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Vintage couture, historical and celebrity memorabilia share spotlight Nov. 19

Vintage couture including 1960-80s dresses and accessories, memorabilia including autographed photos of The Beatles and The Rat Pack will lead Sterling Assoc.'s Nov. 19 auction.

CLOSTER, N.J. – “The more I delved into the consignments for our November 19th Fall Antique Auction, the more obvious it became that this would be a very interesting, well-rounded sale,” said Stephen D’Atri, owner of Sterling Associates in Bergen County, N.J.

The key categories defined themselves as the merchandise was being cataloged, D’Atri

Vintage dresses

(Left to right) Lot 4: Sleeveless peacock-feather dress with matching bolero jacket and belt of bugle beads; Lot 27: circa-1960s Emanuel Ungaro pop art plastic disc dress; Lot 9: vintage fringed dress with embellishments and beads believed to be coral. (Sterling Associates image)

said. A single-owner collection of designer and other vintage clothing was a perfect fit alongside costume jewelry, hats and accessories from other private sources. With a timeline that starts in the Art Deco era and runs through the 1980s, all of the items have been attracting bidders to the online auction catalog.

Some of the most desirable names of 1960s-’80s fashion may be found in the fashion section. Lot 12, a Christian Dior houndstooth-check skirt with matching jacket, is estimated at $75-$150. Lot 38, a Jacques Tiffeau pink and white polka-dotted jacket with ruffled trim, is expected to make $100-$300; while Lot 14, a Valentino Miss V quilted blazer and skirt ensemble is estimated at $75-$150.

A dressier choice is Lot 7, a vintage Bob Mackie Boutique dress in scarlet with a heavily jeweled and beaded collar and sleeves. Estimate: $200-$300. Two cocktail dresses – one a sheer black rouched and sequined design; the other a heavily sequined royal blue number with spaghetti straps – are offered together as Lot 32 with a $100-$300 estimate.

In the 1960s, every young woman wanted a pop art plastic-disc shift dress, and one of the most exciting examples to come to the auction market in quite some time is cataloged as Lot 27. Designed by Italy’s exalted couturier Emanuel Ungaro, its undulating rows of stitched-on discs create bands of rainbow colors – lavender, purple, red yellow, pink and green. A mod classic, it is estimated at $100-$300.

Borden clock

James Borden 69in tall abstract carved wood clock, book example and prize winner, est. $1,000-$3,000. (Sterling Associates image)

Many unusual designer creations for after-five wear will be offered. A spotlight grabber, Lot 4 is a vintage beaded cocktail dress decorated with hundreds of peacock feathers. The sleeveless, Empire-style dress is adorned with bugle beads and faux jewels, and is accompanied by a matching bolero jacket. Estimate: $200-$300.

The clothes will be followed by group lots of vintage hats, accessories, masses of costume, sterling, amber and vintage pearl jewelry; and purses. Lot 75, a colorful Lulu Guinness “House” tote bag is embellished with painted shells and embroidered images of a door, windows and garden. Estimate: $75-$150. Among the fur and faux-fur coats and stoles to be auctioned is Lot 64, a full-length coat, possibly mink, with a label from Gianfranco Ferre Fourrures for Saks Fifth Avenue. Estimate: $200-$400. Menswear includes suits, blazers, sportswear, Burberry trench coats, a Saks Fifth Avenue wool coat, and a tuxedo with shirts and shoes.

Of the many autographed photos of entertainers and other celebrities in the sale, most came from a wealthy collector who purchased the items at charity auctions. Lot 408 is a 1960s photograph of the Beatles, autographed by all four members of the band. It is accompanied by a note from the national secretary of the Official Beatles Fan Club and shows a Liverpool address and phone number. Estimate: $5,000-$10,000.

Lot 412 is a framed photo of the “Rat Pack,” autographed by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr, Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop. Estimate: $1,000-$1,500. Other signed lots include photos autographed by the Doors (Lot 413), Janis Joplin (Lot 411), Al Pacino (Lot 417), the stars of the film “Good Fellas” (Lot 416), the Rolling Stones (Lot 414), and Led Zeppelin (Lot 415), and others. Additionally, there are record albums autographed by Madonna, Guns & Roses, Prince, the Stones and the Doors.

