Get Into The Sneaker Game!

Interested in Breaking into the Sneaker Game? Our “Sports Legends” Auction is Happening This Weekend!

Collecting sneakers has become a bigger and bigger pop culture and fashion fixture year after year, and part of that is the very nature of how it crosses over into so many categories.

Sports is where it all began, and there are some very cool examples of collectible footwear in our “Sports Legends” auction taking place today and tomorrow for basketball fans

While we have some very rare artifacts from the biggest players in the NBA, there are also a few options that are relatively entry level.

Two such examples are the iconic Air Jordan 1s circa 1985 that changed the game, literally and figuratively. Each of these (a pair of black and red and a pair of red and white) have modest estimates of $1,000-2,000.

At the other end of the spectrum are rare, limited edition NCAA Championship Converse shoes signed and personally donated by the all-time legend himself, Michael Jordan. With an $80,000-100,000 estimate, 100% of the proceeds from the sale of these rare sneakers will benefit the James R. Jordan Foundation International.

We also have three examples of basketball shoes in the coveted “game-worn” category, the first also from Michael Jordan, a signed Air Jordan XI, worn in the 1996 Playoffs.

Also on offer is a pair of Nike brand Air Pippen One shoes from MJ’s former teammate on the Chicago Bulls, worn by Scottie Pippen in the 1997 Playoffs.

Another amazing find is a pair of Nike brand Hurrache 2K4 shoes signed and game worn by Kobe Bryant in 2004.

Check out all of the amazing lots and watch streaming video of all the action in our “Sports Legends” sale taking place all weekend via our online catalogue here:

Sports Legends
When E.T.’s Creator Saved Lucio Fulci From Prison

We’re huge fans of legendary special effects artist Carlo Rambaldi, who won Academy Awards for his central role in creating the Xenomorph creature from Alien, the E.T. character from Spielberg’s classic, and the King Kong figure for the John Guillermin film.

At our Icons and Idols: Hollywood auction last December, Julien’s had the honor of selling Rambaldi’s original, mechatronic E.T. character skeleton for a staggering $2,560,000 (even without skin he was lovable), and his original E.T. presentation maquette for $125,000.

Most are familiar with Rambaldi’s famous Hollywood creations, but not as many are aware that he was the first special effects artist ordered to testify in court …to verify that his work was fake! Rambaldi made animatronics for legendary Italian horror filmmaker Lucio Fulci’s 1971 psychological thriller A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin, in which a socialite is haunted by surreal, sexual, and violent dreams. One night she dreams about murdering her neighbor, only to wake up and find that the woman has actually been killed. In one fantasy sequence, she encounters four eviscerated, squealing dogs – created by Rambaldi. His disturbing effects were, perhaps, too realistic.

In a 2005 documentary about the film, Shedding the Skin Rambaldi says:

“Some animal protection people who saw the film thought we had used real dogs and filed complaints against the production company…And so, I had to show my dogs to four different courts and convince four different judges that they were not real dogs but in actuality mechanical dogs that had been vivisected with our special effects.”

Rambaldi’s demonstrations ended up clearing Fulci of charges, saving him from a potentially lengthy prison sentence.

Additional treasures from Rambaldi, the maestro of special effects, will be available in our upcoming Legends: Hollywood and Royalty auction this September, including an original production-made Alien Xenomorph head from the 1979 Ridley Scott masterpiece – so don’t cover your eyes or you might miss out!

Top 5 Gloves

These are some of the coolest and most iconic “gloves” that we’ve sold over the years, representing Music, Hollywood, Sports, and History:

Juliens Auctions - LOT 797

Juliens Auctions - LOT 556

Juliens Auctions - LOT 812

Juliens Auctions - LOT 1133

Juliens Auctions - LOT 324

As a special preview for our next big Hollywood auction: “Legends: Hollywood & Royalty”, here is a photo of a glove worn and signed by Jack Nicholson as “The Joker” in Tim Burton’s Batman (Warner Bros. 1989), which is part of our celebration with TCM commemorating Warner Bros.’ 100 Years of Storytelling.

Special Preview

We also have a number of gloves in our “Sports Legends” auction taking place this weekend – check them out here:

Dorothy Gale: The Original “RED SOLE” Fashion Influencer

What’s the most iconic and expensive red sole pump? If you think it’s a pair of Christian Louboutin heels, you’d be wrong.

The correct answer is the ruby slippers from The Wizard of OZ worn by Dorothy Gale – Kansas’s original red sole influencer.

The shoes in L. Frank Baum’s books were originally silver, but were made red in the film because they appeared more vibrant against the yellow brick road. The color red was the perfect design accent for Louboutin as well; in 1992 he took his assistant’s red nail polish and painted the back of his Pensée design. Since then, Louboutin has accredited himself as the creator of the design, and in 2008 Christian Louboutin trademarked his red sole shoes in the United States, classifying red soles and a contrasting color or print belonging specifically to his brand. Louboutin has brought high-street counterfeits and luxury labels like YSL to court to uphold his trademark as the originator of red-sole shoes.

Red soles have actually been around since the 17th Century, and the Dorothy’s ruby slippers made their debut in 1939 – so Louboutin’s designs could be considered a reiteration on the original in some ways – but no matter the brand or the era, women always seem to covet red soles!

Keep an eye on Julien’s Auctions as we prepare for our quickly approaching Fashion auction!

Dorothy Gale
Kurt Cobain And His “HOT RAILS” Humbuckers

Julien’s has had the privilege of selling several of Kurt Cobain’s most iconic guitars, as well as some of the MIJ Fender Strats he acquired almost exclusively for the purpose of smashing. All of these instruments share at least one thing in common: a Hot Rails humbucker pickup in the bridge position, made by storied luthier Seymour Duncan (responsible for repairs and custom work for the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Pete Townshend, and more).

Before we get into the specifics of why Cobain might have preferred this pickup for his Fenders… what’s a pickup? Basically, a pickup is the guitar’s microphone, converting the vibrations of the six strings into an electronic signal that travels as sound out through the speakers to the audience (preferably with face-melting amplitude). There are three basic styles of pickups for the electric guitar (single coil, P90, and humbucker) and you’ll usually see two or three pickups (in the “neck,” “middle,” or “bridge” positions) on a guitar. Each style of pickup and each pickup position offers an opportunity to fine-tune the guitar’s sound. And the combinations are endless!

Aside from its superlative craftsmanship, the Hot Rails humbucker is unique in that it is smaller than other humbuckers, allowing it to be added to a guitar that isn’t setup for one without much fuss. Humbuckers (so named because they “buck” or combat the hum of electrical noise often picked up by single coil models) result in warmer timbres and due to their higher volume, they are preferable in genres with high levels of distortion (rock, metal, grunge).

As with all aspects of Nirvana’s music, Cobain’s choice of pickup is likely the result of practical concerns (its small size) and his intuitive affinity for a harder sound that retained some warmth. Cobain famously “didn’t care” about things like technique or complexity, but he obviously did care about the feel of his music and how to convey that with the sound of his guitar and his voice. This pickup was just one small part of that equation.

Hot Rails Humbuckers