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Johnny Cash’s Treasures on the Block

From left to right: The Outlaw, by Frederic Remington (1861-1909). Contact sheet of June Carter Cash (May 1976). Handwritten lyrics to "Cry, Cry, Cry" (June 1955). Photo Credit: courtesy of Sotheby's.

It’s all fleeting,” Johnny Cash mused last year in what would be his final interview. “All the trappings of fame, all the money, the clothes, the furniture.”

But the trappings of Cash’s fame aren’t so fleeting that you can’t enjoy them yourself. For three days in September, Sotheby’s hosts what may be history’s finest country-music estate sale. The auction includes dozens of Cash-used instruments—banjoes, harmonicas, guitars—pages and pages of handwritten lyrics, poems, and notes to June. Some of the real stars of the sale hang in the racks of Johnny and June Carter’s clothes. Touching is allowed at the exhibition—don’t miss the chance to rub up against, and even slip on, the clothes of country royalty.

Sotheby’s, 1334 York Avenue, at 72nd Street.
Exhibition: September 7 to 13.
Sale: September 14 to 16.