Michael Jackson’s trademark black fedora and the gold record for his “Thriller” album are among dozens of the pop star’s belongings to be auctioned by New York’s Guernsey’s auction house next month.
The collection includes about 2,000 items from the Jackson family, ranging from handwritten lyrics to Michael’s sunglasses and microphone. The celebrity trove will be auctioned on May 30-31 at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
Once the subject of a legal battle between Jackson and a former family business partner, the collection spans the Jacksons’ careers from the mid-1960s through the early 1990s.
Keepsakes include Janet Jackson’s ballet shoes and a Mae West costume she wore in her first performance with the Jackson Five. A black jacket with gold sequined epaulets worn by Michael in his 1980s “moonwalking” era is also on offer.
Guernsey’s has not put a price tag on the collection, but officials expect the bidding for some items to be steep.
“Buyers will be of every description, from the most dedicated fans to the corporate buyer who sees this as interesting material to display,” said Guernsey’s President Arlan Ettinger.
Fans can also bid for the items on eBay at the time of the live auction, he said.
Jackson vaulted into super-stardom with his 1982 “Thriller” album and remains one of the best-selling recording artists of all time. “Thriller” yielded seven top-ten singles and sold 27 million copies in the United States alone.
Controversy has dogged the singer in recent years with tabloids dubbing him “Wacko Jacko” for his odd behavior such as his dangling a baby over a fourth-floor hotel railing in 2002.
Tried in 2005 on charges of molesting a 13-year-old boy, Jackson was acquitted of all charges.
The memorabilia are part of a collection of about 10,000 Jackson family items that were bought in a bankruptcy sale and later sold to Boca Raton, Florida-based delivery company Universal Express.
The collection made news in 2004 when some of the items, including Jackson’s underwear, were turned over to investigators as evidence in the child molestation case.