‘Pawn Stars’: What is the Most Expensive Item Rick Harrison Has Ever Bought?

by John Jamison
(Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images)

Pawn Stars personality Rick Harrison has seen just about everything come through the doors of his world-famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop. There’s seemingly no limit to what Rick will consider buying from hilariously bad forgeries to fighter jets. But what’s the most expensive deal he’s actually made on the show?

Well, it may surprise Pawn Stars fans to learn that the richest deal since the show began in 2009 was made for artwork. It wasn’t just any piece of artwork, mind you. And it definitely wasn’t one of those abstract paintings that have sold for tens of millions of dollars.

In 2018, Rick Harrison made a deal in the gallery of The Venetian Resort for a series of original sketches done by the one and only Maurice Sendak. Sendak drew them when he was developing the characters for his iconic children’s book “Where the Wild Things Are.” The price? Oh, just a cool $250,000.

You read that correctly. For a few pages of sketches from the 1960s, the Pawn Stars boss shelled out a quarter million. It’s not as crazy as it sounds, however. Beyond just being a massive fan of Sendak and the book, Harrison did his due diligence and brought in one of his many experts.

“It was the greatest book ever written,” said Harrison when he first laid eyes on the artwork. “When I was a kid, I was fascinated by the pictures. It was something about the way he painted everything. It was so different than any other children’s book.”

The ‘Pawn Stars’ Boss Negotiates

It’s important to keep in mind that Maurice Sendak never sold any original artwork from the book. Combine that with the fact that he passed away in 2012, and the sketches were valued at an all-time high.

“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 a movie, but the book, of course, is the cornerstone of everything,” said the expert.

He went on to detail the lot’s contents. It was comprised of 12 total images, with two of them being full-paged-sized drawings. The verdict? He told Rick that he could expect to get roughly $310,000 for the entire collection.

The seller asked $375,000 to start. Rick countered with $200,000. The seller then tried to meet Rick in the middle at $300,000, but it was still too rich for Rick’s blood. He came back with $240,000, and finally, the two were able to settle at that $250,000 figure.

But even though Rick Harrison purchased the sketches in 2018, it appears that the Gold & Silver Pawn website still has the majority of them still listed for sale.