This New Year week in history...

Events from this week in history include a number of stars: Galileo mistaking Neptune for a star; Tiger Woods' star status dropping in the wake of recent scandal; and a star who can perform a massive sell-out concert whenever she feels like it.

Tiger Woods' recent troubles shouldn't
affect his memorabilia

Galileo was the first to spot Neptune on December 28, 1612. However, an error by the master astronomer - he mistook the planet for a star - meant that it would go undiscovered until 1846.

Nevertheless, Galileo remains the father of modern science. In December, 2009, his first-ever telescope observations sold for $122,000 at Sotheby's.

On December 29, Mongolia gained independence from the Qing Dynasty, but memorabilia of the dynasty still ruled supreme at auction in 2009.

"If you wonder how good the mood really is in China, forget... the Shanghai Stock Exchange... look at what's happening in the auction market," enthused the New York Times in 2009.

Big Qing Dynasty sales last year included a jade pendant with a black cicada on a white peapod, whose final hammer value soared to $128,500 - four times its estimate - at Christie's in New York.

December 30, 1977, was Tiger Woods' birthday - still the "$1bn sportsman" and the world's second rarest living signature.

At Paul Fraser Collectibles, we used the opportunity to take a look at his memorabilia and discovered that, despite his recent problems, Tiger Woods collectibles will continue to grow in value.

And finally, in 1992, the Hollywood starlet Barbra Streisand used New Year's Eve as an excuse to perform her first paid concert in 22 years which, of course, sold out.

A sale held by Julien's Auctions in October, 2009, of Streisand's personal items was a big success - led by a Dirk Van Erp table lamp which brought an incredible $30,000.


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