Jackson Family Mementos Sold

A mammoth collection of stage costumes, photographs, documents and props belonging to Michael Jackson and his famous family was loaded into shipping containers Wednesday after spending 18 months under wraps in this gritty shore city.

The collection, whose seller contends is the largest accumulation of Jackson memorabilia in the world, is to be shipped to a European buyer. Henry V. Vaccaro Sr. declined to name the buyer or the price he paid, but said the man intended to display the collection in Europe and Japan.

Vaccaro, 63, of Interlaken, acquired the collection after nine years of legal wrangling with the Jackson family. He said a company formed by the Jacksons had agreed to buy his Neptune N.J.-based Kramer Guitar Co. in 1992, but then defaulted on $1.4 million in payments the next year.

Vaccaro ultimately acquired the collection after paying off a storage and shipping bill owed by the Jackson family to an Oxnard, Calif., warehouse, he said.

Calls to spokesmen for Michael Jackson and for the Jackson family were not returned Wednesday.

Since the collection arrived in New Jersey in 2002, Vaccaro has been busy cataloguing and photographing it, and said he had two different experts authenticate its contents. He said dozens of buyers viewed the collection, which filled a 6,000-square-foot room.

Now that it's sold, "I don't know what I'm going to do with myself," said Vaccaro, who runs a construction company.