Post-Sale Press Release
October 3-4, 2006 — Today and yesterday, Sotheby's with Julien's auction of Property from the Collection of Cher, the multi-award-winning international star, brought $3,536,940*, far exceeding the high estimate (est. $1.4/1.6 million). Fans and collectors from around the world gathered in the ballroom at The Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, California for the two-day sale. The highest price achieved was for Cher's black 2005 Bentley Continental GT Coupe, which sold for $204,000 to an anonymous bidder on the telephone (lot 184, est. $160,000-$170,000). Among the other highlights from Cher's remarkable Italian Renaissance-style residence in Malibu, California, was The Scarisbrick Hall Bed, a fine Gothic Revival brass bed, circa 1865, attributed to E.W. Pugin and manufactured by John Hardman & Co., Birmingham, which commanded $84,000. The top selling costume was a Bob Mackie designed Rock n Roll Outfit, worn by Cher during numerous concert performances, which after furious bidding finally sold to applause for $60,000 (lot 641, est. $2,000-$3,000). The sale featured approximately 780 lots of paintings, furniture and decorative works of art, jewelry, memorabilia and stunning stage-worn costumes from television, live concerts and special personal appearances.
A portion of the proceeds from the sale will benefit The Cher Charitable Foundation, which aids such organizations as The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, Operation Helmet and The Children's Craniofacial Association.
Lee Dunbar, Director of Sotheby's Collectibles department, said: "From the exceptional prices achieved by Cher's gowns and costumes that have been in the public eye over many decades, to the strong prices commanded by the more private pieces from her home, this auction proves what a phenomenal icon of style Cher has been over the years and the intense affection her fans have for her."
"We are truly honored to have conducted this auction on behalf of Cher with Sotheby's," said Darren Julien, President of Julien's Auctions. "Today every single lot found a buyer, a true testament to Cher's fan base and longevity as a performer and star."
Jason Preston, Sotheby's specialist in Fine and Decorative Arts, said, "Both collectors and fans recognized Cher's singular taste and discerning eye as they selected the items from her collection to use in their own lives and homes. We are especially delighted that the Scarisbrick Hall Bed by E.W. Pugin and the Victor John Robertson painting, Penelope and the Suitors, achieved well-deserved, exceptional prices."
Laura Wooley, Chief Operating Officer of Julien's Auctions, continued: "The "unmistakably Mackie" designs attracted feverish bidding yesterday and today, which demonstrated their versatile appeal that has held over three decades."
Bentley, Hummer, Ford
The highest price achieved was for Cher's black 2005 Bentley Continental GT Coupe, which sold for $204,000 to a bidder on the telephone (lot 184, est. $160-170,000), followed by her 1956 Custom F100 Ford "Moonstruck", which sold for $108,000 (lot 611, est. $60,000-$80,000). Cher's 2003 H2 Hummer, carrying an estimate of $30,000-$40,000 (lot 784), purchased for $45,600 in memory of Jeannie Wile, with the proceeds going to benefit Operation Helmet.
Jewelry, Fashion, Stage-Worn Costumes and Memorabilia
Among the approximately 200 items featured in the sale from Cher's professional and personal wardrobe, spanning 40 years of Cher's career, was a stunning array of original gowns and costumes designed by American fashion icon Bob Mackie. The top selling costume was a Bob Mackie designed "Turn Back Time" outfit worn by Cher during numerous concert performances, which brought furious bidding and finally sold to applause for $60,000 to Brigitte Poublon, wife of American singer and actor Bobby Sherman, who once appeared with Cher on the "Sonny and Cher" show (lot 641, est. $2,000-$3,000). Favorites included a Bob Mackie floral beaded gown that commanded $24,000 (lot 782, est. $5,000-$7,000), a Mackie original worn by Cher to the 1998 Academy Awards Ceremony sold for $19,200 to a bidder in the room (lot 544, est. $5,000-$7,000), and a black net gown with multi-colored embroidered dots and stones worn by Cherduring the "Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour" on January 16, 1974, for her spotlight performance of "Dark Lady" sold for $10,800 (lot 199, est. $3,000-$5,000).
