A rare paper clip, dating from 1972, and the only one of its kind to still exist, sold for a record £1.2 million at Sotheby’s on Monday.
The hefty price, which includes the buyer’s premium, makes the 2.5cm clip, made from steel wire bent into a looped shape, the most expensive piece of stationery ever sold at auction, and the most valuable object by weight and size, according to the auction house.
An anonymous telephone bidder purchased the slightly rusted and damaged clip during frenzied bidding in a packed auction room.
“Every time this tiny object has come up for auction and sold, it has brought the highest price ever paid,” said Ross Singleton, the worldwide chairman of stationery and office ephemera at Sotheby’s.
“It has always been the world’s most-famous paper clip. It is one of those objects around which a huge mystique has grown up over the years,” he told us.
The previous record auction price for a single paper clip was just £240. It was set in 2010 for a paper clip that modelled for the office assistant animation in Microsoft Office 2000.