Prince Illustration Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Prince Memorabilia Up For Auction

A Prince screen-worn ruffled shirt from Purple Rain will be auctioned by Boston-based RR Auction. The custom-made white ruffled shirt worn by Prince in the iconic 1984 film Purple Rain, lavishly crafted from soft silk and featuring a gathered high-neck collar, three layers of ruffles down the front, gathered ‘puffy’ long sleeves, ruffled faux-French cuffs, faux pearl buttons down the front placket, and light shoulder pads. Sewn inside the neck is a purple-on-white “Prince” label.

Playing ‘The Kid’ in Purple Rain, Prince is seen wearing a white ruffled shirt at several key points in the movie—including his rendition of ‘Beautiful Ones,’ and then later in the finale when he sings ‘Purple Rain,’ ‘I Would Die 4 U,’ and ‘Baby I’m a Star.’ Accompanied by a letter of provenance from Juanita Escovedo, the mother of Prince protege Sheila E., stating that the shirt was made for Prince during the making of Purple Rain and was given by Prince to Sheila E. It was later sold as part of a fundraising effort.

Purple Rain grossed over $72 million worldwide (against its $7.2 million budget), won the Oscar for Best Original Score, and served as the launching pad for Prince’s superstardom. “As an iconic, screen-worn shirt from the classic movie, this is a remarkable museum-quality piece,” said Bobby Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction.

Among other Prince-related items from the sale is a remarkable handmade Lords jacket from Prince’s wardrobe worn in a photoshoot with Randee St. Nicholas. Prince’s handmade couture jacket worn in a photoshoot, crafted from cream-colored fabric with three pairs of ornate black corded rope clasps on the front and matching rope links on the cuffs. Concealed in the placket are three white buttons behind each set of clasps. The jacket has two jetted diagonal pockets, a handkerchief pocket on the left breast, and is lined in a fine paisley satin. When Prince posed in this jacket in a shoot with photographer/filmmaker Randee St. Nicholas, he wore a high-collared black shirt and adorned the breast pocket with a black handkerchief—making for an edgy yet sophisticated look. Any piece from Prince’s personal wardrobe is tremendously desirable, and that he chose to wear this jacket in a photoshoot makes it especially significant. From the collection of singer-songwriter Susannah Melvoin.

Prince’s personally worn long white cashmere trench coat by Ashton Michael, from a photoshoot for the June 2014 issue of Essence magazine. The fine white cashmere wool coat features a simple sewn-in chevron design, two slit pockets, a single vent on the back, and a golden zipper on the front; the arms are fine black leather with golden zippers on the wrists. The inside is lined in white satin and has the “Ashton Michael” tag inside the neck.

The sale also features a breathtaking bright yellow custom Cloud guitar created for, owned, and played by Prince. The guitar was custom-made by Minneapolis luthier Kurt Nelson in the early 1990s. The neck-through guitar features a bright yellow finish, golden hardware, and cloud-inspired design to body, horn, and headstock, with a unique series of 18 black Prince symbols to fretboard and top of the neck.

Among other fashion highlights from the sale is a stunning gold sequin dress worn by Lady Gaga during her 2017-2018 Joanne World Tour. This shimmering, form-fitting dress with long sleeves, high collar, and a back-lapped zipper was made by New York City fashion designer Cheng-Huai Chuang, whose tag is sewn into the inner back. A sleek and dazzling dress worn by the award-winning pop sensation during her five-month promotional tour of Joanne. Accompanied by a letter of authenticity.

The Fine Autograph and Artifacts sale featuring Music and Prince from RR Auction began on February 19 and will conclude on March 10. For more information, go to www.rrauction.com.

Accompanied by a letter of provenance from Susannah Melvoin, describing how she acquired the jacket: “My sister wore this jacket many times, which is how I ended up with it. Long story. Prince wanted her to wear it for a show at Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angles in July 2007. He had two shows a night: one in the big entryway of the hotel and the other in a small club room. So, Prince had Wendy wear it for those. Then a week later, on July 7, Prince played three shows in Minneapolis in one day—at Macy’s, the Target Center, and First Ave—and Wendy performed with him there as well. We had flown to Minnesota, where Wendy wore the jacket again. After the show, we were all together and went to give the jacket back. Prince said it looks clean on Wendy and that she should have more made in lots of colors. I’ve had the jacket since.”

Melvoin was the joint lead vocalist to the Prince produced band The Family, singer on numerous historical Prince albums, and extended member of the Revolution during the Parade era, who shared a long-term working musical relationship with and was engaged to Prince during the 80s. Her twin sister, Wendy, was a member of Prince’s band, The Revolution.

RR Auction is a globally recognized and trusted auction house specializing in historical autographs and artifacts. Join us as we make history selling history in March 2021.

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