Just how much will one pay for a piece of the departed King of Pop? We’re about to find out. Less than 24 hours after Michael Jackson’s death comes the first posthumous auction of assorted bits and pieces of Jackson memorabilia, as today Julien’s Auctions hosts its Summer Sale, including 21 items from Michael Jackson’s career and personal life. The sale, scheduled to take place at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, isn’t limited to Jackson ephemera — the catalogue lists over 900 items culled from numerous celebrities, including Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley — but there are some gems from Jackson’s past. Items on the block include handwritten lyrics to “Bad” (estimate: $500 to $700), a drawing by Jackson of an adolescent boy (estimate: $1,500 to $2,000), and a pearl-and-Swarovski-crystal-studded shirt from the Jacksons’ Victory tour (estimate: $1,000 to $1,500). The “Bad” lyrics and the shirt are both from the collection of David Gest.
Today’s sale was put together well in advance of Jackson’s death. The executive director of Julien’s, Martin Nolan, emphasized that the house did not want to be seen as capitalizing on a tragedy, saying “We’re just focusing on the positive side of this, which is giving people the chance to see these items.” But he acknowledged that the house expects the Jackson items to draw increased interest, and thus higher bids, given yesterday’s events. “They weren’t really the focus of the sale before, but now they’ll take center stage,” says Nolan. “After peoples’ demise, their valuables go up, and he had such a loyal fan base that I would expect that would be the case here.”
This isn’t the first time Julien’s has achieved some MJ-related notoriety. In April, the house was slated to host a massive sale of nearly 1,400 items from the pop star’s vacated Neverland Ranch, including bedazzled jackets, paintings of Disney cartoon characters, and, of course, gloves, including an iconic white version that held a high estimate of $15,000. Though the president of Jackson’s production company had consigned the items, Jackson’s lawyer argued in days leading up to the sale that Julien’s hadn’t upheld an agreement to let Jackson remove personal items from the lots. Jackson sued to prevent the auction, and the items were taken off the block hours after they went on view.
Julien’s returned that property to Jackson, so none of those items are included in today’s sale.
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Earlier: Victory: Michael Jackson to Keep His Hilarious Crap
Related: Michael Jackson Saves His Diamanté From the Auction Block [The Cut]