Amazing Authentic Elvis Items Up For Auction!

The upcoming Auction At Graceland includes a special section of early Elvis merchandising memorabilia from various owners and includes rare items from the collection of Darlene Parker Tafua, daughter of Ed and Leilani Parker. (Ed Parker was a martial artist who ran the Kenpo Karate Studio in Pasadena, California; Parker trained Elvis Presley along with other stunt men and celebrities.)

rare 1970 promotional photo been signed by Elvis

Among the standout Elvis items are signed items — my favorite is the autographed cocktail napkin from the Thunderbird Hotel.

elvis auto on vintage Thunderbird Hotel Cocktail Napkin Vegas

And how about the original receipt for Elvis and Priscilla’s Wedding at the Aladdin Hotel in Vegas?

It was quite the shindig! More than $10,000 in charges for the chartered flight, the limos, the judge, the champagne, the fruit baskets, the security (of course), the musicians, the gloves and the floral arrangements. No expense was spared by Elvis for his blushing bride Priscilla and their guests, who assumed two suites and 21 rooms at the Aladdin. The bill was sent to the William Morris Agency in Beverly Hills and this copy to Colonel Parker at MGM Studios. We know this because of the included (and formerly paper-clipped) note concerning possibly being double-charged for the private jet flight. It is written in pencil and reads: “Jim: – Is this in order to pay – How about the plane chg [charge]? Remember pmt [payment] to Lear Jet in amt [amount] of 1774.50 – Please call me Pattie.” Accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Graceland Authenticated. Each page measures approximately 10 by 6 1/2 inches (25.4 x 16.51 cm).

vintage receipt for elvis wedding vegas aladdin ephemera

But perhaps my absolute favorite is the jacket Elvis Presley wore in Viva Las Vegas in that dance scene with Ann-Margret. Hot!

Elvis Presley Jacket from the Viva Las Vegas Dance Scene with Ann-Margret

elvis and Ann-Margret dance in Viva Las Vegas

This Elvis auction is held by Invaluable (formerly Artfact):

Elvis touched the hearts and lives of fans across the globe, and our goal for the Elvis Week 2015 Auction at Graceland was to include artifacts from across the spectrum of collecting, including items owned by Elvis, gifted by Elvis, written by Elvis, used by Elvis and created to promote the king and his career.

This Elvis auction starts at 7:00 PM CST on August 13, 2015; online bidding is available.

Fiddle-Dee-Dee! Frankly, My Dear, We Do Give A Damn!

The biggest sale of Gone With the Wind memorabilia ever is set for next month, with more than 150 lots from the classic film will go under the hammer at Heritage Auctions.

The collection was assembled by Jim Tumblin, who spent 22 years working at the Universal Studios hair and make-up department. The collection began in the 1960s, when Tumblin spotted a dress while doing some research at Western Costume.

“I saw this dress on the floor and a docent told me not to bother to pick it up, because they were throwing it away,” he said.

“I asked if he would sell it to me. I had noticed there was a printed label saying Selznick International Pictures and ‘Scarlett production dress’ was written in ink.”

Tumblin got the dress for $20 — and now bidding for the dress worn by Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara will start at $60,000.

gone with the wind dress up for auction

The entire collection is estimated to go as high as $1 million.

The auction takes place Saturday, April 18, 2015, in Beverly Hills. Online bidding ends April 17th.

Wes Cowan’s Personal Antique Stereoview Collection Up For Auction

When hubby & I met Wes Cowan, one of the things we learned about him was that he was an avid collector of antique photographs. He began collecting them as a child and within 15 years, he’d amassed what was, at the time, the best collection of Frank Jay Haynes photographs & stereoviews. (Stereoviews are those cards with side-by-side photographs on them which, when placed in a viewer, appear three-dimensional; see stereoscopy.) Cowan, somewhat painfully, sold many of them to start his auction business, Cowan’s Auctions. But he didn’t quite stop collecting them either…

However, now Cowan has announced that his entire stereoview collection is going up for auction — including some by Frank Jay Haynes.

antique f jay haynes stereoviews cowans auctions

Frank J. Haynes, aka F. Jay Haynes or the Professor, was the Michigan native who started his photographic business in Moorhead, Minnesota, and is likely known by most for his work with Northern Pacific Railway and his photographs of Yellowstone.

