Auction of the Week: GWS Auctions Archives of Hollywood & Music
This week's featured sale is the GWS Auctions Archives of Hollywood & Music sale, which takes place on March 30, 2019. The catalogue is packed with historic and unusual personal items from some of the 20th century's biggest stars – and here are just a few of our favourites...
John Lennon's Collection of Science Fiction Magazines
A collection of vintage science fiction magazines originally owned by John Lennon.
As a young schoolboy in Liverpool, John Lennon developed a love of science fiction and collected magazines packed with tales of UFOs, alien life and visions of the future.
The consigner of the magazines reportedly met Lennon at the Woolton village fete on July 6th, 1957 – the same fateful day that Lennon also met Paul McCartney.
The pair chatted about a UFO magazine Lennon was reading, and they struck up a friendship based on their shared love of sci-fi. This teenage friendship held fast throughout Lennon's rise to fame with The Beatles, and the pair continued to correspond when Lennon moved to the U.S in 1970.
Lennon famously reported seeing UFOs from his New York apartment in 1974, and sent his friend magazines and his own sketches on the subject.
Elvis Presley's Racquetball Ball Used on the Morning of his Death
Estimate $6,500 - $8,000
A blue racquetball used by Elvis Presley just hours before his death.
In the early hours of August 16, 1977, Elvis Presley was unable to sleep and decided to play racquetball on his personal court at Graceland.
He called his cousin Billy Smith and his wife Jo, who lived just behind the main Graceland mansion, and they joined Elvis and his girlfriend Ginger Alden for a few games.
When Elvis grew tired, the foursome sat down around a piano in the foyer of the racquetball court and Elvis sang the last song of his life: 'Blue Eyes Cryin' in the Rain'.
He then gave the used racquetball to his cousin and returned to bed, where he read for a while before heading to the bathroom. When Alden woke up a few hours late she found Elvis on the floor, and despite being rushed to hospital, it was too late. The King was gone.
This rare piece of memorabilia was one of the final objects Elvis used on the day he passed away, making it a true treasure for any of his dedicated fans.
Elizabeth Taylor Signed Restraining Order Document
Estimate $7,500 - $8,500
This two-page court document details a restraining order taken out by Elizabeth Taylor against her fourth husband, singer Eddie Fisher, following their divorce in March 1964.
Taylor and Fisher first began an affair after the death of her third husband Mike Todd, who tragically died in a plane crash in 1958.
Fisher was Todd's best friend, and was married to Taylor's best friend, actress Debbie Reynolds. The subsequent love triangle became one of Hollywood's biggest scandals, and Taylor was branded a "homewrecker" by the press.
Fisher and Taylor married in 1959, but in 1962 Taylor caused scandal again when she began a high-profile affair with her Cleopatra co-star Richard Burton.
Taylor then divorced Fisher on March 6, 1964, and married Burton nine days later, beginning one of the most famous (and turbulent) celebrity marriages of the 20th century.
This document, signed by Taylor, is a continuation of her restraining order against Fisher which was initially served during their divorce.
Led Zeppelin Signed Cut in PSA DNA Encapsulation
Estimate $14,000 - $15,000
A highly rare cut page signed and inscribed by all four original members of Led Zeppelin.
Led Zeppelin formed in the summer of 1968, and were initially known as The New Yardbirds during their early tours.
The band changed their name upon the release of their debut album in January 1969, which was critically acclaimed and commercially successful on both sides of the Atlantic.
This instantly propelled the band to a level of international stardom, and with the release of their second album later that year they quickly became the biggest rock band in the world.
They soon began travelling on their own private jetliner (known as the Starship) and renting out entire wings of hotels, making them almost completely inaccessible to their fans – particularly those seeking their signatures.
Today pieces signed in-period by all four band members are considered extremely rare, and authenticated items such as autograph pages, photos and albums regularly sell for up to $20,000.
John F. Kennedy's Grebe Radio Used in the White House
Estimate $35,000 - $40,000
This beautiful antique Grebe console radio was reportedly owned by former U.S President John F. Kennedy.
The antique radio, which dates from the 1920s, was gifted to Kennedy by his staff members whilst serving in the U.S Senate circa 1953-1960.
Kennedy liked the piece so much he took it with him to the White House when he became President in 1961, and it remained there until his tragic death in 1963.
The Kennedys' possessions were then removed from the house and returned to the family compound in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, where they were stored for several years.
The radio was later acquired in the 1970s by Raymond Carolin, an FBI agent assigned to protect the Kennedy family after they were threatened with a suspected kidnapping plot.
Carolin was given the radio by Rose Kennedy, who apparently complained that it was "collecting dust" in the house, and it remained in his personal collection for decades.
Prince's Jam of the Year Tour Stage Outfit
Estimate $60,000 - $65,000
A custom-made stage outfit worn by Prince during both his 1997-1998 Jam of the Year World Tour and New Power Soul Tour.
The outfit epitomises Prince's individual style, and consists of a semi-sheer black long sleeved top and matching flare leg pants, both embellished with a gold reptilian pattern.
Prince was photographed wearing the outfit on stage numerous times, and following the tour it was acquired by Prince's first wife Mayte Garcia, who were married for four years from 1996 until 2000.
Marilyn Monroe's Black Wool Long Sleeved Dress
Estimate $150,000 - $225,000
A black wool dress worn by Marilyn Monroe during a press conference in which she announced her divorce to Joe DiMaggio.
Monroe and DiMaggio married in January 1954, following a two-year courtship which sent tabloid gossip columns into overdrive.
However, cracks in the relationship began to appear almost immediately, during their honeymoon in Japan which also doubled as a baseball coaching tour for DiMaggio and a USO visit to American soldiers for Monroe.
As the world's most famous woman, Monroe was mobbed wherever she went, and DiMaggio simply couldn't handle the attention his wife received. The combination of her career and his jealousy made a traditional marriage impossible.
DiMaggio finally snapped during the filming of Monroe's iconic 'white dress' scene in The Seven Year Itch, as a crowd of male onlookers whooped and stared as her skirt blew up around her waist.
A few weeks later on October 6, 1954, a distressed and tearful Monroe appeared outside her home along with her attorney Jerry Giesler, and announced to the press that the famous couple were set to divorce.
In the end their marriage lasted just 274 days – but it continues to fascinate collectors 65 years later.
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