By Culturekiosque Staff
LOS ANGELES, 20 NOVEMBER 2012 In a Bonhams Entertainment
Memorabilia auction on 18 November in Los Angeles collectors bid
for a wide variety of items related to Hollywood, Rock & Roll and
Animation Art. Highlights included pieces connected to Charlie
Chaplin, Marilyn Monroe, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane,
Frank Sinatra, Charles Schulzs Peanuts, Bugs Bunny, Sammy Davis
Jr. and Bing Crosby.
Leading the sale was Charlie Chaplins trademark bowler hat and cane
(est. $40,000-60,000, sold for $62,500). As legend has it, the
famous origins of the Tramp persona were concocted almost spontaneously
in a dressing room at Keystone Studio right here in Hollywood - one rainy
afternoon nearly 100 years ago.
Chaplin created an inspiring ensemble of contrasts: he borrowed Fatty
Arbuckles voluminous trousers, Charles Averys tiny jacket, Ford
Sterlings size 14 shoes (which he was obliged to wear on the wrong feet
to keep them falling off), a too-small derby belonging to Arbuckles
father-in-law, and a mustache intended for Mack Swains use, which he
trimmed to toothbrush size.
Also of note was 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, sold for $25,000).
Within the animation section of the auction was an early Charles Schulz
Peanuts daily, dated 1966, featuring a classic image of Snoopy as
the Red Baron (est. $10,000-15,000, sold for $28,750); a Charles Schulz
Peanuts daily, dated 1977, displaying a classic image of Snoopy
holding his dog bowl to his ear, listening for the sound of a restaurant
(est. $ 7,000-10,000, sold for $11,875); a Friz Freleng celluloid from the
Academy Award® nominated Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt, 1940s, depicting
Elmer Fudd dressed as Hiawatha setting the fire under the cauldron that
Bugs Bunny is bathing in (est. $800-1,200, sold for $20,000) and property
from the celebrated commercial artist, Disney animator, caricature artist
and director, Thornton Hee, known affectionately as "T. Hee."
Highlights connected to Marilyn Monroe included a large photograph
archive, comprising film stills, wardrobe and publicity images of the star
(est. $15,000-20,000, sold for $21,250); a watercolor on paper costume
design by Rose Loomis for Monroe in the film Niagara, 1953 (est.
$300-400, sold for $ 6,000) and a signed photograph of the star wearing a
bathing suit (est. $3,000-5,000, sold for $4,000).
As well, a group of paintings by singer, actor and entertainer Frank
Sinatra was prominently featured within the summer auction. Sinatra began
painting in the 1970s, focusing primarily on clowns. He later developed
his own style, shifting from representational canvases to abstract
art. Works of note by Sinatra included a colorful abstract from 1971
(est. $3,000-5,000, sold for $10,625); a square, 30 inch abstract painting
(est. $5,000-7,000, sold for $9,375) and a large abstract painting (est.
$5,000-7,000, sold for $6,875). Each painting is signed or initialed
by the artist.
Items of note from the rock & roll section of the sale included a
poster advertising a Jefferson Airplane performance at the Fillmore
Auditorium in San Francisco from 1966 (est. $1,000-1,500, sold for
$6,000); a first printing of a "Pinnacle" concert poster designed by John
Van Hamersveld for Jimi Hendrix 's February 10, 1968 concert at the Shrine
Auditorium in Los Angeles (est. $1,500-2,000, sold for $6,000) and
an iconic "Flying Eyeball" concert poster designed by Rick Griffin for a
February 1968 concert in San Francisco with Hendrix, John Mayall, The
Bluebreakers and Albert King at The Fillmore and Winterland. The poster
depicts a fiery hole with a flying eyeball holding a skull at its center,
symbols which are very representative of Griffin's art. A first printing
of this poster, it is one of the most desirable pieces of 1960s rock art
(est. $1,500-2,000, sold for $6,250)
Additional highlights from the November auction included a costume hat
from Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ, 1925, one of
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's first hit films (est. $500-800, sold for $6,250); a
pair of George Reeves signed photographs in character as "Superman" (est.
$800-1,200, sold for $6,000); a selection of personal items from Bing
Crosby led by a silver horseshoe money clip (est. $2,000-3,000, sold for
$3,500) and a pair of Sammy Davis Jr.-owned Bally dark brown woven leather
boots (est. $300-400, sold for $1,375), among others.