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Osbournes Preparing Auction

A full-length black satin cape and a battered quad-bike that nearly took its owner's life are among the weird and wonderful items being auctioned off by rock-star Ozzy Osbourne this week.

A treasure trove of furniture, art and memorabilia belonging to Black Sabbath front-man Osbourne, wife Sharon and the couple's children will go under the hammer in Beverly Hills in a two-day sale beginning on Friday.

Proceeds from the sale will be donated to the Sharon Osbourne Colon Cancer Program at the Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

More than 500 lots from the Osbournes' homes -- a Beverly Hills mansion, a Malibu beach house and a country estate in Buckinghamshire -- are to be sold.

"It has taken our lifetime to collect all of these items," Sharon Osbourne said. "It is like giving up a part of us and we hope each and every item finds a very special home," added Osbourne, who overcame cancer in 2002.

While the auction features an array of designer dresses, antique furniture and gold records, there are also quirky items that have played a part in the Osbournes' colorful family history.

Among them are a gilt-bronze lamp which is believed to have started a fire at the couple's home as well as the Yamaha Banshee quad-bike that Osbourne was riding when he suffered a near-fatal crash in 2003.

Other lots expected to attract bids are items that featured prominently in hit MTV reality television show "The Osbournes." They include Ozzy's favorite coffee cup (200-400 dollars) and a bronze devil's head plaque that was mounted on the front door of their Beverly Hills home (800-1,200 dollars).

"The Osbournes' influence is so remarkably broad that anything from their lives and/or career is highly collectible, said Martin Nolan, executive director of Julien's Auctions which is overseeing the sale.

Former wildman Osbourne however has admitted to mixed feelings about the sale.

"I don't know why we are selling everything as I want it all," he said. "Sharon tells me that we have to otherwise our house will explode."  LOS ANGELES (AFP)

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