13 Nov 2012
Los Angeles – Bonhams is pleased to announce its November 18 auction of Entertainment Memorabilia in Los Angeles. The sale features a wide variety of items related to Hollywood, Rock 'n Roll and Animation Art. Highlights include pieces connected to Charlie Chaplin, Marilyn Monroe, The Beatles, "The Nightmare Before Christmas," "Casablanca," "Harry Potter," Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Bing Crosby and Charlie Parker's saxophone, which was featured on the television show "History Detectives."
Leading the sale is Charlie Chaplin's trademark bowler hat and cane (est. $40,000-60,000). The famous origins of the Tramp persona were concocted almost spontaneously in the communal male dressing room at Keystone Studio in Hollywood. As the legend goes - one rainy afternoon, in early February 1914, Chaplin created an inspiring ensemble of contrasts; he borrowed Fatty Arbuckle's voluminous trousers, Charles Avery's tiny jacket, Ford Sterling's size fourteen shoes which he was obliged to wear on the wrong feet to keep them falling off, a too-small derby belonging to Arbuckle's father-in-law, and a mustached intended for Mack Swain's use, which he trimmed to toothbrush size.
The iconic bowler hat is in remarkable condition for its age, and the 32 inch bamboo cane is inscribed "CCLT 36" in black ink, a reference to the Little Tramp, Chaplin's signature character retired after the release of "Modern Times" in 1936. The lot is accompanied by a certificate from Herbert Moore of the Mammoth Cave Wax Museum in Cave City, Kentucky, stating that the cane and hat were given to him in 1966 by the famed wax sculptor Katherine Stubergh Keller, who met Chaplin in 1936 when he posed for her.
Another significant highlight from the fall auction is Charlie Parker's Buescher Aristocrat E-flat alto saxophone, circa 1930s, consigned by the daughter of fellow Jazz saxophonist Bill Hood (est. $22,000-26,000). Hood often played with Parker, as well as other great musicians such as Dizzy Gillespie, Sarah Vaughan and Marty Paich. Hood and Parker were scheduled to play together one night at a Portland jazz club (circa 1953), when Parker arrived without his sax. Hood asked Parker where his instrument was and Parker responded that he had pawned it. Parker replied that if it was so important to him, he was welcome to have it and gave Hood the pawn ticket, which he later redeemed. Hood's daughter inherited the saxophone from her father and began to investigate the connection between her father and Charlie Parker. Before consigning it to Bonhams, Hood's daughter brought the sax to the television show "History Detectives," where Jazz historian Bob Dietsche verified the details of this story.
Also of note are several lots related to The Beatles, including a handwritten letter by John Lennon with a nude drawing of him and Yoko sent to Ralph Ginzburg, publisher of Avant Garde Magazine regarding the infamous and controversial "Two Virgins" album cover (est. $18,000-22,000); a set of signatures of all four band members collected by an Air France employee who met the Beatles at the Los Angeles Airport when they arrived in the city for their August 23, 1964 concert at the Hollywood Bowl (est. $4,500-6,500) and a Beatles Yesterday and Today "Butcher" cover first state mono LP showing the band covered in pieces of meat and decapitated baby dolls. This rare album was consigned by the original owner, who purchased it at the Music City store in Kenmore Square, Boston upon its release (est. $12,000-18,000).
Highlights connected to Marilyn Monroe include a large photograph archive, comprising film stills, wardrobe and publicity images of the star (est. $15,000-20,000); a limited edition portfolio of black and white photographs, depicting the actress on the night of March 31, 1955 at a Madison Square Garden charity event where she famously rode a pink elephant (est. $5,000-7,000) and a signed photograph of Monroe wearing a bathing suit (est. $3,000-5,000).
A large archive of material related to the golden age of crooners and entertainers will also be featured. Included in the offering are three signed, abstract original oil paintings by Frank Sinatra (estimates range from $3,000-7,000); a selection of clothing, accessories, and a travel case with an original Harrah's hotel baggage check tag on it from Sammy Davis Jr. (est. $300-500) and items from Bing Crosby such as iconic pipes, trademark hats, signed checks, passports, a silver horseshoe money clip and holiday cards inscribed "and may all your Christmases be white" (estimates vary).
Within the animation section of the auction is an early Charles Schulz Peanuts daily, dated 1966, featuring a classic image of Snoopy as the Red Baron (est.$10,000-15,000); a Charles Schulz Peanuts daily, dated 1977, featuring Snoopy holding his dog bowl to his ear, listening for the sound of a restaurant (est. $ 7,000-10,000); a Walt Disney Studios celluloid from "Peter Pan," 1953, depicting Captain Hook and Smee aboard their ship (est. $7,000-9,000); early designs, drawings and models from Walt Disney World and property from celebrated commercial artist, Disney animator, caricature artist and director, Thornton Hee, known to many as "T. Hee" (please see separate press release).
Additional pieces of note include a screen used sleigh prop from "The Nightmare Before Christmas," 1993 (est. $12,000-16,000); a wicker chair from Rick's Café in the Oscar®-winning film, "Casablanca," 1942 (est. $5,000-7,000); a selection of rare-to-market production art and scripts from "Annie Hall" (estimates vary) and a 'King of Cartoons' crown from "Pee-wee's Playhouse" worn by actor William Marshall, best known for his catchphrase, "Let...the cartoooon...begin" (est. $1,000-1,500).
The illustrated auction catalog is online for review and purchase in the weeks preceding the sale at www.bonhams.com.
Preview: November 16-17, Los Angeles
Auction: November 18, Los Angeles
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and appraisal services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com