THE ESTATE OF DOUGLAS FAIRBANKS, JR.


Auction

Tuesday, September 13, 2011 at 10am

CONSIGNMENTS ARE CURRENTLY
BEING ACCEPTED

To have your property evaluated for possible consignment in the next auction, please contact:

Anna Hicks
Vice President
212-427-4141, ext 272


Edward Ripley-Duggan
Co-Director
212-427-4141, ext 234


Peter Costanzo
Co-Director
212-427-4141, ext 248


Media Contact

Louis LeB. Webre
SVP, Marketing & Media
212-427-4141, ext 232


Including Property From

Estate of Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.


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  • Regency Mahogany Cellaret

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  • [CHURCHILL, WINSTON L. S., (SIR)] Photograph, gelatin silver print on card mount.

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DOYLE NEW YORK'S AUCTION OF THE ESTATE OF DOUGLAS FAIRBANKS, JR. ON SEPTEMBER 13, 2011 TOPS $500,000

Historic Sale Marked by Strong Bidding from Fairbanks' Fans Worldwide

Hollywood Leading Man, Highly Decorated War Hero, and Distinguished Gentleman in International Society

Over 430 Lots of Memorabilia, Bespoke Clothing, Accessories, Photographs, Books, Silver, Furniture and Decorations


View Party Pics from Opening Night!

On September 13, 2011, Doyle New York auctioned the Estate of Hollywood Legend and Decorated War Hero Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. This landmark sale comprised over 430 lots of memorabilia, bespoke clothing, accessories, photographs, books, silver, furniture, artwork and decorations from Mr. Fairbanks’ Park Avenue home.

Competition between bidders in the salesroom and a global audience participating on the telephones and live on the Internet drove strong prices throughout the sale. This competition resulted in an exceptional sale total of $513,581 -- far surpassing the presale estimate of 207,775-318-225 -- with a remarkable 96% sold by lot and 98% by value.
 
ACCESSORIES, ART AND FURNISHINGS

Highlighting the sale was a luxurious 9-karat gold dresser set from the collection of Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. that soared past its estimate of $2,000-3,000 to achieve a staggering $45,000. The 25-piece set was made in London by Finnegan's Ltd., Bond Street.  

Art in the Fairbanks collection featured a marvelous Old Master drawing of flying angels in ink and paper by Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo (Italian, 1727-1804) that sold for $15,000, doubling it estimate of $6,000-9,000. Furnishings offered a 19th century English Regency mahogany cellaret estimated at $1,500-2,500 that sold for $9,375.

WINSTON CHURCHILL
From the Fairbanks library were numerous autographed books and photographs, including some Winston Churchill material that attracted a great deal of interest. A 1941 signed and dated gelatin silver print photograph of Winston Churchill inscribed as a gift to Mr. Fairbanks shortly after the Battle of Britain estimated at $2,500-3,500 fetched $9,375. A signed set of Winston Churchill’s A History of the English-Speaking Peoples (London: 1956-58) bound by Sangorski & Sutcliffe estimated at $4,000-6,000 achieved $8,750.

THE ROYAL FAMILY
The Fairbanks collection contained material reflecting his long-standing friendship with England’s Royal Family, including numerous signed cards and photographs from the Queen and Prince Philip. A pair of limed oak stools used by the Fairbanks at the 1953 coronation of Elizabeth II sold for $2,500, far surpassing their estimate of $400-600. A 1948 signed gelatin silver print photograph of Louis Mountbatten of Burma and his wife, Edwina, inscribed “A souvenir of India,” sold for $2,375, many times their estimate of $200-300. A leather dispatch case with the gilt cipher of King George VI estimated at $300-500 sold for $1,625.  

HOLLYWOOD
A stunning price of $1,920 was achieved by a gelatin silver print photograph of a group of early Hollywood celebrities, including D.W. Griffith and Douglas Fairbanks, with both of their signatures. It had been estimated at a mere $100-150.  A gelatin silver print photograph of Joan Crawford inscribed to 'Doug' and signed 'Billy' sold for $1,375, many times its estimate of $400-600.

