Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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    Sunday, September 3rd, 2023

    This 1954 oil painting of the American jazz musician Miles Davis by James Dean – who died in a car accident the following year – will come up at Julien’s Hollywood Legends sale on September 6, 7 and 8. It is from a collection of more than 300 lots from the career collection of Easy Rider star Denis Hopper as actor, director and artist. There are only four known paintings by James Dean, the iconic star of classic films like East of Eden, Rebel Without a Cause and Giant.   This one is estimated at $10,000-$20,000 (€9,178-€18,356).  Hopper’s collection includes a vintage three piece outfit worn by Michelle Phillips of The Mamas and the Papas. They met on the set of his 1971 film The Last Movie and married soon after in a union that lasted only eight days.


    Sunday, August 13th, 2023
     Handwritten manuscript working  lyrics to We are the Champions. UPDATE: THESE SOLD FOR £317,500

    Freddie Mercury’s baby grand, the matched wedding rings of Bogie and  Bacall, a first edition of The Great Gatsby from the collection of Charlie Watts and Sir Roger Moore’s Lamborghini skis are among an extraordinary collection of celebrity stuff soon to come up at blockbuster sales in London and Hollywood. Collectibles like these are big business.  With fans everywhere and global auction access online the business is growing exponentially.

    A c1905 Art Nouveau glass vase lamp from the collection of Freddie Mercury. UPDATE: THIS MADE £22,860

    Right now every inch of Sotheby’s 16,000  gallery space at New Bond St. in London is given over to a free exhibition of the world of Freddie Mercury in advance of three auctions on September 6, 7 and 8.  Online Mercury sales already underway will run to September 11, 12 and 13.  On offer are costumes, hand written lyrics, drawings, furniture, decorative and fine art that were part of his life at his London home, Garden Lodge in Kensington.The centre piece of the exhibition is his treasured Yamaha G2 Baby Grand.  More than a decade of hits, from Bohemian Rhapsody to Barcelona, were composed on this treasured piano.  Always kept in pristine condition it is estimated at £2 million – £3 million.  There are handwritten working lyrics for Bohemian Rhapsody, Don’t Stop Me Now and Somebody to Love, costumes relating to promotional videos including a two piece stage outfit comprising catsuit and bolero of ivory satin with winged wrists and lower legs inspired by the God Mercury.

     Henri Matisse – Masque Blanc sur Fond Noir from the collection of Freddie Mercury. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £30,480

    Freddie Mercury was a discriminating collector who loved going to auctions.  In 1980 he acquired Garden Lodge, a Georgian style brick villa, and set about creating a home that was both grand and intimate, richly furnished and entirely of his own making. The auction will include art by Matisse, James Tissot, Picasso and Utagawa Hiroshige, Victorian paintings and works on paper, the finest examples of the glass makers art, exceptional fabrics and fine works collected on trips to Japan.  All are on view at Sotheby’s in an exhibition that will close on September 5, the day that would have been Freddie Mercury’s 77th birthday.

    The matching 14 carat gold wedding rings exchanged by Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall in May 1945 at Julien’s. UPDATE: THESE SOLD FOR $190,500

    Iconic objects from some of Hollywood’s greatest legends will come up at a sale by Turner Classic Movies and Julien’s Auctions on September 6, 7 and 8.  There is everything from dresses worn by Princess Diana and Audrey Hepburn to a slave costume worn by Princess Leia in Star Wars, Captain Kirk’s Star Fleet command jacket and the 1945 wedding rings of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. James Bond, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Back to the Future and Batman will all feature in a sale celebrating 100 years of Warner Brothers.

    A library of First Edition classics and landmarks from the world of jazz will come up at Christie’s sale of the collection of Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts (1941-2021).  The sale is led by a first edition of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby inscribed by the author to the original Gatsby of the story. There are iconic works of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle alongside the best of English and American literature of the 20th century. Charlie Watts: Gentleman, Collector, Rolling Stone will take place in London on September 28.  An online sale will run from September 15-29.  Meantime Bonhams will offer 180 lots from the personal collection of Bond actor and UNICEF ambassador Sir Roger Moore (1927-2017) in London on October 4.  This marks the 50th anniversary year of his first appearance as 007.  There is Bond memorabilia like dinner suits and jackets, collectibles like a Hollywood Walk of Fame plaque and personal items like silk ties and cravats along with a pair of his Lamborghini skis.


