A military band jacket worn by John Lennon, X-rays of Albert Einstein's head and a costume made for Michael Jackson's pet chimp Bubbles are among more than 650 lots of pop culture memorabilia up for auction in Beverly Hills next month.
The Icons and Idols sale on December 3 and 4. will also include what organizer Julien's Auctions says is the most extensive collection of Lennon and Beatles memorabilia ever to come to public auction.
A white and gold braided jacket worn by Lennon in 1966 for a Life magazine photo shoot is expected to fetch up to $200,000. The jacket echoes the style worn the following year by all four Beatles on the cover of their "Sgt. Pepper's" album.
"It is rare that an article of clothing worn by John Lennon comes up for auction," auctioneer Darren Julien told Reuters. He said a white suit worn by Lennon on the 1969 "Abbey Road" album cover sold for $120,000 in 2005.
Other Lennon items include self-portraits, a collage created for Elton John's 28th birthday, and a guitar played by both Lennon and Elvis Presley during a Los Angeles jam session, which carries an estimate of $100,000 to $150,000.
The Lennon jacket is expected to fetch about 10 times the price of several Michael Jackson outfits, including a black jacket with epaulets that the "King of Pop" wore to a 1996 birthday party for South African President Nelson Mandela. It carries a $10,000-$20,000 estimate.
A signed red leather "Beat It" jacket is expected to fetch up to $10,000, while another of Jackson's signature single white crystal gloves -- this one commissioned for the "Bad' tour in the late 1980s -- has an asking price of $20,000 -$30,000.
"As a collectible, Michael Jackson is very consistent and selling for high numbers," Julien said, saying the singer's clothing was priced conservatively.
Among the more bizarre items in the auction of movie costumes, programs and signed guitars, is a two-piece leather costume designed for Bubbles the chimp, with an estimate of $2,000 to $4,000. Half the proceeds will go toward the care of Bubbles, now 26, who lives at a sanctuary in Florida.
A set of two X-rays taken in 1945 of Einstein's head is expected to fetch between $1,000 and $2,000.
Further details of the sale in Beverly Hills can be found at juliensauctions.com.
(Reporting by Jill Serjeant, editing by Dean Goodman)