A pop auction with bottle: Souvenirs from the career of Madonna are the main attraction of a sale of rock memorabilia

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The Independent Online
THE THIRST for pop memorabilia is insatiable. An Evian mineral water bottle, whose neck is said to have been covered in pink lipstick by Madonna, is to be sold at Christie's next month for an estimated pounds 500 to pounds 700.

The 123 4 inch high bottle is similar to the Evian bottle she used in the American version of her 1992 film, In Bed with Madonna/Truth Or Dare - though not as a drinking bottle. It was one of the few risque scenes in a film tracing her life on and off stage on her 1990 'Blonde Ambition' world tour. The bottle comes with a custom- made phallic-shaped wooden case.

Carey Wallace, of Christie's, in South Kensington, said it might be the Evian bottle: 'However, they must have done the scene several times as they used an Evian bottle in the American version and a Vichy bottle in the English version.'

The seller, described only as 'someone who knows Madonna well', obtained the bottle during a publicity launch party for the video release. It is signed 'Madonna X0X0X'.

Among several Madonna costumes are a baby-doll negligee of black net trimmed with pink feathers ( pounds 2,500- pounds 4,500), worn on her 'Blonde Ambition' tour; and a black leather outfit signed on the crotch, and modelled in her book, Sex (estimate, pounds 4,500 to pounds 6,500). An autographed copy of that book is valued between pounds 400 and pounds 600. That may sound expensive, but collectors are prepared to pay that for a signed Madonna photograph.

Ms Wallace said: 'It just shows the draw she has. She has grown and grown in popularity during the last three years.'

She explained that collectors 'tend to pay for things when the star is a cult. Madonna will always have made her mark, whether or not she goes out of fashion in the future.'

Among Madonna's most passionate collectors, particularly of her costumes, is the Hard Rock Cafe, whose Los Angeles branch has a souvenir example of the Evian bottle.

There are two private collectors fascinated by her repeatedly changing image. 'They like to keep abreast of that,' Ms Wallace said, adding, 'or should I say something else?'

She does not know any collectors who actually dress up in Madonna costumes, but recalled a pop auction three years ago, 'when a man who bought a Pete Townshend shirt, stripped off in the saleroom and put it on right there and then'.

The pop memorabilia sale will be held on 26 August.

(Photograph omitted)