Michael Jackson's famous white glove sold for $350,000 at a memorabilia auction on Saturday, soaring far past pre-sale estimates, while a
black jacket he wore during a 1989 world tour fetched $225,000.
The Jackson memorabilia was the highlight of an auction of hundreds of rock'n'roll items, including many not associated with the "King of Pop," who died in June.
Darren Julien, CEO of Julien's Auctions, which ran the auction, called the glove "the Holy Grail of Michael Jackson," and many expected it to sell for far more than its pre-sale estimate of about $50,000.
With the added commission, the final price excluding taxes, ran to some $420,000. The buyer was Hong Kong businessman Fossman Ma. Bidding for the black, strap and zipper-laden jacket Jackson wore during the 1989 "Bad" tour soared to $225,000, more than 20 times its estimate.
With commission, the tab came to about $275,000. Fans and dealers turned out at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York's Times Square for the sale that included a car driven by Jackson, as well as David Bowie's guitar and memorabilia from the Beatles to Bo Diddley. "I never got to see Michael, and now that he's gone this is the closest I could get," said Jazmynn Moore, 19, a student from Manhattan. The glove was worn by Jackson when he first staged the famous moonwalk dance at the 1983 Motown 25 television special.
The opening bid of $10,000 leaped immediately to $120,000 before peaking at $350,000. Most of the 80 Jackson lots consisted of items that came from friends and family to whom Jackson had given them, the auctioneer said. Jackson was somewhat of a collector himself, having paid more than $1.5 million for the "Gone With the Wind" best picture Oscar statue at Sotheby's auction, one of the highest prices ever paid for memorabilia at auction.
The auction house had valued the Jackson collection at $80,000 to $100,000. But Julien said such pre-auction estimates were intentionally conservative to help generate interest. Many of Jackson's items sold for 10, or even more than 20 times the estimates.
Julien's had been preparing for a huge auction of Jackson memorabilia in April that was cancelled after an agreement with Jackson, who had filed a lawsuit demanding the return of certain items. During the promotion for that sale, Julien's had amassed a large database of Jackson collectors from Asia to the Americas, and many of the winning Internet bidders were from Japan or Hong Kong.