Friday, December 6, 2013

Recent Auction Sales

Looking for something to buy this Christmas? Check out some of these auction items from the past year!

Judy Garland's WIZARD OF OZ Dress... Sold!
Judy Garland's WIZARD OF OZ dress.
The amount of $480,000 is a pretty penny to pay for a secondhand dress worn by a Kansas farm girl, but this one is pretty special. The famed blue gingham dress worn by Judy Garland’s Dorthy Gale in The Wizard of Oz fetched that price during a two-day event at Julien’s Auctions Beverly Hills Gallery that featured bids coming in by phone from throughout the world. Garland’s dress wasn’t the only iconic costume sold. The dress Julie Andrews wore in The Sound of Music brought $38,400, and a purple skirt worn by Marilyn Monroe during the Canadian filming of River of No Return sold for $50,000. Other Hollywood memorabilia auctioned included Steve McQueen’s racing jacket, which went for $50,000, and John Belushi's sunglasses from The Blues Brothers, which brought in $16,640. For those of you who don't like Johnny Depp or believe he's overrated... the glasses worn by Johnny Depp in Dark Shadows brought in $3,250. Another version of Garland’s Oz dress, which was blue and cotton and never appeared in the finished film, fetched $910,000 in June 2011 at the Profiles in History auction in Calabasas, Calif. The actress wore that dress during the first two weeks of filming before they reshot those scenes.

Fake Babe Ruth baseball mitt.
Beware of Ebay Scammers
A California man pleaded guilty in a Manhattan federal courtroom in June 2012 for trying to sell a baseball glove he falsely claimed was once owned by Yankees legend Babe Ruth for $200,000. "I sold a baseball glove and falsely claimed it was Babe Ruth’s," Irving Scheib, age 50, told U.S. District Judge Robert Patterson. "I feel horrible about it, Your Honor, but those are the facts." Scheib bought an authentic 19th century baseball glove on eBay for $750, then turned around and tried to resell it for $200,000, starting in January. To entice buyers, Scheib wrote a fake handwritten note he said was from Ruth and concocted an elaborate story about the glove that made it appear to have been one of the Bambino's treasured possessions

The fake document was then sent to an individual interested in purchasing the glove (the buyer). After paying for the glove, the buyer asked Scheib to notarize one of the letters attesting to the glove's provenance that was signed by Scheib and purportedly signed by Scheib's wife, who is Robert Young's granddaughter. Scheib refused to do so ad the buyer promptly returned the glove.

Scheib then tried to con another man by alleging that Babe Ruth owned the glove. But this potential buyer turned out to be an investigator for the U.S. Attorney's Office. In addition to probation, the judge ordered Scheib to pay a $25,000 fine. He also agreed to forfeit the glove to the United States.

Martin Luther King Audio Tape
Stephon Tull was going through his attic, cleaning it out, when he stumbled on a box formerly owned by his father, a Chattanooga insurance salesman. A rare reel-to-reel tape consisting of a interview his father had with Martin Luther King, Jr., dated December 21, 1960. For ten minutes King discussed the topic of civil rights and the movement and a recent trip to Africa. It seems Stephon's father had plans to write a book about King but was never completed. Made four years before the Civil Rights Act, the tape was put up for auction earlier this year.

Clayborne Carson, a history professor and head of the Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University in California, told CNN it was difficult to discern immediately the tape's historical significance from the thousands of interviews King conducted during his life. "What is interesting about this is rather than just a transcript, you can hear his voice," Carson said.

Courtesy of the Associated Press with permission.

$20,000 Buys You a Piece of WWII History
If you had $20,000 loose change in the sofa, you could have owned a piece of WWII history. A naval cable signaling the end of the war against Japan was sold on auction. The cable was on a piece of paper, 8 inches by 6 inches, a dispatch from President Harry S. Truman's Navy Secretary to Rear Admiral Francis Denebrink (the commander of the Pacific sub fleet aboard the U.S.S. Holland) and read: "All hands of the United States Navy, Marine Corpse and Coast Guard may take satisfaction in the conclusion of the war against Japan." Bob York, age 65, sold the dispatch formerly owned by his father, Robert W. York, a WWII veteran who was on the U.S.S. Holland on August 15, 1945. It was a prized possession of his father's but since the veteran recently passed away, his son put it up for auction and the winning bid was $20,000. 

Pieces of the Dead Sea Scrolls for Sale
In 1947, a Bedouin shepherd threw a stone into a dark cave along the Dead Sea east of Jerusalem and heard the sound of something breaking. Inside, he found clay jars, some of them with rolled-up scrolls inside. He and some companions ended up finding seven scrolls -- the Dead Sea Scrolls -- one of the greatest archaeological finds of the 20th Century. These were the world's oldest biblical manuscripts, and the Bedouins who found them sold three to a Hebrew University professor and four to William Kando, a Christian cobbler.

The Kando family ended up selling most of the scrolls to scholars and institutions, but Mr. Kando's son still has fragments that he's kept in a Swiss safe deposit box for years that he recently decided to make for sale. Most of the fragments are barely the size of a postage stamp, and some are blank, with no writing on them at all. But there is still keen interest from many evangelical Christian collectors and institutions in the U.S. The reason Kando is selling on the down-low is that Israel wants the scraps to be recognized as Israeli cultural property. But money talks, doesn't it?

Jackie Robinson's Baseball Glove for Sale
The baseball glove believed worn by Jackie Robinson during the 1955 and 1956 World Series sold for $373,002 in an auction that ended June 3 by Steiner Sports, based in New York. It was not the most ever paid for a baseball glove at an auction. That honor goes to the mitt advertised as the last one used by Lou Gehrig; it fetched $387,500 at Sotheby's in 1999.

An aerial view of Bob Hope's house.
Bob Hope's House for Sale
A known fact that Bob Hope invested his money in real estate led to a startling revelation: at one point he was one of California's largest individual property holders, owning some 10,000 acres in the San Fernando Valley alone. Now his home in a San Fernando valley walnut grove, first built in 1939, is up for sale... the asking price is $27.5 million. The 5.16 acre Toluca Lake estate was expanded on over the years to fit Bob Hope's needs, hobbies and family. In the surrounding area, zip codes, Beverly Hills, Studio City, Encino, Holmby Hills and Sherman Oaks, there are supposedly only 22 properties that have more than 5 acres so anyone wanting a lot of land in California needs to look no further than Bob Hope's private residence. There are a number of personal mementos that come with the house, catered to Hope, including the letter 'H' on the giant iron gate. Six bedrooms, seven bathrooms and an indoor and outdoor swimming pool.