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27 September 2010, 12:00
A highly-prized collection of Sir Elton John memorabilia which is being sold by his mother is generating global interest from buyers, auctioneers said today.
The treasure trove includes more than 100 gold and platinum discs, tour jackets and VIP passes his mother, Sheila Farebrother, used for backstage access at his concerts.
Two multi-platinum discs marking the success of Candle In The Wind, which recorded more than 33 million sales when it was re-released in tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997, are being sold.
There are also two platinum discs for the first million sales of the 1973 album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, plus items from Bob Halley, the musician's manager for more than 30 years.
Auctioneers say the collection is a ``once-in-a-lifetime'' opportunity for fans and collectors to own a piece of the Rocket Man's flamboyant life.
Among the 227 items from Sir Elton are four silk Versace stage suits that he wore on tour and artwork by Sam Taylor-Wood which featured on the sleeve of his album, Songs from the West Coast.
But the highlight of the sale is said to be two sets of framed discs commemorating the 63-year-old musician's 43 million record sales in the United States.
Also being sold is a diamond-studded Theo Fennell crucifix worth up to #3,000 which was given to Mr Halley by Sir Elton as a birthday gift and signed: ``To Bob, Happy Birthday, Love Elton.''
Mrs Farebrother is selling the collection at Gorringes Auctioneers in Lewes, East Sussex, on October 19 as she has downsized to a new home on the south coast.
She said: ``From an early age Elton would love to perform at family weddings and birthdays.
``When his career as a performer began to take off I would go along to his concerts and my main concern was that he wouldn't forget any of his lyrics.
``It wasn't until the concert in Madison Square Garden in 1974 when John Lennon made an appearance on stage and sang with Elton that I realised he had become a world superstar.''
Born Reginald Kenneth Dwight in Pinner, Middlesex, on March 25, 1947, Sir Elton has sold more than 250 million records in a career spanning five decades.
His career has marked him out as one of the world's most successful musicians, and his accolades include an Oscar and Grammy awards.
He established the Elton John Aids Foundation in 1992 and went on to be knighted in 1998. He celebrated his civil partnership with David Furnish in 2005 at Windsor Guildhall.
Experts say it is impossible to put an accurate figure on how much the collection could be worth, saying such items rarely came on to the market.
Andrew Elliston-Elhinn, of Gorringes, said: ``It is one of the most interesting sales we have ever had and we have already seen international interest from buyers.
``Nothing like this has been seen since an Elton John sale back in 1988 which was different because it didn't include quite so many benchmark items from his career, whereas this sale has so many more.
``His mother used to have a large games room with shelf upon shelf to store all the things he had given her but since moving she doesn't have the room any more.
``Some of the items are autographed but, as his mum said, 'Why would he sign things for me? I'm his mum.'
``This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for buyers and we expect it to be a fan-driven auction.''