Fame and fortune in Bowie memorabilia
Fame is the title of one of David Bowie’s greatest hits. But he was once quoted as saying: “Fame doesn’t really afford you any more than a good seat in a restaurant!”
But for owners of genuine Bowie artefacts, finding the best seat in the best diners shouldn’t be a problem. These days items associated with Bowie are currently soaring in value.
A fine example is the recently sold reel-to-reel demo tape which includes unheard versions of the hit Starman. The tape was originally listed at between £5,000 to £10,000 but when it went under the hammer it sold for £41,000.
Bowie material is not difficult to come by, but with such a scramble for items like the Starman tape, is it any wonder the David Bowie artefacts are being seriously re-evaluated.
In Warhol’s footsteps?
As well as a musician and actor, Bowie was a prolific artist in paint. His reputation as a fine artist is drawing as much attention as his musical prowess.
It’s odd that except for reprints, few Bowie original paintings have ever been offered on the open market. After his death in 2016, his private art collection sold for more than £24 million but it didn’t include any of his own works.
Zenzi is one of Bowie originals that did sell and its back on the market. It is special because it was the main attraction at his first solo exhibition in London in 1995. Prints of Zenzi have been sold for as much as £5,000 but the original is apparently up for sale – on eBay. It’s being offered at £125,000 which art experts might consider a real bargain.
Starman lyrics for £53,000
In November 2017, a draft of the handwritten lyrics to the hit ‘Starman’ sold in the US for £53,000. The item had been expected to fetch about £5,000.
The lyrics were unsigned but dated from the early 1970s. It was accompanied by a letter of authenticity which stated that the lyrics were written prior to Ziggy Stardust’s release in 1972. There are differences between this version and the final recorded version of the song. It shows Bowie’s creative mind at work.
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