    Tuesday, August 1st, 2023
    Audrey Hepburn’s flamingo pink embellished silk-organza Givenchy dress from her iconic role as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR $444,500

    Legends: Hollywood and Royalty is hardly an understated title for Julien’s auction celebrating 100 years of Warner Brothers in Beverly Hills on September 6, 7 and 8. The greatest legends of the silver screen will feature alongside evening gowns worn by Princess Diana. Among more than 1,400 lots are matching wedding rings from Bogie and Bacall, Princess Leia’s slave costume from Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, a Captain Kirk Starfleet command jacket from from Star Trek, over a dozen Harry Potter prop wands, Blade Runner props from Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling, a Back to the Future hoverboard prop and an array of spectacular one of a kind production artefacts. Hebburn’s dress illustrated here is estimated at $200,000-$400,000.


    Wednesday, June 21st, 2023
    A set of five Lemon & Son brand sterling silver engraved Kentucky Derby jockey trophies won by legendary horse jockey Bill Hartack. UPDATE: THESE SOLD FOR $317,500

    An exceptional lineup of nearly 900 sports artefacts will come up at Julien’s live and online sports legends sale in Beverly Hills on June 23, 24 and 25. Lots on offer span the worlds of basketball, soccer, baseball, hockey, football, tennis, golf, the Olympics and beyond from sports legends like Pelé, Kobe Bryant, Floyd Mayweather, Diego Maradona, Babe Ruth and Rafael Nadal. Historic items of exceptional provenance from the greatest basketball player of all time Michael Jordan will be offered to benefit the James R. Jordan Foundation International, including the Michael Jordan signed and worn commemorative 1992 “Dream Team” USA jersey ($400,000-$600,000) and his 1982 commemorative signed North Carolina Tar Heels training jersey ($80,000-$100,000). The James R. Jordan Foundation International provides a pathway out of poverty by empowering youth and strengthening families through education and partnerships so they can become successful human beings and productive contributors to society. The Bill Hartack trophies illustrated here come up as lot 828 with an estimate of $300,000-$500,000.


    Wednesday, April 5th, 2023

    The custom-made white suit worn by John Travolta in his Academy Award nominated role as Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever comes up at Julien’s Auctions in Hollywood this month. Julien’s and Turner Classic Movies will offer a collection of over 1,400 iconic items from more than 100 years of pop culture history in “Hollywood: Classic & Contemporary”, on April 22 and 23 in Beverly Hills and online. “From John Travolta’s Saturday Night Fever suit to Indiana Jones’ machete to a rare headdress from the lost 1917 Cleopatra film to the largest collection of Harry Potter wands, this auction honors Hollywood’s greatest artistic achievements across all eras and genres and offers something for every fan and collector” Martin Nolan of Julien’s said.


    Friday, March 31st, 2023
    Banksy – Brace Yuorself!

    A large-scale painting of a grim reaper figure riding in a carnival bumper car by Banksy entitled “Brace Yourself!” sold for $2,032,000 – over three times its original estimate of $600,000 – at Julien’s Auctions in Hollywood. It was the first time the work came to auction. The buyer was Miguel Garcia Larios, owner of vintage specialist RCNSTRCT Studio in Hollywhood. Banksy created the artwork in 2010 for a local British band known as “Exit Through the Gift Shop,” who shared the same name the artist wanted to use for his about to be released 2010 directorial debut film. To avoid any copyright issues, the band agreed to Banksy’s offer to create a unique painting for the group if they were to change their name to “Brace Yourself!” According to the original email correspondence, Banksy humorously offered to paint a smiley face on Death if the band felt the imagery was too dark. A portion of the proceeds from the sale will benefit MusiCares® the music charity.


