Owning a piece of Hollywood history: Unclaimed auction items up for private bidding?

This week, a grand Hollwyood memorabilia auction saw the original Cowardly Lion costume from The Wizard from Oz, as well as the piano Sam plays it again on in Casablanca go for more than $3 million each. Bonham New York’s TCM Presents…There’s No Place Like Hollywood auction sold almost 90% of its lots for total bids that rang up $9.1 million in sales.

That means more than 10 percent of the auction remains up for private bidding or possible sales, though, making for a most unique Black Friday, Cyber Monday or any other holiday shopping opportunity for a comedy aficionado.

You’re too late to own suits worn in movies by Laurel and Hardy, or by Lou Costello, but there are plenty of vintage movie posters from classic comedies, including an old Al Hirschfeld available of the 1937 Marx Brothers film, A Day at the Races, still available.

How available?

Vyoma Venkataraman, spokesperson for Bonham New York, told The Comic’s Comic: “Depending on what the consignor wants, we do entertain post-sale offers. The items that do not sell during the sale have a chance of selling once the auction is over, in the coming weeks. Sometimes we return them to the consignor, if he does not wish to take this route, and/or bring the items back to auction, at a later date.”

So take a gander, as long as you’re probably already in a buying/gifting mood, at what sold and what didn’t at the TCM Hollywood Memorabilia auction.

I’ve highlighted a few items below that remained available at this writing:

FattyArbuckleLot 1: A Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle boater hat. Provenance: Accompanied by a letter of provenance stating that the signer purchased the hat at the estate sale of Minta Durfee Arbuckle, who was married to Arbuckle from 1908 to 1925. The couple remained close until Arbuckle’s death and later in her life, Durfee Arbuckle worked to promote her husband’s films.


screenplay_SlaphappySleuths_TheThreeStoogesLot 17: A Moe Howard screenplay from Slaphappy SleuthsFinal draft by Felix Adler, 23 pp, February 2, 1949, entitled Untitled Stooge Comedy- Production #4139, bound in brads with green Columbia wraps. The Stooges play detectives for the Onion Oil Company who track criminals by the trails of motor oil they leave. Provenance: Estate of Moe Howard; Collection of Joan Howard Maurer and Paul Howard.


hat_MegRyan_WhenHarryMetSallyLot 256: A Meg Ryan hat from When Harry Met SallyMeg Ryan, as Sally Albright, wears this hat as she and Harry (Billy Crystal) go on a walk in Central Park and visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Accompanied by a copy of the film. Provenance: The hat was won in a newspaper competition in Sheffield, United Kingdom. It is accompanied by a letter from the publication.


Alien_JackDaniels_MenInBlackIILot 377: An alien from Men In Black II. This character appears in Men in Black II as Agents J and K go to the airport area of Men In Black headquarters to find this alien is delivering boxes of Jack Daniels whiskey to the Duty Free store. 


Provenance: Collection of Rick Baker.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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