Madonna Memorabilia: The Top 10 Most Valuable Items Ever Sold
A list of the world's ten biggest auction sales of Madonna memorabilia
10) Like a Virgin music video veil
‘Like a Virgin’ remains one of Madonna’s most famous songs, which established her as a star unafraid of pushing the boundaries. Released in 1984, it became the singer’s first U.S No. 1 on the Billboard chart where it sold over 1 million copies. The video for the single, directed by Mary Lambert, featured scenes in filmed in both New York and Venice. In numerous shots Madonna is seen wearing a white wedding dress and veil, as she is stalked by a lion. The veil from the video, which was made by the renowned Japanese designer Kazuko, was sold at Christie’s in December 2004 for $17,925. (Image: Christie's)
9) Like A Prayer handwritten lyrics
Madonna’s 1989 single ‘Like A Prayer’ topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic, and has to date sold five million copies worldwide. The songs caused controversy by combining sexually suggestive lyrics with religious symbolism, a contrast which was amplified by the video which led Pepsi to cancel its contract with the singer. A set of Madonna’s handwritten lyrics for the song sold at a Sotheby’s auction in 2001 for $20,000 – a record for Madonna lyrics which remains to this day.
8) Ray of Light MTV Best Video award
The music video for Madonna’s 1998 hit single ‘Ray of Light’ was directed by the Swedish director Jonas Åkerlund, who later helmed the singer’s 2005 feature documentary ‘I’m Going to Tell You a Secret’. It received a total of eight MTV Video Music Awards nominations in 1998, winning five - Video of the Year, Best Female Video, Best Direction, Best Editing and Best Choreography – making it Madonna’s most successful music video at the annual event. The ‘Best Video of the Year’ award was presented to her manager Caresse Norman, who passed away in 2010. It was auctioned at Julien’s in 2014, where it sold for $20,480. (Image: Julien's)
7) Evita screen worn costume
In 1996 Madonna starred in the critically-acclaimed musical film Evita, based on the life of Eva Perón. She won a Golden Globe for her performance as the former First Lady of Argentina, and also set a new Guiness World Record for the number of costume changes in a single film (85, including 39 hats, 45 pairs of shoes and 56 pairs of earrings). One such screen-worn costume, a Penny Rose black sequinned evening dress with black shoes and a rhinestone necklace, sold at Profiles in History in June 2011 for $22,500. (Image: Profiles in History)
6) Girlie Show stage costume
This stage costume was worn by Madonna during her 1993 Girlie Show Tour, which visited 12 countries in support of her 1992 album Erotica. Featuring a sequined Dolce & Gabbana bolero style black jacket and Columbia Studios matching boy shorts, the outfit appeared in burlesque-style sections of the show in which Madonna portrayed a dominatrix. It was sold through Julien’s Auctions in October 2010 for $23,750. (Image: Julien's)
5) The Girlie Show Tour bra
Madonna’s 1993 Girlie Show Tour was described as "a mixture of a rock concert, a fashion show, a carnival performance, a cabaret act and a burlesque show". It was directed by the singer’s brother Christopher Ciccone, and featured costumes by the Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana. A black beaded bra worn on stage during the tour sold in 2001 during an auction hosted by Sotheby’s and music memorabilia specialists Gotta Have Rock and Roll, where it realized $23,850 – setting a new record for Madonna memorabilia
4) Blonde Ambition Tour two-piece costume
The ‘Blonde Ambition Tour’ was Madonna’s third world tour, with 57 shows across North America, Europe and Asia. The tour supported the 1989 album ‘Like a Prayer’, and caused controversy around the world for its use of religious iconography. It grossed around $60 million, and was later voted as ‘the Greatest Concert of the 1990s’ by Rolling Stone Magazine. This two-piece stage costume from the tour, comprising a black satin conical bustier and black lycra shorts, was worn by Madonna during a performance of ‘Vogue’ at the Olympic Stadium in Barcelona in August, 1990. It later sold at auction through Christie’s in 2012 for $26,000. (Image: Christie's)
3) Blond Ambition Tour negligee
This baby-doll negligee, featuring sheer black netting and a pink fur trim, was worn on stage by Madonna on her 1990 Blond Ambition Tour, during a performance of the 1985 track ‘Into the Groove’. Having originally sold at Christie’s in 1993, it crossed the auction block again at Julien’s in 2012 where it sold for $34,375. (Image: Julien's)
2) Blonde Ambition Tour Jean-Paul Gaultier corset
The famous costumes for the Blonde Ambition Tour, including the now-iconic conical bras, were created by the French designer Jean-Paul Gaultier. He produced approximately 1,500 sketches in preparation for the tour, which he later described as one of the highlights of his career, and went on to design costumes for Madonna’s 2006 Confessions Tour. This green silk couture corset with conical cups and beaded fringe was worn on stage by Madonna during her performances of ‘Hanky Panky’ and ‘Now I'm Following You’ at the Olympic Stadium in Barcelona in August, 1990. It was sold at Christie’s in 2012 for $51,920. (Image: Christie's)
1) Who’s That Girl Tour bustier
Madonna’s 1987 ‘Who’s That Girl Tour’ – her second world tour which took in 39 shows in nine countries – cemented her status as a worldwide star. Featuring songs from her third album ‘True Blue’ and the soundtrack to her film ‘Who's That Girl’, the tour made $25 million and set attendance records across Europe. The costumes, designed by Marlene Stewart, were based on those worn in her previous music videos which were recreated on stage. This black tassled bustier was worn on stage by Madonna during a performance of ‘Like a Virgin’, and had previously been on display at both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and The Frederick's of Hollywood Museum. Having previously sold in 2001 for $20,550, it sold at Julien’s in 2011 for $75,000, setting a new auction record for Madonna memorabilia. (Image: Julien's)
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