Category: Retro Fix


In the Entertainment Memorabilia auction community, today is day one of the biggest auction weekend in years.  Following up on their second auction of Debbie Reynolds’ collection costumes, props and camera equipment from Hollywood’s Golden Age, Profiles in History pulled out all the stops and has accumulated props and costumes from sci-fi, fantasy, action TV and films, and an entire day devoted to original animation art.  It begins with the Icons of Hollywood Auction today and tomorrow, December 15-16, 2011, and continues Sunday, December 17, 2011, with the Icons of Animation Auction.

As reported here December 6, 2011, one item on the block is a special effects arm used for Lindsay Wagner as Jaime Summers as the original Bionic Woman.  But that just scratches the surface of great stuff available.  And based on recent auctions, there is no global economy problem, as props and costumes are breaking past records.  On eBay recently a Matt Smith Doctor Who costume sold for $75,000.  With a franchise as popular as Star Trek, and as old and with a similar fan following, this kind of price reflects fan loyalty and what really loyal fans are willing to shell out to hold a piece of TV or silver screen magic in their hands.

The auction starts today with original studio marketing photographs of various actors and actresses over the past 100 years, as well as lobby cards, posters and one of a kind costume sketches by the likes of Edith Head and other early designers.  Then lots of scripts and logo art from TV and film credits.  Here are some key items from Day One:

  • Billy Mumy shirt for his role as Will Robinson from Lost in Space, with an estimate of $8,000 to $12,000.
  • One of the 1969 Dodge Chargers used as the General Lee in The Dukes of Hazzard has an estimate of $40,000 to $60,000.
  • Dalek from a 1985 episode of Doctor Who, estimated at $10,000 to $12,000.
  • Mork from Ork costume from Mork and Mindy, estimated at $40,000 to $60,000

Some key items from Day Two:

  • Bela Lugosi screen-worn cape as Count Dracula from Dracula, estimated at $1,500,000 to $2,000,000.
  • Longbow from The Adventures of Robin Hood, estimated at $15,000 to $20,000.
  • Judy Garland gingham dress as Dorothy Gale from The Wizard of Oz, estimated at $200,000 to $300,000.
  • One of four known pairs of ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz, estimated at $2,000,000 to $3,000,000.
  • Bert Lahr’s Cowardly Lion costume from The Wizard of Oz, estimated at $2,000,000 to $3,000,000.

  • A variety of items from The Planet of the Apes and Back to the Future franchises.
  • The DeLorean from Back to the Future III that was at Comic-Con this year, estimated at $400,000 to $600,000.

  • Steve McQueen driving suit from LeMans, estimated at $200,000 to $300,000.
  • Steve McQueen U.S. Navy uniform from The Sand Pebbles, estimated at $30,000 to $50,000.

  • Gene Wilder Willy Wonka hat from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, estimated at $20,000 to $30,000.
  • Sean Connery Marko Ramius Russian naval uniform from The Hunt for Red October, estimated at $6,000 to $8,000.

  • The “Red October” submarine model from The Hunt for Red October, estimated at $20,000 to $30,000.
  • Michael Keaton batsuit from Batman Returns, estimated at $30,000 to $50,000.
  • Endo-skull from Terminator 2, estimated at $12,000 to $15,000.
  • Bruce Campbell Ash costume from Army of Darkness, estimated at $12,000 to $15,000.

  • Peter Weller Robocop costume from Robocop, estimated at $10,000 to $12,000.
  • James Marsden Cyclops costume from X-Men 2, estimated at $30,000 to $50,000.
  • PreCrime stunt jetpack from Minority Report, estimated at $4,000 to $6,000.
  • Bob Newhart Papa Elf costume from Elf, estimated at $8,000 to $12,000.
  • Will Farrell Buddy the Elf costume from Elf, estimated at $8,000 to $12,000.
  • Star Trek Original series wooden hand phaser, estimated at $30,000 to $50,000.
  • Patrick Stewart Captain Jean-Luc Picard tunic from Star Trek: The Next Generation, estimated at $4,000 to $6,000.
  • Jonathan Frakes Commander Will Riker tunic from Star Trek: The Next Generation, estimated at $3,000 to $4,000.

