NORTH LITTLE ROCK, AR - More than 1200 items belonging to late philanthropist Jennings Osborne will go up for auction on Friday. Starting Wednesday, the Jennings family will also sell five of their homes. According to Osborne's daughter, Breezy, the money made from the auctions will go to various creditors and lenders.
Of the 1200 items up for auction, some are more unusual than others. They range from baseballs signed by presidents to game-used, autographed Razorback helmets to arcade games to gold-dipped roses and just about anything else you can think of, even Heidi Fleiss' autographed shorts.
"He loved autographs," explained Thomas Blackmon of Blackmon Auctions. "He would buy autographed pictures, anything he could get his hands on."
As for the rarity of the items, Blackmon said, "you'll see auctions quite a bit that have collectible signatures, baseballs, but on this scale, it's very very very rare."
Blackmon said the auction house has some guesses on which items will sell for the most money, like a crystal table and a jade sailboat statue, but he isn't sure what the total will end up being.
"You just don't know," he said. "You don't know. Some of it is so rare and so hard to price because there's no comparables out there."
That's somewhat fitting. After all, why should items that belonged to Jennings Osborne have equals when many would say the man himself was as unique as they come.
While Breezy Osborne declined to get too specific about the reason for the auction, she says it's the result of an agreement worked out between the Osborne family and banks. While speaking about her dad she also said, "even if finances weren't there, he still wanted to give."
For more auction information, you can go to the Blackmon Auction website