On the first anniversary of Michael Jackson's death, a bidder ponied up $192,000 today for one of the deceased star's iconic rhinestone-encrusted white gloves, one of several exorbitant winning bids for Jackson memorabilia. The glove was one of five donned by the singer during his 1984 Victory Tour.
The identity of the winning bidder for the glove was not immediately known, but the price did fall short of the $350,000 spent on another of Jackson's gloves by a Chinese casino mogul in November.
In all, however, more than 240 lots sold for well over $1 million, much of it going to the pop star's survivors and friends, who had turned over to Julien's Auctions a wide range of Jackson items that included clothes, handwritten notes and even an ornate 9-foot couch.
The Jackson collectibles went on the block as the marquee attraction on the first day of a three-day, 1,600-lot auction being held at the Planet Hollywood Hotel-Casino that featured items from a wide range of celebs, including Anna Nicole Smith, Cher, Brad Pitt, Ronald Reagan and Frank Sinatra. Julien's is live streaming the auction via its website, with people offering bids in person or via the Internet.
The vast majority of Jackson collectibles sold for more than their minimum bid estimates, with someone paying $100,000 for a black custom jacket "in colorful African-style fabric and covered in custom vermicelli beading" worn by Jackson when he was interviewed by Barbara Walters in 1997. (No word on what Barbara's outfit will be worth.)
Other random MJ items to sell:
- A signed 1984 copy of Time magazine with Jackson on the cover: $5,500
- An MJ-signed place mat from an Eastern Airlines flight: $1,000
- A 1972 yearbook from the Walton School in California that features photos of Jackson and three of his brothers: $550
- A 1980 line drawing of a man by Jackson: $24,000
The auction became slightly controversial when Jackson's father, Joe Jackson, claimed on Facebook that Julien's chief executive, Darren Julien, had stolen the items from the pop star while he was still alive. Julien countered that many of the items had come directly from Michael's sisters and that he had matriarch Katherine Jackson's blessing.
"If Katharine or the kids ever had any problems, I would completely consider them," Julien said. "This was just Joe's way of trying to profit from these items. It's ridiculous."
Still, some of the Michael Jackson memorabilia could be considered distasteful, such as the program from his private burial service, which sold for $950, and a lot that included tickets and a program from Jackson's public memorial service at L.A.'s Staples Center, which sold for $400.
The Julien's auction culminates Sunday with items from "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry, among them an IBM computer that he used to write scripts for the classic science-fiction TV show.
The sale of some items will benefit the owners -- Larry Birkhead, the father of Smith's daughter, stands to make thousands from the auction of her outfits, furniture and other possessions -- whereas proceeds from the Roddenberry and Cher mementos will largely go to charity.
In the King of Pop's shadow, other celeb-related items didn't fare quite as well during bidding earlier today. A boxing robe signed by R. Kelly went for $100, below the $200 minimum estimate. An outfit worn by Britney Spears at an NFL event went for $400, below the $600 minimum estimate. Handwritten lyrics from Alice Cooper netted $475, slightly below the $500 minimum. A John Mellencamp poster signed by the "Pink Houses" rocker went for $75, the bargain of the day.
Among the pieces that didn't sell at all because they received no bids: an office desk owned by Ozzy Osbourne, a Jimi Hendrix handbill and gold records from REO Speedwagon and the Allman Brothers. Another unsold item, a red suit worn by John Entwistle on the cover of his 1981 album "Too Late the Hero," got a $1,100 bid but that was deemed too low.
That said, one of Madonna's "stage-worn" bras went for $10,000, a 1996 Hummer owned by slain rapper Tupac Shakur garnered for $26,000 and Prince's handwritten "Purple Rain" lyrics sold for $55,000. In fact, three Prince items went for five figures.