DALLAS – On Thursday, February 23, Heritage Auctions will present a sale titled Property from The Estate of Veronique and Gregory Peck, an event that pays tribute to the careers and philanthropy of the Academy Award-winning actor and his wife of nearly 50 years. The auction will feature numerous scripts spanning Peck’s acclaimed film career, awards, landmark costumes, beloved and important works of art and myriad mementos the couple accrued during their illustrious and remarkable lives. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
Among the auction’s almost 250 offerings are five-time Academy Award nominee Gregory Peck’s 1962 leather-bound, photo-filled To Kill a Mockingbird script, the film for which he won the Best Actor Oscar (estimated at $8,000-$16,000), and a 35th-anniversary copy of the novel inscribed by its author and the Pecks’ dear friend Harper Lee (estimated at $1,550-$2,000). In fact, many of Peck’s personalized book-bound screenplays are included here, with Roman Holiday, Duel in the Sun, Spellbound, Cape Fear and The Omen among the celebrated, storied lots. Each one represents a high water mark in a career that defined Peck as “a popular movie hero who skillfully projected courage, wholesomeness and vulnerability,” as the New York Times noted upon his death at 87 in 2003.
Also included are the Golden Globe Awards presented to Peck as the “World Film Favorite of 1954” and for his performance in the 1998 television mini-series Moby Dick; and the H. Huntsman & Sons-made attire Peck wore as the titular character in The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit. The suit, which carries an estimate of $6,000-$8,000, was just one of the countless garments Huntsman custom-made for Peck, who almost exclusively wore the Savile Row clothier’s bespoke designs for 50 years.
Another standout lot is the poker table, chairs and chips given to the Pecks by Frank and Barbara Sinatra, who often joined Jack Lemmon, Angie Dickinson and other Golden Age greats for regular games. Its estimate is $3,000-$5,000. Indeed, so filled was the Peck household with bold-faced names the couple kept guest books signed by the likes of the Sinatras, Barbra Streisand, Gene Kelly, Charlton Heston, Elizabeth Taylor, Sidney Poitier, Quincy Jones, French President Jacques Chirac, Michael Jackson and numerous other icons and legends. Three of those guest books are included in this auction, along with the Lladro porcelain pekin vase that Jackson gave to the Pecks.
One of the auction’s centerpieces is a gift Gregory and Veronique received upon their 25th anniversary – a silver box presented to the Pecks by their best friends, among them the Sinatras, Johnny and Joanna Carson, Billy and Audrey Wilder, Cary Grant, Walter and Carol Matthau, and Rod and Alana Stewart. Its lid is engraved with Veronique and Gregory’s name and the date Dec. 31, 1980; the box itself is engraved with the signatures of their dearest friends. It has an estimate of $4,000-$8,000.
Anthony Peck acknowledges he was initially reluctant about auctioning items that belonged to his father and mother, including beloved works from their estimable art collection, led by Raoul Dufy’s (French, 1877-1953) Chevaux et turfistes a Epsom (Horses and racegoers at Epsom), which is estimated at $80,000-$120,000. Anthony says he would have preferred to have kept every single thing his parents once owned, wore, touched and made.
In the end, of course, the family kept those items he said “were the most meaningful to us, but it wasn’t easy.” They chose to donate a portion of the auction’s proceeds to World Central Kitchen, Chef Jose Andres’ nonprofit organization that has spent more than a decade feeding those around the world impacted by war, disaster and tragedy.
“Everything in this auction was chosen in the interest of supporting our father’s legacy and showing the kind of man he was,” Anthony said.
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