Captured by Scotty Welbourne for Warner Bros. Studios, Marshall is seen in a glamorous fur trimmed robe applying soothing lotions and cosmetics to her sunburnt shoulder.
Attached press snipe reads: “DUST YOUR SUNBURN LIGHTLY … Brenda Marshall has discovered that dusting powder can be very soothing to a sunburned skin. After the star of THE SEA HAWK (opposite Errol Flynn) has applied a cooling lotion to her ‘overdone’ skin, she pats on a light bath powder. She finds it relieves her skin of that stretched and hot feeling.”
Measures 8″ x 10″ with margins on a glossy, single weight paper stock. Photographer’s ink stamp on verso.
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.)
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I hate dolls. They just creep me out. But, as I’ve mentioned before on the _floss, I have a bizarre fascination with dollhouses.
I’m in good company, though. Included amongst the millions of people interested in miniatures was Colleen Moore, a silent film star whose career fizzled a bit when the talkies came out. But movies weren’t her only passion: a love of miniatures was passed down to her from her father, and in 1928, she enlisted the help of a set designer friend to make a remarkably detailed eight-foot miniature “fairy castle.”
For less important doodles in text, the kind that go no farther than your desk or refrigerator door, the tactile pleasure of typing old school is incomparable to what you get from a de rigueur laptop. Computer keyboards make a mousy tappy tap tappy tap like ones you hear in a Starbucks — work may be getting done but it sounds cozy and small, like knitting needles creating a pair of socks. Everything you type on a typewriter sounds grand, the words forming in mini-explosions of SHOOK SHOOK SHOOK. A thank-you note resonates with the same heft as a literary masterpiece.
The sound of typing is one reason to own a vintage manual typewriter — alas, there are only three reasons, and none of them are ease or speed. In addition to sound, there is the sheer physical pleasure of typing; it feels just as good as it sounds, the muscles in your hands control the volume and cadence of the aural assault so that the room echoes with the staccato beat of your synapses.
In a post sure to rile up book lovers, I shall discuss the judgment of books by their covers; namely collecting movie tie-in paperbacks. It may not be big-time Collecting with a capital ‘C’ (at least in terms of dollar value), but copies of these old paperbacks certainly have more appeal to some folks than mass market sized books sans film adaptation covers. (And bonus points for those with photo pages with scenes from the movie.)
In general, such book collecting practices have perks for parents too: A) you can foster interest in reading if you let your kids (during those uninterested in reading years) buy books based on movies or the re-released film versions; and B), kids digging for “Now a Major Motion Picture!” covers remain occupied (with less whining) longer at the thrift store, rummage sale, flea market, etc.
But as with most of my collecting tales, I’ll be discussing one title in specific: Tex, by S.E. Hinton, copyright 1979 (my copy is the second Dell Laurel-Leaf printing, August, 1982).
It’s true that I was drawn to this paperback simply because Matt Dillon was on the cover. First, because I had a thing for Dillon back in the day. (I won’t apologize for it — but I will apologize to Jackie Earle Haley for mistakenly remembering Dillon as playing the bad boy Kelly in Bad News Bears.) And second because I figured that if Dillon — and Meg Tilly — were in some early-80’s flick that I don’t recall, it must have been down-right cheesy, and I’m a girl who loves her kitsch.
But, in a surprise left to the temple — which will undoubtedly thrill my fellow bibliophiles — this book wasn’t the breezy-cheesy-chuckle I’d thought.
My first clue came just a few pages into reading, when my 13 year old spotted me nose-deep, and asked if she could read it when I was done. I thought it was for the cover’s hot bad boy on the cycle. But it turns out, she recognized the author from a book she loved, The Outsiders. Apparently, it was read (and the film viewed) in school; but I’ll admit, I know nothing of The Outsiders.
After promising that she could borrow it (if she would write her own review — yup, that’s foreshadowing!), I returned my nose to the book and read.