    Tuesday, November 1st, 2022

    Never mind phoning home, now you can bring E.T. home if you have the bucks. The Extra Terrestrial Hero “#1” Mechatronic filming model “actor” that brought the eponymous character to life in Steven Spielberg’s 1982 classic comes up at Julien’s Icons and Idols sale in Hollywood on December 16 and 17. The estimate is $1 million – $2 million.  Pre-dating modern CGI technology and effects, this one-of-a-kind cinematographic relic (constructed in 1981) features 85 points of movement and is regarded as an engineering masterpiece. It was created by “The Father of E.T.,” Carlo Rambaldi, an Italian special effects master, designer and mechatronics expert best known for his work on King Kong (Paramount Pictures, 1976), Alien (20th Century Fox, 1979), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Columbia Pictures, 1977), Dune (Universal Pictures/DDL Corp. 1984), and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.

    There are dresses worn by Marilyn Monroe, an original staff carried by Charlton Heston as Moses in the 1956 epic The Ten Commandments, an original Nimbus 2000 broom used by actor Daniel Radcliffe from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, two duelling light sabres from Star Wars, Daniel Crag’s bathing suit from Skyfall and wardrobe pieces from the lives and careers of Elizabeth Taylor, Doris Day, Barbra Streisand, Liza Minelli, Phyllis Diller, Jane Russell, Greta Garbo, Bette Midler and Olivia Newton-John.


    Sunday, July 31st, 2022
    Meyer Lansky’s Medal of Freedom. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR $44,800

    IF the weather is fine this upcoming August Bank Holiday Monday and the beach is mobbed an alternative more infamous mob that might appeal to some collectors is available.  Hundreds of artefacts used by some of the most notorious American crime bosses of the 20th century will come under the hammer live and online at Julien’s Auctions on Sunday August 28. Personal items from American organised crime figures who have so fascinated the public for nearly a century that they are practically household names are included.

    Al Capone, Ben “Bugsy” Siegel, Meyer “Little Man” Lansky, Tony “The Ant” Spilotro, “Irish” Mickey Cohen (a New York jew!), Sam “MoMo” Giancana and Charlie “Lucky” Luciano all feature through jewellery, correspondence, firearms, home movies and hand written notebooks.”The Mob: A History of Organized Crime’s Artifacts” features a collection of items from Jay Bloom, founder of the Las Vegas Mob Experience at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino.

    A letter from Al Capone handwritten in Alcatraz to his son “Sonny” is a highlight estimated at $30,000-$50,000 (€29,370-€48,950).  In it he details his experiences at the notorious island prison, reports that he learned to play the mandola and expressed how he looked forward to being re-united with his family in less than a year.There is a collection of home movies and camera equipment belonging to Tony Spilotro, a notable figure of the Chicago Outfit of organised crime in Las Vegas during the 1970’s and ’80’s.  Spilotro served as the inspiration for Joe Pesci’s character in Martin Scorsese’s 1995 film Casino.Something for the moll in your life?  A pair of mobster style  diamond stud earrings that belonged to Virginia Hill are on offer with an estimate of $3,000-$5,000 (€2,940-€4,890). This gangster moll began her career as a courier for the Chicago Outfit and eventually directed smuggling operations, collected intel on rival factions and had a relationship with Bugsy Siegel. If you are of a superstitious turn of mind beware.  He was ultimately assassinated at her home in Beverly Hills.”Irish” Mickey Cohen’s black Spartan boxing gloves are estimated at $10,000-$20,000 (€9,790-€19,580). Born in 1913 he spent time in his teens participating in illegal prizefights and began his life as a career criminal in 1933 in Cleveland.  There he worked  for Desert Inn Casino investor Lou Rothkopf, whose association with Meyer Lansky and Bugsy Siegel resulted in Cohen being sent to California where he became one of America’s most notorious gangsters. Among his famous quotes are:  “All good things must one day be burnt to the ground for the insurance money” and “I have killed no men that, in the first place, didn’t deserve killing”.

