Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Mary Pickford's autograph book for auction

H.G. Wells wrote that Mary Pickford was "his life-long devotion", Thomas Edison dedicated his entry to "the sweetheart of the Americas" and Benito Mussolini simply signed his name and the date, May 10, 1926.

More than 120 famous names from 1926 to 1981 signed the silent film star's personal autograph book, which is among more than 750 lots from the Pickford estate going up for auction for the first time on November 22-23

"These books contain the Who's Who of the 1920s and 1930s," said auctioneer Darren Julien of the autograph book and two leather bound guest books signed by visitors to the Pickfair mansion in Beverly Hills shared by Pickford and actor Douglas Fairbanks.

Pickford's autograph book, which also includes dedications from playwright George Bernard Shaw, aviator Amelia Earhart, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and car maker Henry Ford, carries a pre-sale estimate of $6,000-8,000.

That estimate will be exceeded by a huge margin. I predict well over $50,000.

Dinnerware from parties thrown by the Hollywood couple for royalty and the leading minds of the times are also up for sale along with paintings that once graced the walls of Pickfair, as well as furniture, photos and jewellery.

Before the auction, which will be held live, televised and online by Julien's Auctions, highlights of the sale will go on public exhibit at the Beverly Hilton hotel from Nov 17-21.

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