The Cowan collection, a total of 249 lots, features many other antique images of historical value.

civil war death stereoview

antique african american slave black americana stereoviews

Along with one of the earliest known images of Buffalo Bill (holding a Creedmoor long range rifle), there are numerous Civil War era images, antique photographs of Native Americans, Black Americana slavery photos, and many other historical images.

American Indians antique photos Chief Jacob, Nez Perce, with Missionary Henry H. Spalding, Fort Lapwai, Idaho Territory

early antique buffalo bill photographs

The bidding began March 13, 2015, and closes at noon EST on Monday, March 30, 2015. You can view lots as well as bid online here.

Salvaged Antique Church Fixtures and Furnishings

This past July, a fire broke-out in the historic St. John’s Lutheran Church on the grounds of Bonanzaville in West Fargo, North Dakota. Bonanzaville, a pioneer village with 12 acres, 43 historic buildings, 400,000 artifacts, “and millions of memories” is operated by the Cass County Historical Society. The church was not only a preserved historical building, but it still served as a place for many weddings. After the fire, pieces were salvaged from the church and they, along with hundreds of other items deaccessioned from the collections, were auctioned off to raise funds for the organization — including bringing in a new-but-old church to Bonanzaville.

Hubby and I attended the auction yesterday and stood among all the others in the cold morning air. (It was so cold, objects had frost on them!) We did purchase a number of things (Stay tuned here — and here — for more details!), but we didn’t purchase anything from the church. We did, however, take lots of photos. You can view them below. (Photos of other items from this auction can be seen here, here, here, here, and here.)

6 Very Cool Items From The Auction At Graceland

The first-ever Auction at Elvis’ Graceland is taking place August 14, at 7:00 p.m. at the Graceland Archive Studio — and online.

While none of the 72 items are from the official Graceland collection (the collection, Graceland Archives, etc. continue to be owned by Lisa Marie Presley and are not for sale), there are some very cool items.

This auction includes Elvis’ own copy of the original movie script for Love Me Tender. Love Me Tender (with Debra Paget and Richard Egan) was Elvis’ first movie. Originally, the role was a small one; but the part was revised to accommodate the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s rabid fan base.

love me tender movie script elvis copy

Book lovers as well as Elvis Presley fans will like the library card. This library card from Tupelo has one of the earliest known signatures of Elvis. The signature is so early, that even the Graceland Archives has none pre-dating it — and the auction lot includes a letter from the Graceland Archives stating that the archives has no full Elvis Presley signature pre-dating the one on the library card.

elvis presley library card signed

Speaking of kings… This 18-karat gold lion’s head (with two emerald eyes, a ruby mouth, and diamond eyebrows whiskers) was designed specifically for Elvis. It is one of those pendant-brooch jewelry pieces. Elvis wore it as a pendant for his meeting with President Nixon, among other places.

the king's lion pendant

And what king doesn’t need a throne? This “Gold Throne” chair was used by Elvis in his dining room at Graceland. (I am more partial to this chair myself.)

elvis presleys gold throne chair

Of course, when it comes to Elvis, it’s mainly about the music. So why not grab his Martin D-28 guitar?

elvis Martin D-28 guitar

Looking for something bigger? The 1977 burgundy and silver Cadillac Seville V8 automatic being offered was not only the last Cadillac Elvis purchased for his personal use, but the very vehicle driven by Elvis himself on the day prior to his death.

elvis 1977 Cadillac Seville

Elvis fans and collectors can register & bid online online here.

1870s Horse Race bank could top $50K at Morphy’s, May 3

See on Scoop.itAntiques & Vintage Collectibles

DENVER, Pa. – Toys, banks, robots and trains are always in demand at Morphy’s, and as any number of their regular bidders would attest, there’s

Deanna Dahlsad‘s insight:

The box is nearly as cool as the toy!

