Elton John items fetch $10.7 million at New York auction

NEW YORK – Nearly US$100,000 (S$134,000) for Elton John’s monogrammed silver boots and about US$2 million for a triptych by street artist Banksy from his collection: the British music icon’s personal items brought in almost US$8 million at auction in New York on Feb 21.

Christie’s auction house is running a series of eight sales, both in person and online, through Feb 28 for the collection of the 76-year-old singer’s belongings. It included an ivory and gold glam-rock jumpsuit from the early 1970s designed by Annie Reavey, which sold for US$12,600.

As enthusiastic collectors made bids, John’s grand piano fetched over US$200,000, while a pair of sunglasses, a key element of the singer’s signature look, found a buyer for US$22,680, 10 times more than the initial estimate.

Most of the items came from the artiste’s luxury home in Atlanta, Georgia, which had served as a base for his American tours, and which he recently sold.

The legendary musician – known for hits such as Your Song (1970), Rocket Man (1972) and Sacrifice (1989), flamboyant costumes and a commitment to the fight against HIV/Aids – wrapped up his farewell tour in 2023.

John bought the Atlanta home shortly after getting sober in 1990, Christie’s said, as he found “solace and support in the warm community and recovery facilities” there.

With works by artists Keith Haring, Andy Warhol, Robert Mapplethorpe and Richard Avedon, the collection, which John built together with his husband David Furnish, showed the couple’s taste in contemporary art.

The personal collections of pop-culture icons have become a regular feature at the world’s top auction houses.

In September 2023, thousands of items that belonged to late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury sold for £40 million (S$68 million), Sotheby’s said. AFP

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