Auction Report: Michael Jackson-Lisa Marie Presley Marriage Certificate Sells for $70K
The original marriage license issued to Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley in 1994 sold for $70,800 at a multi-estate sale held Jan. 22-24 by Philip Weiss Auctions.
OCEANSIDE, N.Y. – The original marriage certificate issued to pop legend Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley, the daughter of rock ‘n’ roll icon Elvis Presley, on May 26, 1994 in the Dominican Republic, when the couple embarked on their brief but highly publicized life together, sold for $70,800 at a multi-estate sale held Jan. 22-24 by Philip Weiss Auctions.
The weekend extravaganza, at which some 1,300 lots changed hands from a variety of categories, grossed more than $700,000. As expected, the Jackson-Presley document was the top lot of the sale (not counting a single-owner lifetime stamp collection that made $77,000).
“This was a great way to start the New Year,” Philip Weiss said of the auction, the first of 2010 for the firm. “The story with this one was pretty much the same as last year’s sales. Great merchandise sparked spirited bidding, which resulted in strong prices. It’s all about the items. If you’re fortunate to attract quality, fresh-to-the-market consignments, you’ll do well every time.”
About 200 people packed the showroom over the course of the three days. In addition, there were over 1,000 registered Internet bidders, who participated online via Proxibid.com and the Philip Weiss Auctions Web site. The marriage certificate, in fact, sold to a bidder on Proxibid.com. Phone and absentee bidding was also very active all three days.
The Jackson-Presley certificate is one of the most important celebrity documents of the 20th century, right up there with Prince Charles and Lady Diana’s and Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio’s wedding certificates. The 8 ½-inch by 10 ¾-inch sheet was signed by both stars and was also signed by state official Hugo F. Perez. It had been laminated to protect it from the Dominican humidity.
Following are additional highlights from the auction (all prices quoted include a 13-percent buyer’s premium):
• Philatelists (stamp collectors) were serious and came armed with cash, making the Sunday session (the last day of the sale) a memorable one. In addition to the single-owner collection that brought $77,000, a full, post office-fresh sheet of 80 stamps from the People’s Republic of China (Scott #1586), sailed past its high estimate of $55,000 to gavel for $67,250.
An image of the Beatles and personally inscribed by all four to the late pianist Liberace sold for $15,800.
• A page from the 1964 Beatles USA, Ltd. tour program, beautifully signed by all four Beatles and personally inscribed to the late pianist Liberace, soared to $15,800. In their light-hearted way, the Beatles signed the 12-inch by 12-inch page “to Liber-Archie” as a play on words. The photo on the page depicts the band wearing their winter coats, standing atop a wall.
The 1967 Belmont Stakes trophy won by the late horse racing legend Willie Shoemaker crossed the finish line at $15,350.
• The 1967 Belmont Stakes trophy, won by the late jockey and horse racing legend Willie Shoemaker when he rode Damascus into the winner’s circle, breezed to $15,350. The trophy, comprising 59 ounces of sterling silver, has three horses on a base holding up the body and is topped by a lid with a bridled horse as a handle. It is nicely embellished with leaves and acorns.
A rare 1913 W.B. Jarvis Sporting Goods Store advertising sign featuring Ty Cobb was a steal at $7,350.
• An official American League baseball, signed in blue ink on the sweet spot by Hall of Famer Tris Speaker, brought $7,910; a rare 1913 W.B. Jarvis Sporting Goods Store advertising sign featuring Hall of Famer Ty Cobb, with a “New York Times” article explaining Cobb’s connection to the firm, realized $7,350; and a find of E97 Briggs baseball cards made $14,000.
• A pair of original works by the German-American artist Carl Rungius (1869-1959) were sold as a single lot for $9,900. The first was an oil on paper of a cowboy on a horse with snow-capped mountains in the background, with Rungius’ initials on verso. The second was an oil on canvas of a snowy landscape, featuring Rungius’ trademark thumbtack marks on each corner.
A bust of Sherlock Holmes creator Arthur Conan Doyle by William Hamo Thornycraft brought in $4,520.
• An 1892 marble bust of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, by Sir William Hamo Thornycraft, the initiator of the “New Sculptors,” went for $4,520. It is signed and dated at the bottom of the bust. Also, an oil-on-canvas work by Konstantin Alexeivitch Korovin (1861-1939), titled “Interior of Room with People,” crossed the finish line at $15,800.
For more information about this auction, call 516.594.0731, e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the Philip Weiss Auctions Web site.
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