Heritage Auctions will feature 750 lots of personal property of western movie star John Wayne October 6-7, 2011 in Los Angeles.  After Wayne died in 1979 all of his personal property was tagged and inventoried.  In the 1990s John Wayne’s sons purchased costumes from Western Costume Company in Los Angeles, further building up the Wayne estate collection.  Finally, ten years ago son Ethan began planning this auction.

Wayne used several hats, shirts, belts and props in several of his movies.  His productions also owned multiples of each costume and prop, just as production studios do today.  So what is featured are some of these costumes and props, and undoubtedly most if not all of them got screen use in one or more films.  Several costumes come from Wayne’s final role as Rooster Cogburn from True Grit, including one of his eye patches.

Also being auctioned are John Wayne’s one-of-a-kind personal, hand-notated scripts, including the script to Stagecoach, Angel and the Badman, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, Rio Lobo, and The Sons of Katie Elder.  Personal property being auctioned includes several stylized cowboy boots, used both in his personal life and in films, as well as countless belts and buckles, cowboy hats, and his own custom horse saddle, expected to garner between $40,000-60,000.

The vast majority of the auction will feature less exciting but interesting items, such as personal trunks and clothing, letters from other movie stars and presidents, and awards including Wayne’s Golden Globe award.

More obscure but also interesting is a collection of western prints created by Andy Warhol.

Although some of the best John Wayne costumes have been auctioned in previous Heritage, Profiles in History and other auctions, including the recent sale of Wayne’s iconic uniform from She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, this is the first time so many John Wayne items have been featured in a single auction.

Key lots include:

John Wayne’s blue “bib shirt” worn by Wayne as Tom Doniphon is John Ford’s classic The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, where Wayne played opposite James Stewart and Lee Marvin.  Wayne made this shirt famous, featuring it in several of his classic westerns.  He wore this style shirt in several other films including The Sons of Katie Elder, and he may have worn this shirt in one or more of those films as well.  This shirt is expected to sell between $6,000-$8.000.  Undoubtedly this is a very low estimate of the likely winning bid, which will easily exceed $10,000.

John Wayne’s marine uniform from Sands of Iwo Jima, where Wayne portrayed the tough as nails Sergeant John M. Stryker.  “Life is tough, but it’s tougher if you’re stupid.”  This costume is expected to sell between $20,000-$25,000.

A cavalry hat worn by Wayne in the films The Horse Soldiers, Circus World, The Undefeated, and Rio Lobo.  Expected to sell between $30,000-$40,000.

More information on the auction can be found at the Heritage Auction website page for this auction.

C.J. Bunce

Editor

borg.com

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