GUEST BOOKS
The sale offered several lots of guest books from the Fairbanks’ homes in Pacific Palisades, London and Palm Beach. These fascinating books chronicled the entertaining hosted by the Fairbanks for such guests as Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip and Princess Margaret, Princess Grace of Monaco, Judy Garland, Charlie Chaplin and hundreds of others. The top lot among the guest books was the two from the Fairbanks’ Palm Beach home, the historic “Vicarage” estimated at $500-700 that sold for a stunning $8,750 after a prolonged bidding war between two very determined telephone bidders.  

WATCHES AND CUFFLINKS

Mr. Fairbanks’ collection of fine watches and cufflinks was highlighted by an elegant Patek Philippe 18-karat gold wristwatch engraved 'D.F. Jr.' that was offered together with a black and white photograph him wearing the watch with Marlene Dietrich. Estimated at $5,000-7,000, it achieved $18,750, the second highest price at the auction. An 14-karat gold cigarette case and lighter by Tiffany & Co. and an 14-karat gold cigarette holder by Cartier sold for $5,938, well over their estimate of $3,000-4,000. A 14-karat gold cigarette lighter by Dunhill monogrammed 'D.F. Jr.' fetched $5,000 against an estimate of $1,000-1,500. His collection of cufflinks and formal dress sets was highlighted by a platinum and gold dress set featuring diamonds and cabochon turquoise estimated at $1,000-1,500 that sold for $3,427. An unusual offering was a pair of 14-karat gold and elastic sock garters designed as initials 'DF' that sold for $3,125, far surpassing their estimate of $300-500.

BESPOKE CLOTHING, SHOES AND TRUNKS
The Fairbanks collection offered over 75 lots of English bespoke clothing made by some of the most prestigious London Savile Row tailors. Included were formal morning and evening suits, business and daytime suits, country tweeds, topcoats, waistcoats and classic navy blazers by Stovel & Mason, Ltd.; H. Huntsman & Sons; Hawes & Curtis; and others. The top lot was a three-piece dress suit with black cutaway coat by Hawes & Curtis that fetched a stunning $6,250 against an estimate of $300-500. A 1953 morning suit with black wool twill tailcoat by Stovel & Mason Ltd. with striped trousers sold for $3,125, many times their estimate of $300-500. A handsome 1960 smoking jacket in black velvet with a satin shawl collar by Stovel & Mason Ltd. with black wool trousers achieved $2,125, well over their estimate of $300-500. Topping his footwear was a pair of midnight blue velvet monogrammed evening slippers by Henry Maxwell that sold for $1,250 against an estimate of $150-250.   

A large Louis Vuitton steamer trunk with a cloth travel tag addressed to Captain Douglas Fairbanks fetched $5,938, almost tripling its estimate of $2,000-3,000.

All prices includethebuyer's premium.


DOUGLAS FAIRBANKS, JR.
Born into Hollywood royalty – his father was the swashbuckling actor Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. and his stepmother was "America’s Sweetheart" Mary Pickford – Douglas, Jr. entered the film world at the young age of 13 and starred in such films as Morning Glory, Prisoner of Zenda and Gunga Din.

After the onset of World War II, Fairbanks was appointed by President Roosevelt as special envoy to South America, in which capacity he gathered intelligence about Germany’s activity there. Later, as part of an officer exchange program directed by Lord Louis Mountbatten, he trained with the Royal Navy, with a stint at the Commando Training School at Ancharry Castle, Scotland. Mountbatten had been friendly with Douglas Jr.’s father, and had requested his assignment to the program. The two men remained life long friends — a friendship that would ultimately extend to the entire Royal family.

In 1943, Fairbanks returned home. Using the knowledge he had gained with the Royal Navy, under the command of U.S. Admiral Kent Hewitt he was instrumental in establishing the Beach Jumper program, which specialized in the art of naval deception and misinformation. Following the War, he was the first director of C.A.R.E., which assisted in providing much needed food and supplies to a war-torn Europe.

Fairbanks spent his later years acting in stage, film and television productions, traveling often to his beloved England and his "Vicarage" in Palm Beach, and enjoying the company of the myriad close friends he made during his long and well-lived life.

Images and interviews are available upon request.

