Today marked an important day for a century of the hottest, most iconic Hollywood memorabilia. Mortal enemies Bette Davis and Joan Crawford agreed on their admiration of John LeBold’s collection of cinematic treasures. The Hollywood Legends Collection contains costumes, lobby cards, photos and portraits of all sizes, show programs, sheet music and song sheets, scrapbooks, and much more. The collection is estimated to be worth over $10 million, and today it went up for sale.
John LeBold was a costume professional, and over the years he has assembled a vast collection of treasured items, primarily from Hollywood’s Silent Film and Acclaimed Golden Eras. For nearly seven decades, he’s been collecting memorabilia, amassing The Hollywood Legends Collection. It is considered one of the biggest private collections of American movie history in the entire world.
He’s toured the globe showing the enormous treasure trove, sharing it with the public as well as royalty – such as Japan’s Emperor Hirohito and Rome’s Princess Alexandra Borghese. Due to his advancing age and health issues, LeBold finally decided to sell the collection, on the grounds that it stays together.
In addition to 6,300 lobby cards, 115,000 photos, scripts, movie skills, photo negatives, and programs, The Hollywood Legends Collection includes an overwhelming number of costumes and props. Some of the most notable items are:
• From Gone with the Wind: Vivien Leigh’s infamous green dress and Clark Gable’s green cape;
• From The Wizard of Oz: Judy Garland’s signature blouse and pinafore;
• From Cleopatra: Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry and famed falcon head dress;
• From The Maltese Falcon: Humphrey Bogart’s lucky suit;
• From Giant: James Dean’s work shirt and jeans;
• From Shanghai Express: Marlene Dietrich’s feather boa and gorgeous velvet evening gown;
• From Sabrina: Audrey Hepburn’s white chiffon dress;
• From The King and I: Yul Brynner’s red slippers;
• and from Thoroughly Modern Millie: Julie Andrews’ flapper dress.
There are tons more costumes and instantly recognizable memorabilia. Check out a full list of items. The collection has props and costumes used by recent stars, like Tom Cruise and Farrah Fawcett, as well as items used by classic, timeless stars, including Mae West, Bette Davis, Cary Grant, and Vincent Price.
The proceeds from the sale, which went to institutional and private buyers, benefit two charitable organizations: the American Dance Theatre and The Giving Back Fund. Isn’t it amazing to know how much cinematic history is preserved in this collection? What would you love to see?
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