The short story is that Tex is a pretty good read, which is probably why the ALA gave it the Best Book for Young Adults title. It’s full of that misfit angst, friendship stuff (including a budding romance), with plenty of anger issues forced by a dysfunctional family setting. Focused on the male perspective, boys ought to like this book for sure and there are plenty of things for girls to like too (including horses!) too.
My first thought was to mention that the story isn’t dated; but then I remembered that it isn’t dated based on my perspective… See, I grew up in a world where kids didn’t have cell phones, so maybe the lack of electronic gadgetry will ring of ye olden days to kids today. And back in the day, we kids got to hang-out at carnivals etc., without either parents or the parental fears of the dangers of strangers we have today… So maybe it is dated. I guess we’ll have to wait and see how my 13 year old feels about it. (Though I’ll admit, she doesn’t have a cell phone either; so her perspective might be tainted with our old world ways.)
In any case, I never saw the book’s reveal coming — something I can rarely say about fiction in general, let alone a book intended for teens. So Hinton’s story gets high praise from me.
Reading it brought back all those teenage feelings, a general nostalgia; picturing Matt Dillon doing all those things didn’t hurt either. The cover shot of Dillon on the motorcycle might have been a bit misleading (in true promo-fashion, it captures a dramatic scene depicting the physical action of an epiphany), but that’s the worst thing I can say. And hey, that’s what got me to pick up the book in the first place.
While most used copies of Tex sell for a buck or two (and mine was only 50 cents at a thrift store), used copies of Tex with Matt Dillon on the cover can be quite pricey.
But if you’re a Dillon fan, or a fan of the film, it’s probably worth it to spend more on a collectible copy.
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.
Being the fan that I am (both of the collector and silent film), I couldn’t just let Mary Ann Cade go that easily after delivering her recent silent film news — I had to ask her about one of her favorite silent film stars, Annette Kellerman (also billed as Annette Kellermann and called “The Perfect Woman”).
Mary, tell us about Annette Kellerman… How did she catch your collecting fancy?
I got interested in Kellerman when I saw Esther Williams in the fictional biopic Million Dollar Mermaid, which was loosely based on Ms. Kellerman’s life. After viewing it, I started looking around to see if any of her product survived and why she is so forgotten today.
At one time, during her heyday, she was a force to be reckoned with, kind of like Madonna or Oprah Winfrey. She was writing books, making films, doing publicity stunts, designing swimsuits, performing water ballets at the Hippodrome, performing in vaudeville type shows all over the world, making movies, and she even had her own chain of fitness clubs and a health food store.
Sadly, she is all but forgotten today and when one looks at her swimming and diving contributions, including her discovery of what is considered synchronized swimming as well as the one piece bathing suit, it is a real shame.
When I started the quest on Kellerman, the only known film was Venus of the South Seas, but, along with the news mentioned earlier, I have managed to locate Siren of the Sea.
Kellerman is reputed to be in a cameo in the Fatty Arbuckle / Buston Keaton short Coney Island (1917) and a couple of other films that have not been confirmed as of yet. The Australian archives do hold some of her various water ballet footage as well.
Thank you, Mary, for sharing your collecting passion and information with us!
Photo Credits, in order of appearance:
Signed photo of Annette Kellerman and photo of Annette Kellerman’s trunk, from Mary Ann Cade.
Personal Course of Instruction In The Attainment Of Health, Beauty and Perfect Figure, by Annette Kellermann, 1932, via The Land of Pleasant Living;
A few weeks ago, Eva Mendes was spotted with a skull in her Kiki de Montparnasse lingerie bag — which sent the celeb-stalking world into a 50-Shades of kink gossip cliche tailspin. But as it turns out, the antique papier-mâché skull, a ceremonial prop from an Odd Fellows lodge, was purchased at Obscura of Oddities fame. More about Mendes and “her favorite home-décor store” in this article.
