TIME India

India’s Prime Minister Is Auctioning a Suit With His Name Embroidered All Over It

Indian Prime Minister Modi, wearing a dark pinstripe suit repeatedly embroidered with the words "Narendra Damodardas Modi", meets with U.S. President Barack Obama in New Delhi
Jim Bourg—REUTERS Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi, wearing a dark pinstripe suit embroidered with his name, meets with U.S. President Barack Obama at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on Jan. 25, 2015

Attention, Narendra Modi fans

The suit that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wore during President Barack Obama’s visit to New Delhi last month is set to be auctioned on Wednesday.

The garment attained infamy because it has Modi’s name embroidered all over it in the form of widely spaced pinstripes.

The auction will take place in Surat, a city in Modi’s home state Gujarat, and will include 465 items gifted to Modi since he became Prime Minister in May 2014, the Indian Express reports.

An Indian industrialist has reportedly already bid the rough equivalent of $160,000 for the suit.

Proceeds from the auction will reportedly go to the Clean Ganga project, an initiative to combat the pollution of India’s most sacred river. Some 361 items belonging to Anandiben Patel — Modi’s successor as Gujarat’s chief minister — will also be sold, with the proceeds going toward female education.

TIME People

Rare JFK Vacation Photos Will Go Under the Hammer

The images are unusually relaxed and candid

Rare photographs of John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline on vacation in Cape Cod will be put up for auction later this month.

The pictures were taken in August 1961 and depict the then First Couple in rare moments of candor — the former president casually enjoying a meal at Listerine heiress Rachel ‘Bunny’ Mellon’s beach house, Jackie smoking a cigarette and JFK going for a swim in the bay.

The photos are the latest in a series of JFK memorabilia to go under the hammer, with negatives from the couple’s wedding ceremony selling for $34,000 in October 2014.

“They’re amazing pictures,” Jackie Style author Pamela Keogh told People. “These were the masters of the universe in their downtime, sitting on beach chairs, smoking and eating clam chowder.”

See two of the images here.

TIME France

French Catholics Bought a Gay Bar So They Could Turn It Into a ‘Pub of Mercy’

523956059
Getty Images The harbor of Toulon

The Missionaries of Divine Mercy, whose church is next door to the bar, said the purchase was part of an effort to evangelize the area

A gay bar in Toulon is set to be turned into a religious meeting venue, after a group of Christian missionaries in the French city bought it in a recent auction.

The group known as Missionaries of Divine Mercy, whose church is located next door to the Texas Bar, said in a statement that their purchase, which follows the bar’s bankruptcy, is part of an effort to evangelize the neighborhood.

“The bar of Sodom will become the pub of mercy,” they said.

But they might need “a whole bunch of exorcists to get rid of everything that’s happened in there,” one of the leaders of the city’s gay community told the Local.

The president of the Gay Power Toulon association, 41-year-old Titi, said he “would have preferred if someone else got it, but they’ve wanted the place for years.”

TIME movies

The Piano That Was Used in Casablanca Has Been Sold for $3.4 Million

Movie MemorabiIia Auction
Richard Drew—AP This Nov. 21, 2014 photo shows the piano on which Sam plays "As Time Goes By," a bamboo and cane cafe chair the front doors of Rick's Cafe Americain, and a Moroccan-style painted metal floor lamp from "Casablanca," part of the "There's No Place Like Hollywood" movie memorabilia auction, at Bonhams auction house, in New York.

"Play it once, Sam. For old times' sake."

The piano on which Ilsa famously asked Sam to play “As Time Goes By” in Casablanca was sold at a New York auction on Monday for $3.4 million.

A miniature instrument, and golden yellow in color, the piano is hard to recognize as an iconic prop from the 1942 blockbuster, which featured Ingrid Bergman as Ilsa, Humphrey Bogart as Rick and prominent African-American jazz drummer and band leader Dooley Wilson as barroom pianist Sam. (Remarkably, since posterity remembers him as a pianist, Wilson did not actually play the piano, but had the keyboard tinkling for Casablanca overdubbed.)

Despite the piano’s diminutive size — it has 30 fewer keys than normal — it didn’t fail to upstage the other movie memorabilia on sale at Bonhams. The Cowardly Lion costume from The Wizard of Oz came closest, fetching $3.077 million.

Catherine Williamson, the director of entertainment memorabilia at Bonhams, said that the Casablanca piano is such a significant piece because Humphrey Bogart hides the letters of transit, his only possible escape from Morocco, in the instrument.

“Fifteen minutes into the movie, he tucks them in there,” she told the New York Times. “They’re under there while Sam plays; they’re there for all of the activity that happens in the cafe. The piano is there. It represents the way out for them. That’s what made it so important.”

The letters of transit were sold separately for $118,750.

