sculpture designed by artist Maurizio Cattelan in 2014 says I love/hate you; life is beautiful/horrible; embrace childlike wonder/go fuck yourself. Like Walt Whitman, it contains multitudes! Not bad for $800.

This decorative delight, properly titled L.O.V.E. Snow Globe, can be found among the decadent wares for sale at Doyle + Design in New York on November 21.


Lot 3: It’s a Blur

Courtesy of Christie’s

Those who have crammed for art history 101 might have correlated Impressionism with ‘blurry’ or ‘fuzzy’ to remember Claude Monet’s pixelated style that may, or may not, have had anything to do with the fact that his vision was failing. The painter was diagnosed with cataracts in 1912, and he was nearly blind before he underwent surgery in 1923. In the interim, it seems, he relied on glasses, and a pair of his wire-rimmed specs heads to auction in Hong Kong later this month.

The Christie’s sale, somewhat quaintly named ‘Dear Monsieur Monet,’ naturally features high-end art with prices running into the seven figures, making the eyewear a bargain by comparison at $1,500.

At this rate, a hundred years from now we’ll be bidding on Marina Abramović’s contact lenses.


Rebecca Rego Barry is the author of Rare Books Uncovered: True Stories of Fantastic Finds in Unlikely Places.