Today’s scrapbooks are filled with photographs of family & friends, complimented by decorative papers and supplies purchased for the sole act of creating fantastic looking photo albums. But once upon a time, scrapbooks bore more resemblance to their name: they were books full of “scraps” of paper.
It’s filled with carefully clipped images of the film star from various newspapers and magazines of the time. Looks like there are a few publicity photos sent to fans as well.
I know some people will balk at the seller’s price tag of $450. But when you consider how much it would cost to find and purchase enough vintage publications and the like to attempt to recreate this nearly-antique scrapbook, it seems a pretty small price to pay in comparison. Plus, even if you could manage to locate all the same scraps, would it be the same as knowing someone dedicated themselves to the selection and organization of this old book? I don’t think so.
When you think about it, scrapbooking isn’t much different than blogging is today. But as ephemeral as old paper is, there’s something more lasting about it… Perhaps because none of us knows what will become of blogs and websites in the next 80 years. Even in that unknown future, I can’t imagine someone not enjoying holding an old book like this and carefully turning the pages to see what someone created.
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.
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.
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.
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.
But upon a closer look, I’m rather stumped by the actress and the film it’s promoting. The seller’s description simply says it’s “an antique original 1930s posed view of a Hollywood blonde ingenue with a high end cocktail set, typifying the allure that went with drinking during the era of Prohibition, and the fascination with the lives of the rich and famous during the Depression,” but the back has stamps and information from Culver Pictures, Inc., so I feel that both the actress and the film ought to be known… Any one with more vintage film knowledge care to assist?
Not just some master of ceremonies, Valentino was both the star and the prize of this contest: “The Most Beautiful Woman In America May be the Leading Lady of Valentino’s Next Picture.”
When the silent film star walked out of his Famous Players-Lasky (FP-L) contract in 1923, the studio suspended him without pay and won an injunction that prevented him from working for another studio, leaving the decadent dandy desperate for money. In Rudolph Valentino & the Mineralava Tour of 1923, Edward Lorusso explains:
Desperate for money, Valentino and Rambova decided to create a dance act and tour the country for Mineralava Beauty Clay cosmetics. Starting in New York City’s Century Theatre at a benefit for the Actors Fund on a bill with Will Rogers and Jeanne Eagels, the couple caused a sensation and received 20 curtain calls. Valentino was stampeded by 300 fans as he left the theater. A Boston headline claimed “10,000 Girls Mob World’s Greatest Kisser.” The mobs became so predictable that Valentino and Rambova often escaped theaters over rooftops. The couple performed in 88 cities in the United States and Canada during a grueling 17-week tour. The hysteria followed them wherever they performed.
The dance tour garnered a tremendous amount of publicity and earned the couple a big weekly salary plus a percentage of the gate. They broke house records in several theaters. But while Valentino was mobbed by hordes of fans in every city, local newspaper coverage often sniped at his romantic movie image and professional dancing as being “unmanly.” Plus, Valentino was hawking beauty products that he claimed to use himself.
Following the example of dance idols Ted Shawn and Ruth St. Denis, the Valentinos created exotic dances and sumptuous costumes to the accompaniment of their own traveling orchestra. They performed a number of dances, but the tango routines were the ones that always brought down the house.
The beauty contest (the Miss America contest started in 1921) was another publicity angle of the tour. Mineralava sponsored a contest in each of the tour’s 88 cities and Valentino “judged” all the contestants. Then all 88 beauties descended on New York City, where they were paraded up Fifth Avenue to the Madison Square Garden. A young David O. Selznick made a short film of the contest called Rudolph Valentino and His 88 American Beauties; the film survives and is a fascinating glimpse at a “natural” Rudolph Valentino as well as the beauty contest styles of the day. Selznick shows the terrifying hordes of people who mobbed the streets outside Madison Square Garden, hoping for a glimpse of Valentino. Inside the Garden, the 88 girls come out onto a stage that is surrounded by crowds. Each girl (most with bobbed hair and bee-stung lips) parades in a gown and sash proclaiming her city and carrying (for some unknown reason) a ribboned Bo-Peep staff.