Among the highlights from the 85 lots of Cher's personal jewelry were a Platinum and Diamond Necklace, Van Cleef & Arpels, New York, that achieved $90,000 (lot 458, est. $40,000-$60,000), 14K White Gold and Diamond Earstuds that sold for $19,200 (lot 63, est. $14,000-$18,000) and a Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust Watch which brought $15,600 (lot 59, est. $3,000-$5,000).
A few surprises of the sale included a Full Length Coral Cher Wig, which sold to applause for $16,800, after a battle between three bidders (lot 703, est. $600-$800), and a Bob Mackie designed War Bonnet, worn by Cher on the November 30, 1975 "Cher Show" during a cowboy sketch with Jerry Lewis, which sold for $12,000 (lot 757, est. $1,000-$1,500). Another highlight from this area was a custom needlework pillow that reads "Q: Name Two Things That Will Survive a Nuclear War" and on the verso "A: Cockroaches and Cher", which achieved $7,800 (lot 783, est. $200-$300).
Paintings, Furniture and Decorative Works of Art
Highlighting the more than 400 lots of fine and decorative arts in the sale is The Scarisbrick Hall Bed, a fine Gothic Revival brass bed, circa 1865, attributed to E.W. Pugin and manufactured by John Hardman & Co., Birmingham, which commanded $84,000 after much competition (lot 560, est. $20,000-$30,000). Other highlights include a pair of Gothic Revival patinated brass chandeliers, in the manner of A.W. Pugin, manufactured by John Hardman & Co., which were used by Cher in her dining room, sold for $19,200 (lot 215, est. $6,000-$8,000); a Gothic Revival gilt and polychrome-decorated frame, circa 1840, designed by A.W. Pugin for the de Lisle family's chapel at Grace Dieu, which sold for $18,000 to a bidder in the room (lot 396, est. $5,000-$7,000); and two polychrome decorated carved limestone keystones, Spanish, circa 1500, formerly in the collection of William Randolph Hearst and later in the collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which brought $12,000 each (lots 399 and 400, est. $5,000-$7,000 each).
Highlights from Cher's collection of paintings included Victor John Robertson's Penelope and the Suitors, which sold for $72,000 over the telephone (lot 638, est. $10,000-$15,000), and Ercole Procaccini the Younger's The Holy Family Served by Angels, which sold for $30,000 (lot 43, est. $30,000-$50,000). Leroy Neiman's colorful Portrait of Sonny, Cher and Chastity Bono, 1971, sold for $48,000 to an anonymous buyer in the room (lot 159, est. $4,000-$6,000), and Paul Pletka's After the Dance, sold to benefit Futures for Children, which provides mentoring and training in Hopi, Navajo and New Mexico Pueblo tribal communities for American Indian students and their families, brought $21,600 (lot 389, est. $10,000-$15,000).
The selection of decorative works of art was highlighted by a Lalique "Serpent' molded deep amber glass vase, which sold for $33,000 (lot 617, est. $15,000-$25,000); an impressive Continental Silk Needlework Allegorical Picture, 17th century, which achieved $22,800 (lot 230, est. $20,000-$30,000); and a pair of polychrome-decorated leather four-panel screens previously in the collection of Marjorie Merriweather Post at Mar-A-Lago that also sold for $22,800 (lot 227, est. $1,000-$2,000;
Among the books from Cher's library was a folio of drawings for "Examples of Gothic Architecture', volume II, by Augustus Welby Pugin, a leader of the mid-19th century Gothic Revival movement in architecture, who Cher sites as a personal inspiration. This important group of drawings, which sold for $16,800, provides fascinating insight into the preparatory work performed before the publishing of one of the seminal 19th century books on the Gothic Revival style (lot 463, est. $8,000-$12,000).
*Estimates do not include buyer's premium. A buyer's premium of 20% of the successful bid price will be added to the hammer price (there is also an additional administrative fee of 2.5% for eBay buyers, which will not be included in the final prices listed above).
# # #