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."


Laura Barton

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Fans sue over Michael Jackson's death – can I sue Oasis for Be Here Now?

Tim Jonze: Jacko's fans have successfully won a case for 'emotional distress' caused by their hero's death. So what other traumas could you seek compensation for?

Tim Jonze

12, Feb, 2014 @5:52 PM

Article image
The row behind the new Michael Jackson CD
Producer Teddy Riley, the man behind Michael Jackson's posthumous new album, has had to fight the singer's family to get the CD released

Rebecca Nicholson

12, Dec, 2010 @7:59 AM

Fulham's awful Michael Jackson statue is very Al Fayed

The new statue of Michael Jackson outside Fulham FC's ground fits right in with the Mohamed Al Fayed's taste for all things golden and glitzy

Jonathan Jones

04, Apr, 2011 @7:00 PM

Article image
Michael Jackson's kids are following in his celebrity footsteps
Marina Hyde: Prince Michael and Paris have already demonstrated their talent, and Blanket is bound to shine soon

Marina Hyde

14, Mar, 2013 @7:17 PM

Article image
What am I bid for Michael Jackson's death bed?
Taste goes out the window with the news that the bed in which Michael Jackson is up for sale thanks to LA dealers Julien's Auctions

Marina Hyde

10, Nov, 2011 @8:29 PM

Article image
Michael Jackson's family: where did it all go wrong?

The three years since Michael Jackson's death have been marked by an increasingly acrimonious feud that is tearing his family apart. But how did it come to this?

John Patterson

14, Aug, 2012 @4:20 PM

Article image
For sale: the gates to Michael Jackson's Neverland ranch

Marina Hyde gives a snapshot of the life after the law suits for the once king of pop

Marina Hyde

12, Dec, 2008 @12:01 AM

Michael Jackson's death hit Glastonbury hard – and the news channels harder | Charlie Brooker

Charlie Brooker: How the BBC, ITV and Sky trumped Glastonbury for Jacko hysteria

Charlie Brooker

28, Jun, 2009 @11:05 PM

Article image
Michael Jackson's doctor 'tried to conceal fatal overdose'
Paramedic tells Los Angeles court that physician Conrad Murray claimed star was not on any medication

Mark Townsend

01, Oct, 2011 @9:42 PM

Article image
Enough is enough: Michael Jackson's music is dead to me now | Suzanne Moore
I accept that great art is often made by terrible people – but sometimes it is necessary to draw a line

Suzanne Moore

04, Mar, 2019 @3:24 PM