Auction of the Week: Julien's Auctions Property from the Estate of Ronnie James Dio



2018-08-30 12:31:25

Our featured sale this week is Julien's Auctions' sale of the estate of rock legend Ronnie James Dio. Although the man who gave us the devil's horn symbol passed away in 2010, his memory lives on through his music – and now you can own a piece of heavy metal history from his own collection! Here are just some of our favourite lots...

Animatronic Sphinx

Estimate: $2,000 - $4,000

This monumental, animatronic fibreglass model of a sphinx was part of the stage set on the 1984 Dio 'The Last in Line' tour.

And the good news is, there are two of them up for grabs, meaning you could own a matching pair – because one on its own might look a little weird in your lounge.

Lock Up the Wolves custom Robin guitar

Estimate: $2,000 - $4,000

This special-order Robin guitar was hand-made for Ronnie in Texas, and features a custom-painted design of snarling wolves, to commemorate Dio's fifth studio album 'Lock Up the Wolves'.

Black Sabbath tour pass

Estimate: $200 - $400

Here's Ronnie's backstage pass from the 1992 Black Sabbath World Tour, after he briefly rejoined the band to record the hit album Dehumanizer.

He left the band again in November, citing the same problems working with Geezer Butler and guitarist Tony Iommi that had caused him to quit in 1982, and was replaced for the final shows of the tour by Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford.

Animatronic knight

Estimate: $2,000 - $3,000

If you're in need of a new security system for your house, this guy mounted outside your front door should do the trick.

This larger-than-life-sized model of a beastly knight, complete with a horned helmet, sword and battle shield, comes equipped with a motor to move the sword-wielding right arm and rotating head.

It was used on stage during the 1985 Dio Sacred Heart Tour – and now you can use it to ward off unwelcome callers and/or family members.

Fan art painting by Todd K. Smith

Estimate: $1,000 - $2,000

Amongst Ronnie's personal memorabilia are some remarkable pieces of fan art sent to him over the years.

This particular canvas painting is entitled 'Evil Eyes', and was sent to Dio by his devoted fan Todd K. Smith in 1989. It obviously struck a chord with Dio, who kept it in his collection until his death in 2010.

Stage-worn leather tunic

Estimate: $1,000 - $2,000

This custom-made black leather tunic features lacing to the front and sides, red leather applique, metal stud embellishment and black angel sleeves.

It was worn extensively by Ronnie both on-stage and in photoshoots, making this one of the ultimate Dio outfits for collectors wanting to rock up their wardrobe.

Stage-used Dragon's Head

Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000

This gigantic animatronic dragon's head, measuring six feet long, was part of an entire dragon used on-stage by Dio during his 1985-1986 Sacred Heart Tour.

The monumental monster was brought onto the stage each night, with glowing red eyes and hydraulic snapping jaws, only to be slain by Dio with an enormous broadsword. As far as stage props go, they don't get much more 'metal' than this.

Stage-used robotic spider

Estimate: $5,000 - $7,000

Or perhaps they do. Here's an even bigger, and more deadly-looking prop used on-stage by Dio – an eight-foot robotic spider with blades for legs.

The hydraulic-powered black widow spider was part of the 1988 Dream Evil tour's nightmarish show, and this time Ronnie needed the help of his entire band to kill the beast as the crowd roared encouragement.

Garden gnome

Estimate: $200 - $300

It may look like a harmless lawn ornament, but this gnome hides a dangerous secret. In 2003 Dio suffered a genuine 'bizarre gardening accident', when he dropped the gnome on his thumb, crushing it on a rock and severing the tip completely.

Thankfully doctors were able to sew his thumb back together, meaning his classic 'devil's horn' hand symbol remained intact. And today the accident remains the stuff of legend, making this gnome a true piece of heavy metal history!

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