julien's auction


Deceased celebrities who grew too fond of prescription drugs left behind evidence of their habits, in the form of pharmacy bottles. These macabre artifacts now widely circulate at auction houses.

Fans collect the containers to better understand which chemicals coursed through the bloodstreams of the stars and in some cases ruined careers and lives.

In the last few years, Heritage Auctions in Dallas has offered bottles from the 1970s that originally contained Elvis Presley’s doses of valium, Dexedrine, tetracycline and the beta blocker Inderal. Julien’s Auctions in Los Angeles has offered a smattering of Elvis’s medication bottles from the 1970s, two of which sold for over $6000 each, as well as containers for Michael Jackson’s pain relievers, assortments of Truman Capote’s prescribed drugs and Marilyn Monroe’s barbiturates and anti-allergy pills. Vessels for non-lethal drugs prescribed for Jack Kevorkian have come on the market, too.

The market has become so feverish that some living celebrities take precautions to protect themselves from any souvenir hunters scrounging in their garbage bins. When they throw out prescription medicine containers, Julien says, “they take off the labels.”


The Beatles Story and Julien’s Auctions held a memorabilia free valuation day at the Beatles Story museum, Albert Dock, Liverpool, last Thursday which turned up this interesting letter from John.

The letter is John’s famous note to Her Majesty the Queen, from when he decided to return his MBE to the palace. The letter reads: 

Your Majesty, 

I am returning this MBE in protest against Britain’s involvement in the Nigeria-Biafra thing, against our support of America in Vietnam and against Cold Turkey slipping down the chart.

With love John Lennon

John Lennon of Bag.

The owner of the piece, who has chosen to remain anonymous, said the letter was discovered tucked away inside the sleeve of a record that was part of a collection of 45s, which was picked up for £10 at a car boot sale 20 years ago. 

Julien’s Auctions valued the letter at £60,000. Until then, the owner of the letter had presumed it must have been a copy and was stunned to discover that it could be worth such a huge sum of money.

Darren Julien, Director at Julien’s Auctions, has theorised that the letter may be an early draft, due to the smudged ink.

“If you’re writing to the Queen, you want the letter to look pretty perfect, you don’t want the ink to be smudged. This suggests that he wrote a second version of the letter, which was the one that was actually sent to the Queen. We’ll be doing some further research but this could be the Beatles find of the year. There is no doubt that the handwriting is definitely that of John Lennon.”
[Darren Julien, quoted in The Telegraph, 27th Oct 2016]

Photos above of the letter and of the Beatles press conference after they’d been to collect the MBE on 26th October 1965! (Look at the dates! Spooky!) The press conference was held in the downstairs bar of the Savile Theatre.

Q: What did the Queen say to you?

John Lennon: She said to me, ‘Have you been working hard recently?’ And I couldn’t think what we’ve been doing, so I said, 'No, we’ve been having a holiday,’ when actually we’ve been recording.

Paul McCartney: Then she said to me, 'Have you been together long?’ and I said, 'Yes, many years,’ and Ringo said, 'Forty years,’ and she laughed.

George Harrison: She said, 'It’s a pleasure giving it to you,’ but that’s what she said to everybody, and she put John’s on first.

John Lennon: I must have looked shattered.

Ringo Starr: She said, 'Did you start it all?’ and I said, 'No, they did,’ pointing to the other guys. 'I joined last. I’m the little fellow.’

[Beatles press conference, The Beatles Bible]

John’s letter - PA,
MBE pics - Rolls Press/Popperfoto

Patrick Swayze: Lederjacke aus "Dirty Dancing" teuer versteigert

Fast acht Jahre ist es nun her, dass “Dirty Dancing”-Star Patrick Swayze an Bauchspeicheldrüsenkrebs gestorben ist. Jetzt sind einige Dinge aus seinem Nachlass am Freitag bei einer Auktion unter den Hammer gekommen. Darunter auch die schwarze Lederjacke, die der Schauspieler als Johnny Castle im Kultfilm “Dirty Dancing” trug.

Das gute Stück brachte laut “BBC News” stolze 62.500 Dollar, umgerechnet 57.000 Euro, ein. Diese Summe lag damit ein Vielfaches über den ursprünglich geschätzten Preis von 6.000 Dollar.

Doch das “Dirty Dancing”-Requisit ist nicht das Einzige, was bei “Julien’s Auctions” in Los Angeles für ordentliches Geld den Besitzer wechselte. Ein Surfbrett von Patrick Swayze aus dem Thriller “Point Break – Gefährliche Brandung” wurde für 64.000 Dollar versteigert, ein Neoprenanzug des Darstellers von denselben Dreharbeiten für 9.000 US-Dollar.

Patrick Swayzes Witwe Lisa Niemi hat ein “gemischtes Gefühl”, was den Verkauf der Gegenstände betrifft. Im Interview mit “BBC News” gestand sie: “Obwohl es eine gute Sache ist, ist es gleichzeitig auch schwierig. Ich bin so eine glückliche Frau, einen Mann gehabt zu haben, der mich so geliebt hat wie Patrick.”

Patrick Swayze verstarb im September 2009 im Alter von gerade einmal 57 Jahren. Er erlag seinem Krebsleiden. Der Schauspieler kam in den 80er-Jahren insbesondere durch den Kultfilm “Dirty Dancing” zu weltweiter Berühmtheit. Für seine Rolle in dem romantischen Drama “Ghost” erhielt Patrick Swayze zudem einen Golden Globe.

Dorothy Dress Fetches $480,000 at Auction Yesterday!

 The star of Julien’s most recent auction was one of the blue and white gingham pinafore dress designed by the legendary, Adrian. Despite the large sum of money the dress went for, it still pales in comparison to the test dress sold last year at the Debbie Reynolds auction for $910,000. Auctioneer Darren Julien believes that the difference in price is due to the fact that there is only one test dress, whereas there are a few of the screen used dresses floating about. Still the dress managed to snag one of the highest prices at the auction yesterday. The buyer has yet to be identified.