    The collection from The Mob’s accountant Meyer Lansky includes four handwritten notebooks telling his story in his own words ($50,000-$70,000 – €48,950-€68,530) and the Medal of Freedom ($40,000-$60,000 – €39,160-€58,740) he was awarded by President Truman in 1945 for his role in Operation Husky during the Second World War.All wars make strange bedfellows. In an unlikely partnership between organised crime groups and the Office of Naval Intelligence Meyer Lansky and Lucky Luciano were able to assist the US government in the war effort during the Second World War.  In fact their contacts with the Sicilian Mafia helped facilitate the Allied invasion of Sicily.  Through their good offices Calogero Vizzini of the Sicilian mafia led the forces through a difficult mountain pass, provided harbour maps, contacts and assisted in taking out snipers.

    The sale includes Bugsy Siegel’s Smith and Wesson .38 CTG revolver ($20,000-$30,000 – €19,580-€29,370), the only known handgun belonging to the Las Vegas Strip kingpin and National Crime Syndicate mobster.  Meyer Lansky’s bow tie collection is more modestly estimated at $3,000-$5,000 (€2,940-€4,890).The lots on offer in an unusual auction certain to attract a global following chronicle the rise and fall of an era which continues to grip the imagination through films inspired by Mafia folklore and history like The Godfather and Goodfellas.

    Al Capone’s letter to his son written in Alcatraz. UPDATE: THIS MADE $44,800


    Thursday, May 12th, 2022
    Kurt Cobain “Smells like Teen Spirit” Fender Mustang guitar. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR  $4.5 million

    Kurt Cobain’s Fender Mustang electric guitar, Madonna’s Material Girl dress inspired by Marilyn Monroe, the original drum kit used in the pre-Beatle group The Quarrymen and Bruce Springsteen’s handwritten lyrics for “Born to Run” are all due to come under the hammer this month. Popular culture is big business – and in our global village auction houses are cashing in on the big time. Julien’s Auctions, conveniently located in Hollywood, leads the charge. Their Music Icons sale live and online from the Hard Rock Cafe in New York on May 20, 21 and 22 offers dedicated fans of all ages a heady mix. For the information of us non specialists the Quarrymen was formed by John Lennon in Liverpool in 1956 as a skiffle rock and roll group.  Ultimately it evolved into the Beatles.  Another lot sure to attract attention from around the world is a single sheet of handwritten lyrics by Bruce Springsteen for Glory Road, later re-named Born to Run. Kurt Cobain’s legendary blue “Smells Like Teen Spirit” music video 1969 Fender Mustang electric guitar will appeal to a different generation.

    Madonna’s Material Girl dress  UPDATE: THE COMPLETE ENSEMBLE SOLD FOR $287,500


    Monday, April 11th, 2022

    Property from the life and eight decade spanning career of legendary actress Betty White comes up live and online at Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills on September 23, 24 and 25. On offer is a collection of over 1,500 lots featuring awards, scripts, wardrobe and memorabilia from iconic television shows and films, as well as furnishings, artwork, fine jewellery, household and personal items from her homes in Brentwood and Carmel, California. Irish fans of the actress who died just short of her 100th birthday last December 31 will have a chance to see the collection at the Museum of Style Icons at Newbridge, Co. Kildare from August 1 to September 11.

    Highlights include White’s original director chair from The Golden Girls set; the first draft script, a production script used for the finale of the series signed by Betty White, Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan and Estelle Getty, a large number of production scripts from The Mary Tyler Moore Show, a goodbye plaque from the cast and crew of The Betty White Show and numerous awards and nomination certificates including Emmy award nomination certificates for The Golden Girls, Saturday Night Live and Hot in Cleveland.

    UPDATE: THIS WAS A WHITE GLOVE AUCTION IN WHICH EVERY LOT SOLD. A director’s chair used by Betty White during the production of The Golden Girls sold for an incredible $76,800, seventy-six times its original estimate of $1,000.