Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Entertainment memorabilia- Collect Share Research Auction Bid

Movie Memorabilia:
Collect it, See it in a Museum

Do you collect Entertainment Memorabilia? 
I collect some and many of my friends do, too. I've seen it broken down into
James Stewart Signed
w/Carole Lombard
1939 Made For Each Other
8 x 10 Glossy Photo

Autographs and photographs, Press materials, Marketing such as posters, Screen-used (or Concert-used) including scripts, props and costumes, personal items and Limited edition/other collectibles.

Major auction houses regularly have various kinds of entertainment-themed auctions where you can get your fix of film, music and other celebrity items. 

Please see below where I'll place a note about current newer auctions.

If you're into sports or other personalities, there are usually auctions centered around those themes, too. 

I'm a big advocate of libraries and museums. There are often films and other activities at your local library, gallery and museum. I try to announce a few on a regular basis on this blog and via my Twitter stream.

Norma Shearer may keep some secrets about her items
8X10" Photo
In December 2014 Christie's will auction off some of the possessions of the late actress Joan Fontaine. The proceeds will benefit the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Monterey County, California. Among the items to be auctioned will be her Academy Award won for her role in Alfred Hitchcock's Suspicion, a role she played opposite Cary Grant. Perhaps it will go to an avid fan or maybe someone will purchase it and gift the Oscar back to the Motion Picture Academy of Sciences. (Please see links to other articles on this topic.)

Watch other auctions like toy auctions. Long before Happy Meals they were making toys modeled after famous people. Whether you want a political campaign button with a former president's face and slogan on it or you want a tin toy that looks like Mickey Mouse or even Harold Lloyd. 

A Steve McQueen jacket and other items were recently included in an automobile auction. Check out watch auctions. Think of Dick Tracy films.

Celebrities of the era appeared in cartoons and animated shorts. You may find a cross-collectible animation cell.

The same goes of holiday items, find a Rudolph Valentino or Marx Brothers Christmas ornament. Ornaments inspired by celebrities can be found in glass, wood and other materials. Items like these may be displayed at any time of year.

Bonhams Los Angeles had an Entertainment Memorabilia and Animation Art auction on January 26, 2014. There were terrific old film posters, autographs, photos and scripts. The auction is over but this can give you an idea of the types of things you may see at future auctions. You can see the prices items realized. 

I'll regularly have posts about auctions or museum and gallery shows dealing with the pop culture/entertainment genre.

There are personal items from actors and actresses. Irving Thalberg's desk clock, a 14K yellow gold vanity set that belonged to Norma Shearer.

Mr. Thalberg's clock realized a price of $4,375. Ms. Shearer's vanity set brought in $8.750. (All amounts are from the Bonhams prices realized page, all include premium.)
Hattie McDaniel Lena Horne
One page magazine photo clipping

There was a wedding photo of bride, Shirley Temple in her wedding gown. Photo went for $350.

You could bid on an inscribed black and white photo of Hattie McDaniel at her 1941 wedding to James Lloyd Crawford. Inscribed in black ink, "'All my Love To 'Sis Etta' / From 'Sis Hattie'" and dated "5/10/41." This photo went for $650.

If you lost that one, the photo at left is Hattie McDianiel, Brigadier General Benjamin O. Davis and Lena Horne at a garden party given at the home of Ira Gershwin. 

Caption tells us that 300 stars, producers and executives were on hand to honor the general at this 1944 event.

Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. is an important man in history, the first Black Air Force General. He lead the Tuskegee Airmen flight squadron.

A handwritten note from Joan Crawford to director George Cukor on her personal stationery. "She complains to the director about her career, 'I just finished another Metro stinker,' likely Above Suspicion, and also about possible projects for the two of them, 'Oh I do so hope we will be working together soon again- Anita [Loos] + I want so terribly to have you do Women in Uniform." The Joan Crawford letter was won for $437.
-- from item description

I'm seeing what looks like more awards in auctions. The January Bonhams auction has everything from a USO Achievement Award received by Piper Laurie to groups of awards received by Forest Tucker and Larry Hagman. This includes Hagman's TV Land Pop Culture Award for Dallas received in 2006. Forest Tucker's set of awards went for $250. Larry Hagman's brought $1000. Piper Laurie's award brought in $275.

