LOS ANGELES – Julien’s Auctions held its most glamorous auction of the season, “Property from Joseff of Hollywood: Treasures from the Vault,” on Nov. 18. Bidders from around the world participated in person, on phones and live online for almost 10 hours bidding fiercely for spectacular pieces of jewelry and Hollywood history. Absentee and Internet bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.
Appearing at auction for the first time, this single most important collection of film-worn jewelry during Hollywood’s golden age of film featured a breathless cachet of spectacular pieces worn by Hollywood’s greatest legends and designed by the master jeweler of the stars, Eugene “Joseff of Hollywood.”
Over 500 pieces that were stored in a warehouse for decades once again shined on the auction stage starring the most buzzed about piece of the night: the legendary Marilyn Monroe’s worn earrings (above), which sold for an astounding $112,500. The gold-plated baubles worn by the screen legend in her most iconic image wearing her famous gold lamé pleated gown designed by Travilla sold for well over the original estimate $60,000-$80,000. The image was used to promote one of her most famous films, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes; in addition, her “pearl” earrings designed by Joseff and worn in the film’s publicity shoot sold for $81,250 also above its estimate $50,000-$75,000.
Nearly 80 years later after its release, Gone With the Wind continues to captivate millions around the world and endure as a pop culture phenomenon. Many of Joseff’s pieces designed for the Hollywood classic starred in today’s sale with his “diamond and amethyst” necklace worn by Vivien Leigh in her most iconic role as Scarlett O’Hara selling for $56,250 and her “coral” necklace in the film’s scenes including the barbecue at Twelve Oaks during her first encounter with Rhett Butler fetching $53,125. Other Gone With the Wind pieces included the cigar case used by Clark Gable as Rhett Butler which sold for $31,250 and the gold-plated bell earrings worn by Ona Munson as Belle Watling which sold for $8,960 (estimate: $4,000-$6,000).
Other highlights included Shirley Temple’s worn crown in The Little Princess, which sold for $37,500; Rita Hayworth’s gold-plated bracelet in Gilda and also worn by Joan Crawford in Humoresque, which sold for $31,250 and her 18K gold serpent bracelet worn in Down to Earth; gold-plated, chandelier earrings with simulated pearls worn by Grace Kelly in promotion of High Society, which sold for $19,200 (estimate: $10,000-$15,000); a snake cuff bracelet (below) worn by Elizabeth Taylor in one of her most memorable roles as Cleopatra, which sold for an epic $21,875, well over its estimate $5,000-$7,000; and a silver-plated, simulated diamond and sapphire winged brooch, worn by Marlene Dietrich as both a necklace and a hair ornament in studio publicity portraits used to promote Destry Rides Again, which sold for an incredible $28,800, well over its estimate of $5,000-$7,000.
Other extraordinary pieces crafted by Joseff of Hollywood were worn by Bette Davis, Judy Garland, Mae West, Norma Shearer, Greta Garbo and many more.