A large and exclusive collection of clothes, jewelry, and memorabilia belonging to Prince was auctioned on May 18 as part of the Music Icons: Property From the Life and Career of Prince event dedicated to the late pop icon.
The auction, held at the famous Hard Rock Café in New York City, was organized by Julien’s Auctions and featured around 158 items that were used or worn by Prince either on stage, in music videos, or in his private life, Rolling Stone reports.
“Julien’s will pay tribute to one of the greatest music legends of all time by featuring an exclusive collection of Prince’s signature wardrobe, memorabilia and more,” the Beverly Hills auction house wrote in a news release announcing the event.
Among all these prized Prince memorabilia, welcomed with thundering claps by the enthused audience as each item made its way onto the stage, the star of the event was by far the artist’s custom-made yellow “Cloud” guitar.
Named for the unique twists and swirls of its body, the yellow “Cloud” guitar sold for a whopping $225,000, almost three times the amount it was originally estimated to.
Initially valued at between $60,000 and $80,000, the stunning yellow “Cloud” is engraved with love symbols between the frets of the guitar — one of the late artist’s signature ornamental symbols.
In fact, the collection also included a raspberry beret adorned with a love-symbol pin, which was sold off for $1,750. The same amount was pocketed by the auction house after the sale of a Sign ‘O’ the Times platinum record, estimated at $800 to $1,200.
But the big-ticket item wasn’t the only “Cloud” guitar in Julien’s Auctions’ collection. Also on display at the Hard Rock Café was a white Schecter “Cloud” guitar that sold for $30,000, notes Rolling Stone.
The media outlet describes the atmosphere at the event as being a “joyful” one, particularly when the white “Cloud” guitar was passed on by Julien’s Auctions to a new owner.
“The audience clapped as if Prince had just finished playing it.”
According to AFP, Prince’s “Cloud” guitars were made especially for him by Dave Rusan. In the video below, the Minneapolis luthier talks about how he built the first “Cloud” guitar, which the artist originally commissioned for his role in the 1984 film Purple Rain.
Another item that was featured in Purple Rain was the ceramic Mardi Gras–style doll that ended up being sold for several times its estimated value. “Hardcore Prince fans” dug deep in their pockets and put up $12,500 for the ceramic doll, initially valued at $2,000 to $4,000, Rolling Stone points out.
Ardent fans also paid a fortune to walk home with some of the pop icon’s signature wardrobe pieces. For instance, an electric blue turtleneck with matching trousers went for $108,797. This outfit, which had a pre-sale value estimated at $50,000 to $70,000, was worn by Prince on two notable occasions, states AFP.
Prince was seen wearing the electric blue outfit at the MTV Video Music Awards in 1999, when the artist jammed with Lenny Kravitz, as well as at the turn-of-the-millennium New Year’s Eve party that he hosted at his Paisley Park estate in Minnesota.
A purple jumpsuit that Prince wore on stage and a dark-purple tunic that the artist was seen wearing in 1996 were each estimated at between $6,000 and $8,000 but ended up being sold for $27,500 and $25,000, respectively.
Many of the items, including the aforementioned three outfits, came from the private collection of Prince’s ex-wife, Mayté Garcia.
Another outfit that raked in some big bucks was a devoré ensemble with a jacket and fitted trousers that went for $51,197. At the same time, an outfit worn by the artist in the movie Under the Cherry Moon was sold for $40,000, double its pre-sale estimate.
Friday’s New York auction also included a diamond love pendant belonging to Prince, which went for $57,597. The event brought a total of $2 million to Julien’s Auctions, AFP reports.
Prince died in April 2016 at the age of 57 from an accidental overdose of powerful, counterfeit painkillers. As the Inquisitr previously reported, Minnesota prosecutors decided not to file criminal charges over the artist’s death.