THE TCM BONHAMS AUCTION OF 2015

Treasures from the Dream Factory is the third collaboration of Turner Classic Movies and Bonhams auction house in presenting Hollywood memorabilia at auction. The past two auctions have sold at record prices the Maltese Falcon from the eponymous movie for $4.2 million, and the piano from Rick’s Cafe in Casablanca for $3.2 million. This year’s golden lair will be auctioned in New York on November 23, 2015, and many treasures are offered as the title implies.

Along with the five extremely lucky children that got a Golden Ticket to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory in that famous movie, you could be a proud owner of a ticket too. The Golden Ticket at auction is from the 1971 Paramount classic starring Gene Wilder and Peter Ostrum. The ticket was owned by film set Construction Manager Hendrik Wynands. Estimate of $10,000 -15,000.

The Golden Ticket sold for $28,000

TCM golden ticket

From the movie considered by many to be the best movie ever made – Citizen Kane, is the childhood “Rosebud” sled of Charles Foster Kane. It was given to the film’s screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz. Estimate of $100,000 -200,000.

The Rosebud sled sold for $149,000

TCM Rosebud

From the classic The Wizard of Oz comes the costume worn by Judy Garland throughout the entire movie. The blue and white checked pinafore and off-white blouse with rick-rack trim was designed by Adrian. Several “test” versions were designed before this final dress was used throughout the film. A solid blue “test” version was sold at the Debbie Reynolds auction in 2011 for $1.1 million, although the heavy promotion for the auction had much to do with that price. The pinafore being auctioned here is one previously owned by Kent Warner, the costumer who had “liberated” many costumes from MGM including several pairs of the Ruby Slippers. He always picked the most important items, with his rationale being to either preserve them, or in the case of the 1970 MGM auction, as payment for organizing costumes for the auction. Kent Warner first had this costume up for auction at Christies in 1981.  Labels in this costume have Judy Garland’s name and the number 4461, a sure way to trace its provenance. Estimate $800,000 – 1.2 million

The Judy Garland Dorothy pinafore sold for $1,625,000 including commission

TCM Dorothy

Several great posters are featured in the auction. This one caught my eye and is significant as a symbol of early Hollywood – and also a symbol of silent films as the film it advertises is considered a “lost” film. This is a French version of the poster, besides the list of actors that featured in the vignettes were Charles Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, Gloria Swanson, Mary Pickford, and many others. Estimate $30,000 -40,000.

The poster sold for $37,500

TCM Hollywood poster 2

Screen favorite Natalie Wood’s Estate is being auctioned, with many significant items from her career going on the block. A few highlights include these:

A Golden Globe for “International Stardom” awarded in 1957, her first major acting award. Estimate $10,000 – 15,000

The International Stardom Golden Globe sold for $17,500

 

Natalie Globe 1

A Golden Globe for “World Favorite Actress” in 1965.  Estimate $7,000 -9,000.

The “World Favorite Actress” Golden Globe sold for $12,500

 

TCM Natalie Globe 2

Natalie Wood’s “Director’s Chair” stamped “From the MGM Crew 1959” She used this on several film sets, including This Property is Condemned and Love with a Proper Stranger.  Estimate $500 -700.

The Director’s Chair sold for $1250 

TCM Natalie chair 2

This costume was worn by Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,  20th Century-Fox, 1953Dark gray wool jacket and skirt, jacket has cream-colored patterned-linen collar and lining., designed to show decollete. Designed by her regular designer at 20th Century-Fox, William Travilla. Estimate $350,000 – 500,000.

The Marilyn Suit sold for $425,000

TCM Marilyn

A Judy Garland costume worn in Easter ParadeMGM, 1948. Designed by Irene. The gown was worn in the scene with Fred Astaire where they sing the number “It Only Happens When I Dance with You.” Estimate $8000 -10,000.

The Judy Garland Easter Parade costume sold for $10,625

TCM Judy Easter Parade gown

Steve McQueen’s racing suit from the movie Le MansNational General, 1971. This is one of three suits worn by McQueen during the car racing scenes in the movie.  Estimate $200,000 – 300,000

The Le Mans suit sold for $425,000

 

 

TCM McQueen

Stephen Boyd as Massala’s costume from Ben Hur, MGM 1959. Worn in the famous chariot race scene. With gold embroidery and gold leather applique on the black belt.  Estimate $8000 – 12,000.

The Stephen Boyd Ben Hur costume sold for $20,000

TCM Stephen Boyd Ben Hur costume

Am original Mickey Mouse animation cel, circa 1940. Shows signs of wear. In the recent past a flood of reproductions and limited editions have been on the market. It’s nice to see a vintage cel from the golden age of Disney animation. Estimate $800 – 1200.

The Mickey Mouse cel sold for $10000

 

 

TCM Mickey

A World War I photo of Walt Disney in Red Cross uniform, inscribed and signed to a friend. Estimate $25,000 – 35,000. A scrapbook that includes drawings from Disney during that period is also on the block for $150,000 -200,000.

This item was withdrawn along with several other Disney photos

TCM Disney photo

Sam Spade’s chair used in The Maltese FalconWarner Brothers, 1941.The chair was in the apartment used by Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade. This same chair was previously sold at auction by Christie’s in 1997 for $32,200. Estimate $75,000 -100,000.

The Sam Spade chair sold for $87,500

 

TCM Sam Spade chair

Here is an interesting document, a contract signed by Barbara Stanwyck to borrow a 16mm film copy of Double Indemnity in 1945, the year after she made the filmIn the days long  before videocassettes, movies could only be screened in 16mm formats for home use. Ms. Stanwyck wanted to show the film to friends, a film she was particularly proud of, and had to sign a contract with her own studio Paramount to borrow it.

The contract sold for $812.

TCM Stanwyck contract

Frank Capra’s Golden Globe Award for It’s a Wonderful Life, Columbia, 1946. Awarded at the 4th Golden Globes held in 1947 for Frank Capra as Outstanding Director. This was for Frank Capra’s favorite film and a seasonal favorite. $40,000 – 60,000.

Frank Capra’s Golden Globe sold for $60,000

TCM Capra Globe

There are many other gems in this auction, a treasure chest of Golden Age Hollywood memorabilia. What is your favorite? I collect costume sketches, of which there are a few in the auction. But my favorite item has to be Judy Garland’ s dress from the Wizard of Oz. Of all the items in this auction, this is the item that, for me, is the one most sprinkled with stardust.

I’ll update this post with some of the prices realized after the auction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “THE TCM BONHAMS AUCTION OF 2015”

  1. I’m floored that Steve McQueen’s racing suit from Le Mans is expected to bring $200,000 – 300,000. For one thing, I didn’t realize he had become an icon of quite that magnitude and, for another, Le Mans isn’t in the same league as Bullitt, Thomas Crown and The Magnificent Seven. No surprise that MM’s Travilla ensemble from GPB is valued sky-high. Do you happen to know if any James Dean memorabilia or costumes have ever been auctioned? I can’t imagine what they might bring.

    1. That figure is bullish Lady Eve, but Steve McQueen has a hot track record at auction. He has become iconic in his own right, especially considering his fairly recent work. James Dean left fewer items behind because of his short career – so they are more rare but oddly less in demand I think. Hollywood memorabilia as a class keeps going up in value, as opposed to most other collectibles and antiques that dipped during the last recession (and in the same class as major art). I think this is because of the strong international demand. We’ll see what prices are realized, but 2 times out of 3 the prices exceed the estimates, in my experience.

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