Along with being a great advertising piece, I find this vintage booklet to be a lovely little piece of women’s history, combining the power of the women as consumers with their status as prey for marketers. Along with the testimonials from “women in American Homes,” collectors of silent film will also enjoy all the celebrity endorsements from silent film stars such as Nazimova, Mae Murray, Marion Davies, and Marie Prevost.
Along with trophies, Mineralava gave out boudoir dolls of Rudolph Valentino and Natacha Rambova to contest winners.
As fabulous as this pageant was for Valentino (it did get him a better contract — if also assisting in the “Pink Powder Puff” slur) and, one presumes, Scott’s Mineralava Beauty Clay, at the time, the story doesn’t really end well… Valentino’s life lasted just a few more years and Mineralava seems only a footnote in the life of Valentino.
Images of the 1923 Mineralava Beauty Pageant booklet, measuring 5 1/2 by 8 inches, via Grapefruit Moon Gallery.
Among the over 800 items of Hollywood memorabilia and historic Americana, the Houston tems up for sale include a pair of earrings and a brown satin vest worn by Whitney in The Bodyguard (1992) as well as a black velvet dress owned by the legendary performer.
Celebrity auctioneer Darren Julien said Sunday the pieces and other Houston items became available after the singer’s unexpected death on Feb. 11 and will be included among a long-planned sale of Hollywood memorabilia such as Charlie Chaplin’s cane, Clark Gable’s jacket from “Gone With the Wind” and Charlton Heston’s staff from “The Ten Commandments.”
Julien said celebrity collectibles often become available after their namesakes die.
“It proves a point that these items, they’re an investment,” Julien said. “You buy items just like a stock. Buy at the right time and sell at the right time, and they just increase in value.”
But could it be too soon to profit from Houston’s passing? She was just buried on Saturday.
“It’s a celebration of her life,” Julien said. “If you hide these things in fear that you’re going to offend someone — her life is to be celebrated. These items are historic now that she passed. They become a part of history. They should be in museums. She’s lived a life and had a career that nobody else has ever had.”
Houston is “someone who’s going to maintain a collectability,” he said. “For people who are fans of Whitney Houston and never would have had a chance to meet her and never got to talk to her, these are items that literally touched a part of her life. They are a way to relate to her or be a part of her life without having known her.”
Accumulating these coveted treasures is often a twofold endeavor; obtaining tangible nostalgia and making a sound investment choice. Acquiring such a collection gives buyers the opportunity to gain intimacy with fond memories anchored in the property. The other reason is based on the steadily increasing prices, which has been recently noted as a solid asset for Wall Street investment bankers and executives around the globe.
If there is any such thing as a cultural rule about the length of time which ought to pass before we profit by selling off items connected to a recently deceased celebrity, it is far less a matter of morbidity and more a matter of our capitalistic nature. The market dictates that we bid as high as our emotions run; and emotions run pretty high when there’s a death.
As my friend and fellow columnist at Collectors Questsaid upon the passing of Michael Jackson, “One’s fame is directly proportional to how fast people will learn the intimate details of your life, or death, as the case may be… Where celebrity meets mortality, there is eBay.”
Celebrities thrive by this very rule — they use our emotions to sell us less than proper things while alive, such as Michael Jackson “Thriller” panties. So why wouldn’t we buy-buy-buy when they die?
Etiquette rarely, if ever, applies to celebrity.
And how can Perez, of all people, complain about this when he’s “beyond tacky” and a “bloodthirsty” parasite living off celebrities himself?
I’m not sure there’s anything inherently wrong with buying Whitney Houston’s movie-worn clothing weeks after her death than there is buying Clark Gable’s jacket from Gone With the Wind decades later. Do you?