See on www.auctioncentralnews.com

EBay Says “Win Big With Collectibles”

Among the steps eBay is taking to try to bring back their antiques and collectibles presence, is a new series of Collector Events:

Discover another world of shopping — with items from around the world. Exclusive selection and value on art, antiques, memorabilia, coins, stamps, and more.

Those who subscribe to receive event digests, sale and promotion alerts, etc. will be entered in contest to win a $2,500 (PayPal transfer) and other prizes. Interestingly, the information sent along in the email I received March 30 (2014) about the sweepstakes listed events that would end that day already. To me, that says the Collector Event series isn’t going as well as they’d like.

ebay collector events sweepstakes

Add to that, the fact that the eBay affiliate program is also pushing collectibles, and I think this rat senses a ship in trouble. I’m not saying that eBay’s a sinking ship; but they may have waited far too long to address an issue that collectors and dealers, buyers and sellers, have been screaming about for years now. EBay says, “Win big with collectibles” — but did eBay already lose collectors?

FYI, below are the categories that eBay has designated at “collectibles” at least in terms of their affiliate program. (The number in parenthesis is the eBay category number; see how the collectibles category is number one — it’s what eBay was built on.) And note how vintage clothing is not considered part of the collectibles categories.

EBay sweepstakes fine print:

No purchase necessary. Void in Puerto Rico and where prohibited. Sweepstakes begins at 12:00:00 AM PT on March 30, 2014, and ends 11:59:59 AM PT on April 13, 2014. Open to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia, who are 18 years of age or older, and who are physically located and reside in the United States of District of Columbia, who are registered members of www.ebay.com at the time of entry. For Official Rules, click here.

This auction includes some of the coolest movie props in history

On December 21st, hundreds of movie props spanning the silent era through today’s blockbusters will auctioned off by Profiles in History. And these aren’t random odds and ends left behind on a set; they’re one-of-a-kind pieces of film history that will demand top dollar from collectors.

See on www.theverge.com

Lessons From The Maltese Falcon

You may have read the news about the titular movie prop from film noir classic The Maltese Falcon (1941) going up for auction — expected to fetch $1.5 million. The 50 pound falcon statue is valuable not only to those who love film or who are fans of Humphrey Bogart and Mary Astor, but to art lovers as well, for the prop was created by Fred Sexton.

The Maltese Falcon statuette

Guernsey’s, the auction house behind the auction at New York City’s Arader Galleries, provides quite a lengthy piece on authentication of the film prop, which begins with this basic story:

The story of the Maltese Falcon statuette begins the same year the movie was filmed – 1941 – when Huston hired Los Angeles-based artist Fred Sexton to sculpt the prop for his directorial debut. Huston and Sexton were high school classmates and close friends, and the film director collected many of Sexton’s paintings.

In an on-camera interview with Vivian Sobchack in August 2013, Sexton’s daughter, Michele Fortier, discussed her father’s distinctive and familiar signature, and described her childhood experiences amongst Hollywood’s early elite and on movie sets.

Hank Risan owns two authenticated Maltese Falcon statuettes from the 1941 film production that bear Fred Sexton’s distinctive “F.S.” markings and they are widely regarded as two of the most valuable film props in the history of cinema. In 2004, UCLA Professor Richard Walter, a court-approved expert appraiser, supported the high valuations in an eloquent comparison to another highly-prized film prop: one of four pairs of ruby red slippers worn by Judy Garland in the iconic Wizard of Oz, which sold for $666,000 in 2001. “But whatever the slippers’ value,” Professor Walter wrote, “it has to be less than that of the falcons because the slippers are merely one prop, albeit an important one in the movie. The falcons on the other hand are the namesake props that define the picture itself. It is significant in the extreme that in addition to being important props they are also the title of the film.”

“Life imitates art,” stated Mr. Risan. “What’s amazing is that in the film Spade and Gutman discuss the value of the falcon in similar terms. The rara avis has a unique backstory as compelling off-screen as in the film. The black birds are truly objects d’art.”

However, in the auction held today, The Maltese Falcon did not fetch the predicted million dollars or more — in fact, it didn’t sell at all.

