Despite the numerous controversies and cancellations surrounding Michael Jackson in the wake of this year’s Leaving Neverland documentary, the embattled pop star still commands high demand on the auction block. A forthcoming pop-culture auction hosted by Gotta Have Rock and Roll includes a host of items collected by Jackson manager Frank DiLeo, the priciest of which is a pair of stage-worn socks.
The custom, crystal-studded socks were worn by the singer during 1983’s Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever TV special, where Jackson made history by performing the first on-screen moonwalk. Gotta Have Rock and Roll expects the worn socks to go for at least $1 million USD, with other Jackson items — including a “Victory Tour” suit and Chicago Bulls jersey co-signed by Michael Jordan — expected to reach up to $20,000 USD apiece.
Beyond the Jackson items, the expansive sale includes various collectibles from pop culture luminaries like Tupac Shakur, whose Gang Related-worn shirt is expected to score at least $10,000 USD, about one-fourth as much as a Martin guitar owned and played by Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters. Other notables include a bra that Rihanna wore during the 2016 MTV Video Awards ($8,000 USD minimum estimate), a furry custom Louis Vuitton hat worn by Lil Kim, Snoop Dogg and many other celebrities ($100,000 minimum USD estimate), Paul McCartney’s handwritten working lyrics for Beatles classic “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” (which originally scored $192,000 USD when sold by Christies in 2006) and a rare Beatles Rubber Soul record signed by all four band members ($100,000 USD minimum estimate).
With plenty of comparatively conventional items comprising much of the sale — signed records, photos and so on — the few more unusual items make a particularly striking impression. A lock of hair from deceased Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain was recovered by a female fan of the band, who was also able to obtain Cobain’s signature on a small, heart-shaped box. The lock has remained inside the signed case since and the set is expected to accrue upwards of $12,000 USD. Elsewhere, a supposed photograph of Banksy is purported to be the only confirmed image of the elusive British graffiti artist, taken when he was attending Bristol Cathedral School in 1989. Considering that a (supposed) photograph of the rear of Banksy’s head garnered approximately $43,600 USD earlier this year, perhaps the estimated sale price of $50,000 USD for the school picture isn’t too far off.
Peruse the entire auction slate on Gotta Have Rock and Roll’s website.
This pop culture auction isn’t the only sale to draw big figures for unassuming goods; a Japanese snow crab sold for a stunning $46,000 USD.