Mr. Hagman is the son of legendary actress Mary Martin. 

We rarely see Oscar statuettes up for auction. There was a 1950 agreement between winners and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences that bans winners from selling their Oscars to anyone except selling them back to the Academy for the nominal sum of $1. 

We do see pre-1950s Oscars from the Golden Age of Hollywood at auction on occasion.

The Academy Award won by Michael Curtiz for directing the 1943 classic film, Casablanca sold at auction in the summer of 2012 for $2,056,120.00. It had been expected to bring between an estimated $2.5 to three million. 

Curtiz's Oscar for directing the movie was previously sold by Christie's in 2003 for $231,500 to U.S. magician David Copperfield. The latest seller and buyer information was not available.

In 1999 the Best Picture Oscar for Gone With the Wind was bought by singer Michael Jackson for a record $1.54 million.
Dinah Shore's Original 1958-59 Emmy Award Statuette
for the Dinah Shore Chevy Show
We have various items. There are some cardboard standees, nothing worth any real money, a few that we get out at different times of the year. We use them for decorative purposes. Rotating them in a small house allows us and others to enjoy them more.

I've always liked the more unusual artwork that we see in films. That would be nice to have in our home. Alfred Hitchcock films is notorious for having some amazing art in his films, as is Vincent Price.

Online auction sites and other sources such as Amazon collectibles section have some one-of-a-kind items, too. Has Antiques Roadshow ever come to your town? Public broadcasting is a great source of education about memorabilia and collecting. Have you seen the show Market Warriors?

Katharine Hepburn American Comedy Awards 1989

The Bonhams auction had Katharine Hepburn's 1982 Best Actress BAFTA award for On Golden Pond was expected to earn between US$ 3,000 - $5,000. This is the award given by The British Academy of Film & Television Arts. The BAFTA sold for $22,500, well above its estimate.

Ms. Hepburn's costar, Henry Fonda, won an Academy Award for his part in the
Mae Clarke Signed Promo Photo
Public Enemy with James Cagney
film. His daughter, Jane Fonda, also in the film, accepted the award at the ceremony for him.

Also Katharine Hepburn's Kennedy Center Honors, the red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple silk ribbons with three brass bars reading Kennedy Center Honor, Katharine Hepburn, and the date 'December 2, 1990.' The Kennedy Center Honors ribbons sold for $20,000.

Visiting a museum such as the The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center in Old Saybrook, CT or the Jimmy Stewart Museum in Indiana, PA offers fans the chance to see items we'd never get the chance to see, let alone own. Both venues offer the stars' films as well as collections of their memorabilia. 

Many of these museums need our support to stay afloat. Visiting one of these museums brings back memories of our own. When did we first see their films? What was our own childhood like? What did our parents and parents go through? It's our story as well as anyone's.

From Vertigo Signed by James Stewart as John "Scottie" Ferguson
and Kim Novak as Madeline Elster/Judy Barton
It can be a real history lesson as well as teaching about other things depending on the star. In James Stewart's case you can learn about film making but also important memories about the second world war. 

At this anniversary of the first world war it could be an especially good time to
Henry Fonda Signing Autograph
visit Mr. Stewart's museum to pay homage to someone who served for our country. 

They say that many vets from service in Iraq and Afghanistan have made it a point to visit. Stewart was not only an Academy Award winning actor but also a bomber pilot in World War II. 

Retiring after 27 years of service in 1968, he was promoted to major general on the retired list by President Ronald Reagan.

Of course larger museums such as the Smithsonian are known for their pop culture collections. 

Were it not for their displays, I probably wouldn't have known that the amazing cape that Bette Davis wore in 1942's Now, Voyager was a deep red color.

We participate in the TCM Party on Twitter, tweeting along while you watch movies on TCM. For fans, it's fun and it brings lovers of classic films together in a community. Joining with other fans whether to talk about your shared interest, watch films together or attend an event makes everything more enjoyable.

Bonhams auctioned off Lana Turner's Membership card for the Screen Actors Guild with an expiration date of 10/31/94, signed ("Lana Turner"). Estimates were $300-$500. Lana Turner's card was sold for $525.

Katharine Hepburn, Actor's Equity Association Card.

