Michael Jackson portrait receives no bids

'The Book's' owner hoped to fetch millions for piece

The outlook for the sale of a one-of-a-kind Michael Jackson portrait isn't thrilling.

The eBay.com auction of a fantastical portrait the King of Pop posed for before his death ended with no bids, according to the auction's organizer. The painting's owner had hoped to fetch millions for "The Book," a 50- by 40-inch painting by Australian artist Brett-Livingstone Strong of Jackson wearing a red velvet jacket and clutching a journal.

"I have two parties considering it, so perhaps I will have a buyer soon," organizer Marc Samson said Wednesday.

The painting's owner, Marty Abrams, anticipated the portrait -- originally sold to Japanese businessman Hiromichi Saeki for $2.1 million in 1990 -- would go for over $3 million in the auction, which required a minimum starting bid of $2.75 million. The toy inventor acquired the painting with his partner, John Gentilly, in 1992 from Saeki as payment on a debt.

For over 17 years, Abrams kept the painting in storage in a New Jersey warehouse. It was briefly on display at Dancy-Power Automotive showroom in New York's Harlem after Jackson's death last June. Abrams said last month the portrait, which also features a Peter Pan statue painted behind a seated Jackson, was now hanging inside his home in Kings Point, N.Y.
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