Bowie’s handwritten Starman lyrics sell for stellar £200,000

<span>Photograph: Michael Putland/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Michael Putland/Getty Images

David Bowie’s handwritten lyrics to his 1972 song Starman have sold for more than £200,000 at auction, five times their estimated sale price.

The song featured on his fifth album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, which propelled the musician to international rock and pop stardom.

The handwritten lyrics, which were originally estimated to fetch up to £40,000, sold for £203,500, including buyer’s premium.

Olivier Varenne, director of acquisitions and alliances and collections at the Museum of Old and New Art in Tasmania in Australia, was the winning bidder on behalf of a private collector.

The lyrics, sold as part of a David Bowie and glam rock sale on Tuesday, were previously on display as part of the V&A Museum’s David Bowie Is collection and had been owned by the same person since the 1980s.

The A4 page features handwritten amendments and edits by Bowie, including corrected spelling mistakes and additions.

Paul Fairweather, of Omega Auctions, said: “We had almost unprecedented interest from around the world for this historic piece of memorabilia. We had five telephone lines in operation for the sale as well as bidders online and in the room.

“We’re very pleased with the incredible price achieved and are sure the lyrics will be rightly prized and treasured by the winning bidder.”

In 2019, the first demo of Bowie singing Starman, who would “like to come and meet us but he thinks he’d blow our minds”, sold for £51,000 after gathering dust in a loft for nearly five decades.