Ain't It Funky Now: James Brown items for sale

Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:36am EDT
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By Chris Michaud

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Fans of James Brown will have a chance to own some of the legendary soul singer's funky stuff when Christie's puts hundreds of items up for sale on July 17.

The auction house said on Tuesday it will sell some of his instruments, hand-written lyrics, awards and grooming artifacts among 320 lots to be offered at "The James Brown Collection," estimated to take in about $1 million.

A leather belt with a red-and-silver rhinestone buckle reading "Sex Machine" and tooled "We Love You James, Blue Express" is seen fetching $2,000 to $3,000.

The figures are just estimates. The personal effects of the late "Godfather of Soul" have commanded prices two, three and even 10 times expectations.

Among the highlights are Brown's Kennedy Center Honor from 2003 ($10,000 to $15,000) and his 1986 Grammy Award for "Living in America" ($15,000 to $20,000). His jumpsuits, many priced around $5,000, are grouped with other clothing in the sale catalogue by color.

Brown's Yamaha baby grand piano and his Hammond B-3 electric organ with Leslie speakers are each expected to fetch $15,000 to $20,000.

Fans with more modest budgets can consider some photos, hand-written notes and letters estimated at only a few hundred dollars. Other lots such as an engraved silver plate, or sets of cufflinks and studs, are similarly priced.

Brown collected presidential paraphernalia, and the sale will include photos and letters from Presidents Reagan and Bush, as well as a Republican Presidential Task Force Card priced at $200 to $300.   Continued...

<p>Fans sign a poster of singer James Brown outside B.B. King's Blues Club and Grill in New York in this December 26, 2006 file photo. REUTERS/Eric Thayer</p>