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25 Years Ago: Elton John Auctions Off $8.2 Million Worth of Memorabilia

Elton John has earned a ton of money — and he’s bought a ton of things with it. In fact, back in September of 1988, he had so many possessions crowding his four-story English mansion that he decided to sell off 2,000 of them in a massive four-day auction at Sotheby’s in London.

Hundreds of bidders from all over the world vied for eclectic items including artwork, tour itineraries, jewelry, costumes, and dozens of the singer’s flamboyant trademark eyeglasses, on which bidding was especially fierce. Nearly every pair went for at least $1,500, and the Hard Rock Cafe in Los Angeles paid almost $17,000 for a battery-operated pair that lit up and spelled “Elton.”

A Wurlitzer jukebox named after his song ‘Captain Fantastic’ raked in nearly $30,000, and the super-sized fiberglass Doc Martens Elton wore in the movie ‘Tommy’ went for about $20,000 to a rep from the British manufacturer of Doc Martens, who said they’d be used for “exhibitions and marketing.”

In all, the auction was expected to bring in about $5 million, but the grand total wound up being much higher: $8.2 million. Which he probably then used to buy 2,000 more things.

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