Elton John is saying goodbye to his Peachtree Road pad and parting with more than 900 of his most prized possessions from the Atlanta home that he sold in October for more than $7 million.
“If you buy anything at the sale, just remember that it is going from one incredibly eager collector who had so much pleasure out of what you are going to buy, and I hope it finds a good home,” John said to would-be buyers.
The vast collection includes outlandish costumes from his concerts, artwork, jewelry, lots of watches, furniture, a pinball machine and, of course, his Yamaha Conservatory grand piano on which he known to tinker and play iconic songs — such as “Daniel,” “Candle in the Wind,” “Cold Heart” and “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” — for family and friends.
The apartment has a view of the city’s skyline, with a personal gym, massage room and a bathroom clad in onyx. He is now selling all the contents as he downsizes from the massive dwelling and the treasures it contained to spend more time with his sons at his other homes.
The previews started at Christie’s on Friday and the auction will start on Feb. 21. The items are expected to bring in more than $10 million, with opening bids ranging from $100 to $1,000,000.
The artworks range from the risqué to the iconic, including a rare original Banksy, three Keith Haring works and Damien Hirst’s “Your Song,” which is signed and inscribed “xxx for Elton + David love Damien Thank You,” estimated to sell for $350,000 to $450,000. There is also an erotic print from Ryan McGinley titled “Two Heads,” which is a picture of a snake wrapped around male genitalia that the musician kept in his bathroom. John is parting with 350 of the 7,000 photos in his collection, including works from Irving Penn and Richard Avedon.
Christie’s Deputy Chairman Tash Perrin said: “What’s important about this is it gives you a glimpse in how Elton lived with the objects he created and gave him inspiration, it was a difficult and emotional decision, and it was a long process to decide what they were going to part with. They did not want to leave anything in storage.”
There is also an entire closet containing more than 100 vintage Gianni Versace shirts, with starting bids at $4,000 to $6,000. There is also Versace china, glassware, dining chairs and a porcelain Medusa red table service. He had a special lifelong relationship with Gianni Versace before the designer was assassinated in Miami in 1997.
His 1990 Bentley with a leather interior is also up for sale. John said he loved the smell of its leather as he drove the streets of Atlanta and the South of France.
Mercedes Heuer of South Carolina is a huge fan who follows him all over the world attending his concerts. “It’s impressive, a wonderful idea to take a piece of him, and have him at home,” she said.
Fans were lining up at the preview at Christie’s in New York City to get a glimpse of his eclectic taste in art, fashion and furniture, all kept in the sprawling, 13,500-square-foot home. The table where he sat and came up with the idea for his AIDS foundation is on sale as well.
Mike Pappert of Houston says, “It’s great to see it and see it in person. I’m sure it’s not a matter of needing money, but he is taking the opportunity to share his things with fans.”
The “Rocket Man” singer now lives primarily in England and had used the Atlanta home as his base of operations dating back to 1992. He called the home his man cave. It is where he got clean and sober, and now that his 330-concert farewell tour is over, he has decided to shed some of his personal possessions.
CORRECTION (Feb. 12, 2024, 8:54 a.m.): An earlier version of this article misstated the timing of the auction. The previews began on Friday and the auction begins on Feb. 21; the auction did not begin on Friday.