  • Collection of six costumes from bridge crew of Star Trek Voyager, estimated at $15,000 to $20,000.
  • Original NASA Gemini spacesuit, estimated at $150,000 to $250,000.
  • Russian spacesuit worn by first Russian woman to walk in space, estimated at $200,000 to $300,000.

On Day Three, every lot is a masterwork of animation history.  Lots include original art from Little Golden Books like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Smokey the Bear and The Night Before Christmas, Charles Schulz art from The Pumpkin Patch and Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown, original work from production studios from Hanna Barbera to Walt Disney.  Major highlights include:

  • The earliest known color cel of Mickey Mouse, estimated at $80,000 to $120,000.
  • Cels of the Queen and Snow White from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, estimated between $12,000 and $20,000.

  • Giant pan cel from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, estimated at $80,000 to $120,000.
  • Original Dumbo, Bambi, Lady and the Tramp and Cinderella cels, estimated at $4,000 to $8,000.

  • Several cels from Song of the South.
  • Several stunning cels of Sleeping Beauty and Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty, estimated from $300 to $80,000.

More information is available at the Profiles in History website.

C.J. Bunce

Editor

borg.com

It should come as no surprise that screen legends including Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland, Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Julie Andrews, and Elizabeth Taylor are just as popular as ever with one iconic Marilyn Monroe dress selling at auction Saturday for more than $5 million and other unique costumes fetching six and seven figures each. 

Phenomenal hammer prices were all the buzz Saturday in Beverly Hills, CA, at the Debbie Reynolds auction of more than 500 one-of-a-kind classic Hollywood costumes and props.  You could tell just from the second lot this was going to be a memorable auction, with Rudolph Valentino’s matador outfit from Blood and Sand fetching $210,000 ($258,300 including buyer’s premium)

To follow up on our earlier post, here are the prices realized for the key items I listed, with the first number as the hammer price and for some of the big selling items I have included a second amount showing the actual price considering the buyer’s 23% premium (the mark-up above the hammer price billed by the auction house):

Judy Garland’s early production ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz.  Estimated at $120-150,000.  Sold for $510,000 ($627,300 with premium).

Judy Garland’s early production dress from The Wizard of Oz.  Estimated at $60-80,000.  Sold for $910,000 ($1,119,300 with premium).

Edmund Gwenn’s Kris Kringle Santa suit from Miracle on 34th Street.  Estimated at $20-30,000.  Sold for $22,500 ($27,675 with premium).

Ape, gorilla and orangutan costumes from Planet of the Apes, as well as flight suit and Heston costume.  All combined POTA costumes sold for $68,500.

Sean Connery costume from the Highlander films.  Estimated at $12-15,000.   Sold for $18,000.

And the really big stuff:

Marilyn Monroe white subway-blowin’ dress (yep, that one) from Seven Year Itch.  Estimated at $1-2 million.  Sold for a whopping $4.6 million ($5,658,000 with premium).

Marilyn Monroe’s red sequined dress from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.  Estimated at $200-300,000.  Sold for whopping $1.2 million ($1,476,000 with premium).

Audrey Hepburn’s classic white dress from My Fair Lady.  Estimated at $200-300,000.  Sold for a whopping $3.7 million ($4,551,000 with premium).

Julie Andrews’s key mountain singing dress from The Sound of Music.  Estimated at $40-60,000.  Sold for $550,000 ($676,500 with premium).

Charlton Heston’s costume from Ben Hur.  Estimated at $20-30,000.  Sold for $320,000 ($393,600 with premium).

Gary Cooper’s uniform from Sergeant York.  Estimated at $20-30,000.  Sold for $55,000.

Jimmy Stewart’s leather costume from How the West was Won.  Estimated at $8-12,000.  Sold for $17,000.