TIME On Our Radar

Sebastian Junger’s Fight to Save Journalists’ Lives

Ever since the death of his friend and colleague Tim Hetherington, who — along with Getty’s Chris Hondros — was killed in a mortar attack in Libya in April 2011, Sebastian Junger has been advocating for increased medical training for freelance journalists.

“Most journalists who have salaried jobs get medical training, but freelancers are completely independent and often find themselves in very exposed places,” Junger tells TIME. “They fall between the cracks.” A filmmaker, best-selling author and the founder of a nonprofit, Reporters Instructed in Saving Colleagues (RISC), Junger was inspired to get involved in the fight to save freelancers’ lives after talking with a combat medical officer about Hetherington’s death. The CMO told him that Hetherington could probably have survived his injuries if his colleagues on the scene had had first aid training. Junger resolved to do something to try and help others avoid his friend’s fate.

Junger created RISC in 2012 and has trained close to 200 freelance journalists in the sort of simple and essential medical skills — tying a tourniquet, carrying an injured person to safety, etc. — that, in the field, can mean the difference between life and death.

This year, RISC is holding a benefit auction of photographic prints to raise money to help pay for the training it provides. (Each training session costs $24,000 for 24 New York-based students; overseas sessions cost $36,000.)

This year, 46 photographers have donated prints for the auction, with bids accepted from Nov. 19 until Dec. 3, when the charity will hold a live event at the Aperture gallery in New York City.

Junger hopes to raise $200,000 to sustain the organization and train more than 70 freelance journalists in 2015. “We’re sort of putting it all together each year, and we know we won’t make all of it at the auction,” he says. “But the auction is one way to raise a bit more.”

For more information about RISC, visit the RISC website. The online auction is hosted by Paddle8, with the live event taking place on Dec. 3. Tickets are available now.


Olivier Laurent is the editor of TIME LightBox. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @olivierclaurent


TIME Pop Culture

Lost Love Letters Belonging to Marilyn Monroe to be Sold at Auction

Joe DiMaggio Marilyn Monroe
Associated Press In this June 2, 1955 file photo, actress Marilyn Monroe, right, dressed in a glamorous evening gown, arrives with Joe DiMaggio at the theater.

Monroe’s “Lost Archives” is a collection of 300 items including letters, photographs, paintings and clothes

Correction appended Nov. 12, 1:19 p.m. ET

A collection of love letters and other memorabilia belonging to Marilyn Monroe will go up for auction next month at Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Monroe’s “Lost Archives” is a collection of 300 items including letters from her second husband, baseball star Joe Dimaggio, that were sent just before their divorce, the Associated Press reports.

“I love you and want to be with you,” Dimaggio wrote in one letter. “There is nothing I would like better than to restore your confidence in me.”

Also found in the trove are correspondences from her third husband, playwright Arthur Miller, and from friends including Clark Gable, Cary Grant and Jane Russell, along with various paintings, photographs and clothes.

The curators are expecting a huge turnout for the auction, which will run Dec. 5-6.

“We anticipate a lot of fans will be here. They’ll fly in from all over the world,” said auction owner Darren Julien, who estimates some pieces could go for more than $1 million.

The collection will be put on display for the public four days before bidding begins.

This article originally misstated the profession of Joe Dimaggio. He was a baseball player.

TIME White House

13 of JFK’s Wedding Negatives Have Been Auctioned for $37,000

Wedding Of John F. Kennedy And Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy
Charles F. McCormick—Boston Globe/Getty Images John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy outside St. Mary's Church in Newport, R.I., after their wedding on Sept. 12, 1953

The images, depicting the newlyweds and the wedding party, were reportedly taken by photographer Frank Ataman

Thirteen original negatives of photographs taken at John F. Kennedy’s wedding were auctioned off on Wednesday for a sum of $37,073.

Boston-based RR Auction said the negatives, which have probably never been published, were sold to a Las Vegas doctor who chose to remain anonymous.

The images show Kennedy and his new bride, Jacqueline Bouvier, cutting their wedding cake and leaving the church, and a couple of others show the entire wedding party posing outside, the Associated Press reported.

The wedding took place on Sept. 12, 1953, in Newport, R.I., and was attended by nearly 2,000 people. Kennedy was still in his first term as a U.S. Senator, and wouldn’t go on to become President until more than seven years later.

According to RR Auction, the images were taken by freelance photographer Frank Ataman, although the negatives were found in another photographer’s darkroom.

Other items related to the Kennedys sold on Wednesday included a holiday card signed by the couple just days before the President’s November 1963 assassination. It fetched $19,500.

[AP]

TIME Video Games

Is This Video Game Collection Worth $164,000?

Forget all that mad money, where the heck do you stash over 5,700 video games?

