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Kurt Cobain: Self-portrait caricature drawn by Nirvana star sells for more than $281,000 at auction

Written by on 14 June 2021

A self-portrait caricature drawing by Kurt Cobain has sold at auction for more than $281,000 (£199,000).

The late Nirvana frontman’s sketch is drawn in black felt pen and is captioned: “I don’t know how to play and I don’t give a hoot!”

Cobain, who took his own life aged 27 in 1994, signed the picture, which is drawn on stationary from Singapore’s TNT Music Centre, “Kurdt Kobain Rock Star”.

Kurt Cobain of Nirvana on stage in December of 1993. Pic: AP/Scott Weiner / MediaPunch /IPX      Image: Cobain on stage with Nirvana in December 1993. Pic: AP/Scott Weiner / MediaPunch /IPX

The artwork has now fetched $281,250 at auction – 28 times its guide price of $10,000 (£7,000).

Cobain had given the drawing to Jacque Chong, a freelance photographer who worked with him during Nirvana’s Nevermind album promotional tour in Singapore in 1992.

The anonymous buyer is a private collector and fan of Cobain, auctioneers said.

Sold during Julien’s Auctions Music Icons three-day event, the drawing was among almost $5m (£3.5m) of memorabilia that went under the hammer, including two guitars made for Prince and five of Eddie Van Halen’s electric guitars.

A glossy red Yamaha Elton John Signature Series C-1 Baby Grand Piano, signed by the singer and including the matching bench, fetched $150,000 (£106,000), while handwritten lyrics by Bernie Taupin for Sir Elton’s 1974 single Candle In The Wind was sold for $76,800 (£54,000).

Handwritten letters from Britney Spears to her high school boyfriend were also auctioned, sold to an anonymous buyer.

And an outfit made famous by Cher – the black jersey and net cut-out bodysuit and matching black motorcycle jacket worn in the music video for the 1989 song If I Could Turn Back Time – was also among the items sold, fetching $115,200 (£81,600).

The outfit has previously been auctioned and a buyer loaned it to Cher so she could wear it while presenting a prize to Lady Gaga at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards.

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