A number of original Joseph Jasgur photographs are up for auction from Grapefruit Moon Gallery right now. Astonishingly, along with winning the vintage photographs now being auctioned off via Grapefruit Moon, the winner owns the copyright for the images, meaning that the buyer will be legally allowed to reproduce and sell copies of the photographs upon purchase. Most of these vintage photographs are of pinups, film stars, etc.
Jasgur is most know for the previously unseen photos of a 19 year old Marilyn Monroe, during her during her Blue Book Model Agency days as Norma Jean — photos caught up in a costly legal battle, which left the photographer penniless upon his death in 2009.
Joseph Jasgur stalked Hollywood celebrities and crime scenes alike, driving “his tricked-out Lincoln Zephyr, which had running water, a cot in the back and a radio-telephone, a rarity in the 1940s.” So who knows what other photographs of his will show up at this auction?
I often am asked, “What’s a cross collectible?” For me, the answer is, “Everything!” But technically speaking, a cross collectible is any antique or collectible which appeals to more than one kind of collector and therefore “crosses areas of collecting.” For example, this vintage promotional photo of classic film character actor Jack Carson.
It obviously appeals to fans of Jack Carson or classic film fans, but it also might appeal to collectors of vintage photographs (based on the period, fashions, etc.). If the signature was genuine, and not a printed facsimile, then it would also appeal to autograph collectors. And then there are collectors of smaller niche areas, like those who collect bow ties and all the ephemera and photos about them and maybe those who collect “all things Jack” because it’s their son’s name.
Generally speaking though, the more categories of collecting an item is in (crosses along category lines), and the larger the number of collectors collecting in each of those categories, the more popular (and pricey) an item will be.
And now that Mr. Carson has served his purpose, I’m ready to set him free — to whatever collector wants to have him. So, if you want this vintage photo of Jack Carson (likely from his days at Warner Bros., circa 1940s), enter to win it!
Ways To Enter:
* Post A Comment: Just tell me why you want it — you love classic film, you collect things with big ears (sorry, Jack!), you just love free stuff, whatever!
* Follow Inherited Values on Twitter:@InheritedValues. (Please leave your Twitter username in your comment so I can check.)
* Tweet the following:
I love classic film, antiques & vintage collectibles so entered the giveaway @InheritedValues You can enter here http://bit.ly/tVFY64 !
(Remember to come back here and leave a comment with your tweet for me to verify.)
* Post about this contest at your blog or website — if you do this you must include in your post to this contest post or Inherited Values in general. (Please include the link to your blog post in the comments section so that I can find your post.)
You can do any or all of these, but remember, the only one you can do daily is Tweet. Thanks!
Here’s the giveaway fine print:
* Giveaway is open to US residents only
* Contest ends November 16, 2011; entries must be made on or before midnight, central time, November 15, 2011. Winner will be announced/contacted on November 17, 2011. Winner has 48 hours to respond; otherwise, I’ll draw another name.
The American Venus was directed by Frank Tuttle, and starred Esther Ralston, Ford Sterling, Edna May Oliver, Lawrence Gray, Fay Lanphier, Louise Brooks (in her first credited role as Miss Bayport), Kenneth MacKenna, and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. The film was released by Paramount Pictures in 1926 and is considered a presumed lost silent film.
Below is the official auction listing description — with a helpful link provided by me:
The American Venus (Paramount, 1926). Title Lobby Card and Lobby Card (11″ X 14″).
Much has been written about the silent film legend Louise Brooks and her influence on 1920s New York and Hollywood, right down to her trademark “bob” that became widely emulated by ladies of the day. This rare title card and lobby card are from her second film, in which she appeared as a contestant in an Atlantic City beauty contest. Due to its immense popularity, the movie toured the U.S. for two years, along the way making Brooks one of the most noted female cinema stars. Though the borders of both cards have been trimmed and replaced, the restoration was expertly done and the cards present nicely. Very Good.
