The two-day annual pop auction at Sotheby’s has concluded with Geri Halliwell’s famed union jack dress fetching just under $70,000. British press sources report that the buyer was Hard Rock Café owner Peter Morton, who will display the dress with its matching black corset in his flagship Las Vegas venue.
Halliwell, who stood at the podium and rapped the gavel after the final frenzied bid, promised to personally deliver the garment. The dress was originally rated at £12,000 (approximately $20,000) but the price reached £36,200. Morton, who bid by telephone, paid a total of £41,320, including a 15% commission. The proceeds, at Halliwell’s request, will be going to a children’s cancer care foundation. Halliwell herself had a breast cancer scare when she was 18.
Other items supplied by the former Ginger Spice included the 1967 MGB roadster she bought with her first royalty check, which sold for £8,500 ($14,000), and the rhinestone-studded outfit she wore to the 1997 Billboard
awards, which fetched £4,140 ($7000).
The Spice Girls memorabilia, however, didn’t generate the highest sales. The top price paid out over the course of the event was £100,000 ($167,700 USD) plus commission for a Beatles notebook kept by former Beatles staffer Mal Evans that included Paul McCartney’s handwritten lyrics to “Hey Jude” among other scribbles, doodles and notes. That item was bought by a British businessman as a gift for his daughter who was appearing as a character named Jude in a TV soap opera.
Other rare Beatles material included original artwork from the Sgt. Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band album, letters written by John Lennon, and rare footage and photgraphs of the band. Other items included a pair of Mick Jagger’s velvet pants dating back to the late 1960s, a gold record and a leather motorcycle jacket that once belonged to Elvis Presley, a poster from the Sex Pistols’ 1976 Anarchy in the U.K. tour, one of Madonna’s G-strings, a studded Tina Turner dress,
and a notebook of Oasis lyrics written by Noel Gallagher.