Bloomberg News

Madonna Corset Makes $52,000, Indiana Jones Whip $32,000

November 29, 2012

Madonna Corset Sells for $52,000, Indiana Jones Whip for $32,000

Madonna in a corset by Jean Paul Gaultier in 1990. Photographer: Ebet Roberts/Redferns via Bloomberg

Madonna’s conical-bra corset sold for $52,000 at a London auction today.

The Jean Paul Gaultier-designed stage costume was sold moments after a whip used by Harrison Ford, though auctioneer Christie’s International made no connection between the two in a “Pop Culture” auction at its South Kensington salesroom.

Madonna wore Gaultier’s green-and-white corset for the 1990 “Blond Ambition” tour while performing three songs, including “Now I’m Following You.” Its formal estimate was 10,000 pounds ($15,930) to 15,000 pounds at hammer prices and it made 32,450 pounds with fees. It was bought by a bidder in the room, acting for an undisclosed London collector.

Supplies of pop and movie memorabilia have declined in recent years as studios have become aware of their commercial potential, boosting the rarity value of items that do make their way onto the market, said dealers.

A black Lycra two-piece labeled “Trashy” that Madonna wore to perform “Vogue” had an upper estimate of 12,000 pounds and fetched 16,250 pounds.

The hand-made 12-plait kangaroo-hide bullwhip produced for one of the Indiana Jones movies was also estimated at 10,000 pounds to 15,000 pounds. It sold for 20,000 pounds ($32,000) to an Internet buyer.

‘Temple of Doom’

It was one of more than 30 props produced by whipmaker David Morgan and featured in the “Temple of Doom” film in 1984. The whip was first donated by Steven Spielberg to a Unicef charity auction in 2001, when it was sold for 68,000 pounds, Christie’s said.

“Indiana Jones is a timeless classic,” said Tim Lawes, general manager of the dealership, The Prop Store of London. “That was the cheapest whip with a provenance I’ve seen, though. They have made $40,000 to $50,000 before.”

Lawes paid 18,750 pounds for the ‘Grail Diary’ prop from the 1989 movie “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.”

Lawes said film memorabilia was now attracting alternative investors, particularly for Bond, Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Spielberg films.

A prop chalice made for “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” sold for 11,875 pounds, more than a 3,500-pound estimate.

Other eye-catching pieces in the 160-lot auction included an original concept painting by Gustaf Tenggren for the 1940 Walt Disney movie “Pinocchio” (43,250 pounds), and a bamboo cane owned and used by Charlie Chaplin (6,875 pounds, beating a top estimate of 2,500 pounds).

Warhol’s Dollar

Also up for sale was a $1 bill signed in felt-tip pen by Andy Warhol. It fetched 8,125 pounds, exceeding a top estimate of 1,500 pounds.

A white jumpsuit designed by Ossie Clark for Mick Jagger to wear on the Rolling Stones 1972 U.S. tour made 20,000 pounds, beating an estimate of 12,000 pounds. The winning bidder was the London-based Stones memorabilia collector Ali Zayeri.

Also sold: a La Perla corset worn by Britney Spears for her performance of “Womanizer” at the Bambi Awards in November 2008 (1,000 pounds) and a promotional poster for the Sex Pistols’ 1977 single, “God Save the Queen” (2,250 pounds, more than the 800 pounds to 1,200 pounds estimated).

Punk-era souvenirs have become particularly sought after by former fans who have become wealthier in their 40s and 50s, dealers at the sale said.

The auction raised 653,325 pounds, within the presale estimate, with 81 percent of the 154 offered lots successful.

Russian Sales

Earlier in the week, auctions of Russian art in the U.K. capital raised 36.1 million pounds with fees. They had been estimated to fetch as much as 67.8 million pounds, based on hammer prices.

The standout result of the series was the 4.4 million pounds paid by a private buyer for the Christmassy 1923 Boris Kustodiev canvas “The Coachman,” offered at Christie’s on Nov. 26. The price was an auction record for the artist.

Showing a bearded figure standing in sunlit snow, it had been valued at 1.5 million pounds to 2 million pounds.

Christie’s, Sotheby’s (BID:US) and MacDougall’s attempted to lure London’s growing population of wealthy residents from Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States.

At the height of the previous art-market boom in 2007, auctions in this collecting area raised almost 100 million pounds. Some Russian buyers, concerned about high prices and the authenticity of certain works, subsequently shifted into Impressionist and contemporary art.

Record Price

Boosted by the record price for the Kustodiev, Christie’s raised 15.1 million pounds with fees from its auction, just below the upper estimate of 16.3 million pounds. The company found buyers for 65 percent of its 391 lots.

That evening and the following day, Sotheby’s raised a further 20.6 million pounds from 517 lots of Russian paintings and works of art.

A top price of 1.2 million pounds -- more than twice the upper estimate -- was paid for Valentin Alexandrovich Serov’s painting “Portrait of Praskovia Anatolievna Mamontova” at the company’s Nov. 26 auction of Russian art, where all 10 of the most expensive works were bought by “Private CIS” bidders, according to the New York-based auction house.

Russian specialists MacDougall’s raised 7 million pounds with fees from more than 560 lots at auctions on Nov. 25 and Nov. 28. An 1851 painting of lovers in a gondola, “View of Venice, San Giorgio Maggiore,” by the ever-popular Ivan Aivazofsky, sold for 1 million pounds.

Muse highlights include Richard Vines on food, Jason Harper on cars and Rich Jaroslovsky on tech.

To contact the writer on the story: Scott Reyburn in London at sreyburn@hotmail.com.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net.


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