College photos of Tesla CEO Elon Musk and memorabilia the future billionaire gave to his then-girlfriend sold for $165,000 at auction, an auction house said Thursday.
Boston-based RR Auction said it was a collection of never-before-seen photos and memorabilia from Musk’s college girlfriend, Jennifer Gwynne.
Musk, 51, changed his Twitter profile to one of the photos Wednesday. He’s currently in a public fight with Twitter to try to get out of a $44 billion deal to buy the social media company, with a high-stakes October trial over the dispute looming.
Gwynne told The Boston Globe she read about an auction of test papers that Musk graded and realized she had far more personal items she could sell, including candid photos, a birthday card from him and a necklace he gave her.
Musk and Gwynne dated from 1994 to 1995 when they were both at the University of Pennsylvania. They split when Musk graduated, moved to California and said he couldn’t talk on the phone because it seemed like a waste of time to him, Gwynne said.
“We broke up just before he started conquering the world,” Gwynne said.
The gold necklace with a small green emerald that Musk gave to Gwynne in late 1994 as a birthday present sold for $51,000. A photo of Musk and Gwynne posing with four other resident advisors before a school formal in 1995 sold for $1,765, the auction house said. The birthday card Musk signed to Gwynne, calling her “Boo-Boo,” sold for nearly $17,000.
The 18 candid photos were sold individually. Some show Musk in North Providence, Rhode Island, where Gwynne is from. She now lives in South Carolina and told The Globe she plans to use some of the proceeds for her stepson’s college education. She and Musk have not kept in touch.