Ever hear of a $16,000 hot dog?
Shoppers in downtown Winona had the chance Tuesday to see — and if they wanted, to buy — such a luxurious and unusual tchotchke, made of 14-carat yellow gold and once owned by none other than crooner Robert Goulet.
It was displayed as part of a traveling special estate sale at Holtan’s Jewelry that ran throughout Tuesday, where shoppers — or, more frequently, gawkers — could peruse a selection of unique pieces from all over the country, including some formerly owned by world-class actors, singers and other famous people.
The story goes that whenever Goulet was low on cash, his aunt would give him a few bucks and tell him to buy a hot dog, Holtan’s owner Quinn Holtan explained. Once Goulet became famous, he had the piece made to repay her, and when she died it was returned to him.
The gilded fare was just one of many unique celebrity wares for sale at the event.
There was Greta Garbo’s gold safety pin, priced at $3,900. A $33,260-diamond bracelet from the “scandalous jewelry collection of Bernie Madoff.” John Wayne’s longhorn pin. A gold chain given to Mia Farrow by Frank Sinatra.
Two stand-out pieces come from Elizabeth Taylor’s estate, said Holtan employee Julia McCluskey — a 14-carat gold and peridot cuff bracelet and matching earrings, priced at $36,000 each.
“Those are the ones you walk past, and it makes you just stop,” she said.
The pieces came to Holtan’s through New York-based company Singer Collection, which brings estate jewelry events to shops throughout the country.
Holtan said the event was a fun, unique way to get people into his downtown storefront — and show off some great jewelry at the same time.
Individual pieces started at $500, and, in all, the collection is valued at about $3 million, he said.
“You see estate sales locally,” Holtan said, “but I don’t think there are any like this.”