From a Picasso charcoal drawing to diamond watches, mink coats and crystal vases, Luther Vandross lived large.

From a Picasso charcoal drawing to diamond watches, mink coats and crystal vases, Luther Vandross lived large.

Fans of the legendary singer, who died in 2005 at 54, will have a chance to bid on more than 1,000 items that offer a glimpse into his superstar existence.

On Dec. 5-6, his estate will auction just about everything: his handwritten lyrics to "Love Forgot"; the army green thermoses from which he sipped hot tea during his concerts; designer loafers and boots; Lalique crystal vases, glasses and doorknobs.

The items come from his former homes in Beverly Hills, Calif.; Greenwich, Conn.; and New York; and from his tours. Fans have an expectation of how stars live, and Vandross' items won't disappoint, said Max Szadek, his personal assistant for 13 years.

"This mink-lined chair symbolized the lap of luxury that Luther lived in and just how a star, a world-class entertainer, kind of lived it out in his private life, too," Szadek said as he walked through 13,000 square feet of items displayed at an auction house in a suburban office park.

Szadek said fans will see many items that Vandross brought with him on tours, from the banal to the bling -- like a silver Piaget diamond-encrusted watch, a silver diamond-encrusted tennis bracelet and a 4-carat diamond ring.

The touring and music memorabilia on sale span his career, with a record from David Bowie's "Young American," on which Vandross sang background, to a double platinum certification of "Dance With My Father," Szadek said.

The collection is valued between $600,000 and $800,000, said John Nye, whose Morris Plains, N.J.-based auction house, Dawson & Nye, is handling the sale.


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