Normally Inherited Values is all about antiques and vintage collectibles, but when I met Anne Olivares & Ashley Lampton, dedicated collectors of all things Drew Barrymore and curators of the The Drewseum, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at relatively modern collecting in comparison to vintage movie star memorabilia.
Hello, ladies, when did you begin collecting all things Drew?
Coincidentally, we each first became fans of Drew around the same time, in 1998. By early 1999, we’d both started collecting magazines featuring her, and our collections quickly branched out to cover all facets of memorabilia.
Did you know each other when you began collecting, or meet because of your collecting?
We met online in 1999 through Drew fansites and quickly formed a friendship. We only lived a few hours from each other at that time, so we met up many times. Later we ended up living even closer to each other, so we were able to hang out frequently and do many Drew-related things together. We started working on our website to showcase what we consider our combined collection in 2005.
How many items are in your Drew Barrymore collection? Across what categories?
It would be near impossible to count the number of items in our combined collections, but we estimate it somewhere in the thousands. Not everything is displayed on The Drewseum quite yet as it’s a constant work in progress.
On the site, we have our collection broken out into 10 main categories, including photos, movie memorabilia, books, magazines, apparel and more. There’s a large section for miscellaneous items as well since over the years we’ve acquired items that don’t fit into a specific category.
Drew Barrymore is part of a family with a great acting and film history; do you collect memorabilia from anyone else in her family?
We do have a small collection of items relating to the Barrymore family. We don’t actively seek them out, but if we come across something special, we jump on it. We’ve also bought vintage Barrymore pieces as gifts for Drew in the past knowing she’d have a deeper appreciation for them.
Gifts for Drew?! Have you actually sent things to her — has she or her staff ever acknowledged them?
For several years for her birthday, we’ve had a tradition of putting together picture frames with prints of Drew’s family as gifts for her – some reprints, some originals. Usually, we’ve either dropped them off with her staff or mailed them in to her production company. This year we got the chance to hand-deliver it to her personally, which was really exciting for us and she was unbelievably appreciative of the gifts. The whole story can be found on our site.
That’s amazing! And truly something that collectors of say, silent film stars can’t even dream of — without a time machine. *wink*
What are your collecting standards?
We consider ourselves somewhat frugal in our collecting. Unless something is truly exceptional, we generally hold off spending too much money and are often rewarded by later coming across it at a more affordable price.
When we first started collecting, we didn’t take great care of our items and often bought things like bad copies of photos without realizing it. We keep these damaged or poor quality pieces in our collection, but these days shop with a much more discerning eye.
I’m glad you mentioned conditions; what painful lessons have you learned from collecting?
Don’t use sticky photo albums or glue anything down in a way that is permanent.
Don’t try to use undersized page protectors for oversized pages.
Sadly our items have incurred a lot of damage in years past due to these poor practices.
How do you store your Drew Barrymore collectibles and movie memorabilia? What’s one tool, organizer, etc. that you cannot imagine being without as a collector?
We both have slightly different storage ideas, but we’ve also learned a lot from each other over the years. (Anne keeps a lot of her magazines with cover features intact while Ashley usually keeps only the relevant Drew pages.) We store any non-flat movie memorabilia in storage bins, a lot of which can’t be displayed due to lack of space.
The most vital tools for us are binders with appropriately sized page protectors as magazine articles, clippings, photographs, movie ads, etc probably occupy at least 75% of our collections.
I can’t bear the idea of cutting up magazines and newspapers, vintage or not — however, I do love finding the clippings and scrapbooks others have made and saved. What are your thoughts on clippings?
We’ve become quite used to cutting apart paper items over the years. In fact, our collection of clippings is so vast that we don’t really know if we’ll ever catch up on properly organizing and displaying the items in binders. We came across a collector who kept magazines together even if they just had 1 small clipping of Drew inside and that’s something we could never see ourselves doing. The space taken up by 1 entire magazine versus 1 clipping page or partial page is too big in the long run. Our main reasoning for making clippings is for easy access and display, at least once they’re in binders.