The official language for that is “passed” and it happens when the reserve price is not met. While the reserve may have been set too high, this can happen simply because everyone thought everyone else would be bidding and so they assumed they wouldn’t get it. Auctions are rather like elections that way; people stay home thinking everyone else is going to take care of business. But, be it auction or election, those who care ought to show up.

It remains to be seen how long it will take for this Maltese Falcon to show up at auction again.

Antique Campbell’s Soup advertisng tin sign expected to reach $40,000-$60,000

The lifetime collection of Don and Diane Sayrizi – advanced collectors in many categories, but especially antique advertising – plus consignments from over 100 other advanced collectors from all over the country will be offered Oct. 4-6 by Showtime Auction Services, at the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds in Ann Arbor, located at 5055 Ann Arbor/Saline Road.


“By far this is the best collection of antique advertising we have ever had the privilege of selling,” said Mike Eckles of Showtime Auction Services, based in Woodhaven, Mich. “We’ve held big auctions in the past, many of which featured advertising items, but never like this. The antique signs, in particular, are highly desirable and would be fine additions to any collection.”

Lomasney Pop Film Art Poster Auction

The Lomasney Collection consists of over 800 hand-painted film posters originally displayed in the The Royal Hawaiian Theater in Honolulu. Painted in gouache on 44 by 28-inch artboard by artist John J. Lomasney (many incorporating actual studio film cells) these posters span over 50 years of cinematic history. The collection was acquired by tennis legend John McEnroe and displayed in his Soho, NYC gallery until McEnroe donated the collection to Lifebeat, Music Fights HIV/AIDS. The organization raises funds to support HIV prevention efforts by auctioning-off the pieces. The most recent offering is at Heritage Auctions, where bidding closes August 4, 2013 at 10:00 PM CT. Below are a few of the pieces up in the latest offering; however, the entire collection can be seen at Lomasneymovieart.com.

josephine baker lomasney JOHN J. LOMASNEY movie art poster sophia loren Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow Flight from Ashiya The Beatles Come Home 1964

Design Ideas: Auctioning a little house and library chairs

During her lifetime, Mary Griggs Burke, one of the most important private collectors of Japanese art in the world, kept an extra apartment on New York’s Upper East Side, right next door to another where she lived, for her beloved art objects. She died in December at age 96.

But one of her treasures remains at her historic summer estate in Cable, Wisconsin, which was donated to the Chequamegon National Forest. While small, for what it is, the historic cottage is not so portable.

The tiny home had been in Burke’s family since her father bought it in the early 20th century. It was used as a children’s playhouse and remains outfitted with child-sized furnishings. The historic prefabricated cottage will be auctioned by Leslie Hindman Auctioneers in Milwaukee on July 25.

…Also to be auctioned by Hindman on the same date are a selection of chairs designed by Charles and Ray Eames for Herman Miller, which were in use at Milwaukee’s East Side Library until it closed recently.

See on www.jsonline.com

Of Revolutionary War Items & Revolutionary Bidding

In Philadelphia, PA, Freeman’s auction house reports that “one great history lover” was dedicated to procuring every single item in yesterday’s Historic Muhlenberg Property from a Private Collection auction. The private collector, who wished to remain anonymous, was successful — spending $646,063 to ensure the entire collection would remain together and be added their own private collection of Revolutionary War materials.

This auction contained items from the Muhlenberg family, having descended through the family, which included an extensive archive representing the public and sometimes private lives of Pennsylvania’s leading German family from the period of the American Revolution through the Civil War.

The collection’s signature piece was The Grand Division of Color of the Eighth Virginia, a Regimental flag which descended in the family of the Regiment’s original commander, Peter Muhlenberg (1746-1807), the legendary “Fighting Parson”, who served in the Continental Army, as Colonel., Brigadier-General and finally as a Major-General. (His robe was featured on PBS’s History Detectives.)

