LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The contents of the mansion where Michael Jackson’s lifeless body was found went under the auction hammer this weekend, reaping three times pre-sale estimates for a total of close to $1 million.
A month after Dr. Conrad Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for the pop star’s 2009 death by drug overdose, collectors bid on some 500 items from the home Jackson rented in Los Angeles while preparing for comeback concerts in London.
Two sessions on Saturday at the Beverly Hills gallery of Julien’s Auctions were standing room only, according to a statement from Julien’s, and drew bidders from around the world. The auction lots consisted mostly of paintings, furniture and ornaments.
Among the highlights was a Victorian Revival-style bedroom suite that sold for $25,075. The set includes an armoire on whose ornate mirror the “Thriller” singer wrote a message in felt pen: “Train, perfection March April Full out May” — presumably a reference to rehearsals for London’s “This Is It” concerts set to start that July.
Other highlights included an 18th-century French clock, which sold for $9,375, a Regency-style desk ($4,375) and “Venus Blinding Cupid,” an oil painting modeled on one by 16th-century artist Titian ($11,250).
A pottery rooster holding a chalkboard with a note from Jackson’s children — Prince, Paris and Blanket — sold for $5,000.
Only a handful of auction items bore a personal connection to the singer and his family. Most were part of the rented surroundings.
“Anything associated with Michael Jackson is highly collectible,” ,” auctioneer Darren Julien said in the lead-up to the auction.
The ornate headboard on the bed where Jackson’s body was found on June 25, 2009, was removed from the sale last month at the request of Jackson’s family.
Reporting by Jill Serjeant and Sheri Linden; Editing by Ian Simpson