Four lots of Marilyn Monroe memorabilia will be offered, including Lot 479, a framed grouping of two photos together with the star’s autograph, est. $800-$1,200; Lot 482, a framed and autographed photo of Monroe in a full-length pose, $500-$1,000; and Lot 481, a color photo advertisement for “The Prince and the Showgirl,” $800-$1,000.

An extraordinary storage-locker find produced an archive of memorabilia pertaining to

Hackenschmidt passport and medal

Passport and rare judge’s medal from large personal archive of legendary Russian wrestler, weightlifter and fitness proponent George Hackenschmidt (1877-1968). (Sterling Associates image)

trailblazing Russian wrestler, weightlifter and fitness proponent George Hackenschmidt (1877-1968). “Hackenschmidt was a Mr Universe and was known as ‘The Russian Lion.’ As an athlete, he was as famous in his day as Muhammad Ali or Tiger Woods. His wrestling matches drew many thousands of spectators,” said D’Atri.

The Hackenschmidt archive, which is apportioned into four lots (332 through 335), incudes photos, passports, a college graduation diploma, and a silver NABBA medallion presented to the wrestling superstar when he judged the 1950 Mr Universe competition.

An outstanding selection of fine art is led by Lot 237, a signed oil-on-canvas painting titled “Arabian Horsemen,” by Christian Adolf Schreyer (German, 1828-1899). Presented in an ornate gilt frame, the 22½ by 30½ inch artwork could reach $8,000-$12,000.

Lot 226, a Dewitt Clinton Peters (American, 1865-1948) signed portrait of an elegant woman in riding attire, with a Great Dane by her side, is evocative of the Great Gatsby era. Peters studied and exhibited in Paris and was a medal winner at the 1889 Exposition Universelle. His accomplished 40 by 50in (sight) portrait is estimated at $2,000-$3,000.

Lot 366 is an extremely rare Leroy Neiman (American, 1921-2012) original mixed-media drawing created for a Playboy magazine insertion. It is annotated “Femlin and Thinker #2” and “Party Jokes,” and is artist-signed, copyright-noted, and dated 1982. Measuring 30 by 34in (framed), this unique artwork is estimated at $20,000-$30,000.

Works by two of today’s most-after Latin-American artists, Raul Uribe and Rufino Tamayo (Mexican, 1912-), are included in the sale. Lot 223 is a 1986 Uribe abstract-figural watercolor measuring 22½ by 15 5/8in (framed). Signed and dated, it is estimated at $800-$1,200. Lot 231 is a Tamayo (Mexican, 1899-1991) color lithograph titled “Mujer con Vestido Verde” (Woman with Green Dress). Measuring 39 by 31in (framed), it is signed twice and expected to make $800-$1,200.

Neiman drawing

Leroy Neiman original mixed-media drawing created for Playboy Magazine, artist-signed, dated 1982, framed size 30 x 34in, est. $20,000-$30,000. (Sterling Associates image)

A fine selection of 18th/19th-century furniture includes chest of drawers, secretaries, linen presses and much more. Lot 172, a 103-inch-tall carved and decorated Dutch marquetry china cabinet is estimated at $1,200-$1,500; while Lot 182, a set of eight Thomas Moser “Eastward” dining chairs could fetch $2,500-$3,500.

An extraordinary 69-inch-tall abstract carved wood clock by James Borden is a book example and was a first-prize winner in an exhibition focusing on artistry in clocks. Entered as Lot 423, it carries a presale estimate of $1,000-$3,000. Two J.C. Brown steeple clocks follow closely behind as Lots 428 and 429.

All bidding will be conducted remotely in Sterling Associates’ Nov. 19 auction, but all goods are available to inspect at the company’s brick-and-mortar gallery. The auction will commence at 3 p.m. Eastern Time, two hours earlier than usual. The live gallery preview is from 10-3 on Nov. 16 and 17; or 10 a.m. till 12 noon on auction day. The gallery is located at 70 Herbert Ave., Closter, NJ 07624. Bidding methods include phone, absentee or live online through or

For additional information on any item in the auction or to reserve a phone line, call 201-768-1140 or e-mail Online: View the fully illustrated catalog online at or