Monday, February 16, 2009

Owning A Piece of Mystery...err HIStory.

In April, an auction by Julien's Auctions at the Beverley Hills Hilton will provide an unprecedented look into the private world of Michael Jackson.

Here's your chance to own Michael Jackson's crap. I've got my eye on a few items starting as low as $80-100, and I'd say that's a straight up bargain.

In April, an extraordinary auction will provide a look into the private world of Michael Jackson. More than 2,000 items, from personal effects and costumes to pieces from Jackson's private art collection as well as fittings and furnishings from his Neverland ranch, will all be up for sale at a public auction at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Los Angeles.

Given the continuing fascination with celebrity and that of the self-styled King of Pop, Darren Julien, of the Los Angeles-based auctioneer of celebrity merchandise who is directing the sale, expects a media circus to descend on the hotel as well as tribes of devoted Jackson fans from all corners of the globe. Select lots are to be sent on a touring exhibition that will arrive in Dublin and London in March before a full-scale exhibition opens for one week in Beverly Hills prior to the sale.

This new auction seems to mark Jackson's farewell to Neverland, and the symbol of his success (and excess) as well as his downfall. Jackson opened Neverland as a private amusement park in 1988, with its own zoo and Ferris wheel, roller coaster and bumper cars. It was named after Peter Pan's fantasy island where children never grow up, and for years children would arrive by the busload, invited to play freely in its grounds.

Recently renamed Sycamore Valley Ranch, and at Jackson's request, Darren Julien and his team were brought in to scrutinize the ranch. What they found inside was the most astonishing collection of objects these experienced auctioneers said they had ever seen in a celebrity home. "It seemed as if everything he owned was made of bronze and marble and gold," says Michael Doyle, who cataloged the sale items, as well as determining their value.

Jackson surrounded himself with "regal" finery. There were suits of armor, many displayed in cases, custom-made crowns and an ornately carved throne with red velvet upholstering in his bedroom. "King Michael" even had a royal cape, a Father's Day present inscribed inside with a message from his children "Princess Paris" and "Prince Michael". In the lobby of the house was a commissioned portrait of Jackson as a young man in Elizabethan dress, holding a crown on a velvet pillow.

While the lots are "priced as if you and I had owned them, not as if they were owned by Michael Jackson", according to Martin J Nowlan, the Irish co-owner of Julien's Auctions, this is "certainly not a fire sale" of Jackson's belongings.

Perhaps the sale is symbolizing the point at which Jackson himself feels finally able to divest himself of much that conspired to tarnish his career in order to begin anew.

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