The iconic lone white glove worn by Michael Jackson was sold at auction for over $100,000 over the weekend.
Jackson’s white, crystal-studded glove was first introduced as part of his wardrobe on the 1983 Bad Tour. The purchaser of the glove is an anonymous man from Texas who reportedly payed over £85,000 ($104,189) for the garment, along with a letter of authenticity, alongside an envelope from Jackson’s MJJ production company. The letter confirms that the glove was donated to Unicef back in 1998.
Jackson once said of the glove, which made its TV appearance during his performance of “Billie Jean” at Motown’s 25th Anniversary Special in 1983, “I felt one glove was cool. Wearing two seemed so ordinary.”
It’s interesting to note that a similar white, crystal-studded glove that also supposedly belonged to Jackson was sold at auction in 2009 for a whopping $350,000 to Hong Kong businessman Hoffman Ma. In news reports of that auction, it was reported that the glove was also worn during the same Motown 25th Anniversary Special performance of “Billie Jean”. Obviously, Jackson wore only one glove during this and many other performances. Both gloves reportedly included a letter of authenticity from Jackson’s production company.
The significant drop in price between the two auctions, the first one having taken place shortly after Jackson’s death in June 2009, can be attributed to the 2019 HBO documentary Leaving Neverland. The two-part documentary special focused on the sexual assault and child molestation accusations made against Jackson in the 1990s. While these accusations and the resulting legal proceedings were already public knowledge and had been for over 20 years, the documentary caused a societal outcry as if this was all new information. Jackson’s songs stopped playing on the radio, his 1991 guest spot on an episode of The Simpsons was pulled from circulation, and more evidence of his societal impact was erased.
As fans continue to support Jackson long after his death, it remains clear that many will still pay top dollar for a piece of his memorabilia, over and over and over again.