Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information
Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

Music and Entertainment at Heritage

Earliest known Chaplin autograph highlights Feb. 21-22 Auction in Dallas

DALLAS, TX – It’s a fix that every major auction house in the world would love to have: In an auction with so much good material, all of which is deeply varied across film, television and music, what exactly do you promote as the star of the auction? That’s the delicious dilemma that Heritage Auction Galleries finds itself in as it prepares for its Feb. 21-22, 2009 Music and Entertainment Signature Auction.

“There are so many interesting, important and valuable pieces in this auction that I don’t know which one to focus on first,” said Doug Norwine, Director of Music and Entertainment Auctions at Heritage. “You name it and it’s in the auction: Classic Rock and Roll? Check. Rarest of the rare Hollywood memorabilia? Check. Estates from the stars of stage and screen? It’s all there. This is as deep a Music and Entertainment Auction as you’re ever likely to see.”

With the success of the Boris Karloff Estate, The Billy Wilder Archives and the Glenn Ford Estate, among others, Heritage has become the go-to auction house for the families and trustees of Hollywood royalty, and the upcoming February Auction will not disappoint. New estate offerings from icons of the entertainment world include The Mark Hellinger Archive of Film Noir – including Mark Hellinger’s personal shooting script from The Naked City (with hand-sketched shot notations – selections from the Ernie Kovacs/Edie Adams Estate, an exceptional offering of groupings from the family of the late, great Sammy Davis, Jr., and an unparalleled offering from the Chairman of the Board himself, Frank Sinatra.

Sure to wow bidders and film fans alike are two never-before-seen-at-auction early autographs from The Little Tramp himself, Charlie Chaplin, before he was even The Little Tramp. In fact, one of the signatures is dated to 1913, a full year before Chaplin made his first movie, meaning this signature is most likely the earliest Chaplin autograph ever seen.

One interesting note on the Chaplin signature is the presence of a caricature the famous actor drew next to his signature. Once he had become famous, Chaplin would frequently draw a caricature of The Little Tramp next to his name. In this rare lot, the caricature is simply of himself, no character attached. It’s sure to generate great interest among the boundless legions of Chaplin fans, as well as with the vast group of Golden Age Hollywood collectors to whom Chaplin’s very name is pure gold.

Heritage will also be offering Part Two of the Boris Karloff Estate in the auction, which includes letters of condolence from Dr. Seuss, Chuck Jones, Peter Bogdanovich and Christopher Lee written to Karloff’s family after his death.

From the Billy Wilder archive Heritage will offer several rare Marilyn Monroe photos and the complete handwritten development script for Wilder’s 1953 masterpiece Stalag 17.

The Ernie Kovacs/Edie Adams Estate bears special mention due not only to the rarity and value of the collection, but also for its connection to Kovacs and Adams, true pioneers of the small screen. Kovacs was an early comedic television pioneer whose broad, freewheeling comic style made him a favorite of his day and a lasting influence long after his untimely, early death in a car crash in 1962. Adams was not only Kovacs comedic partner and foil, she was his wife. The appearance of the Kovacs/Adams memorabilia at auction almost 50 years after his death is an important moment for Baby Boom collectors of this important era in television comedy. Highlights include Kovacs’ famous Percy Dovetonsils glasses, three Nairobi Trio Masks, plus awards, letters, documents, and props from his television show.

Among the more recent – and entertaining – television offerings will be several Dixie Carter costumes and gowns from the television show Designing Women, plus a nude painting of Ms. Carter that was featured on a famous episode of the show, along with dresses from various Awards shows the actress and beauty queen attended.

Several awards also will highlight the film and television sections of the auction; among those featured will be Stanley Kramer’s NAACP Award, Ernie Kovacs’ Television Hall Of Fame Award, and Leonard Bernstein’s Television Hall Of Fame Award.

The music side of the auction continues to grow by the day, with selections that will suit every taste in memorabilia: There’s a huge quantity of vintage psychedelic rock posters, a very hot commodity in today’s market, as well rare records, an incredible selection of autographed guitars, including a few owned and used by the legendary Chet Atkins, and a Paul McCartney autographed Hofner bass guitar, and more famous Rock and Roll names than there is room for on this page.

Among the great music lots in the auction are a special treasure particularly poignant just after the 50th anniversary of “The Day The Music Died,” a signed autograph album with the signatures of the Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper, signed two days before their death in 1959. There will also be Elvis treasure in the form of a microphone he used and then gifted to his backup singer, gospel legend J.D. Sumner.

There are also rare, never-before-seen by the public contact sheets of candid photos of The Beatles and Dave Clark Five rehearsing for appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show. Heritage will also feature Benny Goodman’s piano, Crosby, Stills, and Nash Record Awards and other rare memorabilia from the band, and a grouping of lots from the personal collection of legendary Guess Who and Bachman Turner Overdrive front man Randy Bachman.

“The deeper you go in this sale, the better it gets,” said Norwine. “Beyond the great Rock and Roll, the rare Hollywood and the amazing archival material you have props from some of the most popular movies of all time, including The Ten Commandments, 300 and so much more. The catalog for this sale reads like a Who’s Who of the entertainment industry for the last 80 years.”

To view the catalog for this auction, along with detailed photos and descriptions, go online to