LOS ANGELES: Bidders paid a combined total of more than $150,000 for a lock of David Bowie’s hair and Prince’s iconic “Yellow Cloud” guitar Saturday at a Beverly Hills auction.
Heritage Auctions, which prompted legal action by offering Whitney Houston’s Emmy Award as part of a separate sale, said the snippet of Bowie’s pale blond hair went for $18,750.
It came from a former employee of the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in London who was tasked with recreating the music icon’s 1983-era hairdo for his wax figure.
Prince’s instrument of choice during the late 1980s attracted a winning bid of $137,500, with unconfirmed reports saying it had gone to Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay.
The auctioneer was forced to abandon plans to sell Houston’s Emmy as part of a separate auction of her dresses and other belongings after the US Television Academy argued it owned the rights to the statuette.
US District Judge Percy Anderson issued a temporary restraining order on Friday forbidding the auction house from selling the trophy, won in 1986 for Houston’s performance of “Saving All My Love for You” at the Grammys.
“We fought the good fight, but we respect the court’s decision,” Heritage spokesman Eric Bradley said.
The 48-year-old diva was found drowned in a bathtub at the Beverly Hilton in 2012.
Bowie and Prince, two of the most influential artists in pop history, died within months earlier this year — the so-called “Thin White Duke” after a battle with cancer and the reclusive “Purple Rain” singer of an opioid overdose.
He was rarely photographed during the late 1980s without his bright yellow maple wood instrument, complete with a distinctive elongated upper horn.
“As celebrity stage-used instruments go, this piece is as unique as Beethoven’s piano or John Coltrane’s saxophone,” Garry Shrum, Heritage’s director of music memorabilia said when it was put up for sale.
The Yellow Cloud was used in the studio, in videos and at gigs until the neck broke on a French TV show in 1994.
It was repaired, but confined to the recording studio and eventually made way for the “Symbol” guitar identified with Prince’s later work.