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Elton John’s Auction – Can You Feel The Love Tonight?

February 28, 2024
photograph or woman in bathroom looking down at sink

Cindy Sherman, Untitled (Film Still #39), 1979. Credit: Christie’s

Elton John sold his opulent Atlanta home for $7.225 million in 2023. Following that, Christie’s hosted an auction titled “The Collection of Sir Elton John: Goodbye Peachtree Road” from February 9 to 28, 2024, featuring treasures from his residence. More than 3,500 people from 34 countries registered for the chance to bid on items like rocket-shaped cocktail shakers and elaborate jumpsuits. The auction, held over three days, exceeded expectations, reaching a total of $14.4 million, including auction-house fees, surpassing the high estimate of $11.3 million.

The auction’s highlight was the “Opening Night” sale on February 21, amassing nearly $8 million, complemented by subsequent day sales totaling $6.4 million. Elton John’s discerning collection primarily focused on photography, featuring works by renowned artists such as Cindy Sherman, Helmut Newton, Gilbert and George, and Richard Avedon. Cindy Sherman’s Untitled (Film Still #39), the top-selling photograph, sold at the lower end of its estimated range – $300K (est. $300-500K – $378K w/p).

 Banksy’s “Flower Thrower Triptych,” from 2017, depicting a masked man throwing a bouquet of flowers as if it were a Molotov cocktail

Banksy’s “Flower Thrower Triptych,” from 2017. Credit: Christie’s

The auction also showcased contemporary artworks, with Banksy’s Flower Thrower Triptych claiming the highest bid at $1.55 million (est. $1-1.5M – $1.925M w/p). Keith Haring’s untitled creations followed suit, fetching $600K (est. $300-500K – $756K w/p) and $420K (est. $200-400K – $529K w/p). Other artists, including Tracey Emin, Julian Schnabel, and Andres Serrano, experienced varying degrees of success with their contributions.

A pair of prescription sunglasses, Sir Winston Eyewear, circa 1975

Elton John’s prescription eyeglasses. Credit: Christie’s

Beyond the realm of art, the auction featured memorabilia, including Elton John’s iconic sunglasses that sold for $18K (est. $2-3K – $22.7 w/p), a 1990 Bentley Continental convertible driving away for $350K (est. $25-35K – $441K w/p), and an unexpected Elton John-themed pinball machine that exceeded expectations, selling for a $55K (69.3K w/p), well beyond its $10-15K estimate.

Elton John’s 1990 Bentley Continental Convertible

Elton John’s 1990 Bentley Continental Convertible. Credit: Christie’s

The auction’s success can be attributed to Elton John’s unparalleled global eminence, reflecting an escalating demand for rare artifacts and artworks associated with celebrities. This event, following significant auctions like Sotheby’s Freddie Mercury auction and the Barbara Walters estate sale at Bonhams, both held in 2023, underscores the enduring allure of celebrity-linked collectibles.