MOVIE MEMORABILIA – Instant Expert
If you have a good imagination, movie memorabilia can “transport” you to a different place and time. Ruby Slippers may take you to “the yellow brick road” or at least back to where and when you first interacted with the classic, The Wizard of Oz. Hear Sam’s piano play “As Time Goes By” and you’re seated at a table in Rick’s Cafe.
Memorabilia serves as teleportation fuel. Where you go depends on your levels of concentration and creativity. This high octane nostalgia is the most powerful reason people collect memorabilia.
“The Stuff Dreams Are Of”
For example, Steve Wynn arrived in Vegas with total assets of $22,000. Wynn’s vision was to turn the city around. In the process he amassed his own fortune valued today at $3.2 billion. Among Wynn’s storied treasures is the iconic Maltese Falcon from the Humphrey Bogart movie of the same name. Wynn paid $4.06 million for this lead statue of a bird of prey in a 2013 auction at Bonhams in New York.
“The spectacular price achieved reflects the statuette’s tremendous significance. The Maltese Falcon is arguably the most important movie prop ever and is central to the history of cinema,” stated Catherine Williamson, Director, Bonhams Entertainment Memorabilia Department. It is also a key that opens the door for Mr. Wynn leading into the midst of one of the best mystery stories ever.
Entertainment Memorabilia’s Top Three
As media memorabillia the Maltese Falcon was exceeded in auction value only by TV’s 1960’s Batmobile ($4.6 million), and James Bond’s Aston Martin ($4.6 million) from Goldfinger.
Four & Five
Attendees at Bonhams NY memorabilia auction in November 2014 saw two instantly recognizable items sell for over $3 million each. The piano from the movie classic Casablanca, sold for $3.413 million followed closely at $3.077 million by the Cowardly Lion costume from The Wizard of OZ.
The famous costume was previously owned by James Comisar. The Comisar Collection owns more historic TV memorabilia than any collection in the world including that at the Smithsonian. Items range from a full Superman costume, to Spock’s ears, to the complete set from Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show.”
Probably the sixth most valuable piece(s) of movie and TV memorabilia are one of the pairs of the Ruby Red Slippers worn by Judy Garland in The Wizard of OZ. Offered at a 2011 auction with a starting price of $2 million, they failed to garner an acceptable bid.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science subsequently purchased the shoes for an undisclosed price with the help of Leonardo DiCaprio and other benefactors. Another pair of the slippers are in the Smithsonian.
Personal items of stars also sell for a premium, although often significantly less than their famous movie props. On March 31 and April 1st at Bonhams NY, Lauren Bacall fans will be able to bid on more than 700 personal keepsakes from her Dakota apartment including jewelry and art work.
The entry fee is the purchase of a $50 catalog. If you go, keep an eye on her Jean Schlumberger bracelets which Bacall was photographed wearing in many venues including, the Johnny Carson Show. [ Editors Update: The two day Bacall auction brought out 1,500 bidders and brought in $3.6 million]
Most Famous Memorabilia
New York radio and TV personality, Joe Franklin, who recently passed away, made a career out of memorabilia and nostalgia, his favorite emotion. He started in the 1950’s with a radio program Vaudeville Isn’t Dead. In the 1960’s he introduced the TV show Memory Lane, “that late night stroll for nostalgiac and memorabilliacs.” Franklin’s own collections include 10,000 plus silent movies, 12,500 sheet music pieces, one of Greta Garbo’s shoes, a Jack Benny violin and Arthur Godfrey’s ukulele.
Sofia Storage Stores Memorabilia
Sofia Storage Spokesperson – Arthur Godfrey
Arthur Godfrey also a collector, was the number one radio and television personality in the country in the 1950’s and early ’60’s. He would not select a sponsor unless he believed in its products. His audience trusted him more than any other announcer as evidenced by the often heard and printed quote “If Godfrey said it, it must be so.”
One of Mr. Godfrey’s sponsors was Sofia Brothers Moving & Storage, founded in 1910. On the bottom of the framed photograph, Mr. Godfrey presented to Sofia Brothers, he wrote “For Ted & Jack Sofia, with best wishes, Arthur Godfrey.” Sofia Storage has kept the personalized, autographed photo in its history and memorabilia archive at the Sofia Storage Center located at 475 Amsterdam Avenue, NYC.
Call a Sofia Storage representative today at (212) 873-3600 for your storage needs.