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Screenplay of Howard Hawks' "The Big Sleep" leads at Bonhams Entertainment Sale
Katharine Hepburn Kennedy Center Honors. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple silk ribbons with three brass bars reading "Kennedy Center Honor," "Katharine Hepburn," and "December 2, 1990." Sold for $20,000. Photo: Courtesy of Bonhams.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- Relics from Hollywood's storied past were swept up by competitive bidders at Bonhams Entertainment Memorabilia auction on January 26. The sale exceeded its pre-sale estimate by 70%, with 90% of the memorabilia sold.

An exceedingly rare screenplay of The Big Sleep by William Faulkner and Leigh Brackett was the highlight of the sale, achieving a price of $81,250. The classic Howard Hawks film noir starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall was initially shot in 1944 but not released until after the close of World War II. In the intervening years, Bogart and Bacall's romance became a tabloid sensation, and Warner Bros. asked Hawks to go back to the studio and film additional scenes featuring the two actors. The copy of the script sold at Bonhams contained the original 1944 shooting script plus additional revision pages featuring the new Bogart and Bacall scenes. Screenplays of Preston Sturges' The Miracle of Morgan's Creek and the Steve McQueen classic Bullitt also achieved high prices, each selling for $9,375.

Bonhams' sale also featured a Ben Stahl painting from Ben Hur, depicting the dramatic moment in the chariot race when Judah (Charlton Heston) overtakes his friend-turned-rival Messala (Stephen Boyd). The painting sold for $25,000, nearly four times its high estimate.

Items once belonging to film legend Katharine Hepburn also achieved strong prices, including her 1990 Kennedy Center Honors award which sold for $20,000 and her 1982 BAFTA award for On Golden Pond which sold for $22,500. Bonhams was also pleased to present memorabilia from the collection of Academy Award®-nominated actress Piper Laurie, including a library of scripts, awards, costumes and props from the actress's storied career: Laurie's script from The Hustler sold for $8,125; a religious needlepoint from the Whites' house in Carrie sold for $3,750; and the actress's red wool coat from Twin Peaks reached $2,250 while her scripts from the show netted $6,875.

In the rock & roll arena, a rare Andy Warhol and the Velvet Underground poster for a performance at The Trip on the Sunset Strip fetched $8,750 and a John Lennon and Yoko Ono gifted sterling silver box sold for $8,125. Bonhams also presented the Joey Covington Collection, a selection of memorabilia belonging to the late Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna drummer, including a Rogers Powertone snare drum used by Covington on Jefferson Airplane albums and live performances which fetched $4,375.

Lucy Carr, Entertainment Memorabilia Specialist at Bonhams, comments, "We are delighted at the results of this auction, which show the continued global interest in classic Hollywood memorabilia."

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