We have received the following article from one of Michael’s Australian fans, Paula, on her visit to Julien’s Auctions back in December.
Back in December on the 17th to be exact, it was a special day for me, for it was the day I attended my first live auction, but what made it very special and memorable yet emotional at the same time, was, it was Julien’s Auction of 100 North Carolwood Drive, Michael’s last home.
The items up for bid could be viewed at Julien’s Auction House from the December 12th – 16th before they went up for sale. I did go and have a quick look on the 16th, the day before the actual auction, but I really didn’t have bidding in mind. For me it was not about an auction, it was all about Michael. It was a chance for me to see up close items, that even though may not have all been personally owned by Michael, as I hope that such items that Michael had a personal attachment with would be safe with his children and family, he would have touched, slept in, relaxed in, admired their artwork and reclined on some of them.
Items ranged from small pieces such as tissue boxes, bathroom accessories like soap dishes, to dinner sets, cutlery, lamps, statues, expensive artwork, furniture, and even a Victorian baby grand piano and stool. There were 523 separate and different items to be auctioned with one common denominator – They all shared a home with Michael.
Amongst the many and varied items there were a few pieces that I knew would be the most popular. These were items that had Michael’s personal engraving on them in one way or the other. A slotted wood shower bench was one of them. We had been told that apparently Michael use to sit on this bench while showering and he had hand drawn stick figures at the end of the bench. Maybe he was reflecting on his dancing, was one scenario given. Another item of huge interest was a Victorian Revival style Armoire where Michael had inscribed the following text on the mirror; “Train, perfection March April Full out May” with a black felt tip pen. The last item that deserves special mention is a Rooster Chalkboard with a note from the Jackson Children reading “love Daddy/I (heart) Daddy/SMILE its for free.”
In all honesty I can say that at first I did have my reservations, as I would have of any belongings or items used by Michael being auctioned, but in saying that, I can also say that Juliens were very professional and friendly, gave you any help you required and answered any questions that you may have had. The most important thing is that they showed the utmost respect for Michael.
In one room they had allowed fans to set up a shrine to Michael. In the place that his bed would have stood, it was now covered with cards and letters and gifts. It was there with an uncontrollable tear or two that I also placed my card and my koala that I had bought all the way from Australia with me. I was told that they would all be given to the family and Michael’s children once the auction was over, along with a book that guests were welcome to sign in on and leave their messages to the family. In the front room where the actual auction was taking place, they had placed a Christmas tree that had also been decorated with Michael ornaments and messages from fans.
I remember how one of the staff members stated that in all their time working in the business they had never ever seen more love shown from fans for Michael than in any other auction for any other celebrity. Their exact words were; “They had never seen anything like it.” At that moment I felt more than comfortable being there, so proud to be a Michael Jackson Fan, and again marvelled at this extraordinary mans power over people.
The live auction began at 10.00a.m. The room was still fairly empty at that time with people walking in and filling the place up gradually. We were fortunate enough to catch up with some friends and other fans there as well, including John Tobin, Bogart from ‘Smooth Criminal’ in ‘This Is It,’ and Michael Bush who was sitting directly behind us and who was also kind enough to sign my Julien’s Auction catalogue. A special thank you as well to Martin J Nolan the Executive Director of Julien’s who came over and introduced himself.
I guess I got caught up with the excitement and emotion of the atmosphere and the auction, because it wasn’t long before I had my hand and paddle up bidding. I don’t think I really cared too much on what I bid as I am by no means a collector of antiques, as long as I had something from Michael’s home. Much to my delight I was lucky to win the bid on a ceramic Chinese jardinière with a stand. I was so ecstatic and couldn’t believe my luck. I had seen up close what Michael’s home would have looked like inside, and stood next to items shared by him. I had met some great people and friends, and now, even though it wasn’t one of his ‘Thriller’ jackets or one of his trademark gloves, I was still the proud owner of an item from Michael’s life.
The auction went on very late and I did stay on for a while, even though it wasn’t till the end. When I did leave, I left taking comfort in the thought that at least one item from the many in 100 North Carolwood Drive went to a Michael Jackson fan that would cherish it forever and would never sell it later for a higher price.