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Is Elton John's fortune going multimedia?

October 18, 2004

Elton John
NEW YORK — The British pop star, who usually makes his living playing the piano, netted $900,000 (.725,000) Thursday night by auctioning off a collection of photographs taken by some of the world's most famous photographers.

The top earner was a 1988 black-and-white Robert Mapplethorpe photo of a vase holding white tulips, netting $83,650 (.67,385), said Rik Pike, a spokesman for auction house Christie's New York.

A 1950 Irving Penn photograph of his wife, Swedish model Lisa Fonssagrives, took in $57,360 (.46,205), Pike said. A 1942 Ansel Adams photograph of the Grand Teton mountains in Wyoming sold for $43,020 (.34,655).

In all, 73 of 78 photos offered were sold, many for well above pre-sale estimates. All prices included the auction house's 19.5 percent commission.

John began collecting photographs in 1991 and had what Christie's called one of the leading private collections in the world.

He is, of course, better known for his musical hits, including Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Rocket Man and Bennie and The Jets. – Sapa-AP

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