Julien’s Music Icons from Nirvana to Amy Winehouse

Julien’s Auctions, the world renowned auction house to the stars, has announced a spectacular lineup of artefacts from Nirvana, Amy Winehouse and others that will be offered in the industry’s premiere music auction event MUSIC ICONS, taking place Friday, May 19th, Saturday, May 20th, and Sunday, May 21st, 2023 live at Hard Rock Cafe New York and online at juliensauctions.com.

Over 1,200 items owned and used by the world’s greatest music artists such as Kurt Cobain, Nirvana, The Beatles, Guns N’ Roses, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Elvis Presley, David Bowie, The Rolling Stones, Johnny Cash, Eddie Van Halen, U2, Tupac Shakur, Judas Priest, Motley Crüe, Bob Dylan and more will be offered in addition to exclusive collections from Amy Winehouse, Bill Wyman, Julian Lennon, Bette Midler and Phil Spector, with the three-day auction event closing as previously announced with the grand finale, Property from the Special Collection of Global Icon Janet Jackson.


One of the incredible highlights of the auction will be a 1960s Rosetti Egmond 276 Toledo acoustic guitar signed by a star-studded lineup of music icons who performed or attended as guests on BBC’s Top of the Pops during the show’s early years, while Lorn “Johnnie” Stewart was the producer. Over 35 signatures and inscriptions from legendary musicians such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Dusty Springfield, The Ronettes, The Crystals, Neil Diamond, Marianne Faithfull and more are featured on the instrument which is estimated to sell between $100,000 – $200,000.

Hitting the auction stage front and center will be legacy items from one of the most iconic rock bands of all time, Nirvana, such as a black Fender Stratocaster electric guitar smashed by Kurt Cobain and signed by all three members of Nirvana with additional inscriptions to Mark Lanegan (of Screaming Trees) by Cobain that read: “Hell-o Mark! Love, Your Pal, Kurdt Kobain / Washed up rockstar” as well as the inscription ‘Boddah Lives’ engraved to the neck plate (referring to Cobain’s childhood imaginary friend). The reassembled but unplayable guitar is set up in Cobain’s favoured configuration for live performance with a Hot Rails pickup in the bridge position, and is housed in a black hard case with “Abort Christ” written on the top in white block letters and includes a white Ernie Ball guitar strap (estimate: $60,000 – $80,000).

Another historic relic is a Nirvana setlist, handwritten in pink marker to use for their April 17th, 1991 performance at OK Hotel in Seattle, Washington which marked the band’s debut performance of their breakthrough hit, “Smells like Teen Spirit” before its release. The list was written on the back of a printed “Guitar Lessons with Tommy Rose” flyer advertisement and included songs such as “Big Cheese,” “D-7,” “Love Buzz,” “About a Girl,” “Immoodiuum,” “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” and “In Bloom.” Nirvana headlined this benefit concert with Fits of Depression and Bikini Kill, just five months before their seminal breakthrough album Nevermind was released (estimate: $4,000 – $6,000). A six-unit rackmount heavy duty road case with removable front and rear covers used by Kurt Cobain while on tour with Nirvana (estimate: $1,000 – $2,000) is another highlight.

One of the marquee auction headliners of the three-day event will be the five-time GRAMMY Award® -winning retro-soul music superstar and pop diva, Amy Winehouse. This stunning collection of 50 pieces, synonymous with Winehouse’s distinct style and signature artistry, curated by Naomi Parry, author of Beyond Black, the definitive story of Amy Winehouse, and Winehouse’s stylist, designer and close friend, who created many of the style icon’s most famous fashion moments, were displayed recently at The Museum of Style Icons at the Newbridge Silverware Visitor’s Centre’s exhibition of Winehouse’s life and career.


Her iconic costumes, garments, and personal property as well as never-before-seen items such as a group of figure-hugging mini-dresses Winehouse designed with Parry for a new fashion line and for her 2011 European Tour but never wore due to Winehouse’s untimely passing will be offered. Also included are rare design sketches, collages and artwork related to these colorful, custom-made creations designed for Winehouse’s famous silhouette and all of which she gave names to such as: “Palm Trees,” “Parry Keet,” “Flamin’ Go” “Itsy Bitsy Camden” (a yellow and black dress which according to Parry was Winehouse’s favorite from the collection), “The Origami(y),” “Shock Out,” “Bamboo Stripey,” and more (estimate range each dress: $5,000 – $7,000).