Those of us who collect vintage movie memorabilia know how hard it is to find certain items; paper and other little things were tossed out over the years. How does that affect how you shape your collections, what items you focus on?
We are definitely more attracted to items that relate to Drew’s early career and teenage years as we know they’re constantly becoming more difficult to come across.
We cringe at the thought of our most sought-after items having been printed in mass production at one point and now feel impossible to find.
On the other hand, we often don’t feel as excited about the newly released pieces until years later for the same reasons. For example, we’re attracted to items such as newspapers that are only on stands for a day, later making them so difficult to find. As with any collection, the rarer the item, the more desirable it becomes.
What items do you think collectors of contemporary film stars or celebrities make the mistake of overlooking?
It’s possible that collectors of contemporary stars make a lot of the mistakes we made at first, including attaching collected magazine pages to the walls of our bedrooms as teenagers.
One of the most amazing things we’ve found over the years is that foreign magazines often print outtakes from common photo shoots, usually years after they were taken in the states, so collectors should always be on the lookout for those.
How has running the Drewseum affected your collection, your collecting habits?
Since we started The Drewseum, we’ve had a quite a few of our fellow fans decide to stop collecting and either donate or sell their collections to us. We’ve had many people tell us that after seeing our site, they felt their Drew items really belonged with us. It’s sort of a strange phenomenon that we constantly joke about, as the pool of major collectors has dwindled quite a bit.
Also because we’re eager to display our items on the site for our visitors to see, we are more encouraged to stay on top of the collecting game and seek out the best items. It’s also interesting to see the difference in credibility we have with the contacts we make because they can go to the site and see how serious our collecting is.
Being that your collaborate on the Drewseum, yet you are still individual collectors, have you ever found yourselves competing for items? If so, do you have any rules — or is it still just a matter of whoever has the deepest pockets wins?
Although there have been situations where one of us may have the money for something that the other doesn’t, we’ve never had a hard time being fair when it comes to splitting up or deciding who will take the offer on amazing deals. People might be surprised as to how easy it is for us to decide who gets what, but it’s based on how well we know each other’s interests. Also, it helps that we always remind each other that the collections are shared and that when one of us has it, both of us do. The concept still makes sense for us despite the fact that 90% of our collections are clones of each other.
What I enjoy most about individual collections is, well, the individuality! In this case, your collecting is relatively contemporary, preserving what will be the history of an icon for future generations — but from the fan point of view, not some “corporate preservation.” What are some of the most prized items in your collection? What makes them so key to the collection as a whole?
Some of the most prized items in our collection are costumes and props from Drew’s films. We have some rare magazine items that we’ve only come across a handful of times on eBay and from other collectors over the years. We have a massive collection of original photos that are very near & dear to our hearts, many of which are extremely rare.
We also treasure our stationary & Christmas cards from Drew’s production company Flower Films.
There is a scarce catalog from Drew’s 1993 campaign with Guess that we both tried to obtain for years and luckily we now each own a copy; we’ve seen it sell for upwards of $800 as it’s somewhat of a “holy grail” for Drew collectors.
What remains the most elusive item that you’ve yet to acquire for the Drewseum?
We’ve been lucky enough to acquire most of the items we’ve sought after, even if it’s taken years of a searching. We are always on the look out for rare photos or items she’s personally used, like movie costumes. There are still a few elusive magazines and ads from her modeling campaigns we’re hoping to track down. Although we already own a handful of autographed items and they aren’t really a priority to us, it would be really special to have something signed that was made out to “The Drewseum”.
I’ve no doubt that day will come!
I’d like to thank both Anne and Ashley for sharing their collection of Drew Barrymore items and movie memorabilia — and I wish them many more fun years of collecting!