The Michael Jackson memorabilia collections of Macau's Ponte 16 casino

Macau is one of China's special administrative regions (along with Hong Kong) and has developed a unique culture of tourism and hospitality, with the gambling industry there seen as one of the strongest in the world, rivalling Las Vegas.

In its own way, Macau like Hong Kong is becoming a serious hub for the world of collectibles, and nowhere typifies this more than The Ponte 16 resort.

A world-class integrated casino-entertainment resort built over 2.3 hectares, the resort combines a hotel, casino and upcoming entertainment and retail complex in the beautiful Inner Harbour of Macau.

The five star Hotel Sofitel Macau At Ponte 16 has 389 opulent rooms and an exclusive block of 19 apartments in The Mansion of Sofitel.  Hotel facilities include an all-day-dining restaurant, chic bars and outdoor swimming pools.

The casino boasts a 270,000 square feet gaming floor which houses 109 gaming tables, 2 VIP halls and about 300 slot machines.

However, it is neither of these for which Ponte 16 is most famous, but rather for its collection of memorabilia relating to the King of Pop himself, Michael Jackson.

Michael Jackson memorabilia has risen sharply in value since the singer's death a year ago, already a strong rival to Elvis or Marilyn Monroe items at auction. Just this week we reported on a black glove and arm brace, worn by the King of Pop in 1995, which sold for $216,000.

Whilst a basketball signed by both Jackson and his namesake Michael Jordan sold for a startling $294,000 - 366 times its pre-sale estimate.

Whether or not those items went to Ponte 16 we can't be sure, but they certainly have world-class pieces of their own.

These include: A stunning collection of autographed records and photographs of Jackson, The RIAA platinum record award for "Bad" signed by him, bearing his handwritten words "Thanx All My Love, 1998. Michael Jackson" and a pair of crystal socks worn by MJ for his "Victory" Tour in 1984.

But the two stand-out pieces are those associated with perhaps the two biggest moments in Jackson's whole career: Firstly they have the zombie costume worn by Jackson for the Thriller video on MTV.

Best of all is the white rhinestone glove Jackson wore for a performance of Billie Jean in 1983. Whilst Jackson wore a number of sparkling gloves in his career, this one was the only left-handed glove, which fitted with the dance-routine MJ had planned.

The dance routine which saw Jackson show the world his famous moonwalk for the first time.

Walter 'Clyde' Orange, founder of the Commodores, who has had the glove since Jackson gave it to him backstage at the Motown special in 1983, but at the close of 2009 it was sold by Julien's Auctions.

Some of Ponte 16's employees bid from afar on Michael Jackson items in the auction, but Deputy CEO Hoffman Ma travelled to New York for the auction for the sole purpose of bidding on the glove.

Initially given a modest estimate of $50,000, the glove broke the six-figure mark almost immediately and the keen bidding only stopped when the glove left the stage for a total of $420,000. Hoffman Ma was visibly delighted and commented that even this price was "a bargain".

Ponte 16 houses its memorabilia in its impressive MJ Gallery. The gallery consists of a main exhibition hall and 'tunnel' depicting Jackson's life along with a special Billie Jean section in which the glove is the centrepiece.

The first and greatest of its kind in Asia, the gallery will bring fans from all round the world.



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