BEVERLY HILLS, CA.-
A standing room-only crowd and fans online around the world bid more than $900,000 in the Estate of Zsa Zsa Gabor Auction for hundreds of items from the Hollywood socialite's private personal collection.
The total sale more than tripled expectations: Several lots surpassed pre-auction valuations, some of which sold for as much as 40 times their original estimates.
A fan-packed, two-day lot viewing took place at her home in Bel Air, while the live auction occurred at Heritage Auctions
Beverly Hills. The viewing itself attracted hundreds of interested buyers, many of whom flew in from across the United States and Europe.
Spanning the star's 60-year career and red carpet appearances, the estate included keepsakes, designer couture, screen-used costumes and Hollywood memorabilia. Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt, Gabor's last husband and widower, said his late wife requested an auction to offer her private property to fans around the world; the star maintained a strong fan base around the world.
Top lots ranged from the sentimental to the luxurious: A portrait of the star an important memento by friend Margaret Keane took top-lot honors at $45,000, soaring past its $6,000 estimate to set a world auction record for the artist. Keane gained notoriety for her paintings of "big-eyed waifs," which became the subject the 2014 film Big Eyes.
Noted for her luxurious, opulent lifestyle, Gabor's five-piece group of vintage Louis Vuitton luggage brought $27,500, more than 13 times its $2,000 estimate. Strong bidding spurred a 1927 Steinway Model M Grand Piano, from her marriage with actor George Sanders and used in the 2013 film Behind the Candelabra, to sell for $23,750 vs a $10,000 estimate.
Among the lots that best represented the star's celebrity persona was a diamond and 14-karat gold necklace, immortalizing her iconic "Dah-ling" catchphrase, which sold for $20,000 an astonishing 40 times its pre-sale estimate. Gabor's assortment of paparazzi-blinding costume jewelry included a 1960s rhinestone and faux emerald necklace (seen on the cover of her book, How to Catch a Man; How to Keep a Man; How to Get Rid of a Man), which sold for $15,625, against a $400 estimate.
Never before available to the public, personal mementos included an archive of 13 albums filled with never-before-seen candid and professional photographs of Gabor with stars Ann Miller, Nancy Reagan, Cloris Leachman, Lana Turner, Bob Hope, Milton Berle and Tony Curtis, which brought $9,375, more than 23 times its estimate.
Gabor's keepsakes also included tabloid fodder such as a set of 13 drawings Gabor personally sketched during her 1989 trial for slapping a Beverly Hills police officer. Dubbed by tabloids as the "slap heard 'round the world," the sketchbook sold for $2,125.
More Hollywood memorabilia included a set of two address books, with contact information of Johnny Carson, Sean Connery, Ronald and Nancy Reagan, Joan Rivers and more, sold for $1,062 and a luxury leather saddle, given to Gabor by fellow riding enthusiast President Ronald Reagan, sold for $4,250.
Additional highlights include:
· A circa 1960 oil on canvas portrait by Peter Sheil sold for $12,500, on a $300 estimate.
· Offered early in the auction, several lots of costumes, gowns and dresses from various television appearances sold for a combined $11,100
· One of Gabor's favorite pieces of furniture, a Louis XV-Style Creme Piente Day Bed, featured in a 1967 television interview with F. Lee Bailey, brought $8,750
· An oil on canvas titled New York Stock Exchange, 1963, by Nicola Ortis Poucette, set a world auction record for the artist when it sold for $8,437.
· Another portrait featuring her only daughter, Francesca, sold for $7,500, setting a world artist auction record for Gabor's friend and Hungarian artist Fried Pal.
· 30 years' worth of television and film scripts spanning the 1960s to the 1990s from programs such as Batman, Bonanza and The Donna Reed Show, among others, ended at $6,000
· The star's circa 1961 American passport, sold for $4,250
· Gabor's circa 1989 California driver's license, sold for $3,875