MEDIA CONTACT

Louis LeB. Webre
SVP, Marketing & Media
212-427-4141, ext 232
Louis@DoyleNewYork.com

ACCESSORIES, ART AND FURNITURE

Lot 241
Douglas Fairbanks, Sr.'s 9 Kt. Gold Finnegan's Ltd. Bond Street Dresser Set
Approximately twenty-five pieces.

C Estate of Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.
Sold For $45,000
Lot 113
Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo
Italian, 1727-1804
Flying Angels
Signed (lr)
Ink and wash on paper
7 1/4 x 10 inches

C Estate of Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.
Sold For $15,000
Lot 116
Regency Mahogany Cellaret
19th Century
Of oval form, with lion mask handles, raised on reeded baluster legs. Height 22 inches, width 29 inches, depth 19 inches.

C Estate of Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.
Sold For $9,375

WINSTON CHURCHILL

Lot 130
[CHURCHILL, WINSTON L. S., (SIR)]
Photograph, gelatin silver print on card mount
. 7 5/8 x 5 5/8 inches, inscribed in full on the mount in ink "Winston S. Churchill/January 1941", with pencil notations "Harrods" and "Copy B4". Not examined out of frame but apparently in fine condition.
A wonderful photograph, inscribed as a gift to Fairbanks shortly after the Battle of Britain.

C Estate of Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.
Sold For $9,375
Lot 131
CHURCHILL, WINSTON L. S., (SIR)
A History of the English-Speaking Peoples
. London: 1956-58. First English editions. The first three volumes are fully signed in ink on the half titles by Churchill; the last is monogrammed by him. Four volumes, bound in full dark blue levant gilt by Sangorski & Sutcliffe. A near fine set, each volume with the bookplate of Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.

C Estate of Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.
Sold For $8,750

THE ROYAL FAMILY

Lot 258
[MOUNTBATTEN, LOUIS]
Photograph, gelatin silver print
. 11 x 8 7/8 inches, of Louis Mountbatten, First Earl Mountbatten of Burma and his wife Edwina Mountbatten, Countess Mountbatten of Burma, signed on the mount respectively as "Dickie" and "Edwina," inscribed in Edwina's hand "A souvenir of India," dated 1948. In presentation frame, not examined out of frame.

C Estate of Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.
Sold For $2,375
Lot 264
Pair of Elizabeth II Limed Oak Coronation Stools; Together with Six Books and a Set of Records Pertaining to the 1953 Coronation. Some with Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.'s bookplate; And an Official Souvenir Program from the Coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1937.

C Estate of Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.
Sold For $2,500
Lot 260
Dispatch Case
Mid 20th century
Black leather with gilt cipher for King George VI.

C Estate of Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.
Sold For $1,625

HOLLYWOOD

Lot 290
[GRIFFITH, D.W.]
Photograph, gelatin silver print.
7 x 9 inches, of a group of Hollywood celebrities including. D.W. Griffith and Douglas Fairbanks, inscribed (ll) "With best wishes/D. W. Griffith" and (lr) "sincerely Douglas Fairbanks." The inscriptions faded, that of Fairbanks almost to illegibility. Framed, not examined out of frame.

C Estate of Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.
Sold For $1,920
Lot 276
[CRAWFORD, JOAN]
Photograph, gelatin silver print, of Joan Crawford
. By George Hurrell with his stamp on the rear, 12 x 9 inches, inscribed in ink to Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. by Crawford (ul) "To Doug/with such/fond and sweet/memories/Billie". Very good condition.

C Estate of Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.
Sold For $1,375

GUEST BOOKS

Lot 316
[FAIRBANKS, DOUGLAS, (JR.)]
Two guest books for Douglas Fairbanks's house, "The Vicarage"
. Palm Beach, Florida. Two volumes, one morocco, one calf, dated from 1972 to 1989. Approximately 150 completed leaves written both sides, with approximately 12 signatures per page. Light wear.

C Estate of Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.
Sold For $8,750

JEWELRY AND WATCHES

Lot 351
Patek Philippe Gentleman's Gold Wristwatch
18 kt. gold, mechanical, dial approximately 25 x 25 mm., movement, case and dial signed Patek Philippe and engraved D.F. Jr.; Together with a Black and White Photograph of Marlene Dietrich with Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. wearing the watch.

