Banksy's art may not be selling, but the celebrity market is apparently still alive and well. We weren't that surprised when John Lennon's manuscripts and drawings sold for $2.9 million this summer, but the recent sale of Willie Nelson's hair at Guernsey's is a little strange.
According to Artnet, two of the country music legend's braids were sold at an auction in Phoenix for $37,000. The braids were reportedly given to Waylon Jennings, a musician and friend of Nelson who passed away in 2002, as a gift to celebrate his sobriety. The Guernsey auction featured around 2,000 of Jennings' personal belongings, including a motorcycle that once belonged to Buddy Holly (which sold for $450,000), a 1946 acoustic Martin guitar, a letter from John Lennon, and Muhammad Ali's robe.
The old braids were from many years ago when Nelson was still a red head, which obviously made them more valuable. In a recent article in the Slate about weird celebrity memorabilia, Alina Simone wrote that "the prices, of course, are just proxies for the emotional value we place on celebrity-touched items. Our talismanic feeling about Elvis’ tighty-whities has to do with a phenomenon scientists have dubbed 'the magical law of contagion,' the belief that when a person comes in contact with an object, some part of his soul or essence rubs off on it."
You can't get much more "in contact" with something than your hair, so Nelson's braids must be all kinds of magical.