LOS ANGELES – Bonhams & Butterfields’ Entertainment Memorabilia auction on June 26, 2011 in Los Angeles featured a wide variety of items related to Hollywood, Rock ‘n Roll and Animation Art. Highlights included pieces connected to Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Rolling Stones, Charles Schulz, Douglas Fairbanks and Norma Shearer.
Dr. Catherine Williamson, Director of Entertainment Memorabilia, said of the sale: “The market for both old and new Hollywood collectibles continues to grow. We saw strong participation online and in the saleroom for iconic pieces from the classic films of yesterday and today.”
Props from Raiders of the Lost Ark were prominently featured during the June sale. Timed to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the film’s release in June of 1981, the offering included one of Indiana Jones’ six iconic bullwhips used in a stunt sequence, sold for
$61,000 and a prop idol that was also used during filming, sold for $24,400. The items were accompanied by a letter of provenance from Academy Award-winning special effects expert, Kit West, who was the mechanical effects supervisor on Raiders of the Lost
Highlights from the Estate of actress Norma Shearer and Academy Award®-winning producer Irving Thalberg were prominently featured within the auction. Thalberg was known as “The Boy Wonder” for his extraordinary ability to make very profitable films by choosing the right scripts and selecting the right actors. He married Shearer in 1927. Shearer went on to become one of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s biggest stars of the 1930s.
Items of note from the couple’s Estate included a vintage Louis Vuitton shoe trunk with a hinged top and thirty individual shoe storage drawers, L. Vuitton stamped leather draw pulls, monogram canvas with LV stamped leather trim and custom "N.S." painted on exterior,
sold for $30,500; an Irving Thalberg photo album with more than 150 vintage photographs that chronicles his early career with MGM, marriage to Norma Shearer, and many candid photos of the Thalberg’s travel in Europe as well as many of Hollywood’s biggest stars and industry executives, sold for $30,500 and Shearer’s personal album of publicity photographs for Marie Antoinette (1938), sold for $34,160. Shearer was nominated for an Academy Award® for best actress in a leading role starring opposite Tyrone Power and John Barrymore.
Also on offer were iconic props, concept drawings and storyboards from the award-winning Tim Burton film The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993). The sale of these groundbreaking items was timed to coincide with a major retrospective of Burton’s work at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). "The Nightmare Before Christmas," a unique, stop-motion musical, won a Golden Globe and a Hugo
Award for Best Original Score and was nominated for an Academy Award®. Items of note from the film offered during the June 26th auction included the reindeer plans prop, sold for $3,050 and a complete set with puppet of Sally and her Herb Patch used in the production of the film, sold for $29,280. The set can be seen in the film when Sally visits the graveyard herb patch to collect poisonous herbs.
One of 12 known sleeves from the Rolling Stone’s single Street Fighting Man, sold for 17,080 and highlighted the Rock ‘n Roll section of the auction. The single was first released in August of 1968, just before the Chicago Democratic National Convention, where riots broke out between demonstrators and the Chicago police force. The Stones’ picture sleeve used two images depicting police brutality taken from one of the many riots that had broken out in over one hundred U.S. cities that year. The record company deemed the sleeve to be inappropriate and it was immediately withdrawn. No one knows for sure how many examples of this sleeve have survived but most estimate the number to be between ten and eighteen copies, placing it among the rarest pieces of Rolling Stones memorabilia.
In addition, Bonhams & Butterfields offered a strong selection of animation art highlighted by Charles Schulz and early Disney pieces. Items of note included a pen and ink Peanuts daily, dated 7-15, 1976 by Schulz, which sold for $20,130 and a preliminary background study
from Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), sold for $25,620, among others.
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