Jimi Hendrix's Ming Dynasty Chinese Buddha among items in Marvels of Modern Music auction
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Jimi Hendrix's Ming Dynasty Chinese Buddha among items in Marvels of Modern Music auction
The Buddha was acquired directly from Stella Benabou Douglas, one of Hendrix’s closest friends during the last years of his life.

BOSTON, MASS.- Jimi Hendrix's Ming Dynasty Chinese Buddha will be auctioned by Boston-based RR Auction.

The Chinese bronze Buddha, personally owned and displayed by Jimi Hendrix in his New York apartment on West 12th Street in 1969 and 1970. Identified as a Chinese bronze figure of Budai from the later Ming period (1368-1644), the antique statuette.

The Buddha was acquired directly from Stella Benabou Douglas, one of Hendrix’s closest friends during the last years of his life. The former wife of record producer and Hendrix archivist Alan Douglas, she appeared in the 1973 documentary A Film About Jimi Hendrix.

A lengthy letter of authenticity from Jeff Gold of Recordmecca, which reads, in part: “Stella Douglas and her friend Colette Mimram owned a Greenwich Village shop Hendrix frequented. They designed many of Hendrix’s outfits, including the famous white-fringed turquoise beaded jacket he wore at the Woodstock Festival.

When [Stella] first met Hendrix, he was living in a basement room in the apartment of his manager, Michael Jeffery. It was filled with equipment and guitars, and Stella told him he needed his own apartment. A few days later she found one for him, on West 12th Street, and soon after began to decorate it for him. She was out with Jimi and her then husband Alan when Jimi saw the Buddha in a shop. ‘Jimi picked it up and caressed his stomach.’ It was nearing Hendrix’s birthday, and Alan bought it for him as a birthday gift. ‘It was such a big thing for Jimi; I don’t think he ever had something old and precious like this. He became very attached to it.’

Douglas was with Hendrix at a party in London on the night he died. She describes how, upon her return to New York, Hendrix manager Michael Jeffery asked her and Alan Douglas to accompany him to open Jimi’s apartment for the first time. ‘Of course it was emotional. We saw all those things. My emotions were that I had gotten all these things and decorated the place.’

Stella describes how Jeffery said to Alan ‘Why don’t you take the Buddha’—as Alan had given it to Jimi.” Alan did indeed take the Buddha, which he then, after a time, gave to his wife, Stella, who kept the statuette in safe keeping for over 45 years. (Estimate: $20,000+)

“It’s an astounding, museum-quality artifact once owned and treasured by one of rock history’s most ephemeral and influential stars,” said Bobby Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction.

Additional highlights include:

• Bob Dylan's 'Self Portrait' Acetate with Handwritten Lyrics, part of a collection of Dylan acetates discovered in 2014 in a five story brownstone at 124 West Houston Street in Greenwich Village. From approximately 1969 through 1972, Dylan rented the ground floor of the building for use as a studio (at the time, he lived two blocks away at 94 McDougal St.

• The Houston St. Studios acetates originally belonged to Bob Dylan, who either discarded them or left them when he moved out of the building in the early 1970’s. For more than 40 years, they were carefully stored by the building’s owner, and only discovered by chance before the building was put up for sale." Also includes a copy of a letter by the estate’s executor detailing his discovery of the acetates. (Estimate: $8,000+)

• Prince's The Black Album, an incredibly a rare original 1987 U.S. first pressing factory sealed in its original shrinkwrap. This is one of five sealed copies of The Black Album recently discovered in the collection of former Warner Bros. Records executive Richard Wietsma. Prior to that discovery, only three copies of the original 1987 U.S. pressing had surfaced. (Estimate: $25,000+)

• Jim Morrison signed contract relating to the 'Feast of Friends' documentary. Contract between Doors Productions Corp. and Frank Lisciandro concerning his "editing services in conjunction with Paulo Ferrara on the film entitled Feast of Friends.

• The Doors self-produced the documentary Feast of Friends during their 1968 summer tour. Designed by Paul Ferrara and edited by Frank Lisciandro, friends and UCLA classmates of Jim Morrison and Ray Manzarek, the self-produced film includes behind-the-scenes off-stage commentary and concert performances with cinema vérité style. Completed in 1968, the much boot-legged 52-minute documentary was screened at film festivals during Morrison‘s lifetime but did not obtain an official release date until late 2014, some 46 years later. An entirely rare and fascinating document signed by Morrison, whose passion for both surrealist film and theatre seamlessly translated to that of the Doors concert stage. (Estimate: $20,000+)

• Jimi Hendrix signed photograph psychedelic portrait. (Estimate: $10,000+)

The Marvels of Modern Music auction from RR Auction began on November 8 and will conclude on November 15.

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