A huge collection of Elizabeth Taylor costumes, including National Velvet (Estimated at $10-15,000) (sold for $60,000), and her Cleopatra headpiece, estimated at $30-50,000 (sold for $100,000).

Charlie Chaplin’s hat from The Tramp.  Estimated at $20-30,000.  Sold for $110,000 ($135,300 with premium).

Laurel and Hardy’s signature costumes.  Estimated at $15-20,000.  Sold for $16,000.

Harpo Marx’s wig and hat.  Estimated at $20-30,000.  Sold for $45,000.

Gene Kelly’s outfit from Singin’ in the Rain.  Estimated at $12-15,000.  Sold for $14,000.

Rex Harrison’s outfit and doctor bag from Doctor Doolittle.  Estimated at $12-15,000.  Sold for $19,000.

Grace Kelly’s costume (seen below) from Alfred Hitchcock’s To Catch a Thief.  Estimated at $30-50,000.  Another surprise, selling for $450,000 ($553,500 with premium).

Claude Rains’s uniform as Capt. Renault from Casablanca.  $12-15,000.  Sold for $55,000.

Robert Redford and Katherine Ross costumes from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance KidSold for $24,500 combined.

And some other noteworthy sales:

Marilyn Monroe saloon girl outfit from River of No ReturnSold for $510,000 ($627,300 with premium).

Marilyn Monroe costume from No Business Like Show Business.  Sold for $500,000 ($615,000 with premium).

1952 red MG TD car used in Monkey Business with Marilyn Monroe.  Sold for $210,000 ($258,300 with premium).

Grace Kelly outfit from The Swan Sold for $110,000 ($135,300 with premium).

Barbara Streisand gown from Hello Dolly.  Sold for $100,000 ($123,000 with premium).

Basil Rathbone jacket as Sherlock Holmes from Hound of the Baskervilles.  Sold for $50,000.

Richard Burton costume from Cleopatra Sold for $85,000.

Marlon Brando uniform from 1962’s Mutiny on the Bounty.  Sold for $90,000.

Charles Laughton uniform as Captain Bligh from the original Mutiny on the BountySold for $42,500.

Claudette Colbert gown from the 1934 CleopatraSold for $40,000.

Great Garbo dress from Anna KareninaSold for $40,000.

Ingrid Bergman suit of armor from Joan of ArcSold for $50,000.

So the big question is whether the creditors in the bankruptcy that required the sale of these items were able to be paid off, or whether Reynolds must continue to sell off her estate.  With about $20 million from Saturday hopefully that will at least make a big dent in amounts owed.  It would be nice if Reynolds had a way to continue with her proposed museum.

C.J. Bunce

Editor

borg.com

Debbie Reynolds, film star and the real mother to Princess Leia’s Carrie Fisher, spent the past 50 years acquiring what Hollywood was throwing out.  Until fairly recently, Hollywood production companies viewed props and costumes as trash to throw out after production wrapped, or at best, something to store in giant warehouses for later productions.  But Reynolds had a vision and was in the right place at the right time over and over again.  She managed to amass what must be the single greatest collection of Hollywood costumes from the classic era.  She began her obsession with the 1970 MGM auction of its costume warehouses when she maxed out her finances to acquire stunning one-of-a-kind pieces by Hollywood’s greatest designers, costumes she couldn’t bear the thought of not landing in a museum.  Current studios know the value of props and costumes, but back even into the 1970s, not so much.  That said, she spent a great deal of money over the years putting a museum worthy assemblage together.  And that was the problem.

