Saturday, July 20, 2013
BELA LUGOSI'S SCRAPBOOKS
It is not uncommon for actors to follow their own careers by keeping a scrapbook. One notable example in the horror genre is the huge tome that makeup artist Jack Pierce amassed during his multiple decade career. This was sold off at auction some years ago for $8,000. Lamentably, single pages from this scrapbook have been appearing regularly for sale. It is unimaginable to me that someone would dismantle a singular treasure such as this.
Now appearing on the auction block are three scrapbooks kept by Bela Lugosi. A huge biographical resource, this trio of books must surely be the find of a lifetime for any Lugosi fan. Included are clippings from his stage and screen appearances, as well as his romantic entanglements and marriages. Let's hope that whoever the lucky winner is, that he or she keeps this set intact.
Here are the details from the lot:
"A Bela Lugosi Group of Personally-Owned Scrapbooks, 1920s-1950s. Three total, compiled by and for the actor himself over the course of many decades, the first with a black cloth cover with a handwritten notation reading "Bela Lugosi / Dracula," with a typed legend glued to the left side noting in part "New York Stage / Productions," title page has a penciled annotation in the actor's hand reading "If found please call / Bryant 4811 - (bet. 9-12 a.m. / Reward / Bela Lugosi / Actor's Equity / 45 W. 47th Street;" dating from 1921 to 1929, filled with countless pages of newspaper clippings, magazine clippings, photographs (just two), theatre programs, playbills, and critics' reviews of 1920s theatrical productions Lugosi starred in such as "The Red Poppy," "Arabesque," "The Devil in the Cheese," and, most importantly, "Dracula," among a few others, housed in its own clamshell case; 2) the second also with a black cloth cover, with a typed legend glued to the left side noting "Personal / 1924-1935 / Sport / 1934-1935," filled with numerous pages of mostly 'clipping service' newspaper articles about the actor's personal life, covering his failed romances with Clara Bow, Iona von Montagh (wife #2), Beatrice Woodruff Weeks (wife #3, for all of four days), and Lillian Arch (wife #4), clippings also relate to the actor's professional life and public appearances; and 3) the third is oversized with a green leather cover, filled with newspaper clippings about the actor's activities starting in 1939 and ending in 1956 when the actor died, the last pages filled with dozens of Lugosi's obits from newspapers around the country (most of which got his age and personal information wrong) plus a handful of sympathy cards sent to his last wife, Hope Lininger; the contents of these three scrapbooks are quite comprehensive with fascinating and detailed information about Lugosi that cannot be found elsewhere - perfect for the diehard Lugosi fan and scholar. (Please note that due to age, many of the contents are now brittle and fragile, but still legible.)
Largest Scrapbook: 17" x 15" x 1" From the Book Sail / John McLaughlin Collection Estimate: $1,600 - up."