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Celebrated memorabilia charting the history of film and music at Christie's in November
Nirvana. A 1960s Japanese Zen-On bass guitar body, in sunburst finish, no neck-- used by Krist Novoselic with Nirvana in the video for the 1991 Nirvana track Smells Like Teen Spirit and later smashed by Kurt Cobain on stage during the video; accompanied by a document concerning the provenance. Estimate: £15,000-25,000. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2012.

LONDON.- Christie’s presents POP CULTURE, showcasing important memorabilia dating from every decade of the past century of popular culture from the ubiquitous industries of film and music, on 29 November 2012. Charting the history of cinema, from Charlie Chaplin, Anna May Wong and early Disney animation through to Skyfall, and the history of pop and rock and roll from Elvis through to Nirvana and The Beatles through to Madonna and Britney, the auction will offer costumes, props, photographs, original artwork, instruments and personal items. Featuring items previously worn, owned or played by rock, pop and Hollywood royalty the selection on offer provides collectors spanning several generations the opportunity to acquire a piece of memorabilia associated with their celebrity idols. Many of the items presented have never been offered at auction before.

The sale will comprise 160 lots with estimates for individual items ranging from £800 to £45,000; all items on offer will be available to view on exhibition at Christie’s Old Brompton Road galleries in South Kensington, London, from 24 to 28 November 2012.


Overcoming contemporary Hollywood practice, ANNA MAY WONG was ground-breaking as the first Asian-American movie star, making her silver screen debut in the 1920s and popular through the 1930s. This is only the second time that a costume previously belonging to her has appeared on the market, making it an incredibly rare occasion. The Chinese dancing costume, comprising an embroidered red satin dragon tunic, apron skirt, red satin trousers, blue satin boots complete with pom-pom headdress was worn by Anna May Wong in the 1937 Paramount Pictures film DAUGHTER OF SHANGHAI (est: £3,000-5,000).

GRAUMAN'S CHINESE THEATRE in Hollywood is one of the most celebrated movie theatres of the modern age, most renowned for its famous forecourt of celebrity hand and foot prints. Built and designed by Meyer and Holler, led by their most notable architect Raymond Kennedy, it opened in 1927. Kennedy liaised closely with Sid Grauman on the design of the theatre, and this architectural rendering would most likely have been produced to sell the concept of the project to investors. This rare and unique piece is one of the few known original illustrations of a theatre from the 1920s and offers the opportunity to own an exceptional item of Hollywood history (est: £15,000-20,000).

Released in 1940, based upon the story written by Carlo Collodi in 1883, Pinocchio was the second of the WALT DISNEY Animated Classics. Gustaf Tenggren was one of several European artists hired by Disney in the 1930s who worked upon the film. This original concept painting by him was one of several preparatory works, used to produce a general macabre atmosphere for the film’s imagery (est: £35,000-45,000). The artwork leads a Disney section of eighteen lots within the sale.

TARZAN first appeared in print 100 years ago, created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, in the novel Tarzan of the Apes (magazine published 1912; book published 1914). Within Christie’s auction is Burne Hogarth’s signed and inscribed original art work for the syndicated Tarzan comic strip from the series’ Tarzan Against Dagga Ramba (1942) and Tarzan And The Barbarians (1943) (est: £10,000-12,000 each).

One of the most celebrated pin-up artists, Peruvian ALBERTO VARGAS (1896-1983) is most well-known for his 'Varga Girls'. His Hollywood career began in 1919, hired by Florence Ziegfeld to paint a series of portraits of the stars of his Ziegfeld Follies. The commission lasted until the 1930s when Vargas went on to work with all the major studios of the time including Paramount, Twentieth Century Fox, Warner Bros. and M.G.M., who commissioned him to paint studio portraits of their starlets. This signed portrait of AVA GARDNER, offered from the artist’s estate, was probably commissioned by M.G.M. following the smash hit success of their 1946 film The Killers; it is likely that Gardner posed for the portrait (est: £20,000-30,000).

Marilyn In White has become one of the most famous images of 20th century cinema, depicting starlet MARILYN MONROE in a white billowing dress standing on a subway grating. Illustrating one of the best-known scenes in The Seven Year Itch (1955), directed by Billy Wilder, the dress was created by costume designer William Travilla and is currently on display in the UK for the first time at the V&A museum’s major new exhibition, Hollywood Costume. Taken by photographer Bernard of Hollywood (1912-1987) in 1954, this 14x11in. (35.6x28cm.) gelatin silver print was printed later, and has been signed on the reverse by the photographer (est: £10,000-15,000).

A yearbook, featuring and signed by Robert Zimmerman, who later became known as BOB DYLAN, when he was a high-school student and only seventeen years old, is a rare item within the sale. Dating from 1958, before Dylan left Minnesota for the bright lights of New York City it is inscribed: “Dear Jerry, Well the year's almost all over now huh. Remember the "sessions" down at Collier. Keep practicing the guitar and maybe someday you'll be great! a friend, Bob Zimmerman” (est: £4,000-6,000).

1960s and 1970s
One of the most popular musicians of the 20th century, ELVIS PRESLEY (1935-1977) is known to most simply as ‘the King of Rock and Roll’. Recently rediscovered, an 18ct. gold and diamond-set Oyster Perpetual Day wristwatch, by Rolex, given to Elvis by his manager for what would be his last Christmas, 1976, is engraved on the reverse ‘ELVIS MERRY CHRISTMAS YOUR PAL COL. TOM PARKER’ (est: £6,000-8,000).

