A “Wild” Deal Made for the Most Expensive Purchase in ‘Pawn Stars’ History
For more than 12 years now, History viewers have watched the Harrison family — the late Richard Harrison, son Rick Harrison, and grandson Corey Harrison — buy valuables at their Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas.
But what’s the most expensive item on Pawn Stars?
In a press release for the current 20th season, History notes some of the high-ticket items that the Harrisons have seen come through the shop doors. “The three men use their sharp eyes and skills to assess the value of items from the commonplace to the truly historic, including a 16th-century samurai sword, a Super Bowl ring, a Picasso painting and a 17th-century stay of execution,” History says.
But none of those historic keepsakes rank as the most expensive Pawn Star item. Read on, pawn fans…
Maurice Sendak drawings are the most expensive ‘Pawn Star’ item to date.
According to both Outsider and Looper, Rick’s acquisition of original Maurice Sendak drawings for Where the Wild Things Are in the Pawn Stars Season 15 episode “Can’t Pawn Me Love” ranks as the History show’s most expensive purchase.
“We’re talking Where the Wild Things Are, the greatest child’s book ever,” Rick told viewers in that episode. “These things rarely, if ever, come on the market. I’m really excited right now. I definitely want to see it, and price is right, I want to buy it.”
Rick also said that the book was a childhood favorite of his, especially because the main character — “the little boy who got sent to bed without dinner because his mother told him he was being a wild thing” — was him when he was 5.
“When I was a kid, I was fascinated by the pictures,” Rick said. “It was something about the way [Maurice] painted everything. It was so different than any other children’s book.”
It was a Rick vs. Nick showdown in the price negotiation.
The seller, identified on the show as Nick, said he wanted $375,000 for the drawings. “Maurice never sold any actual artwork from Where the Wild Things Are, so getting anything from [the book is] extremely rare,” he said.
Rick brought in his “art guy,” Chad Sampson, to give his take on the deal. “These are great,” Chad said, looking over the drawings. “A lot of people don’t know Sendak’s name. But he’s just an international cultural phenomenon. He’s done an opera, he’s done a play, he’s done the movie. But, I mean, the book is, of course, the cornerstone of everything. It’s just really great.”
Chad said that Rick could realistically expect to get $310,000 from collectors from the drawings.
So Rick proposed buying the collection for $200,000, but Nick countered that offer, saying he’d “meet [Rick] in the middle” at $300,000.
“That’s not meeting in the middle,” Rick said, suggesting $240,000.
Nick finally ask for $250,000, and Rick agreed. “Now you know where the wild things are,” Rick told viewers after the deal. “I own them.”
Now, more than four years after that episode aired, The Gold & Silver Pawn Shop website currently shows four of the Where the Wild Things Are drawings for sale, with prices ranging from $12,500 to $95,000.