Mae West Memorabilia, Jewelry Goes on the Block

By Paul ClintonSpecial to CNN InteractiveHOLLYWOOD, California (CNN) -- In 1980, one of Hollywood's greatest legends, actress Mae West, died. The curtain came down on a unique chapter in film history with her passing.Now, that curtain will rise, briefly, at Butterfields Auction House in Los Angeles when jewelry, letters and other memorabilia go to the auction block in two separate sales.The jewelry auction takesplace on Monday at 1 p.m. EDT (10 a.m. PST). The rest of memorabilia goes on the blockon October 24 also in Los Angeles.West's longtimecompanion, muscle man Charles Krauser, known professionally as Paul Novak, was West's major heir of her personal effects. When he died in 1999, West's collection -- thousands of pieces of movie andstage memorabilia, and dozens of pieces of authentic and costume jewelry -- surfaced and are now being auctioned by his estate. Kevin Thomas, a film reviewer and entertainment reporter for The Los Angeles Times, was a longtime friend of West and Krauser -- he gave the eulogy at West's funeral -- and went through Krauser's effects. In his search, Thomas found the actress' jewelry and her private papers, including West's 1936 income tax form, old scripts, letters from W. C. Fields and thousands of photographs.The love affair between between the two, who met when Krauser appeared in West's stage show with numerous other muscle men, was the real thing, Thomas says."He said, 'I believe I was placed on earth to take care of Miss West', and hedid," says Thomas, "They didn't marry because Mae West didn't want tobe Mrs. anybody." The letters from Fields were written when the two were in preproduction fortheir 1940 film, "My Little Chickadee." Rumors have persisted that the twodidn't get along, but that's not necessarily true, Thomas says."Mae worriedabout him drinking, and she sort of had it in her contract that he was supposedto behave on that score, and apparently he did," Thomas says.West did not worry about what others thought. Sexually, she was a liberated woman andloved to engage in spicy double entendres. One of her most famous was in "Night After Night" (1932), co-starring George Raft. When a hat-check girlsays to West's character, "Oh goodness, what jewels!" West responds, "Goodnesshas nothing to do with it."West was a one-woman sexual revolution, according to Thomas. "No actressever really had such impact on social morals of her time," he says.The jewels have generated many inquries, says Peter Shemonsky, Butterfields' director of fine jewelry."We've had anenormous amount of interest in them (jewels), especially because they were MaeWest's" he says. "To have a collection like this pretty much intact isunusual."Sellers anticipate her jewelry could fetch $250,000, but that hardly means every piece is out of reach of an average buyer, Shemonsky says."The group ofcostume jewelry, which is quite interesting, is estimated at between $200and $300," he says. "We have a lady's wristwatch which is between$700 and $900."There are pricier offerings, too. "There is one bracelet estimated at between $20,000 and $30,000," Shemonsky says. "The most valuable piece in the collection is the ringfrom Mae West. It's a large diamond, over 16 carats, in a period mounting from the 1930s." That period was an important time in Hollywood, and West was one of the people who made it that way, says Thomas."The '30s were a major decade in Hollywood history because movies hadlearned to talk," he says. "It was a very vibrant, creative, important decade in Americancinema, and Mae West was absolutely right smack in the middle of it."West's memorabilia comprises 60 large lots and is expected to fetchmore than $100,000. Want a piece of Tinseltown? Both auctions will be available on theinternet at www.Butterfields.com.RELATED STORIES:

Mae West Memorabilia, Jewelry Goes on the Block 1

recommended articles
Info Center
Designers Collaborate on Costume Jewelry Line
When fashion legend Diana Vreeland agreed to design jewelry, no one expected the results would be demure. Least of all Lester Rutledge, the Houston jewelry designer ...
A Gem Pops Up in Hazelton Lanes
Tru-Bijoux, Hazelton Lanes, 55 Avenue Rd.Intimidation factor: Minimal. The shop is deliciously decadent; I feel like a magpie bingeing on a mountain of bright, shiny...
Collecting Costume Jewelry From the 1950s
As the cost of precious metals and jewels continue to rise the popularity and price of costume jewelry continues to rise. Costume jewelry is manufactured from nonpre...
The Crafts Shelf.
Costume Jewelry Elvira Lopez del Prado Rivas Schiffer Publishing Ltd.4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen, PA 19310 9780764341496, $29.99, www.schifferbooks.com COSTUME JE...
VITAL SIGNS: SIDE EFFECTS; When Body Piercing Causes Body Rash
By DENISE GRADYOCT. 20, 1998They arrive at Dr. David Cohen's office decked out in metal, wearing rings and studs in their ears, eyebrows, noses, navels, nipples and ...
Pearls and Pendants Headline Japan Jewelry Show
Pearls, pendants and one-of-a-kind items of jewelry are set to dazzle visitors at the upcoming International Jewellery Kobe show, which will go ahead in May as sched...
How to Mosaic with Jewelry
First pick a theme and a major focal piece and then plan your mosaic around it. In this article I use a mosaic guitar as an example. I chose the Beatles song "Across...
All That Glitters : Give Yourself Plenty of Time to Browse at Collector's Eye, Which Is a Gold Mine of Vintage Costume Jewelry.
Years ago when I scheduled my first research trip to Collector's Eye, I allowed about an hour to check out the wares. Af ter three hours, I had to tear myself away, ...
Nerbas: Fake Owl on Roof Will Deter Woodpecker
Dear Reena:A banging sound woke me up at 5 a.m. every day this week; I now realize that a woodpecker is pecking my satellite dish. What can I do to stop him?Alfred H...
Christian Dior Store Reopens at South Coast Plaza
Christian Dior lovers now have a new reason to adore Dior.The Christian Dior store at South Coast Plaza celebrated its grand reopening Wednesday night complete with ...
no data

Since 2019, Meet U Jewelry were founded in Guangzhou, China, Jewelry manufacturing base.

We are a jewelry enterprise integrating design, production and sale.


E-Mail: info@meetujewelry.com


Address: Floor 13, West Tower of Gome Smart City, No. 33 Juxin Street, Haizhu District, Guangzhou, China.

Copyright ©  2023 Meetu Jewelry - Guangzhou Quanqiuhui Network Technique Co., Ltd. |Sitemap
chat online
Leave your inquiry, we will provide you with quality products and services!