What do you collect? It's important to verify the provenance of anything you purchase particularly if you can't purchase it in a face to face transaction.

Having a way to maintain, store and display our items is a big thing to consider. The suit Gene Kelly wore while dancing and singing the title song of Singin' in the Rain recently sold at a Heritage Auction in Dallas for over $106,000.

Heisman Trophy Winners signed
Throwback Full Size Leather Helmet w/ 12 Signatures

The historical benefit of collecting can't be overstated. With all the concern about concussion and how they might change the style of the current football helmets, this leather helmet would be really interesting to look at even without the feature of the Heisman winners' signatures. Sports memorabilia is definitely popular. 

We have avid golfers and baseball fans in the family. They would be interested in
The Bill Murray chive die cut vinyl sticker/decal
for windows on truck, car; laptop, gadgets
baseball and golf movies, including The Natural and Caddyshack memorabilia as cross-collectible movie and sports items.

"This is a Heisman Trophy Winners Throwback Full Size Leather Helmet.

"Hand autographed by: Dick Kazmaier '51, Johnny Lattner '53, Hopalong Cassady '55, Paul Hornung, Gary Beban '67, Tony Dorsett, Charles White '79, George Rogers '80, Andre Ware '89, Desmond Howard, Gino Torretta '92 and Rashaan Salaam '94. Certificate of Authenticity. (Plenty of room to add more Heisman Trophy Winners to helmet)"
-- from description 

Fire and Desire: Mixed-Race Movies in the Silent Era Jane M. Gaines

The black independent film movement during the silent period including the profound influence that D. W. Griffith's racist epic The Birth of a Nation exerted on black filmmakers such as Oscar Micheaux, the director of the newly recovered Within Our Gates.

The first interracial kiss in film, What Happened in the Tunnel, "a movie that played with race and sex taboos.".... James Baldwin sees himself in the face of Bette Davis, family resemblance is read in Richard S. Robert's portrait of an interracial family. ...
Black film pioneer George P. Johnson looks back on Micheaux.
-- excerpts from Amazon description

The author received an Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Scholarly Award for her forthcoming book on early cinema, Historical Fictioning: Women Film Pioneers and for work on the Women Film Pioneers digital archive published by Columbia University Libraries in 2013.

March-April 2014: Three Early 2014 Auctions of Note.

The website Auction My Stuff had a Marlene Dietrich auction in April 6, 2014. Included were personal items such as letters to and from Ms. Dietrich, a tuxedo that she wore and a Stork Club compact. Though the auction is over, the last time I checked information and photos of sold items were still available to view.

Julien's Auction House had one of its Hollywood Legends auctions on April 11, 2014. You'll find a wide variety of items including various awards, costumes, signed and personal items from stars of the silent screen through the present day. 

There are items signed by Nelson Mandela, (1994 South African Election Ballot), a Bruce Lee inscribed photo, signed photos Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Frank Sinatra, James Stewart, Cary Grant, Ray Bradbury signed book. Awards given to Jonathon Winters. 

Many items from the estate of Jonathon Winters, many items from David Hasselhoff including costumes and cars and an oversized model of David Hasselhoff wearing red lifeguard trunks in a swimming position comes in two parts and is propped up on rolling metal racks. ** Breaking News: The actor pulled the model of himself at the last minute so it was no longer up for auction.

Debbie Reynolds — The Auction Finale has been announced. Final auction for Debbie Reynolds' Hollywood memorabilia took place on May 17 and 18, 2014. Reynolds auction included items from Gone With the Wind, the Marx Brothers, Disney and "an extremely rare, oversized Singin' in the Rain poster."   Ms. Reynolds' collection was auctioned through the auction house Profiles in History.

The selection of costumes, wigs, props and other items in all of the auctions is amazing.

To my knowledge all will have shipping and bidding available online. Please confirm all information as anything could change with an auction.

Related Pages of Interest:

Yvonne De Carlo's Lily Munster Cape

Family Members, Spouses with Stars on The Hollywood Walk of Fame

Elton John Pinball Wizard Boots

Bruce Jenner TV Dad, Costume Ideas, Olympic proportions 

Clark Gable left his jacket at your place Gable and Cary Grant items for auction

Sources Resources

Bonhams Auction January 2014

Gene Kelly's Singin' in the Rain suit sells at auction

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