Another rare piece heading to auction for the first time will be her D&G brand shell patterned dress worn in her 2004 “F*ck Me Pumps” music video. The cotton mini dress with an enlarged Polynesian ‘60s style floral print and defined bust cups was featured in the music video for the fourth and final single off her 2004 Frank album and exhibited an early example of Winehouse’s love for wearing Dolce & Gabbana which continued throughout her career and personal life (estimate: $10,000 – $20,000). Other top highlights include: her strapless shiny black and white snake print mini dress with a satin bow to the center; dresses by some of Winehouse’s favorite designers and brands such as a David Dalrymple for Field New York jungle cat print halter dress; cobalt blue Preen Collection dress with asymmetrical neckline, a satin strap and waistband with ruching; a black stretch Fred Perry and Amy Winehouse dress with boned bodice and logo; a black strapless Juicy Couture mini dress with colorful floral velvet burnouts, as well as some of her most personal beauty products and style pieces such as her petal pink satin ballet slippers, Rimmel black eyeliner, pink Mac lipstick, cardigans, sweater vests, bras and more.

An oversized 18K Gold fire opal and diamond ring (estimate: $30,000 – $40,000), owned and stage-worn by Elvis Presley circa 1970s during his Las Vegas residency is just one example of the showman’s dazzling jewels. Elvis later gifted the ring to RCA executive, George Parkhill which was later purchased by Jimmy Velvet when he opened the Elvis Presley Museum.

Extraordinary and more never before seen pieces from the renowned Rolling Stones archive of Bill Wyman, the legendary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, English musician, record producer, songwriter and singer and founding member and bassist of the World’s Greatest Rock Band, will be an outstanding highlight of this music auction blockbuster. This intimate and personal time capsule of Wyman’s storied three decade career features important memorabilia, documents, jewellery and other treasures of Rolling Stones history such as (with estimates): Wyman’s silver fruit set and leaves chain necklace worn on the cover of the Stones’ 1976 album, Black and Blue and a silver plate necklace of 13 interlocking Scottish thistle links worn on the cover of his 1975 solo album Monkey Grip, both of which he purchased at a flea market in London in the 1960s (estimate each item: $4,000 – $6,000).

In late 1969, Monkey Bikes were purchased by EMI as Christmas gifts for The Beatles. John Lennon was later pictured riding on his bike with a young Julian, as well as Ringo and then wife Maureen on Ringo’s original bike in the 1969 music video for “Something.” Julian‘s bike came from a gardener employed by Ringo Starr in the 1980s at his home, Tittenhurst Park, the estate he had purchased from John Lennon in 1973 (estimate: $10,000 – $20,000).

Julien’s Auctions has once again partnered with Gibson, the iconic, leading American instrument brand, in offering instruments and music items donated and signed by some of the biggest luminaries in entertainment. All proceeds of this auction will go towards Gibson’s charitable arm Gibson Gives whose mission is to support non-profit organisations to advance musicians, youth-focused education, music, and wellness initiatives.


Highlights include (estimate each: $1,000 – $2,000): a dark burst 2022 Gibson Southern Jumbo acoustic guitar signed by Dolly Parton; a natural 2022 Gibson G-00 acoustic guitar signed by Gloria Estefan, who has also inscribed partial lyrics from her hit 1992 single “Always Tomorrow;” a dark turquoise sparkle 2022 Gibson J-45 acoustic guitar with tiger stripe signed by Willie Nelson; a 2020 black Gibson Les Paul Custom electric guitar signed by Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong, Tre Cool, and Mike Dirnt; a black Gibson SG electric guitar, with a colorful monster face hand-painted and signed by Robby Krieger of The Doors covering the entire front of the body; an antique natural 2023 Gibson Explorer electric guitar signed by Robin Zander, Rick Nielsen, and Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick; and a sparkling burgundy 2022 Epiphone SG electric guitar signed by ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons.

Among many instruments included in the sale is Queens of the Stone Age’s leopard print painted Lester Piano Company / Lindeman and Sons baby grand piano with red-painted interior, hand pump modification, and Styrofoam prop teeth (seen top of page) from the music video for their song “The Vampyre of Time and Memory” ($10,000 – $20,000).

See also: The Unparalleled Jewellery Collection of Heidi Horten

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