Christie's To Offer The James Brown Collection This Wednesday

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Christie's To Offer The James Brown Collection This Wednesday
A Harmonics Trek II electric organ and speaker cabinet, covered in black vinyl and trimmed with silver roping, with J.B. in red vinyl on the speaker cabinet, and Godfather on the back of the organ. Accompanied by vinyl covers. Organ 30x40x50in., Speaker 21x42x29in. Christie's Images Ltd. 2008.

NEW YORK.- On July 17, Christie's will present to collectors and fans alike The James Brown Collection. More than 320 lots from Mr. Brown’s South Carolina home feature everything from his iconic stage worn jumpsuits and capes, to his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction award to handwritten lyrics.

James Brown’s legacy has dominated the landscape of American pop culture for the past half century. From his prolific career as a singer, songwriter, performer and record producer to his activism on behalf of the African-American community and the less fortunate, his influence was both dynamic and profound.

Beginning his career in the early 1950s, Brown rose to prominence on the strength of his live performances, and string of classic R&B and Soul hits, including Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag, I Got You (I Feel Good), It’s a Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World, Please Please Please, Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud, and Get Up (I Feel Like Being A Sex Machine). He laid the foundations for genres like Funk and Hip Hop while deeply influencing international music like Reggae and Afro-beat. His style, which influenced street fashion and generations of performers to come, was often imitated but never duplicated.

Sale highlights include costumes such as a blue denim GFOS (Godfather of Soul) stage-worn jumpsuit from the 1974 concert preceding the Rumble in the Jungle fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in Kinshasa, Zaire (estimate: $5,000-7,000); a red 'Sex' jumpsuit (estimate: $5,000-7,000); a black cape embroidered in metallic thread ‘James Brown’ (estimate: $15,000-20,000). Other articles from Mr. Brown’s wardrobe include groupings of sunglasses, hats, scarves, bow ties and shoes.

Over his lifetime, Mr. Brown was honored with dozens of awards and accolades. This sale includes over fifty such awards such as the Kennedy Center Honor from 2003 (estimate: $10,000-15,000), the NAACP Image award (estimate: $3,000-5,000), and Mr. Brown’s 1986 Grammy for Living in America (estimate: $15,000-20,000).

Instruments reflective of his prodigious talents consist of guitars, organs, synthesizers, a tambourine, and a keytar. Especially noteworthy is Mr. Brown’s Yamaha baby grand piano (estimate: $15,000-20,000) and his Hammond B-3 electric organ with Leslie speakers (estimate: $15,000-20,000).

Finally, the sale offers an array of Mr. Brown’s personal effects including a childhood photograph (estimate: $500-700), a variety of handwritten notes and letters (estimates start at $300), Mr. Brown’s personal stereo (estimate: $1,000-1,500), a collection of 31 records from Mr. Brown’s personal archives from the 1950s-1980s (estimate: $800-1,200), and a selection of furniture including a metallic green vinyl-covered demi-lune sofa (estimate: $1,000-1,500).

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