Johnny Cash memorabilia up for auction in L.A.

File photo of a bust from the Country Music Wax Museum of Johnny Cash shown at a Sotheby's auction house press preview September 7, 2004 in New York City. REUTERS/File

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Johnny Cash fans who were outbid at the big Sotheby’s estate sale in 2004 will have another chance to acquire guitars, costumes and other memorabilia owned by the Man in Black during a Los Angeles auction in December, organisers said on Monday.

Almost 1,000 lots will go under the hammer at the Dec. 5 sale, Julien’s Auctions said. A free public exhibition begins on Nov. 19.

Items include the blue denim jumpsuit worn by Cash in the infamous Jim Marshall photograph that depicts him wagging his middle finger into the camera lens. It carries a sales estimate of $3,000 to $5,000.

Fans who want to make a grand entrance will surely vie for a knee-length black cape that unaccountably found its way into Cash’s wardrobe. It is valued at $2,000 to $3,000.

Among the guitars is a Martin D-28 acoustic on which Cash wrote the first four lines of his early hit “I Walk the Line” and signed his name. Its estimated range is $20,000 to $30,000.

An undated handwritten note from Bruce Springsteen and addressed to “Big John” is on the block for $500 to $700. It reads in part, “Here’s my latest (album). It’s got a lot of country + folk influences + I thought you might get a kick out of it.”

Cash’s handwritten lyrics to dozens of obscure or unrecorded songs abound. Among them is an intriguing confessional love song called “I Draw the Line” with the couplet “I have often fallen to the lure of smouldering (cq) eyes and I’ve given in to the wilder side of me.” It has an estimated price range of $2,000 to $4,000.

If the Sotheby’s auction is anything to go by, the estimates will be quickly surpassed. That sale, designed to pay estate taxes after Cash and his wife June Carter Cash died the previous year, raised almost $4 million, including a 20 percent buyer’s premium. One of his Grammys was the top item in the sale, going for $187,200. It was listed at $5,000 to $7,000.

An auction spokesman was not immediately available to identify the sellers of the items. An unspecified portion of the proceeds will benefit MusiCares, a charity that helps musicians with health and financial problems.

Reporting by Dean Goodman; editing by Jim Marshall