Inside Michael Jackson's world: exclusive

Pictures from his Los Angeles home showing items soon to go up for auction give a bizarre glimpse into the king of pop's world

This was not perhaps what we expected from the King of Pop, famed lover of white socks and fairgrounds and monkeys on leads. Wouldn't one imagine that the décor tastes of Michael Jackson might be a little more preposterous? After all, when Jackson let Martin Bashir into his world for a documentary in 2003, we saw the pop star in a Las Vegas furnishings store, pointing out items he had bought: gilded urns, elaborate chess sets, lacquered tables. "It's like you surround yourself with stuff from an emperor's house, it's like Louis XIV," Bashir remarked as they passed sculptures of big cats and golden candelabras. Jackson concurred: "It's my taste."

But the pictures released to accompany an auction of the fine art and furnishings of Jackson's 100 North Carolwood Drive home next month reveal a more subdued aesthetic.

Granted, the items on the Julien's Auctions website include "an elaborately carved and gilded Louis XV headboard", "a Louis XVI style armoire with ormolu mounts" (pictured) and an array of "Victorian Revivalist Style" items, notably a nightstand, dresser and headboard. And there are more ceramic jardinieres than you could shake a stick at.

But for the most part the decor of Jackson's Holmby Hills home – where he died in June 2009 – is strikingly classic. There are plush drapes, of course, and a selection of over-stuffed and over-patterned furniture; there are marble pillars and a chandelier in the bathroom, a magnificently carved piano, and a home cinema, decked out in red velvet and wood panelling, with a fresco ceiling depicting a fierce blue sky and gathering clouds. Still, the general effect is traditional English hotel – its rooms a little cramped and fusty; a festival of dark wood. It is hard to picture Jackson, let alone his three young children, living in this austerely adult home.

Yet the photographs do depict one tender scene: a ceramic cockerel standing on a kitchen work surface sporting a kind of livery. To his right, he props up a small blackboard, on which we can dimly make out a chalk message: "I love Daddy," it reads. "Smile it's for free."

Contributor

Laura Barton

The GuardianTramp

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