The spring auction of our sister company PFC Auctions kicked off on May 16, and is now in full swing.
There are some fantastic lots available, such as Marilyn Monroe’s bustier, John Lennon’s bathrobe, Elvis’ jacket, The Beatles’ bed linen, Michael Jackson’s Fedora, and Margaret Thatcher’s shoes, as well as some superb original drawings, signed photographs, and an original Concorde plane window.
As we follow the auction, our office has become divided over two lots in particular, disagreeing about the one that will attract the most interest, and the highest final price.
These are namely Lady Gaga’s acrylic fingernail and Charles Dickens’ walking stick.
Now us literature fans are all for the historical import of the Dickens stick, a recognisable element of his character that ‘he carried by him in London when procuring the matter for his story Oliver Twist’.
But some of my colleagues contest that the fame monster, celebrity, will win out. Gaga is a pop and fashion icon; her outlandish costumes are world famous, and to own a piece of one of these is very desirable.
Dickens’ toothpick sold for $9,150 at Bonhams in 2009. Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance stage worn headpiece sold for $11,875 at Julien’s in 2012.
As I write this, the Lady Gaga fingernail is at £1,000 after 11 bids, and the Dickens cane at £3,000 after 8 bids, suggesting that while the Gaga fingernail is indeed more popular, the Dickens walking stick is more valuable.
But as the auction runs until the 30th, there is plenty of time for some poker-faced Gaga fans to swoop in and bid the nail up, or for a bidding war to kindle for Dickens’ closest companion on his famed walks around Victorian London.
Whatever the outcome, both are fantastic items to own. The solid inevitability of a historic literary figure, and the excitement and immediacy of a pop culture icon.
Visit our auction on Artfact to keep track of the bids yourself!