Man in Blue: Johnny Cash's Denim Jumpsuit Fetches $50G

Garment was expected to go for a tenth of final price

By Greg Wilson
|  Monday, Dec 6, 2010  |  Updated 6:00 AM PDT
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Somebody paid big bucks for Johnny Cash's blues.

The country icon's blue denim jumpsuit set off a bidding war before selling to an unknown bidder for $50,000 at an auction Sunday of memorabilia owned by the Man in Black. Pre-auction estimates had it fetching $5,000, tops.

The jumpsuit was worn by Cash for a rehearsal at San Quentin prison and shown in the infamous Jim Marshall photograph of him wagging his middle finger into the camera lens.

"Johnny Cash is a true legend and his collectibility spans all continents," said Darren Julien, President and CEO of Julien's Auctions. "Bidders from around the world participated in the auction, proving that the Man in Black's legacy will forever live on."

More than $700,000 was raised in total for the 321 lots offered.

Among other items for sale was a Martin acoustic guitar on which Cash wrote the first four lines of his early hit "I Walk the Line" and signed his name. It also went for $50,000, topping estimates of $20,000-$30,000.

The auction follows a big Sotheby's estate sale in 2004 that raised $4 million for estate taxes after Cash and his wife, June Carter Cash, died in 2003.

Selected Reading: Reuters, JohnnyCash.com, Juliensauctions.com.

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