Hollywood heirlooms for sale
Items from local collection up for bid
BALLSTON SPA Marilyn Monroe has almost lost her dress.
The white garment seems to billow around her hips — as if blonde, red-lipped Marilyn has caught a gust of air from a sidewalk subway grate.
“All you have to say is ‘Seven Year Itch,’ and everybody will know what you’re talking about,” said John Stanislowsky, familiar with the 1955 film that featured both the skirt and star.
Marilyn will be moving her movie scene next week. The life-size resin figure is one of 300 items in an entertainment sale Stanislowsky will conduct Tuesday at his Talk of the Town auction house.
Bids at the business, located in the Carousel Village shopping strip on Route 50 — across from Ocean State Job Lot — will begin at 6:30 p.m.
Fans of Marilyn, Elvis Presley and the Blues Brothers may consider investments. Two 6-foot-tall Presley figures, one that shows Elvis seated at a stool playing a guitar and the other putting the singer in mid-swivel with a microphone stand in his right hand, are on the auction roster. Jake and Elwood Blues, the black-suited soul men portrayed by John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd in the 1980 movie, are also available for take-out. So is a red-suited Louie Armstrong.
Stanislowsky said the colorful manikins might have once been stationed outside diners, restaurants or dinner theaters. He expects they will sell for between $500 and $1,000 each.
The figures, dolls, games and autographs in the sale are part of the James C. Anderson Jr. collection. Anderson, a lifetime resident of Schenectady and Latham who died on June 6, 2011, at age 84, spent much of his life collecting entertainment memorabilia. He worked 36 years for the General Electric Co., retiring in 1987, and stocked his house, garage and a storage building on Route 7 with his treasures.
He talked about his passion for autograph-seeking with the Schenectady Gazette in 1988.
“I don’t care who it is,” he said. “If they made a name for themselves, I want to get their autograph.”
Stanislowsky said he has been selling Anderson items for the past 21⁄2 years. Some of the man’s baseball, boxing and horse racing items have been sold at prior auctions. Proceeds are sent to the Anderson estate; the auction business receives a commission after each sale.
“Elvis and Marilyn were two of his favorites,” Stanislowsky said. “But he was into everything and everybody … we’ve been through a lot of it, but we still have boxes and boxes and boxes of stuff to sell. We’ll probably be doing this on a weekly basis.”
Elvis dolls, ties, replica gold records and an Elvis telephone — the “King” sings “Jailhouse Rock” instead of a phone ring — will be up for bid. A green velvet-lined guitar case that contains 18 never-opened VHS Elvis movies like “Viva Las Vegas” and “Spinout” is also expected to attract attention.
In addition to the Marilyn figure, nine Marilyn dolls with original boxes, Marilyn Christmas ornaments and a polished, porcelain bust of the star are waiting for new homes. The bust is really a cookie jar.
A Jayne Mansfield water bottle, featuring the film star in a black bikini, is in the Monroe collection. “It’s a pricey piece and considered very collectible,” Stanislowsky said.
Autograph fans will browse film and song stars such as Red Skelton, Little Richard, Elvis Costello, Nancy Sinatra, Sal Mineo, Christopher Reeve, Vincent Price and the cast from television’s “M*A*S*H. Anderson didn’t get all of them personally; he bought some of them. Some autographs, like a six-person country music collection that includes Loretta Lynn, Roy Clark and Waylon Jennings, will be sold in one lot.
People can preview the goods beginning at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday. Stanislowsky expects between 400 and 500 people for the bid session, and will try to rev up the crowd with a 5 p.m. performance by Elvis impersonator Drew Polsun.
“It’s going to be a fun auction,” Stanislowsky said.