How do you value over 5,700 video games, more than 50 game systems, complete Nintendo and Sega game sets, and the ever-indefinite extension in such taglines “more”?

I have no idea. I collect rare books and I still haven’t the faintest. But someone has to try, and this Wyoming-based eBay seller’s come up with a round number for his apparently vast and immaculately groomed lot: $164,000.

$164,000 sounds like a figure arrived at carefully. Not $150,000, not $160,000, but $164,000. That has to be the result of an additive calculation, an item-by-item tabulation, not some ballpark figure plucked from the ether in multiples of ten- or fifty-thousand bucks.

More than 4,000 of the games are Nintendo-related, says seller reel.big.fish, with the majority from the 1980s and 1990s (he calls this period “the golden age” of gaming, which, just forget all the problems with such nostalgic labels, identifies the demographic the eBay sale’s targeting). The collection includes “multiple complete sets from Nintendo and Sega,” and “arguably” every retail game Nintendo put out from 1985 to 2000 (in the video below, the seller notes he’s only missing Stadium Events, though he has a reproduction cart). Other systems represented in the software mix include Atari, PlayStation, Sega, TurboGrafx and Xbox.

Want every Nintendo 64 console color variant? Custom hand-built and painted shelves (yes, shelves)? Complete-in-box Mario and Zelda sets? Eighty-one variant carts sorted by the number of screws (I had no idea this was a thing)? All 14 Virtual Boy games plus a 15th “bonus import”? Rare development carts? Dust covers for every single NES game? (I don’t, but maybe you do, and the sale currently has over 3,700 watchers, over 950 views per hour and over 50 inquiries so far.)

If you want to see the complete list, the seller’s put up a Google Doc spreadsheet with everything here (warning: it’s godawful slow to scroll, at least on a 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro). The seller says there’s no breaking this thing up, though I’d wager a gazillion people are going to ask for the privilege anyway. And note that $164,000 is just the asking price: he’s taking offers.

And if you want a tour of this fellow’s video game room–over 11 minutes of wall-to-wall game rubbernecking!–your wish is granted.

TIME Music

Willie Nelson’s Braids From 1983 Have Sold for $37,000

Musician Willie Nelson arrives at the 56th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles
Danny Moloshok—Reuters Musician Willie Nelson arrives at the 56th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on Jan. 26, 2014

The braids were among the possessions of fellow country musician Waylon Jennings, who died in 2002

Willie Nelson’s hair was sold for $37,000 on Sunday in an Arizona auction, Reuters reported. The iconic country singer’s signature braids, cut in the 1980s when his red hair hadn’t turned gray yet, were among the possessions of the late Waylon Jennings.

Over 2,000 of Jennings’ possessions were auctioned off on Sunday, according to the New York Times.

Jennings, another well-known country musician, was reportedly given the braids at a 1983 party thrown by Johnny Cash and his wife to celebrate Jennings’ sobriety.

Rock icon Buddy Holly’s Ariel Cyclone motorcycle, given to Jennings by members of Holly’s band after his death in 1959, was also sold at the auction for $450,000.

But the fiery red braids belonging to Nelson, whose duets with Jennings included “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys” and “Good Hearted Woman,” were the most attention-grabbing item in the auction. It has not yet been revealed who bought the braids.

Jennings died of complications from diabetes in 2002, aged 64.

TIME Music

Willie Nelson’s Hair and Buddy Holly’s Motorcycle Being Auctioned Off

56th GRAMMY Awards - Arrivals
Steve Granitz--WireImage Willie Nelson arrivals at the 56th GRAMMY Awards on January 26, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.

Some 2,000 items owned by the late-country singer are being auctioned off in October

For the devoted collectors out there, now’s your chance to buy some truly offbeat music memorabilia — including Willie Nelson’s hair.

Auction house Guernsey’s is planning to auction off some 2,000 objects owned by the late country singer Waylon Jennings. The “Good Hearted Woman” singer, who died in 2002, owned a number of unconventional items that were given to him throughout his long career in music. Among the items going up for auction are two of Nelson’s braids which the New York Times reports were somewhat bizarrely given to Jennings at a 1983 party in honor of his sobriety. (Even more bizarrely, the party was hosted by Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash.)

Also up for sale will be a pair of Hank Williams’ old cowboy boots and a motorcycle once owned by Buddy Holly. The motorcycle would have been a particularly personal item for Jennings, who was a good friend of Holly’s. Jennings was even meant to get on a 1959 plane that crashed, killing Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. Richardson, though he gave up his seat for Richardson. According to the Times, two former members of the band the Crickets — who had been touring with Holly when he first bought the bike — tracked it down in 1979 and presented it to Jennings as a birthday gift.

The auction is set for Oct. 5.

[New York Times]

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