Interest swells as Abba auction draws near

An online auction of Abba memorabilia to be held this weekend, including two rare recordings, has attracted keen interest from fans, a Swedish auction house said Thursday.

Interest swells as Abba auction draws near

Some 25,000 items from the legendary Swedish pop group being sold by a collector are expected to fetch some 830,000 kronor ($123,000).

“Interest in the auction has been huge since we announced it in late June,” Stockholms Auktionsverk curator Beata af Donner said.

But the viewing of objects has not attracted many visitors in person.

“We don’t have any numbers for how many visitors” have come to look at the objects in person, she said, standing in front of the display cases in a showroom devoid of visitors on Thursday.

“People look (at the items) on Internet, some potential buyers don’t come but rather ask for information, they call and take a chance by placing a bid … We have a fair amount of tourists (who visit in person) also,” she said.

IN PICTURES: Abba throughout the years

Among the rarities to go under the hammer are two maxi singles that Abba recorded in Swedish but never released commercially: “Hovas Vittne”, made for their manager Stig Anderson’s 50th birthday party in 1981, of which there exist around 200 copies; and “Sång till Görel”, a song recorded for their record company assistant Görel Hanser’s 30th birthday in 1979, of which there are only some 50 copies.

Other items up for sale include unusual merchandise from around the world, such as Abba clogs made exclusively for the American market, rare Abba soaps and dolls, a large collection of clippings and books, and original posters.

The auction will take place on Saturday and Sunday, with bidding on the final object scheduled for Sunday until 10.00pm.

The items are being sold by Thomas Nordin, a 48-year-old ABBA fan who has been collecting the objects since 1974 when he was nine.

“My collection fit into 37 moving boxes, I’m almost 50 and it’s time for me to move on. I can’t have Abba around me my whole life,” he told AFP with a laugh.

“When they came to pick up the boxes, I wasn’t even sad,” he added.

The sale comes three months after the much-hyped opening in Stockholm of an Abba museum.

The Abba museum may bid on selected items, but is not interested in buying the entire collection, Nordin said.

IN PICTURES: See the stars at the opening of Abba – The Museum

AFP/The Local/dl

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ABBA’s first album in 40 years shoots to the top of the UK charts

ABBA's first studio album in nearly 40 years has made it to the top of the UK charts, becoming the fastest seller of the year so far, the Official Charts Company said on Friday.

ABBA's first album in 40 years shoots to the top of the UK charts
ABBA's new album, 'Voyage' for sale in Stockholm at the start of this month. Photo: Jonatan Nackstrand/AFP

“Voyage” by the Swedish quartet of Agnetha, Bjorn, Benny and Anni-Frid racked up 204,000 chart sales in the seven days since it was launched last Friday.

Sales gave the supergroup the biggest opening week on the UK album chart in four years since Ed Sheeran’s “Divide”, and fastest-selling album by a group in eight years.

The last fastest-seller was One Direction’s “Midnight Memories” in November 2013.

READ ALSO: Abba’s new album has arrived – tell us, what do you think?

ABBA, propelled to global fame by their 1974 Eurovision Song Contest win with “Waterloo”, split in 1982, a year after their last album, “The Visitors”.

“Voyage” is their 10th number one album in the UK: only seven other acts — The Beatles, Elvis Presley, the Rolling Stones, Robbie Williams, Madonna, Bruce Springsteen and David Bowie — have had more.

The group said in a statement: “We are so happy that our fans seem to have enjoyed our new album as much as we enjoyed making it.

“We are absolutely over the moon to have an album at the top of the charts again.”

The 204,000 sales comprise 90 percent physical copies, including 29,900 on vinyl, making it the fastest-selling vinyl release of the 21st century.

The previous record holder was the Arctic Monkeys’ “Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino”, which sold 24,500 vinyl copies in 2018.