Direct from Motown: memorabilia to be auctioned Oct. 13


Berry Gordy Jr.’s 1927 Steinway grand piano. Estimate: $10,000-$25,000. Aaron’s Estate Sales image


DETROIT – Choice pieces of Detroit’s musical history – direct from the former home of Berry Gordy Jr., founder of Motown records – will be sold at auction Friday, Oct. 13. Aaron’s Estates Sales of Birmingham, Mich., will offer memorabilia from the “Motown Mansion” in a public auction that will begin at 7 p.m. Eastern. Absentee and Internet bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.

Gordy lived in the house from 1967 to 1969 at the peak of Motown’s success with such recording stars as The Supremes, The Four Tops, Smokey Robinson and Stevie Wonder.

We’re finding amazing things every day, like handwritten lyrics on hotel stationery and Berry Gordy’s organizational charts for a Diana Ross tour,” said Aaron Siepierski of Aaron’s Estate Sales.

Highlights range from original pressings of Motown singles and hundreds of 45 records from Gordy’s record storage to a large German oil painting (below) that was original to the house, which was built 100 years ago by a Michigan lumber baron.



Adolf Schreyer (German, 1828-1899), oil on canvas, depicting a Wallacian horse caravan, 44in x 23in. The painting was purchased from Berry Gordy Jr. Estimate: $20,000-$30,000. Aaron’s Estate Sales image


Noteworthy to Motown fans is a silver-plated goblet from the wedding of Hazel Gordy to Jermaine Jackson. The goblet is engraved, “Hazel Joy / Jermaine / 12-15-73.” Siepierski said the couple was married in the adjacent pool house where the auction will be held.



Silver-plated goblet from Jermaine Jackson’s wedding in 1973 to Hazel Joy Gordy. Aaron’s Estate Sales image


The biggest item in the auction will certainly be a Steinway & Sons grand piano, which Gordy purchased in 1967.

“It was Berry Gordy Jr.’s personal piano,” said Sieperski, adding that a bowling ball bearing Gordy’s initials was found in the home’s basement bowling alley.



Brunswick bowling alley seats signed by Motown recording artists Martha Reeves and the Vandellas. Aaron’s Estates Sales image


Autographs and photographs of Motown’s top recording stars are also be included in the auction catalog. Three vintage Brunswick KT2 bowling alley seats are signed “Martha Reeves * Vandellas,” one Motown’s top groups.

For details contact Aaron’s Estate Sales at 248-915-8888.