The flag, which sold for $422,500, is cited in the 1849 biography, The Life of Major-General Peter Muhlenberg of the Revolutionary Army by descendant Henry Augustus Muhlenberg. (Henry Augustus Muhlenberg was the son of Henry Augustus Philip Muhlenberg and grandson of Henry Muhlenberg Jr. (1753-1815), General Peter’s brother.) The flag’s description reads as follows on pages 338-339:

The Eighth Virginia Regiment was generally known as the ‘German Regiment.’ By that name it is designated in the Orderly books of Generals Washington and Muhlenberg during the campaigns of 1777, 1778 and 1779….The regimental colour of this corps is still in the writer’s possession. It is made of plain salmon-coloured silk, with a broad fringe of the same, having a simple white scroll in the centre, upon which are inscribed the words, “VIII Virg(a) Reg(t)

Samuel M. “Beau” Freeman II, Freeman’s Chairman and specialist in Americana said, “Revolutionary battle flags are rare and those in private hands are almost unknown or only fragments have survived–this is an extraordinary discovery. Muhlenberg is a legendary hero of the Continental Army and this flag represents his Virginia regiment. This flag pre-dates the Tarleton Colors and may be the last remaining battle flag in private hands.”

Among the lots were hundreds of letters, including historical content concerning the political affairs of U.S. Congressman and diplomat Henry Augustus Phillip Muhlenberg, General Muhlenberg’s letters to his brothers about his military role, several letters from sitting presidents, and a document signed by Benjamin Franklin.

Called “especially illuminating” was the General Order and Brigade Order Book, kept by General Peter Muhlenberg’s orderly from May through November, 1777, a period that encompasses the battles of Brandywine and Germantown. That book set an auction record when it sold for $98,500.

As for the pieces from the Muhlenberg collection remaining together, Lisa Minardi, author of Pastors & Patriots: The Muhlenberg Family of Pennsylvania, Assistant Curator at Winterthur, and the president of The Speaker’s House (a preservation group that overseeing the restoration of Frederick Muhlenberg’s home), said it best. “This collector is my hero! It’s amazing that these items descended in the family and are now staying together in a single collection.”

Elvis Presely Memorabilia & Signature Auction

The Heritige Elvis Memorabilia Signature Auction will be held August 14, 2012, in Memphis — with online bidding ending at 10:00 PM Central Time the night before. Some of the rare items included in this auction are:

A sealed copy of a first pressing of Elvis’ first album (RCA LPM-1254, 1956), which contains Blue Suede Shoes. The auction estimate is $3,000 “and up”.

If you prefer something more intimate, there’s Elvis Presley’s signature on a Humes High School library card from 1948. The card proves then 13-year old boy who would become The King checked out a copy of The Courageous Heart: A Life of Andrew Jackson For Young Readers. The card was discovered years later by a Humes High librarian while clearing some old books from inventory and is offered with the copy of the book along with a COA from Richard Consola. Estimated value is $4,000 — and up.

For your wall, a hand-painted concert poster promoting the December 10th, 1954, performance at the Eagles Nest nightclub (located on Highway 78, outside of Memphis) which was previously owned by Los Angeles KRTH-FM (101.1) disc jockey and Elvis aficionado, Brian Beirne. (The vintage concert poster is also signed by Scotty Moore and D.J. Fontana.) Auction estimate is at least $30,000.

There’s also a 1934 National Style “O” Model Resonator Guitar (Serial Number S5245) played and signed by Elvis Presely:

A 1950s Country & Western band from Harrisville, Rhode Island, named Uncle Jim and the Westones sometimes played gigs at county fairs in Tennessee, appearing on the same bill with a young upstart named Elvis Presley who occasionally sat in with them. After an occasion where Elvis played this very same resonator guitar, he signed it for its owner, Westones leader Jim Riley. The signature is between the slots on the headstock of this beautiful, original instrument. Presley apparently used a blue ballpoint pen and he pressed down hard enough to break though the varnish and leave a deep, permanent impression into the wood. Careful viewing shows much of the blue ink remaining.

Auction estimate on the guitar is $5,000 and up.