A section of over 40 lots associated with THE BEATLES features items relating to every member of the famous four-piece. One of the earliest pieces is a vintage poster for a gig dating from the same month that they signed their historic recording contract with Parlophone in June 1962. A postcard sent by John Lennon during his first ‘Bed-In For Peace’ in Amsterdam, 1969 features a self-portrait caricature and is to be sold by the fan, then sixteen, who originally wrote to Lennon asking for a drawing (est: £4,000-6,000). Another highlight is a contemporary series Hofner 500/1 violin bass guitar played and signed by Paul McCartney (est: £5,000-7,000).

Mick Jagger’s lace-up sleeveless jumpsuit made by Ossie Clark for THE ROLLING STONES' U.S. Tour, 1972 is aptly flamboyant (est: £8,000-12,000). Of pearl white velour and embellished allover with silver metal poppers backed by transparent sequins, Jagger is seen wearing it at Madison Square Garden with Stevie Wonder on stage at the last show of the tour, also his 29th birthday.

The sale presents the most notorious prop from the INDIANA JONES film franchise, Dr. Henry 'Indiana' Jones Jr.'s trademark bull-whip (est: £10,000-15,000). The whip on offer, made for the trilogy and used by Harrison Ford, saves Jones’ life on several occasions. Originally donated by Steven Spielberg to a charity auction in 2001, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of this lot will go to UNICEF. Also offered are a rare prop facsimile manuscript book known as the 'Grail Diary', filled with drawings and annotations (est: £5,000-7,000) and the Holy Grail itself (est: £2,500-3,500), both central to the plot of the final film in the trilogy, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989).

The twelfth release in the JAMES BOND film franchise, For Your Eyes Only (1981) tracks Bond’s (Roger Moore) mission to retrieve the Automatic Targeting Attack Communicator (ATAC), the system used to co-ordinate the Royal Navy's fleet of Polaris submarines, before the Soviets do. During the mission, whilst spying on the Spanish villa of Cuban hit-man Hector Gonzales, a tense scene ensues where Bond and Countess Lisl von Schlaf are chased across the beach by three beach buggies, driven by villain Emile Locque and his henchmen. The Countess is killed, but Bond escapes. Only two other examples of the GP Beach Buggy are known to exist (est: £5,000-7,000).

A stage-style inaugurated by MADONNA, and now synonymous with the Queen of Pop, the conical-cup corsets made by Jean-Paul Gaultier are undeniably her most recognisable outfits. This exquisitely made couture corset is fully beaded and showcases Gaultier's top couture skills; it has never appeared on the market before and was worn by Madonna on her Blond Ambition tour in 1990, (est: £10,000-15,000). Another costume also features, worn by Madonna on the same tour, comprising a black bustier and lycra bodysuit (est: £8,000-12,000).

Representing ‘grunge’’s first entry into the mainstream, Smells Like Teen Spirit was the opening track from NIRVANA's album Nevermind whose unexpected success propelled the album to the top of the charts and Nirvana into superstardom, becoming one of the most influential bands of the ‘90s. It was Nirvana's biggest hit and achieved critical and commercial success, also winning awards for its music video. The vendor of the 1960s Japanese Zen-On bass guitar body, as seen played by Krist Novoselic and then smashed by Cobain at the end of the video, was a teenager visiting LA with his parents in 1991 when he applied to be an extra and attended the shoot which ends in anarchy and riot; he retrieved the guitar from the set. The guitar was purchased specially for the shoot - as he knew it would end up being smashed to pieces, Novoselic wanted a cheap guitar to play and bought this from a local pawnbrokers (est: £15,000-25,000).

Two important props, central to the plot of the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN film franchise feature: a detailed prop compass as used by Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow in the 2003 Walt Disney Pictures film Pirates Of The Caribbean: Curse Of The Black Pearl, together with two Aztec gold medallions (est: £4,000-6,000). The compass, bartered from Tia Dalma (Naomie Harris), does not point north but points to the thing you want most in this world. In Curse Of The Black Pearl, it leads Jack to the Isla de Muerta to find the Treasure of Cortés. Jack Sparrow’s compass continues to feature heavily in the next three films. The medallions are worn around the neck of Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley), and are part of the cursed Aztec gold forming the scattered Treasure of Cortés which the crew of The Black Pearl must return to the chest to lift the curse.

The 23rd and most recent film in the JAMES BOND franchise is represented by a replica fibreglass SKYFALL sign, one of a limited edition of thirteen made from the original prop sign used in the 2012 United Artists/EON Productions film Skyfall (est: £1,000-1,500). Skyfall refers to the ancestral home of James Bond. All proceeds from the sale of this lot will be donated to a charity selected by EON Productions.

A pair of rimless Emporio Armani sunglasses gifted to the vendor as a thank you after having acted as BONO’s stand-in for checking lighting whilst filming for the 2009 Blackberry advertising campaign Blackberry Loves U2 (est: £1,000-1,500). As the frontman of U2, Bono’s sunglasses are his trademark, and they play an integral part to the advert. Glasses worn by Bono very rarely appear on the market.

The outfits of no less than three contemporary pop princesses feature within the sale: BRITNEY SPEARS, GWEN STEFANI and KATY PERRY – a La Perla boned corset of sheer black nylon with feather sprays worn by Britney Spears for her performance of Womanizer at the Bambi Awards in Germany in November 2008 (est: £1,000-1,500); a two-piece tartan wool suit by Vivienne Westwood from the Exhibition collection, Autumn/Winter 2004/2005 worn by Gwen Stefani for a magazine shoot, circa 2004 (est: £1,000-1,500); and a unique couture Swarovski crystal-encrusted mermaid costume by Furne One worn by Katy Perry for the 2012 GHD advertising campaign shot by David LaChapelle (est: £2,000-3,000).

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