In February, a series of auctions in New York for the furnishings and memorabilia present in his former home in Atlanta
Dazzling stage costumes, wallpaper by Versace, antiques, photographs by masters such as Helmut Newton, Robert Mapplethorpe, Herb Ritts and Richard Avedon, works of art by Damien Hirst and Julian Julian Schnabel: in the month of February the house Christie’s auctions will feature the iconic properties of the former Atlanta home of music legend Elton John, 76, in a series of sales at New York’s Rockefeller Center. Starting with the evening sale on Wednesday 21 February, the series will consist of 8 sales in total, both in person and online.
The city of Atlanta played a crucial role in the life of the English rock star, becoming the point of reference to which he would return during his numerous tours in the United States. The connection with Atlanta was consolidated in 1992 when Elton John purchased the Park Place condominium on Peachtree Road. The unexpected choice of Atlanta as a residence was dictated by personal reasons. After getting sober in 1990, he found solace in the city’s recovery facilities, such as the Triangle Club, which played an integral role in his journey out of alcoholism.
Over the years Elton John has amassed a distinctive collection of artwork, objects and memorabilia, many of which were made especially for his Peachtree Road home. Fans will discover the singer’s deep passion for photographs, which he began avidly collecting in the 1990s. Creating an art gallery atmosphere, he adorned the walls of his Atlanta residence with pieces by great artists. The collection that will be auctioned also includes very intimate works of art personally created for Elton John and his husband David Furnish. Among these, the work “Your Song” by Damien Hirst, signed and inscribed “xxx for Elton + David love Damien Thank You”, with an estimated value of 350,000-450,000 dollars, and a portrait of Elton John by Julian Schnabel, the whose value is estimated at 200,000-300,000 dollars.
The sale also highlights a selection of fashion pieces from the iconic artist’s eccentric stage wardrobe, including a remarkable ivory and gold ensemble designed by Annie Reavey in 1971. This ensemble (est. $8,000-12,000) has a historical significance as it is one of the first sets of stage clothes made exclusively for Elton John.
As a testament to Elton John’s eclectic tastes, his Atlanta apartment featured elaborate Versace wallpaper, the result of the rock star’s long-standing friendship with the Versace family. The sale includes an incredible group of Versace items, including a selection of vintage Gianni Versace shirts estimated at $4,000 to $6,000, as well as tableware and home furnishings. The apartment served as a personal retreat with a grand piano (est. $30,000-$50,000), collections of art glass, antiques and artifacts from his travels around the world.
Christie’s celebration of Elton John’s farewell to Peachtree Road will continue with a series of live sales: on February 22, “Important Photographs,” and on February 23, featuring decorative arts and interiors. Online sales will open bidding on February 9 and close on February 27 with “Elton’s Versace”, “Honky Château” and “The Jewel Box” respectively. The second day of online sales will conclude on February 28 with “Love and Lust”, “Elton’s Superstars” and “Out of the Closet”.
Tash Perrin, Deputy Chairman of Christie’s Americas, said: “It is a particular privilege for Christie’s to collaborate with Sir Elton John and his husband David Furnish in curating the upcoming auction: ‘The Collection of Sir Elton John: Goodbye Peachtree Road’. This extraordinary collection not only showcases a wide range of notable objects that encompass Elton’s unique life, work and art, but also offers our customers a glimpse into the profound impact the city of Atlanta had on him. In the two weeks leading up to the sale, Christie’s Rockefeller Center galleries will be transformed into a series of specially designed immersive spaces, offering a dynamic insight into the world of Elton John. We are immensely proud to present this multi-category sale, with a refined assortment of photographs, artwork, fashion and costumes – a testament to one man’s eclectic vision, craftsmanship and impeccable taste.”
(by Paolo Martini)