If you’re a movie Elvis fan, there’s an early Elvis Presley signed motion picture contract dated March 5, 1956:

Two pages, mimeographed copies of the original typed document, dated “March 5, 1956,” outlining the agreement Hal B. Wallis and Joseph H. Hazen of Paramount Studios made with the then 21 year old Presley as he was embarking on his film career; eleven ‘boiler plate’ points are listed, including salary [“First yearly period $15,000 / Second yearly period $25,000,” etc.], transportation [“You agree to furnish me with round-trip first class transportation to Hollywood and to allow me $50.00 a day expenses…”], and other like terms; signed on the second page in blue ballpoint ink “Elvis Presley” and in blue and black fountain pen ink by the two producers; this document was likely a file copy as it’s mimeographed, though all signatures are actual ink on paper. 11″ x 8.5″. COA from Rich Consola. Estimate: $8,000 – up.

If iconic American moments are your thing, how about the suit Sonny West, Elvis’ friend and personal bodyguard, wore during that historic meeting between Elvis and President Nixon in 1970? It may not be Elvis’, but it was literally darn close! The auction estimate is over $6,000.

Entertainment Memorabilia Auction

On June 24, 2012, Bonham’s will hold an Entertainment Memorabilia including Animation Art auction in Los Angeles, California. Among the items are original promotional paintings for films, movie star portraits, film scripts, and other items from silent and classic film history. Included are many items from the estate of Rock Hudson.

Some of the items up for bid came directly from Rock Hudson’s estate, which were left to one of his caretakers, Martin Flaherty, who runs Rock-Hudson-Estate-Collection.com.

Among the personal and professional items from the actor, there are many documents, including Rock Hudson’s birth certificate:

State of Illinois certificate of registration of birth for Roy Harold Scherer, Jr. born November 17, 1925 in Winnetka, county of Cook in the state of Illinois. The certificate was issued in 1926 and lists the surname of Hudson’s biological father who later abandoned the family during the Great Depression.

For me, the item that most catches my fancy is the red silk-lined, black wool opera cape with black velvet collar which was worn by Hudson in performances at his home theater.

If you are unable to attend the Bonham’s auction, you can register as an absentee bidder.

Items belonging to Flaherty which do not sell at auction will be placed for sale back on his website.

Antique Vampire Kits

A Rare and Unusual Vampire Slaying Kit goes up for auction on June 22, 2012, at Tennants Auctioneers:

[C]omprising a percussion cap pistol with octagonal steel barrel, foliate etched box lock and walnut bag butt, a steel bullet mould, a mallet and four oak stakes, a set of Rosary beads, three glass bottles (two labelled Holy Water and Holy Earth), a Book of Common Prayer dated 1857, all contained in a blue velvet lined mahogany casket with fitted lift-out tray, the inner cover set with a gilt metal and mahogany crucifix, the silver lock escutcheon in the form of a cross, 31cm by 23cm by 13cm

The BBC also notes the following details:

As well as the weaponry, the box holds a copy of the Book of Common Prayer from 1851 and a handwritten extract from the Bible which quotes Luke 19:27.

It reads: “But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.”

Prior to the kit being listed at the auction site, Oonagh Drage from Tennants Auctioneers said, “I’m not sure who will buy it as we are yet to put it on the internet. I know there are quite a few Americans who are interested in this kind of thing.”

Yup, we American are all about the vampire lore.

Drage credits Bram Stoker’s Dracula for, perhaps, inspiring such kits. But collectors today have a much longer line to whet their fantasies — and wet their pants. *wink* From Virginia Dare to the more recent Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, we even love to incorporate vampires into our American history.

Because of that, one must always consider the faking of such kits by assembling period items in a period box. I’m not in any position to inspect this kit, and I’m not disparaging its authenticity; but I’ve written about these vampire kits before and so must caution collectors about such general issues in this area of collecting.

Drage estimates this antique vampire killing kit to sell between $1800 and $3000; previous sets have sold for close to $15,000. Because we Americans love our vampire collectibles!

If you can’t make it to Leyburn, North Yorkshire, to bid, you can still bid on the 19th century vampire slaying kit; there’s live internet bidding on this item, and others, in Arms, Armour, Militaria & Ethnographica Auction at Tennants.

Bid On Abraham Lincoln’s Hair

Also part of the Americana Signature Auction, is an antique photographic case containing a lock of Abraham Lincoln’s hair opposite an albumen portrait of the president.

