Buyers took their seats, to the accompaniment of The Best of Elton John playing over the loudspeakers. One young fan complained that the sound was too tinny. Once the show opened, two girls in dinner jackets modelled the jewels.
Although his diamond-rimmed spectacles with cloud-shaped lenses are an acquired taste, they sold for pounds 2,990 (estimate, pounds 3,000). A gold and diamond walking-cane (estimate pounds 7,000 to pounds 10,000), which appeared on the cover of the Ice on Fire album in 1985, was withdrawn at the last minute 'for sentimental reasons'.
Ray Millar, a retailer from Twickenham, bought a gold pendant initialled EHJ for pounds 862 for his girlfriend, Julia Dallaston, and a diamond ring for himself, for pounds 1,092. Ms Dallaston said that she would wear it and tell everyone who used to own it.
Mr John, a life president of Watford Football Club and said to be Britain's second richest rock star after Paul McCartney, was selling not because he needs the money, but for the simple reason that he has too much jewellery.