Christie’s Hollywood Icons & Music Legends Pop Culture Sale!


Christie’s Hollywood Icons & Music Legends Pop Culture Sale 12/16/14

South Kensington – Christie’s bi-annual 20/21 Pop Culture sale returns to South Kensington on 16 December, christies121614catalogpresenting music and film aficionados with memorabilia associated with kings of rock, pop and Hollywood. The sale celebrates some of the greatest names of 20th century cinema through to today’s music legends, featuring costumes and film scripts, instruments and handwritten song lyrics and more. The full sale can be viewed here and will be on public exhibition at Christie’s Old Brompton Road galleries in South Kensington from 13 to 16 December 2014. Estimates range from £800 to £300,000.


An elaborate and evocative harem costume worn by Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe in a photo shoot with famed photographer Richard Avedon is a highlight of this December’s sale (estimate: £300,000-500,000). Ms. Monroe portrayed five legendary screen seductresses – Lillian Russell, Jean Harlow, Marlene Dietrich, Clara Bow and Theda Bara – in this Avedon shoot, which featured in the 22 December 1958 issue of Life magazine. The costume was worn by the actress when posing as Theda Bara, recreating Bara’s most famous role of Cleopatra. Monroe actively pursued the role of Cleopatra and sent Avedon’s portrait of her posing in this costume as Theda Bara’s Cleopatra to the President of Fox, in an attempt to persuade him that she was right for the part. Though the role went to Elizabeth Taylor, Monroe spoke of her shoot with Avedon as one of the greatest moments of her career.

Fans of The Terminator series should not miss a rare opportunity to acquire a black leather motorcycle jacket made for Arnold Schwarzenegger as the title role in the 1991 Columbia film Terminator 2: Judgement Day (estimate: £18,000-25,000, illustrated right and on page one). Several leather jackets were created for the film in progressive stages of distress, from clean through to completely shredded. This jacket, inscribed ‘ARNOLD’ in the collar lining, has numerous simulated bullet holes and is thought to have been used during filming of the Galleria mall scene, when the Terminator turns to shield John Connor from the T-1000’s gunfire and is repeatedly shot in the back.


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Leading the contemporary section of the sale is a custom prototype Gretsch Irish Falcon electric guitar (estimate: £120,000-180,000), made for U2 frontman Bono and signed by all four members of the band. Bono commissioned Gretsch to build ten “Irish Falcon” guitars for U2’s 2001 Elevation tour. Since then, the Irish Falcon has remained Bono’s primary stage guitar, used during performances of Walk On and One. To recognise his accomplishments as a musician and humanitarian, Bono was honoured as 2003 MusiCares Person of the Year at a special tribute dinner, concert and silent auction at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York. He donated this guitar to the auction to raise funds for the MusiCares Foundation. One of the first original ‘prototype’ Irish Falcons custom made for Bono to come to public auction, this guitar is sure to attract interest from fans and collectors alike.

Fans of the Grateful Dead will instantly recognise Jerry Garcia’s iconic hand-painted ‘Uncle Sam’ top hat jggdchrisites121614(estimate: £30,000-50,000). This hat was owned and worn by Garcia on various occasions in 1966 and ‘67 as ‘Captain Trips’, including the now famous shoots with Gene Anthony on the steps of the Grateful Dead communal house at 710 Ashbury St. and with Herb Greene at the home of Gene Estribou. Photographs from both shoots were used for the cover and liner of the Grateful Dead’s 1967 debut album, The Grateful Dead. This hat was part of Jerry Garcia’s personal wardrobe until he gave it to his friend and neighbour, Harry Tsvi Strauch. Strauch had asked to borrow the hat for a red, white & blue American flag themed window display in his shop, and Garcia insisted Strauch keep it.

Whilst Bob Dylan is primarily celebrated as the greatest singer-songwriter of our time, he began drawing in high school before he ever started writing music. Dylan started to paint seriously during his period of retreat to quiet family life in Woodstock, following his 1966 motorcycle accident. The Pop Culture sale presents Dylan fans with the opportunity to acquire an intimate portrait of his then pregnant wife, Sara, painted in the summer of 1968, soon after Dylan received his first box of oil paints (estimate: £50,000-70,000). Untitled (Sara) is accompanied by a copy of George Harrison’s autobiography I, Me, Mine, featuring a black and white photograph of Dylan and Harrison at Dylan’s home in Woodstock in 1968 that shows this painting on the wall.


The rich selection of film scripts and song lyrics presented include an extremely rare signed album cover for Michael Jackson’s 1982 album Thriller (estimate: £25,000-35,000). Jackson signed this album cover for a charity event in Budapest on 8 September 1996 during the HIStory tour and wrote the lyrics for the first verse and first line of the chorus of the title track, Thriller. Also featured are a rare set of complete, handwritten lyrics in Pete Townshend’s hand for The Who song The Acid Queen, 1969 (estimate: £15,000-25,000). Celebrated as one of the greatest and most visionary songwriters of the sixties, handwritten lyrics by Townshend are extremely rare and this is the first example to appear for sale at Christie’s.

A rare set of first, second and third draft screenplays from the 1972 Paramount Pictures film The Godfather is expected to fetch between £6,000 and £8,000. The screenplays are working copies used by the original assistant director, Stephen Kesten, with various annotations and revisions.

To celebrate the 75th year anniversary of the 1939 M.G.M. film Gone With The Wind highlights include a rare dialogue cutting continuity script used by supervising film editor, Hal C. Kern, who won the Academy Award for Best Film Editing for his work on Gone With The Wind (estimate: £7,000-9,000); a presentation script signed by producer David O. Selznick (estimate £6,000-8,000) and a 1938 edition of the book signed by members of the cast and crew including Vivien Leigh, Clark Gable, Leslie Howard, Hattie McDaniel, Olivia de Havilland and Victor Fleming (estimate: £4,000-6,000). 

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