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Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

Artie Shaw Musical Instruments for John Moran Auction

Pasadena, CA – John Moran Auctioneers is proud to announce that on Tuesday, September 16, 2008 they will offer at public auction, and without reserve, select items from the estate of one of the greatest popular musicians of all time, clarinet legend Artie Shaw.

Coming to auction for the first time will be several of Shaw’s musical instruments, including two clarinets played during the height of his fame during the late 1930s and early 1940s, a vintage Selmer Mark VI saxophone, and a grand piano, as well as photographs, ephemera, artwork, furnishings and various items of personal property.

The most exciting lot for jazz and big band aficionados will be Shaw’s Selmer B flat clarinet, circa 1932. It comes complete with a custom Arnold Brilhart mouthpiece and period Selmer case. A second clarinet, a Selmer A with low E flat, circa 1940s, comes with a fitted double case and brass plaque inscribed ‘ARTIE SHAW.’ This clarinet was displayed in a choice position in the Shaw home on the fireplace mantel.

Shaw was a skilled saxophonist as well, and his Selmer alto sax, circa 1972, will be offered as will his swing-era Conn alto saxophone, circa 1941. Shaw’s Hindsberg A7 ebonized grand piano bench, circa 1930s, will be of particular interest to collectors.

A handful of paintings from Artie Shaw’s estate will be of significant interest not only to Shaw fans and music lovers, but to California art collectors as well. Reflecting Shaw’s life and his influence on American musical culture, these works are vivid examples of 1940’s-era American Scene painting. A brilliant large-scale oil painting by noted Hollywood artist John Decker (1895-1947), depicts the back alley of the Mocambo Nightclub. This Sunset Strip hotspot, where Shaw played and where Frank Sinatra made his solo debut, opened in 1941 and quickly became a magnet for celebrity nightlife. John Moran holds the current record high auction price for a work by the artist.

Two oils by Los Angeles artist Dan Lutz (1906-1978) also offer intriguing glimpses of jazz culture. “Jam Session”, showing a dimly lit room of musicians, will be offered as will Lutz’s portrait of legendary Boogie Woogie pianist Clarence ‘Pine Top’ Smith is also expected to perform well.

Additional highlights from the Artie Shaw Estate include a fabric-and-photograph tribute to Artie Shaw by his friend, the renowned contemporary artist Ed Ruscha which was dedicated to Shaw for his 90th and 91st birthdays. One item of historical significance from Shaw’s time in the United Sates navy during World War II, is a Japanese battle flag captured at Guadalcanal and signed by Admiral Halsey to Artie Shaw in 1943. A signed Philip & Kelvin Laverne coffee table, circa 1960, is included with the estate .

John Moran Auctioneers’ September 16th, 2008 Fine Antiques and Estates Auction will be held in two sessions at the Pasadena Convention Center (Pasadena, CA). A fully illustrated catalogue of the items from the Shaw Estate and the entire evening auction, with pre-sale estimates, will be available on heir website prior to the sale. Bidding for Moran’s evening sale is available from the floor, by absentee, phone, and internet via eBay Live Auctions / For more information about this exciting sale, please call the offices of John Moran Auctioneers at (626) 793-1833 or visit their website at