Auction Lots We'd Love To Own: August 2017
The auction market may be on its summer vacation, but we never stop digging for remarkable objects. Here are this month's auction lots we'd love to own...
Robert Crumb / Harvey Pekar American Splendor comic strip art
This original comic book story was illustrated by underground comix icon Robert Crumb, and written by Harvey Pekar, the renowned creator of American Splendor.
Pekar's autobiographical works captured the struggles of everyday life, and helped changed the perception of comic books and graphic novels forever.
Once a medium that had championed larger-than-life superheroes, he proved they could tell much smaller, personal stories in an equally creative way.
In later life Pekar found fame as a TV personality and a freelance music critic, and his life was celebrated in the 2003 movie adaptation of American Splendor.
Pekar and Crumb first met in Cleveland in the mid-1960s, and bonded over their shared love of obscure jazz.
It would be another ten years until they finally collaborated on a comic book – which gave Pekar plenty of time to kick his all-consuming habit.
His struggle is documented in the story 'How I Quit Collecting Records and Put Out a Comic Book With the Money I Saved', which recalls his obsession with rare jazz records, and the birth of his seminal series American Splendor.
This original six-page story perfectly combines Crumb's artwork and Pekar's words to create a true classic of its kind.
Offered from the comic book art collection of music legend Graham Nash, the strip could sell for upwards of $100,000.
Prince's purple trousers
Estimate: $12,000 - $14,000
Since Prince sadly passed away back in 2016, its fair to say the market has been flooded with his memorabilia.
But for us, there's one particular Prince item up for sale this month that we'd love to own – his tiny purple trousers.
With a waist measuring just 25" waist, and an inside leg of 26.5", there's no denying that Prince was positively pint-sized.
However, there's also no denying that in this case, incredibly funky things do come in small packages.
According to the listing, Prince's bodyguard dropped off the purple trousers at a Minnesota dry cleaners in 1985, but never came back to get them.
The company's policy was to hang on to unclaimed clothing for a year, before discarding them or donating them to charity.
Once the 12 months were up, one lucky employee took the trousers home as a gift for her sister, who kept them for more than 30 years before consigning them to auction.
It's thought the trousers were part of a suit owned by Prince circa 1982-1985, and they match a jacket he wore in a shoot with legendary photographer Richard Avedon in December 1982.
One of those photographs was later used on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, for a memorial issue published after his death in April 2016.
With an estimate of $12,000 - $15,000, these trousers are a perfect way to remember 'The Purple One' in all his glory – even though we'd never try to squeeze into them ourselves...
Elvis Presley's tiger cape
Estimate: $70,000 - $100,000
So you now own Prince's purple trousers, but you need something a little extra to finish off the look.
Time to head for Memphis.
Later this month, Elvis fans from around the world will gather in his home town to commemorate the 40th anniversary of his death on August 16, 1977.
At the heart of the week-long event is an auction at the King's former Graceland home, which has regularly achieved new record prices for Elvis memorabilia in recent years.
The sale features several pieces of clothing worn by Presley himself – and few items say 'Elvis' as much as this six-foot bejewelled tiger-skin cape.
All of Presley's most flamboyant stage costumes were created by designers Bill Belew and Gene Doucette.
It was originally made to match an outfit known as the 'Amber' jumpsuit, which Elvis wore on stage during his Las Vegas season in January-February 1973, and again in Lake Tahoe a few months later.
Like most of Presley's stage-worn jumpsuits, the Amber suit now resides at Graceland and is exhibited as part of the official Elvis archives.
However, the cape itself remains in private hands, and is now up for auction, offering collectors a rare chance to acquire their own significant piece of the King.
"Like the coveted jumpsuits, of which very few are in private hands, the capes are rarely offered on the open market, so this opportunity is extraordinary," said the auction house.
"This amazing cape, a partner to the jumpsuit in the treasured Graceland Archive Collection, is a precious find that would be the pinnacle piece in any serious collection."
1950 Ferrari 166 MM/212 Export 'Uovo'
Estimate: $5-7 million
This stunning 1950 Ferrari 166 MM/212 Export, known as the 'Uovo' - or 'Egg' - is the only one of its kind ever built.
The man behind the car was Giannino Marzotto, a 21-year-old millionaire playboy and heir to a textile fortune.
Marzotto was an amateur racing driver who combined his two passions of speed and style - winning the 1950 Mille Miglia driving a Ferrari 195 Sport Touring Berlinetta Le Mans and wearing a sharply-tailored suit.
Following his victory he announced that he could design an even better Ferrari - a claim that severely annoyed Enzo Ferrari, who thought his cars were already pretty great as they were.
Marzotto worked with the famous sculptor Franco Reggani to create the Uovo, and commissioned coachbuilders Carrozzeria Fontana to produce it using the chassis of a Ferrari Berlinetta.
The result was a Ferrari like no other, influenced by Reggani's previous aeronautical training to resemble nothing short of a wingless jet fighter.
This unique design did indeed perform remarkably well on the track, and the car led at both the 1951 Mille Miglia and the Giro di Sicilia until technical problems forced it to retire.
It was later raced to victory on several occasions in both Italy and then North America, before being acquired by a notable private collector.
The historic Ferrari has remained virtually unseen for the past 20 years, appearing at only a handful of the world's most exclusive car events.
It will now hit the auction block in Monterey, California with RM Sotheby's, where it's expected to sell for up to $7 million.
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