|By Carole Deutsch
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – Julien’s Auctions is once again rousing keen collector interest with the announcement of the auction of the property from the Collection of Bob and Dolores Hope. In 2008 Julien’s sold the contents of Bob Hope’s office to raise money for charity.
The auction was extraordinarily successful; much to the delight of Mrs. Hope who was still living at the time in the couple’s multiple residences. This Sept. 20-21, fans and collectors will have the unique opportunity to compete for 700 exceptional lots, comprised of contents from the Hope’s luxurious homes and their private collections, as well as career memorabilia, Hollywood relics, and Presidential artifacts. All items are in excellent condition.
The auction has all earmarks of a history-making sale; the preview alone promises to be an event in itself, a characteristic for which Julien’s is famous.
The homes of Bob and Dolores Hope in Toluca Lake and Palm Springs, Calif. rank among the finest of Hollywood’s golden era of grand estates. The landmark Palm Springs home, which was designed by renowned Modernist architect John Lautner, has become a banner for architectural brilliance and ingenuity. Period antiques and fine furnishings from these distinctive homes, which were decorated to the height of excellence, are represented by an eclectic collection of traditional Baroque and Georgian furnishings, as well as contemporary pieces from important makers and leading modern artisans.
According to Martin Nolan, Executive Director of Julien’s Auctions, Julien’s is putting forth an exhaustive effort to recreate the interior rooms for the preview in order to present the auction items in situ so the audience may have a virtual experience of how Bob and Dolores lived among the items offered in the sale.
“We have been working tirelessly on the preview venue and intend for the hardcover catalogue to be an archive of Bob Hope’s life, complete with his jokes, stories, and other mementos that typify his accomplishments and personality as ’the people’s comedian.’ It’s what we do, we bring things to life. We tell the stories and provide the memories as a keepsake for all time. At the end of the auction the audience will go home with yet another memory, and hopefully an auction treasure as well.”
Bob Hope enjoyed one of the most celebrated careers in Hollywood history. For 60 years the Hollywood legend performed as a star comedian, actor, singer, and dancer on radio, TV, and film. He also authored fourteen books, hosted the Academy Awards a record fourteen times, was an avid golfer who helped establish the pro-Am tournament as a way to raise funds for charity, and still found time to entertain 10 million U.S. troops over the course of four wars.
Hope, who had a positive influence on the lives of millions, was declared by the U.S. Congress as the “first and only honorary veteran of the U.S. armed forces” and has been, designated an American Treasure. He died at the age of 100 in 2003.
He married fellow performer Dolores Reade in 1934 and together they raised four children during their 69-year marriage. Dolores was a helpmate and partner to Bob in his overseas tours and engaged in her own charitable efforts. She recorded her first CD, Dolores Hope: Now and Then, at the age of 83 and then recorded a Christmas CD with Bob, entitled Hopes for the Holidays. She died in 2011 at the age of 102.
Martin Nolan stated, “When we think of Bob Hope a smile comes to our face because he was such a beloved entertainer who was not only important in America but throughout the world. The auction is a celebration of the lives of both Bob and Dolores and the proceeds of this auction will be donated to the Bob and Dolores Hope Charitable Foundation, which will feed the poor and help out veterans in need. While there are many distinguished pieces of exceptional worth we have priced several of the items so as to make it possible for a Bob Hope artifact to be available to everyone because that is the way the Hopes would have wanted it.”
Among the many sought after items that comprise the auction are Hope’s numerous signed Presidential books and photographs, highlighted by a John F. Kennedy inscribed photo to Bob Hope. Award plaques and trophies are represented by a Bob Hope People’s Choice Award, a Bob Hope Television Academy Hall of Fame Award, many engraved or inscribed crystal Hollywood awards, and a large selection of military and veterans’ honorary awards. Hope’s entertainment career memorabilia is highlighted by his personal Yamaha Grand Piano, his leather director’s chair back with a caricature of his face in profile, and an embroidered NBC Peacock pillow.
A diverse selection of exotic international collectibles and decorative items acquired from his renowned USO tours, mementos from the Hope’s charitable causes, figurines and novelty items from political VIPs and world famous celebrities, including a Lunar Globe signed by approximately thirty astronauts, a signed Tony Bennett watercolor on paper, and a Bob Hope gold belt buckle are all among the many points of special interest in this sale. A collection of clown related items is highlighted by a Red Skelton clown painting, a Dan Lutz painting, and multiple lots of ceramic figurines from notable makers.
Golf enthusiasts will be interested in a number of paintings, figurines, putters, tees, and tournament artifacts, including a Bob Hope golf tournament chain, a group of Bob Hope Desert Classic golf items, a set of Bob Hope golf cartoons by Graham Hunter, two Bob Hope caricature aluminum putters, and Hope’s personal E-Z Go golf cart.
Among the exceptional collection of fine furnishings is an important green Japanned gilt embellished George I bureau cabinet, a carved Baroque-style gilt wood tester bed, and three outstanding Turkish carpets, as well as vintage McGuire bamboo furniture suites in the Gothic and Clover styles. A George III style partner’s desk, with walnut veneer and inlay with a tooled leather writing surface, came from Bob Hope’s Moorpark home office. Hope’s Karl Springer-style lacquered vellum executive desk and three lots of Walter Lamb designed Brown Jordan patio furniture, considered the definitive 20thC Modern form for outdoor furniture, will also be offered.
Decorative accessories, silver, porcelain, china, and fine art include a variety of 18th and 19th century Chinese export porcelain tureens and urns, Asian porcelains, a Renaissance style majolica wall plaque, and two pairs of Karl Springer acrylic table lamps. A group of 66 pieces of Minton “Porcelain Ball” pattern dinnerware includes a set of 21 dinner plates, some of which are monogramed “H.” An elaborate Edwardian repoussé footed punch bowl, made of sterling with vermeil interior, has Sheffield hallmarks, 1901. Numerous fine art paintings from a number of 20th century artists are represented by Marion Pike, Leroy Neiman, and Jetta Stoltz.
All of the property in the Hope auction will be featured in a full color limited edition hardcover catalogue available for purchase.