A number of items once belonging to Whitney Houston commanded slightly more than $82,000 at the Hollywood Legends auction this weekend, with most items drawing much higher bids than they were originally estimated to bring in.
The highest-selling Whitney Houston item, a beaded bustier that had been sold during a 2007 court-ordered debt auction, drew $18,750. In the catalog for the auction, the estimated value is listed as $4,000 to $6,000.
Also commanding a handsome price, a grey velvet gown that Whitney Houston wore to her mentor Clive Davis’ pre-Grammys party in 1996. The gown, which was also sold during Whitney Houston’s 2007 debt auction, pulled in $11,520, and had been listed in the catalog in the $1,000-$2,000 range.
The highest-selling Whitney Houston item, a beaded bustier that had been sold during a 2007 court-ordered debt auction, drew $18,750
The items were sold off as part of the Hollywood Legends auction held in Beverly Hills by Julien’s Auctions. Other items up for bid included a bowler hat, cane and suit owned by film icon Charlie Chaplin and a Christian Dior gown worn by Grace Kelly.
A vest and two pairs of earrings worn by Whitney Houston in her breakthrough film The Bodyguard were also auctioned off, raking in a combined $8,700.
Whitney Houston was pronounced dead on February 11 after being found submerged in the bathtub in her room at the Beverly Hilton hotel by a member of her personal staff. An autopsy later determined that she died of accidental drowning, and that cocaine and heart disease contributed to her death.
Whitney Houston’s most prized possessions are set to go up for an auction next month, it has emerged today, two days after the singer’s funeral.
Whitney Houston’s items up for sale include a pair of earrings, a brown satin waistcoat and a black velvet dress she wore in the 1992 movie The Bodyguard.
Darren Julien, Julien’s Auctions boss, has defended the decision to hold the sale – which will take place at the Hollywood Legends auction on March 31 – so shortly after Whitney Houston’s death.
Darren Julien told the Associated Press: “It proves a point that these items, they’re an investment. You buy items just like a stock. Buy at the right time and sell at the right time, and they just increase in value.”
He went on to say the auction would be a celebration of Whitney Houston, who was found dead in the bathtub of her Beverly Hilton hotel suite a week ago.
Whitney Houston’s black velvet dress worn by singer in The Bodyguard is one of the items set to go on auction next month
Darren Julien said: “It’s a celebration of her life. If you hide these things in fear that you’re going to offend someone – her life is to be celebrated.
“These items are historic now that she passed. They become a part of history. They should be in museums. She’s lived a life and had a career that nobody else has ever had.
“For people who are fans of Whitney Houston and never would have had a chance to meet her and never got to talk to her, these are items that literally touched a part of her life.
“They are a way to relate to her or be a part of her life without having known her.”
Meanwhile, Whitney Houston’s family has ensured the Beverly Hilton hotel room she died in has been meticulously stripped of any memorabilia to prevent anyone selling the items to profit out of her death.
TMZ reports that everything has been removed from room 434, including bed sheets, towels and rubbish.
Whitney Houston, 48, was laid to rest yesterday next to the body of her father John Russell Houston Jr. – who died in 2003 – at the Fairview Cemetery in New Jersey.
Only close family – including cousin Dionne Warwick – attended the private burial – which took place on Sunday after her funeral – with fans lining the route to the cemetery.
To keep onlookers out a huge tent was erected over the site where Whitney Houston’s silver coffin was lowered into the ground.
Stars including Oprah Winfrey, Mariah Carey, Clive Davis and Kevin Costner – Whitney’s co-star in movie “The Bodyguard” – were among the mourners at her “going home service” on Saturday.
Kevin Costner paid tribute to Whitney Houston in a moving eulogy at the funeral, telling her fans to remember “the sweet miracle” of the singer.