Auction of Prince's personal items tops predictions and draws devotees

A diamond and amethyst "love" symbol pendant sold for $35,197, more than tripling the original estimate of $8,000-$10,000.
by Adam Reiss /  / Updated 
Image: A Prince memorabilia auction at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York City on May 18, 2018.
A Prince memorabilia auction at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York City on May 18, 2018.Adam Reiss / NBC News

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They came ready to spend princely sums to have a piece of Prince.

A memorabilia auction at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York City Friday brought out fans of the musician known as "The Purple One" to bid on his signature collection of wardrobes, guitars and memorabilia.

Top selling items included his custom-made Yellow Cloud guitar which sold for a whopping $225,000 — well over its original $60,000-$80,000 estimate.

A diamond and amethyst "love" symbol pendant sold for $35,197, more than tripling the original estimate of $8,000-$10,000.

Seven-time Grammy winner Prince took great pride in his bespoke outfits and he had a large design department in Paisley Park, his home and production complex, where he created his own androgynous and extravagant styles.  

An electric-blue long-sleeve turtleneck and matching pants in stretch fabric, moiré pattern, worn by Prince in his Rave Un2 the Year 2000 New Year's Eve performance at Paisley Park in 1999, sold for $108,797.  

Image: Prince's Yellow Cloud guitar
Prince's Yellow Cloud guitar on display during a Rock and Roll memorabilia press preview for Julien's Auctions "Property From the Life and Career of Prince" auction at Hard Rock Cafe in New York on May 14, 2018.Jason Szenes / EPA

Prince, who died just over two years ago of an accidental fentanyl overdose, was known for his revolutionary mastery of the electric guitar and his flamboyant stage presence.

Two bidders dominated much of the auction. One was an anonymous Japanese Prince fan according to Julien's Auctions, which held the event. The other was Jerry Fraize, director of memorabilia for the Hard Rock chain.

Fraize bought nine items Friday, including outfits, three tambourines and two handwritten notes. He shelled out $43,750 for the gold and black reptilian print lace-up shirt and matching pants work by Prince during the 1997 Jam of the Year tour.

"We wanted to build on our collection and celebrate Prince's legacy," Fraize said, adding that it's very rare to get full Prince costumes that are available for purchase.

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There were more than 150 items in the collection that ranged from dozens of his colorful outfits, jewelry adorned with his iconic love symbol and several platinum record awards.

Many of the fans and bidders in the auction room, some of whom came from as far away as Ireland, know each other and said they consider themselves family.

Darlene Blander became a fan at 5 years old and went to 23 Prince concerts. She started a Prince social group to support local talent.

"It's exciting but bittersweet because he's not here but it's nice to see people appreciating who he was," she said.

Ron Worthy was shocked when Prince died. He was hoping to grab a set list or something handwritten by Prince. Worthy said having something from the auction would help him maintain a connection to his idol.

"It makes me sad but it proves you can't take it with you," he said.

Prince's ex-wife Mayte Garcia consigned a majority of the items and she will receive a large portion of the proceeds.

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