Several vintage Prince photographs, mementos, and a sealed copy of “The Black Album” earned more than $400,000 at auction in February 2018. Boston-based RR Auction opened bidding from February 8 to February 15.
The top five Prince auction items earned more than $130,000 alone. The highest bid was for a rare sealed copy of “The Black Album” which went for more than $42,000. The second highest bid item is Prince’s personal piano which went for $30,370. Rounding out the top five; a “Purple Rain” tour microphone, handwritten lyrics to ‘I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man,’ and an autographed “Purple Rain” movie promo poster.
RR Auction has held several Prince memorabilia auctions. Figures from their Sept. 2017 sale garnered triple the projected earnings. Most of the auction items come from close associates, band members, and friends.
Some of the top Prince items auctioned off by RR Auction include a pair of yellow boots Prince wore on stage. The shoes brought in six times the estimated bid estimate and sold for $75,147. The second highest grossing RR Auction item is a 1980 Rick James tour all-access pass which brought in $60,366. The pass lists Prince’s position as musician/star.
One auction photo shows Prince during a free concert for deaf students at Gallaudet University in 1984. The concert featured sign language & allowed deaf students to feel vibrations from his music.
Prince during a free concert for deaf students at Gallaudet University in 1984.
Another item: A handwritten response to a letter Prince received from a 10-year-old fan. Prince wrote: “I hope u like ‘Purple Rain,’ it’s a good movie. But don’t listen 2 the swear words.”
Prince wrote: “I hope u like ‘Purple Rain,’ it’s a good movie. But don’t listen 2 the swear words.”
Prince letter to Tracy Abernathy, in full:
“Thank u 4 your letter. It’s a good feeling 2 know that one’s work is appreciated by others. It’s the main thing that keeps me working. And if I ever make a video with 10-year-olds in ’em, you’re invited. (smile) I would love a picture of u. Don’t worry about what they look like. I take bad pictures all the time. I hope u like ‘Purple Rain,’ it’s a good movie. But don’t listen 2 the swear words. Happy Birthday, and don’t forget 2 say your prayers. God loves u.”
The letter is included in a collection of items from Prince’s assistant tour manager Gwen Leeds. Tracy Abernathy was the niece of Gwen and Alan Leeds, the husband-and-wife tour managers for Prince. The letter was reportedly received by Abernathy the week following the debut of Purple Rain.
“17 Days” or “17 Days (The Rain Will Come Down, Then U Will Have 2 Choose If U Believe. Look 2 The Dawn And U Shall Never Lose)” was released as the b-side of “When Doves Cry.”
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