The jacket Michael Jackson wore in his “Thriller” video is hitting the auction block.
Auction administrator Darren Julien says the red and black leather jacket is “the most recognized and significant piece of pop culture” to come up for sale, and he expects it to fetch at least $200,000 at the Music Icons auction on June 25 and 26 at Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills.
Jackson autographed the jacket as a gift to his longtime costume designers, Dennis Tompkins and Michael Bush. He wanted them to use the small calfskin jacket as a template for his future concert fashions. A portion of the proceeds from its sale will benefit the Shambala Preserve, where Jackson’s two Bengal tigers, Thriller and Sabu, have been living since the pop star left his Neverland ranch in 2006.
Other Jackson items up for sale include the wig he wore when he announced his ill-fated “This Is It” concert series in London, a fedora and spangled glove he wore on stage, his shirt from the “Scream” video and the battered mailbox from the Carolwood Drive estate where Jackson died at age 50 in 2009.
The Music Icons sale also includes one of Eric Clapton’s guitars, Frank Sinatra’s patent leather boots and 1986 Jaguar, handwritten lyrics and a leather jacket from Johnny Cash, jackets and a guitar from Elvis Presley, a signed harmonica from Bob Dylan and nearly 600 other pieces of music memorabilia from Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, The Beatles and others.
The collection will be on view free to the public from June 13 to 25 at Julien’s Auctions Gallery in Beverly Hills.