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Last waltz looms for Engelbert’s ultra-grand piano

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At 81 Grammy Award-winning singer Engelbert Humperdinck is downscaling and is selling a stunning collection of his items.

A variety of Engelbert Humperdinck’s personal possessions, including his ornate Steinway Concert Grand piano, are among the lots for Julien’s Auction’s major sale of rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia to be held in Los Angeles on November 4.

Grammy Award-winning singer Humperdinck (real name: George Dorsey) has sold 150 million records worldwide. At 81, he is downscaling and is selling a stunning collection of items ranging from his glittering stage suits and jewellery, including a gold-coloured necklace given to him by Sammy Davis jnr (estimated to fetch up to $2000 – about R28000), to his vintage gun collection ($8000) to the sale.

Topping the lots will be his Steinway Concert Grand which for years was an attraction in The Pink Palace, the erstwhile home of Hollywood star Jayne Mansfield, which he later bought. The 1931 Steinway Model D is shiny white with golden angel motifs. It’s expected to fetch up to $200000.

Also on offer will be items Elvis Presley gave to Felton Jarvis, his record producer from 1967 to 1977, including:

* A brown leather ensemble worn in a recording session (estimate: $10000).

* A recording contract at Radio Recorders Studio ($4000).

* Two pairs of Presley’s trademark Aviator sunglasses ($14000).

Other show business memorabilia include a portfolio of Joni Mitchell-signed prints, jazz legend Django Reinhardt’s 1938 Levin De Luxe arch top guitar, David Bowie’s page of handwritten lyrics for the song Starman, and a pattern for Madonna’s Blond Ambition tour corset, designed by Jean-Paul Gaultier.

Items from the Beatles include a set of collarless suits made for the band’s wax figures at Madame Tussaud’s Museum in London in 1963, a hotel visitors’ register signed by each of the band, and a piece of wood flooring from the original Abbey Road Studios in London. The timber could sell for as much for $2000.

Sunday Tribune Auctions

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