A lock of David Bowie’s hair is set to be auctioned on June 25 and is expected to fetch more than $4,000. Heritage Auctions in Beverly Hills, California says Bowie’s hair comes from Wendy Farrier, a former employee at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in London. She snipped his hair in the 1980s to create a wig for a wax figure of the late singer, per The Associated Press.
Wendy recalled, “Normally at Madame Tussauds, the head of the department would have taken the hair samples, but he knew I really liked David Bowie.”
Farrier’s encounter with Bowie was documented by a sculptress, who took a photo of her standing behind the singer, see below. For more than 30 years, David’s blond lock was framed with the picture at Madame Tussauds, and until recently, it was on display on the walls of Farrier’s home.
“It stayed on my wall when I lived in Surrey. But when I moved to Wales it just stayed packed in a box and never came out,” Farrier told Newsweek over the phone.
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) June 20, 2016
As Newsweek notes, the unusual auction gives fans the chance to own a piece of Bowie —who died in January after a battle with liver cancer. He was 69-years-old. Farrier told the publication that she was awestruck in the presence of her idol.
“He came over and seemed…a normal guy,” said Farrier. “There wasn’t any ego there, he was very easygoing. I said, ‘I’m sorry, I’ll be very careful, I won’t muck up your style,’ because he had a big quiff at the front. I remember my scissors were shaking as I did it. He was totally calm, he didn’t make a fuss.”
In total, five locks were cut from Bowie’s hair, and only one is still in existence, and now up for sale. So far, the hair has attracted a bid of $2,000. According to Madame Tussauds’ policy, the other four locks were destroyed after being used to match the color of David’s waxwork’s wig to his real hair.
“At that time he had so many different colors—I took about five samples because the back of his head was a different color to the very bleached blond at the front,” said Wendy. She now feels less sentimental about her prized Bowie memento.
“I’m 55 now. You find as you go through life different things happen, and things that were important to you in your twenties are not so important to you as you get older,” she said. “For me, it’s my family, my children, my animals [that are important]. At the end of the day you can’t take these things with you—I’ve got my memories, I know I took the hair sample, I was lucky enough to meet him. I cherish other things more now.”
‘Ziggy Stardust’: How David Bowie created the alter ego that changed rock https://t.co/w4sqJ1mZqj
— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) June 19, 2016
People are willing to pay exorbitant sums for bizarre items with some celebrity connection. A lock of Justin Bieber’s hair was sold on eBay for $40,668. The Huff Post also notes that Scarlett Johansson auctioned off her used dirty tissue and donated the $5,300 it fetched to USA Harvest. Additionally, someone at a Los Angeles hotel violated Britney Spears’ privacy by taking her positive pregnancy test out of the trash and selling it to an Ottawa radio station. The test stick later went up for auction and was bought by Internet casino GoldenPalace.com for $5,001.
Proceeds from the lock of hair to be auctioned this week will be donated to the Soi Dog Foundation, which “shelters and provides medical care for neglected and abused dogs in Thailand.” Farrier said she hopes people understand her reason for selling the hair is because she “Wanted to give something back, and Soi Dogs does such good work. It will go to helping them to feed the dogs, rehabilitate them, get them off to good homes.”
[Photo by Bob Child/AP Images]