Auctions | May 17, 2017

Intimate Signed Images of David Bowie at Bonhams Memorabilia Sale

A signed collection of images picturing the late cultural legend, David Bowie, are to be offered as part of Bonhams Entertainment Memorabilia sale on 28 June, the month which marks the 50th anniversary of the release of Bowie’s first ever album, David Bowie. The images are thought to be one of the last items signed by Bowie before his passing in 2016.

The images were taken by Geoff MacCormack, a close friend of Bowie and travelling companion, whilst on a worldwide tour with the star in the early 1970s. MacCormack was a singer, percussionist, dance/mime member in several of Bowie’s bands. The journey took in New York, LA, San Francisco, Hawaii, Canada, Japan and a voyage on the Trans-Siberian express, which provides the backdrop to several of the photographs. The informal photographs show Bowie at his most relaxed and informal, a world away from the glamorous and outlandish personae he regularly adopted on stage.

Geoff commented on the image above; ‘I’d only just acquired a Nikkormat. I didn’t really know the camera at the time, and I pride myself on having got the composition right. I love that, although David clearly strikes a pose, the image still seems unguarded and natural. David later reciprocated by taking one of me in exactly the same sport. Believe me, mine is better!’

David Bowie, who had his breakthrough in 1969 with Space Oddity, won countless accolades and irrevocably changed the landscape of music, performance and fashion both in the UK and across the world. He was named as ‘the greatest rock star ever’ by Rolling Stone in 2016, and is estimated to have sold 140 million records worldwide.

Speaking of his friend, Geoff said: ‘For me, these images, which David loved, almost feel as if they belong in a family album. They capture the sense of two mates - one of whom just happened to have become a rock star - having the time of their lives.’

This carefree revelry is perfectly captured in one of the photographs, which depicts a slightly worse for wear Bowie asleep in their train berth aboard the Trans-Siberian Express. MacCormack explained: ‘We had drunk cheap Riesling and beer with a bunch of soldiers we’d met the night before. They were friendly and inquisitive as to what life was like in the West. In this image, you can just make out the bleak Siberian landscape through the window.

The photographs, signed by Bowie himself, provide a rare and honest glimpse in to the, then, life of arguably the world’s most influential artist.

The images will be on view at Bonhams Knightsbridge saleroom, Montpelier Street, from 25th June till the sale on 28th accompanied by a never-before-seen film of the journey from Japan to Moscow, for the ‘May Day Parade’, shot by Bowie himself and seen through his eyes, interspersed with MacCormack’s photographs. 

For more information and examples of Geoff MacCormack’s work, visit