The last of Forry Ackerman’s Hollywood treasures went under the hammer on May 2. John King Tarpinian wrote on the Raybradburyboard, “The Forrest J Ackerman estate auction was about 2-1/2 hours long. It was standing room only plus phone banks and internet bids going on. Everybody in the room was over 50. Bela Lugosi, Jr. was in attendance. There were about 110 lots up for auction from Dracula’s ring to Forry’s BARCO lounger.”
Ackerman’s famous Dracula ring, originally worn by John Carradine in Universal’s House of Frankenstein (1944) and House of Dracula (1945), then by Bela Lugosi in Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948), sold for $46,000.
A pre-auction debate about the Dracula ring was resolved in favor of its authenticity.
There had been no such controversy about Maria the Robotrix, an accurate and detailed full-size fiberglass replica created in 1976 by effects artist Bill Malone that went for $40,000, because its genesis was known. Still, I’m curious why Forry told Mimosa readers that his copy of Ultima Futura Automaton was produced by Walter Schultze-Mittendorf, the same person who created the robotrix costume for Metropolis. Wikipedia says there is a Schultze-Mittendorf replica in the Cinémateque in Paris-Bercy, and that the Science Fiction Museum in Seattle also has a replica (provenance unknown): I’m trying to find out if any of these replicas share a history.
Other items that brought top dollar: A first American edition of Dracula signed by Bram Stoker, Bela Lugosi, John Carradine, Christopher Lee and others went for $25,000. An autographed copy of Frankenstein, The Modern Man-Demon by Mary Shelley went for $5,500. The nude statue of Marlene Dietrich that Forry commissioned sold for about $9,000. The top hat worn by Lon Chaney in his role as a vampire in London After Midnight went for $27,500.
For more background about the best items in the auction, read Joe Moe’s outstanding article at Dread Central.
Forry’s Retro Hugo was part of a lot of six awards that went for $1,500, in case you ever wondered what the market value of a Hugo might be. (Not all that much, in other words.)
Tarpinian reports the Forry auction brought in $294,870. For exact hammer prices you can go to the website: LiveAuctions.com (registration required). “Remember to add about 15% commission,” says John, who also asks, “I wonder how much it will cost to ship the BARCO lounger or the coffin?”
Not from Forry’s collection, but perhaps the highest price commanded by any item in the auction was the $70,000 paid for the original Creature from the Black Lagoon hero “Gill Man” mask from Revenge of the Creature (Universal, 1955). The mask had been in the Westmore family since the production.
P.S. The Forry Farewell shown at the end of his Egyptian Theatre tribute also is available at Dread Central.
Update 05/08/2009: The official press release for the Hollywood auction was distributed today. It appears after the jump. Note that prices include the “buyer’s premium” which is a percentage on top of the amount actually bid.
PROFILES IN HISTORY SPRING AUCTION OF HOLLYWOOD MEMORABILILA
BRINGS IN OVER 4 MILLION DOLLARS
Harrison Ford’s Blaster From Blade Runner, An Original 1931 Frankenstein Movie Poster, The Creature From The Black Lagoon Mask, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Mr. Freeze Costume Highlight Huge Sale
Forrest J Ackerman’s estate Collection, An Archive of B/W and Color Negatives From the M-G-M, Fox, and Warner Bros. Vaults and a Screen Used Hunter-Killer From Terminator Also Big Hits With Collectors
Calabasas, CA- The Harrison Ford “Rick Deckard” hero blaster from Blade Runner ($270,000), an original Frankenstein one-sheet movie poster ($216,000), an archive of B/W and color negatives from the M-G-M, Fox, and Warner Bros. vaults ($210,000) the original Creature from the Black Lagoon hero “Gill Man” mask from Revenge of the Creature ($84,000) and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “Mr. Freeze” costume from Batman & Robin ($72,000) were the top items in the recently completed Profiles in History Spring Auction of Hollywood memorabilia. A total of $4.2 Million worth of props, costumes, movie posters, photos and more were picked up by collectors around the world.
Other highlights included a screen used hero aerial Hunter / Killer from The Terminator ($66,000), Derek Meers’ Jason Voorhees” costume from Friday the 13th ($54,000), Two velociraptors feeding on a triceratops display from Jurassic Park ($51,000) and Ray Park “Darth Maul” fighting lightsaber from Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace ($48,000). Bidders also competed vigorously for items from the Forrest J Ackerman Estate Collection, as Forry’s Metropolis “Maria” robot sold for $48,000, as did the Bela Lugosi “Dracula” ring. Lugosi’s “Vampire” cape worn in The Raven, The Return of the Vampire, The Whispering Shadow and his final performance in Plan 9 from Outer Space sold for $39,000.
More highlights included:
· Original screen-used Elven bed with five Elves and decorated illuminating Christmas tree from A Nightmare Before Christmas ($48,000)
· Complete hero Maurice Evans “Dr. Zaius” costume from The Planet of the Apes and Beneath the Planet of the Apes ($48,000)
· Screen-used “Teddy” puppet and lighting dummy from A.I.: Artificial Intelligence ($48,000)
· Harrison Ford “Rick Deckard” “Voight Kampff” costume from Blade Runner ($48,000)
· Charlton Heston “Colonel George Taylor” costume and display from Planet of the Apes ($48,000)
· Matthew Broderick “Ferris Bueller” leather jacket from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off ($42,000)
· Jim Carrey signature “Riddler” rhinestone unitard and glitter-covered creepers from Batman Forever ($36,000)
· Tom Hanks “Capt. John H. Miller” and Matt Damon “Pvt. James Francis Ryan” hero costumes from Saving Private Ryan ($36,000)
· Screen-used Christmas Town building from The Nightmare Before Christmas ($30,000)
*Prices include buyer’s premium
For more information about Profiles in History and to download a complete catalog of items available for this and past auctions, please visit HYPERLINK “http://www.profilesinhistory.com/“
About Profiles in History:
Founded in 1985 by Joseph Maddalena, Profiles in History is the nation’s leading dealer in guaranteed-authentic original historical autographs, letters, documents, vintage signed photographs and manuscripts. Profiles in History has held some of the most prestigious and successful auctions of Hollywood memorabilia. Their auctions include costumes, props and set pieces from both vintage and contemporary film, television, and rock ‘n roll. Profiles in History’s location in Calabasas Hills, CA- virtually a stone’s throw away from every major Hollywood studio – ensures a constant flow of fantastic and rare collectibles. With an extensive network of dealers, collectors, and institutions, they are proud to play an important role in the preservation of motion picture history.
Prior Profiles in History Hollywood auctions highlights include the “Cowardly Lion” costume from The Wizard of Oz ($805,000); a full-scale model T-800 Endoskeleton from Terminator 2: Judgment Day ($488,750); a King Kong six-sheet movie poster ($345,000); the Command Chair from the “U.S.S. Enterprise” ($304,750); the original “Robot” from Lost in Space ($264,500); Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber ($240,000), the Black Beauty car from The Green Hornet ($192,000); George Reeves’ Superman costume from The Adventures of Superman ($126,500); the H.R. Giger designed Alien creature suit from Alien ($126,500); a full-scale T-Rex head from Jurassic Park ($126,500), the Leaping Alien Warrior figure from Aliens ($126,500), Christopher Reeve’s ‘Superman’ costume from Superman: The Movie ($115,000), C-3PO’s helmet ($120,000), The Wizard of Oz ‘Winkie’ Guard Costume ($115,000); a “Ming the Merciless” cape from Flash Gordon ($115,000) and the Hydraulic screen-used Velociraptor from The Lost World: Jurassic Park II. ($115,000).
MJK Public Relations
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