C Estate of Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.
Sold For $18,750
Lot 340
Cigarette Case and Cigarette Lighter, Tiffany & Co. and Gold and Metal Cigarette Holder, Cartier
14 kt. gold, case and lighter signed Tiffany & Co. cigarette lighter signed Cartier, tip chipped, approximately 118 dwt. 3 3/4 x 3 1/8 inches, 2 3/16 x 1 1/2 inches. Length of holder 4 inches.

C Estate of Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.
Sold For $5,938
Lot 350
Gold Cigarette Lighter with Watch, Dunhill
14 kt. gold, mechanical, signed Dunhill, with monogram D.F. Jr., back of watch engraved 'To my boy from his boy'. 2 x 1 5/8 inches.

C Estate of Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.
Sold For $5,000
Lot 342
Gentleman's Platinum, Gold, Cabochon Turquoise and Diamond Dress Set
Pair of cufflinks, five shirt studs, thirty-six diamonds approximately .90 ct., approximately 34 dwt.

C Estate of Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.
Sold For $3,438
Lot 349
Pair of Gold and Elastic Sock Garters
14 kt. gold, with initials DF.

C Estate of Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.
Sold For $3,125

BESPOKE CLOTHING, SHOES AND TRUNKS

Lot 415
Dress Suit
Black twill three-piece cutaway suit, labeled Hawes & Curtis Jermyn Street London By Appointment, typewritten Douglas Fairbanks Esq. (Junr.) 8.6.33., comprising a midnight blue wool double-breasted waistcoat with peaked lapel collar, pair of black wool trousers with double-tuxedo stripe, black braces with a white edging, and a bib front dress shirt in white with self stripes, labeled Kustow 31 Dover Street London W1, handstitched D.F. Jr.

C Estate of Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.
Sold For $6,250
Lot 407
Morning Suit and Nightshirt
The morning suit comprising a black wool twill tailcoat, labeled Stovel & Mason Ltd. 32 Old Burlington Street, London W. 1., handwritten Sir Douglas Fairbanks March 1953; pair of black and gray striped trousers; pearl gray wool double-breasted waistcoat; white edged black braces; and the blue cotton chambray nightshirt with white band collar, placket and cuffs, labeled Bergdorf Goodman.

C Estate of Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.
Sold For $3,125
Lot 411
Smoking Jacket
In black velvet with a satin shawl collar and frog closures, labeled Stovel & Mason Ltd. 32 Old Burlington Street, London W. 1., handwritten Sir Douglas Fairbanks January 1969; Together with a Black Velvet Single-End Butterfly Bow Tie. Labeled Turnbull & Asser Ltd of Jermyn Street; a Black Wool Waistcoat. Woven with a shadow stripe; And a Pair of Black Wool Trousers. Labeled Stovel & Mason Ltd. 32 Old Burlington Street, London W. 1., handwritten Sir Douglas Fairbanks Sept. 1960.

C Estate of Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.
Sold For $2,125
Lot 380
Collection of Day Clothes
Comprising a wool two-piece suit with olive and orange grid plaid, labeled Stovel & Mason Ltd. 32, Old Burlington St., London, W.1., handwritten Sir Douglas Fairbanks November 1973; tan covert cloth Chesterfield coat; heathered brown and rust grid plaid sport coat, labeled H. Huntsman & Sons Ltd. 11, Saville Row London N.W. 1, typewritten Douglas Fairbanks 25.2.69; and a pair of olive corduroy trousers, labeled Simpson Picadilly.

C Estate of Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.
Sold For $2,048
Lot 363
Pair of Monogrammed Evening Slippers
Midnight blue velvet with gold bouillon DF monogram, labeled Maxwell Dover Street, London W.

C Estate of Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.
Sold For $1,250
Lot 366
Pair of Riding Boots; Together with Wood Boot Stretchers and Decorative Spurs
The boots stamped Made in England, Maxwell, Dover Street Piccadilly London W, and the spurs stamped Maxwell, London, R. S.

C Estate of Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.
Sold For $1,188
Lot 443
Louis Vuitton Steamer Trunk
With cloth travel tag addressed to Captain Douglas Fairbanks. Height 22 1/2 inches, width 35 1/2 inches, depth 21 inches.

C Estate of Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.
Sold For $5,938