Michael Jackson basketball auctioned for $294,0000

MACAU (Reuters Life!) - An old, Spalding basketball signed by Michael Jackson and Michael Jordan fetched $294,000 at a “pop culture” auction of celebrity memorabilia, touted as the largest in Asia, in the gambling center of Macau.

Up to 400 celebrity items were put on the auction block in Macau, including a Marilyn Monroe black lace bra, a pair of Captain Spock’s prosthetic ears, Bruce Lee shoes, a Batman costume and Beatles memorabilia in a marathon, $3.2 million sale that ended late on Saturday evening.

Bidding was mixed at times, but picked up substantially for memorabilia linked to the late King of Pop. The basketball -- used in the 1992 music video “Jam” -- saw ferocious raising of paddles before an American online bidder finally snared it for $294,000, smashing the ball’s modest pre-sale estimate of $600.

Another star lot, a black Michael Jackson glove and arm brace fetched $216,000, while a BAD era “Beat It” jacket was hammered off for $156,000, more than 19 times its pre-sale estimate.

An earlier sale in June, on the first anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death, also saw strong demand for the pop icon’s former possessions including a Swarovski-crystal-studded glove he wore on his 1984 Victory Tour that made $219,400.

Other highlights of the Macau sale, intended to tap into Asia’s growing affluence and infatuation with pop culture, included Michael Keaton’s costume in “Batman Returns” that sold for $43,750 and a burgundy, velvet ball gown worn by Princess Diana, bought by a museum in South America for $114,000.

Martial arts master Bruce Lee’s yellow adidas sneakers worn in his last, unfinished movie, “Game of Death”, fetched $12,500, while a stunt double costume for the same movie sold for $18,750.

The sale, put on by U.S.-based Julien’s Auctions, which specialises in Hollywood and music industry memorabilia, was held at Macau gambling tycoon Stanley Ho’s casino resort Ponte 16.

Reporting by Stefanie McIntyre and James Pomfret; Editing by Ron Popeski