Caution Urged In Jackson Collectibles Market
As the world mourns Michael Jackson's death, some are beginning to focus on the future value of Jackson memorabilia. Perhaps no one else is as close to it as Darren Julien, chief executive of the Julien's Auctions. Julien's Auctions specializes in Hollywood collectibles. Earlier this year his company was set to sell around 1,400 Jackson items for auction including Jackson's Rolls Royce, Jackson portraits, costumes and even the gates to Neverland Ranch before the auction was called off by Jackson. It's not known yet if an auction could now take place but even the catalogs that Julien's Auctions had created for the event could be highly collectible.
Jackson-related keepsakes are already on the rise on eBay and elsewhere but buyer beware. Joe Orlando, President PSA/DNA Authentication Services warns of a potential explosion of fake Michael Jackson autographs and counterfeit memorabilia: "This happens every time a famous Hollywood, sports or political celebrity passes away," he says. "Online auctions and flea markets are suddenly filled with spurious signatures, and frankly many collectors don't know exactly what they're buying." Jackson did grant some fans autographs but he was reclusive and didn't offer fans frequent autograph access like some other celebrities. Orlando says that even if the signature is accompanied by what appears to be a certificate of authenticity, that may not offer consumers enough protection. "Collectors who purchase autographs or memorabilia need to know the reputation of the seller and the reputation and expertise of the authenticators. The bottom line is that a certificate or letter of authenticity is only as strong as the name behind it," Orlando said.
Michael Jackson also inspired quite a bit of art. Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons are just two of the artists who used Jackson as a subject. Check out this ArtInfo piece for more on Jackson as a muse.
Gallery: The Auction That Never Was