The memorabilia of Nelson Mandela went up for auction in South Africa Thursday (July 17), one day ahead of what would have been his 96th birthday. According to the Stephan Welz & Co auction house, more than 200 lots are up for sale, including a photo of the late anti-apartheid leader with Michael Jackson, a wall medallion baring his image, and a one-of-a-kind chess set.
“Nelson Mandela signed many, many, many things. And that’s what I like about it,” said Savo Tufegdzic of Stephan Welz. “People always look for autographs but there are only a handful of items signed by those celebrities. In the case of Nelson Mandela, every person can own a piece of him.”
Paintings of Mandela’s handprints are included in the auction as well. The ink prints were at the center of a failed legal battle led by family members seeking control of two companies put in place to control proceeds from the artwork.
Stephan Welz & Co. estimates that the auction will bring in more than $400,000. The auction however, is not “about making money,” but encouraging collecting,” Tufegdzic said.