PARIS: The hat that Michael Jackson wore just before performing his signature moonwalk dance for the first time sold at an auction in Paris on Tuesday for 77,640 euros ($82,170).
The black fedora had been estimated at 60,000 to 100,000 euros by the Hotel Drouot auction house. It was the highlight among around 200 items of rock memorabilia, though the top price went to a guitar owned by the legendary bluesman T-Bone Walker, at 129,400 euros.
Jackson whipped off the hat while breaking into his hit “Billie Jean” during a televised Motown concert in 1983, at the height of his fame. Moments later, he showed off what would become his trademark move -- the moonwalk, a seemingly effortless backwards glide while appearing to walk forwards.
Music memorabilia has become big business. Co-organisers Lemon Auction made a splash last year with the sale of the guitar smashed by Noel Gallagher on the night Oasis split up in Paris following a fight with his brother Liam. The instrument went for 385,500 euros.
This month, a series of auctions for items belonging to Freddie Mercury -- including the piano on which he composed “Bohemian Rhapsody” -- brought in a total of 46.5 million euros for Sotheby´s, attracting bidders from 76 countries.