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Press Release - November 8, 2021
Four Days and $11 Million Later, Heritage Auctions' Entertainment & Music Auctions Proved to Be Blockbusters
|Captain Kirk's $615,000 phaser rifle, Superman and Lost in Space screen-worn costumes, Munsters memorabilia took center stage last weekend
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For years, that sought-after prop has been a crown jewel in the world-renown John Azarian Collection. Azarian, a premier collector of film and TV memorabilia, brought his all-star assemblage to Heritage Auctions for its Nov. 4-7 Hollywood & Entertainment Signature® Auction.
Azarian's collection proved packed with blockbuster offerings, among them three sensational Superman costumes, spanning The Man of Steel's legacy from his earliest days on the big screen (Kirk Alyn in 1948) to his first appearance in color on the small screen (thanks to George Reeves) to the Christopher Reeve movie portrayal that set the standard for every Son of Krypton who followed. These Supermen soared to a total of $862,500. Meanwhile, a wardrobe full of colorful, coveted screen-worn costumes from the original run of Lost in Space sold for a combined $849,125.
Here, too, was producer Kevin Burns' world-famous collection of artifacts from the beloved 1960s sitcom The Munsters, which made its electrifying auction debut — quite literally, as Grandpa Munster's electric chair from the set of the series sold Friday for $40,000, doubling its pre-auction estimate. Burns' assemblage scared up numerous significant sales, among them two coveted Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine cover paintings by the master of monster portraiture, Basil Gogos — one, featuring Boris Karloff, which realized $84,370; the other, a portrait of Elsa Lanchester as "The Bride of Frankenstein," that (hair-)raised $68,750.
"The Kevin Burns and John Azarian auctions were enormous successes, and I was honored to bring these collections, filled with iconic entertainment items, to Heritage's clients around the world," says Heritage Auctions Executive Vice President Joe Maddalena. "This weekend, collectors reaped the benefits of those many decades Kevin Burns and Joe Azarian spent accruing the best of the best, and the blockbuster bidding that took place Nov. 4-7 is something all of us will always treasure."
One of the few surviving posters advertising the Beatles' 1966 appearance at Shea Stadium sold Saturday for $150,000, tying the record for The World's Most Expensive Concert Poster set earlier this year at Heritage. The Beatles poster was one of myriad chart-toppers in Saturday's Music Memorabilia & Concert Posters Signature® Auction, which all by itself realized $1,505,523. And a drum kit owned by Buddy Rich and a guitar owned and played by Eddie Van Halen helped drive Sunday's Vintage Guitars and Musical Instruments Signature® Auction past the $733,000 mark.
The four-day Hollywood & Entertainment Signature® Auction attracted more than 2,800 bidders who helped push the final tally to $8,699,820 — itself, a new record for the auction house's Entertainment, Music & Posters department. Among the big hits was one of the biggest hitters of them all, Rocky Balboa: Sylvester Stallone's screen-worn black leather jacket from 1976's Best Picture-winning Rocky knocked it out of the ring with a $325,000 sale. Bidders also fought over Bruce Lee's hero Nunchaku from the immortal Enter the Dragon, which sold for $175,000. And one lucky winner rode out of this weekend's auction astride Arnold Schwarzenegger's 2002 Indian Chief police motorcycle ridden in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, which drove off the lot for $84,375.
But no item was too small to win big, as proved by the "Wilson" volleyball from 2000's Cast Away that sold for $175,000.
Still, it surprised no one Star Trek's most mythical prop was the star of the show.
The images of Captain Kirk wielding the phaser rifle, whether in the second pilot "Where No Man Has Gone Before" or early promotional photos, are some of the most lasting from the original Star Trek. Heritage Auctions was thrilled and honored to offer the one-of-a-kind prop, especially given the recent passing of its creator Reuben Klamer. This is the prop that helped convince NBC that Star Trek could be exciting; without it, who knows whether the series would have had a future at all. It appeared only once. But it made an everlasting impression.
So, too, did the sale's three Superman suits, any one of which could leap a tall building — or a museum, anyway — in a single bound.
The costume worn by the original big-screen Superman Kirk Alyn, who took flight in the 1948 movie serials, went up, up and away for $81,250. And the costume worn by Christopher Reeve in his final turn as the Son of Krypton, 1987's Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, sold for $187,500.
But the mightiest Man of Steel — in this auction, at least — proved to be George Reeves, whose costume from Adventures of Superman soared to $350,000 after a bidding war. For years this costume, which experts believe dates to the show's 1954-58 run in color, had a prominent place in Azarian's home, where, he said, "I could always see it. I could always enjoy it." Now it's someone else's turn.
But that high price didn't endanger Will Robinson: Actor Bill Mumy's complete purple-and-yellow outfit from Season 3 of Lost in Space realized $93,750. That's the same shade of green also paid for another purple ensemble from the series, as Maureen Robinson's (June Lockhart) ensemble from the same season likewise fetched $93,750. And Marta Kristen's Season 3 Lost in Space ensemble, worn during her beloved stint as Judy Robinson, sold for $81,250.
So popular were the Lost in Space offerings that even a small section of the Robot's original legs sparked a heated bidding war. By the time bidding ended, one collector walked away with the piece of B-9 Class M-3 General Utility Non-Theorizing Environmental Control Robot for $50,000.
"Every auction held during these last few days felt like its own epic production," says Maddalena. "We can't wait to get started on the sequel."
Heritage Auctions is the largest fine art and collectibles auction house founded in the United States, and the world's largest collectibles auctioneer. Heritage maintains offices in New York, Dallas, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Chicago, Palm Beach, London, Paris, Geneva, Amsterdam and Hong Kong.
Heritage also enjoys the highest online traffic and dollar volume of any auction house on earth (source: SimilarWeb and Hiscox Report). The Internet's most popular auction-house website, HA.com, has more than 1,500,000 registered bidder-members and searchable free archives of five million past auction records with prices realized, descriptions and enlargeable photos. Reproduction rights routinely granted to media for photo credit.
For breaking stories, follow us: HA.com/Facebook and HA.com/Twitter. Link to this release or view prior press releases.
Robert Wilonsky, Communications Director
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HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)