Upon Lincoln’s death, apparently a number of locks of the President’s hair were removed as mourning keepsakes. This lock of Lincoln’s hair is approximate 3″ long and ranges in width from 1/2 to 1/8 inches. A small black bow has been added and the spine of the embossed leather case has been repaired with black tape. There’s “impressive” provenance for this historical auction offering as well. Heritage Auction’s estimate is $8,000 – $12,000.

The Americana Signature Auction will be held on May 12, 2012, in Dallas; absentee bidding ends May 11, 2012 at 10:00 PM CT.

Antique Smiling G.O.P. Elephant

Heritage’s Americana Signature Auction contains over 700 American history and political artifacts, among them a rare political pinback from the 1908 Taft & Sherman political campaign.

Called a jugate for the two side-by-side portraits of William Howard Taft and his running mate James Sherman, and called “Elephant Ears” for the portrait placement, this 1 and 1/4 inch in diameter celluloid pinback packs a visual-punch with its bright red and vivid yellow graphics.

The Taft & Sherman “Elephant Ears” Jugate, is among the most valuable of all the 1908 Taft-Sherman pins — not only due to age but a low production run. With it’s original Whitehead and Hoag back paper, this jugate has an auction estimate of $6,000 – $7,000.

The Americana Signature Auction will be held on May 12, 2012, in Dallas; absentee bidding ends May 11, 2012 at 10:00 PM CT.

Minimalistic Chic Modern & Contemporary Art Auction From The Estate Of Fashionista Janet Brown

Janet Brown: Fashion Tastemaker

While many are excited about the Schiaparelli and Prada showing, there’s an upcoming auction at Freeman’s that fashionistas may also wish to know about.

On Saturday, May 12, 2012, the Modern and Contemporary Art auction contains works from the estate of Janet Brown. Brown was an influential fashion retailer, she and her boutique in Port Washington, N.Y., are credited with bringing forth important designers like Prada — before the designs were famous or even sold in Manhattan. According to The New York Times, “for designers, having their collections stocked by Ms. Brown was often more powerful than staking claim to a floor at Saks Fifth Avenue.”

Because this is an art auction, there won’t be any fashion designer items available. But as a tastemaker, the same unique talent and vision that combined classic design, elegance, premier quality, and avant-garde fashion sense called “Minimalist Chic” is obviously apparent in her art selections.

Among the 18 auction lots (Lots 17-35), there are five figure studies by Auguste Vuillemot (auction estimate $1,000-1,500), and six panels by Louis Waldron, after Andy Warhol (auction estimate $1,500-2,500).

But I think my favorite is the Jacques Villion piece which bears the same title and has compositional similarities to several paintings the artist made in 1921 and 1922 depicting horse racing and jockeys. I love horses and it’s inscribed ‘HAUT’ twice along upper edge.

Classic Car Prices Music To Milhous Brothers’ Ears

Last month The Milhous Collection went up for auction, with the two days of bidding on the 550 lots coming in just shy of the auction estimate of $40 million, reaching $38.3 million in sales.

The huge custom-build merry-go-round, considered the collection’s center piece, reached the estimated price range of old $1,000,000 – $1,500,000, selling for nearly $1.3 million. I think at that price, the piece deserves to be called a carousel.

While The Milhous Collection was most noted for its world-class vintage and antique instruments — ornately decorated orchestrions, theatre organs, and other mechanical musical instruments, the bids for these pieces came in lower than anticipated. Sadly, of the eight automated musical instruments with estimates of $1 million (or more), only three obtained bids of seven figures.

Lest you think the economics of space was on the minds of bidders, you should note that most of the 30 automobiles in the collection sold at or above their auction estimates. Among the high-horsepower Brass era cars, Indianapolis racing cars, and coachbuilt classics, it was the 1912 Oldsmobile Limited which fetched the highest price; as the only known surviving car of the model, it more than doubled its estimate, selling for $3.3 million.

Perhaps there’s always room for another classic car in the heated garage, but antique mechanical music pieces? Not-so-much.

Images via RM Auctions.