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Lot 0613
A pair of tablets from the classic Cecil B. deMille epic film starring Charlton Heston. The Tablets were crafted of thick, richly hewn fiberglass over wood created by Paramount Studios scenic artist A.J. Ciraolo at the request of deMille who insisted the props be authentic in every way. Rather than relying on the studio research department to meet deMille's exacting standards of complete authenticity for the film, respected Egyptologist Henry Noerdlinger was hired to do the job. Based on his extensive research and findings, thousands of sketches, drawings, costume designs, storyboards and, of course, the Tablets themselves were created. The design of the Tablets was the focus of much pre-production attention. Research was conducted on the traditional differences among the world's religions in the sequence of the Commandments as well as to determine the actual number of Commandments on each Tablet. According to research at the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago, it is suggested that the lettering on the Tablets would likely have been of early Canaanite style developed during the late Bronze Age, the time of Moses. In one key scene from the film, Moses descends from his mountain, the Tablets in hand, and finds his people worshipping the Golden Calf; he throws the tablets into the Den of Iniquity, which is swallowed up by the crevice which opens in the earth. Undoubtedly among the most identifiable and recognizable motion picture props ever created, it is believed that no more than a handful of Tablets were created for the film, with only four pair, including this set, known to exist. Fiberglass tablets, as well as Tablets carved from Mt. Sinai red granite, were crafted for the making of the film and were used, depending on the set, to accommodate different lighting conditions. The Tablets measure approximately 24" x 12" x 1 ¼". They are in an excellent state of preservation, having been presented to the consignor, a Publicist for the film, by Paramount executive Bernard Serlin who had stored them in his studio office. Also included with the lot is a copy of "Stereophonic Music from the Sound Track of Cecil B. DeMille's production of The Ten Commandments"; an original monograph entitled "Moses and Egypt" by Henry S. Noerdlinger, which was commissioned by deMille to provide the historical research and documentation relied on for the production of the film; an explanation sheet used in conjunction with the display of the tablets which describes their creation and five original foreign souvenir programs produced by Paramount for use with the distribution of the film. Undoubtedly one of the most important pieces of film history to make its way to the auction block, this lot literally and figuratively represents the Holy Grail in motion picture memorabilia collecting.

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Ten Commandments Original Film Tablets

Auction ended on Sun, Sep 14, 2003
Estimate $40,000 - $80,000
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8630 Hayden Place
Culver City, CA 90232
United States
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