Unfortunately, her vision ends today as her business efforts to make the museum failed, and the result was a bankrupt project and the need to sell the collection to pay off creditors.  Tomorrow, June 18, 2011, key pieces of the collection will be sold off by auction house Profiles in History in Beverly Hills at the Paley Center for Media, where you could see a preview today of the costumes and props to be sold.  There’s good and bad to this.  For one, her collection had not been on display for years, most items boxed up on her ranch, in rail cars, in out buildings, in vaults.  So if you follow the philosophy that costumes first and foremost should be displayed, then getting into private hands may be the answer.  Personally I think preservation is paramount.  And what Reynolds did was keep everything in incredible shape.  No doubt the high-end buyers of these expensive works of art will do the same.  It will be an exciting opportunity for high-end buyers as most of the items are expected to fetch in excess of $10,000.  Reynolds has previewed her collection on both Oprah Winfrey’s show weeks ago and this week on SyFy Network’s “Hollywood Treasures.”

And I’m not kidding when I say this will be no regular TV and film prop and costume sale.  I think the word “iconic” is overused.  But today I’ll call out this sale as the exception.  Here is just a short list of what is being sold starting with some great fantasy genre pieces (several other items from her collection will be sold off later this year, too):

Judy Garland’s early production ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz.  Estimated at $120-150,000.

Judy Garland’s early production dress from The Wizard of Oz.  Estimated at $60-80,000.

Edmund Gwenn’s Kris Kringle Santa suit from Miracle on 34th Street.  Estimated at $20-30,000.

Ape, gorilla and orangutan costumes from Planet of the Apes, as well as flight suit and Heston costume.

Sean Connery costume from the Highlander films.  Estimated at $12-15,000. 

And the really big stuff:

Marilyn Monroe white subway-blowin’ dress (yep, that one) from Seven Year Itch.  Estimated at (gulp) $1-2 million.

Marilyn Monroe’s red sequined dress from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.  Estimated at $200-300,000.

Audrey Hepburn’s classic white dress from My Fair Lady.  Estimated at $200-300,000.

Julie Andrews’s key mountain singing dress from The Sound of Music.  Estimated at $40-60,000.

Charleton Heston’s costume from Ben Hur.  Estimated at $20-30,000.

Gary Cooper’s uniform from Sergeant York.  Estimated at $20-30,000. 

Jimmy Stewart’s leather costume from How the West was Won.  Estimated at $8-12,000.

A huge collection of Elizabeth Taylor costumes, including National Velvet (Estimated at $10-15,000), and her Cleopatra headpiece, estimated at $30-50,000.

Charlie Chaplin’s hat from The Tramp.  Estimated at $20-30,000.

Laurel and Hardy’s signature costumes.  Estimated at $15-20,000.

Harpo Marx’s wig and hat.  Estimated at $20-30,000.

Gene Kelly’s outfit from Singin’ in the Rain.  Estimated at $12-15,000.

Rex Harrison’s outfit and doctor bag from Doctor Doolittle.  Estimated at $12-15,000.

Grace Kelly’s costume (seen below) from Alfred Hitchcock’s To Catch a Thief.  Estimated at $30-50,000.

Claude Rains’s uniform as Capt. Renault from Casablanca.  $12-15,000.

Robert Redford and Katherine Ross costumes from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg.  You’ll also find key costumes from Katherine Hepburn, Claudette Colbert, W.C. Fields, Clark Gable, Shirley Temple, Mae West, Tyrone Power, Basil Rathbone, Al Jolson, Spencer Tracy, Lawrence Olivier, James Cagney, John Wayne, Orson Welles, Ingrid Bergman, Frank Sinatra, Joan Crawford, Vivien Leigh, Betty Grable, Vincent Price, Natalie Wood, Errol Flynn, Lana Turner, Rita Hayworth, Ginger Rogers, Glenn Ford, Peter Ustinov, Jimmy Stewart, Lauren Bacall, Jean Simmons, Deborah Kerr, Marlon Brando, Bette Davis, Cary Grant, Yul Brynner, Shirley Jones, Kim Novak, Dean Martin, Gregory Peck, and even Tom Cruise, Mel Gibson, Tom Hanks, and Mike Myers.

More information is available at www.profilesinhistory.com.  Happy bidding, movie fans!

By C.J. Bunce

Editor

borg.com

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