How ardent are Michael Jackson fans? We will find out on December 17, when Julien’s Auctions Gallery will sell off the contents of the home that the King of Pop was renting at the time of his death. Among the hundreds of items up for sale in the auction are a $30,000 watercolor painting by Maurice Utrillo, upholstered chairs smudged with Jackson’s makeup, a chalkboard with a handwritten note from one of his children, and the queen-size bed where Jackson slept—and died.
The singer passed away at his home in Holmby Hills, Calif. on June 25, 2009, and on Monday his personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, was found guilty of one felony count of involuntary manslaughter in Jackson’s death. Murray was charged with giving the insomniac singer a fatal dose of propofol in the master bedroom, a room that came to be known during the trial as “the medication room.” In an eerie twist, according to the Associated Press, reporters were being given a private tour of the home in advance of the auction when the verdict against Murray was announced.
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As quoted by the Associated Press, auctioneer Darren Julien said of the auction, “We want to preserve the history of these items,” which include the paintings and furnishings that Jackson surrounded himself with as he prepared for his “This is It” comeback tour. The house, where Jackson lived with his three children from December 2008 until his death, is also separately up for sale. Other highlights will include Oriental rugs, Asian ceramic jardinières, French 18th and 19th century style furnishings, and various framed prints. Julien’s Auctions sold collectibles from the pop singer’s famed Neverland Ranch in April of 2009.
The singer’s mother, Katherine Jackson, and her attorney are aware of the auction, but have worked to ensure “that items from this address are not being auctioned using Michael’s name and likeness to enhance the items’ value.” Try as they might, we have a suspicion that Michael’s fans will know what they are bidding on. And if John Lennon’s rotten molar can fetch princely sums at auction, there’s no doubt that the King of Pop’s death bed will do the same.