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Thread: Introduction - and fabulous news. A important piece of Neverland has arrived....

   
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    Default Introduction - and fabulous news. A important piece of Neverland has arrived....

    Hello everyone - I'm new here. I also want to share some fabulous news with all my fellow MJ Fans...

    I'm also hoping there might be some of you who can help me out documenting more of the story on my recent Michael Jackson acquisition.

    I recently acquired an item that was in the cancelled 2009 Julien's auction of items belonging to Michael Jackson at Neverland. The item for everyone's reference was Lot #61 on page 51 on one of the Julien's 2009 auction catalogs.

    To start - here are two photos of my item at Neverland in April 1995
    Photo 1

    Photo 2

    Here is a photo of the item in one of the 2009 Julien's auction catalogs
    Photo 3

    And here are a couple photos of the item now in my possession:
    Photo 4

    Photo 5

    Photo 6

    Here is what I know and the mystery I am trying to solve:

    My understanding is this is one of the 1st sculptures by Italian Artist Francesco De Matteis (he had several from a series by this artist) that Michael purchased perhaps as early as 1988 or 1989. The earliest photos I have of the item at Neverland are from April 1995 (see photos above).

    In earlier aerial photos (1988 to 1992 or 1993) the pedestals he build to stand these items on were visible but resolution is not enough to identify these individually although I believe they are there at that time period.

    In the photos - you will noticed that the stick the figure is holding is fully intact

    I have no idea if this sculpture is a real antique or a reproduction. I have a feeling it is possible this is a reproduction but I've been told that reproductions of this size might not have been very common in the late 1980's or early 1990's - the time which I believe Michael purchased and installed this item at Neverland.

    Others have told me that reproductions of this size were common all through the 1900's

    This item is 44" tall and weights approximately 265lbs.

    In a March 2009 court filing dealing with Dr. Tohme Tohme, Dr. Tohme claimed

    that the items from Neverland were removed to storage (by Julien's or??) and an inventory was to be created along with photographs of the property.

    I've spoken to Darren Julien and haven't received any further documentation from him regarding this.

    The item appeared in the Julien's 2009 auction catalog

    In the auction photo you can see (when comparing to the April 1995 photos) the end of the stick that the boy is holding is broken off. I had hoped to determine from speaking with Julien's if the damaged stick (as seen in his auction photograph) occurred during the 2008 move from Neverland or before. My guess is it happened during the move as one of Michael's employees has told me had it happened while it was at the ranch they would have immediately repaired it.

    In 2009 a gentleman in Canada litigated with Julien's and the Michael Jackson estate related to the cancellation of the 2009 Julien's Michael Jackson Auction.

    In 2011, the Michael Jackson estate settled with this gentleman and sold him 64 items from this cancelled auction
    There are filings on the net from a 2012 MJ Estate filing showing an inventory of the items sold per this settlement to the gentleman in Canada

    In the estate's filing, my item I am writing about is:
    Ref #50

    In October of this year (2020), the gentleman in Canada auctioned off the items that he received from the settlement I previously mentioned. I was the high bidder and now have possession of this item.

    In my opinion (after speaking to many people who had closer relationships with Michael) - this was one of the more notable pieces that was being offered in the recent 2020 auction. I have this opinion because it was one of the earliest items purchased (and probably thought out) by Michael which was placed at Neverland. I feel some later sculptures were more impulsive and maybe afterthought purchases. This sculpture was placed in a position of relative prominence (this is the 1st sculpture you saw after entering the elaborate inner Neverland gate and turning onto the main path that led to the large bridge & house). I also feel it symbolizes much of the image and feeling that Michael Jackson was trying to convey to visitors of his home. A few people think he purchased this particular item due to its similar appearance to Peter Pan which Mr. Jackson often spoke about in some of his public interviews. To be honest, I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to be own this unique piece since it appears that the MJ Estate has no intention of selling any other items that appeared in the 2009 auction.

    I am trying to document as much information as possible about this item's history.
    A few things I have learned during this process
    A gentleman who worked for Michael for 17 years - the same gentleman who build all the major structures added by Michael at Neverland - such as the movie theater, the main train station, the pedestal that this item sits on in the photos, the outer main gate and guard building, etc told me that if the item had broken prior to it moving out of Neverland in 2008 Michael would have had it immediately repaired.

    Karen Langford (archivist with the MJJ Estate) says she was unaware of any damage to the item and she has no records of any damage but does seem to acknowledge the information I wrote about above.
    My guess is the item might have been damaged during the 2008 move of items out of Neverland.


    I am also in contact with a sculpture company to evaluate the item for any needed maintenance and/or repairs. After speaking with them I am trying to determine whether I should have them attempt to repair the missing piece of this item or leave it as is. If so should that repair be permanent or semi-permanent. This is the 1st item like this I have ever purchased so I am still learning.

    To anyone that has experience with these types of items -I would of course value any suggestions they might have. Ultimately it would be amazing if somehow I were to be able to locate the missing piece that was broken off but I do realize it is is probably impossible at this point.

    I've tried reaching out to some other's that were in Michael's life that might know about this item but have yet to learn anything new at this point.

    Let me finish by saying this..... You know we really truly never "own" items that are here in this world - we are only the caretakers or custodians of these items. Important items like this statue have a story. There is an unknown story before Michael bought this item. Michael added to it's story while he was it's caretaker at Neverland - some of which we know and some parts that are missing. Now I am fortunate enough to be the caretaker of this wonderful item. I too will add to its story but more importantly I want to fill in the gaps of this item's story from before so everything can be passed to the next people that will be the caretakers in the future.

    Thanks everyone!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Introduction - and fabulous news. A important piece of Neverland has arrived....

    Hi again everyone? Just wondering - is there a place that I should post this that would be more appropriate?

    Thanks in advance for any help or comments.

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