(LOS ANGELES) — Now that Whitney Houston’s no longer with us, how much is her stuff worth? We’ll find out this weekend, when a collection of items worn by the late diva will be going up for sale as part of Julien’s Auctions “Hollywood Legends” auction.
In a strange twist of fate, several of her items were set to be included in this particular auction even before she was found dead in her hotel room bathtub on Feb. 11. “We were one week away from going to the printer [with the catalog],” Julien’s Auctions Executive Director Martin Nolan told ABC News Radio. “And of course, as soon as she passed away, people called us to say they had [more] Whitney Houston items.”
The question is whether or not the price of Houston’s possessions will now go through the roof following her death, as did the possessions of Michael Jackson. “This will be, in fact, the first auction of items owned by Whitney Houston that will go on the auction block since she passed away. So the world media — in fact, everyone — is curious to know just how collectible she has become,” said Nolan.
All in all, Nolan said there are about a dozen of Houston’s items going on the block March 31, adding, “Some from her personal life and some from stage performances, and some from her acting career from the movie The Bodyguard, which she’s obviously very famous for.” Among the items: a vest and two sets of earrings that she wore in The Bodyguard, several stage costumes, including a black lace pantsuit, a gold satin jacket and a beaded bustier; and a grey velvet gown that she wore to Clive Davis’ pre-Grammy Awards party in 1996.
And in case you’re thinking that the auction house must’ve jacked up the prices on the Houston items after her death, they didn’t. “We did have that conversation and we decided that, no, we would leave the estimates as is and they’re conservative,” Nolan told ABC News Radio. “So all the auction companies will be looking at this auction to see how collectible she has become and where is the benchmark.” The items range from about $500 to $2,000 dollars.
As for those who feel this auction is in poor taste, or is taking place too soon, Nolan said that he realizes that “there’s always this certain element of people that feel that yes, maybe it’s a little insensitive.” However, he feels that the auction house is actually “preserving the history” of Houston by documenting her possessions and telling their story. “We’re protecting her legacy and that’s what we have,” said Nolan. “You know, she’s no longer with us, but we want to keep that memory alive.”
Those who want to watch the auction live, or even bid, can access the sale at JuliensAuctions.com. The first session takes place 10 a.m. PT on Saturday.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Brian Stelter, CNN
Adam Forsgren, EastIdahoNews.com columnist
Tom Kludt, CNN