Monday, February 16, 2009

Neverland Ranch Liquidation Sale!

By Rob

In an article on Guardian UK, Chris Campion writes: "The contents of Neverland are officially up for auction"

This article is around 1,000 words and I'd suggest reading it if you have the same perverse curiosity in Michael Jackson's estate as I do. At the very least you should check out the highlights:

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

...This new auction seems to mark Jackson's severance from Neverland, his Xanadu and a symbol of his success as well as his largesse. The ranch opened 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. But following the 2005 child molestation trial - which saw Jackson acquitted of all charges - the singer never returned to the 2,800-acre property in the Santa Ynez Valley, 130 miles west of Los Angeles. There were stories of him pitching up in Dubai, Dublin and Las Vegas before he started renting a seven-bedroom mansion in Bel-Air, Los Angeles, earlier this year. The 50-year-old star was said to be defaulting on payments on vast loans, and while he is thought to retain an interest in Neverland through his involvement with a private investment company, Colony Capital, he has said that the police investigation of the premises "violated" it in his eyes.

...Before it was recently renamed Sycamore Valley Ranch, and at Jackson's request, Darren Julien and his team were brought in to scrutinise 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 catalogued the sale items, as well as determining their value.'"

Does he still own the rights to a significant portion of the Beatles catalog? I couldn't find any recent articles on the status of the catalog -- at least not from credible sources. Anyone?...

Anyway, it should come as no surprise that Neverland is full of some of the most "extravagant" or... "fucking crazy" stuff you'll ever see. Of the 29 items that Chris Campion takes a look at, here are my top 3 favorite:

#1. A portrait of Michael Jackson dressed as a king, oil on canvas, signed and dated 1995 and housed in an elaborate gold frame. Guide price $4,000-$6,000

#2. An electric cart featuring an image of Jackson as Peter Pan on the bonnet and Peter Pan cushions. Guide price $4,000-$6,000

#3. A painting on stretched canvas featuring iconic figures such as Abraham Lincoln and Albert Einstein wearing Jackson's trademark sunglasses and glove. Guide price $1,000-$2,000

You can see the rest here.

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