This Month in Collecting History - November 2016
By Mike McLeod

November 2, 1755: Birthday cake today for Marie Antoinette who married at the age of 14 to the future King Louis XVI of France. A Royal Louis XVI giltwood enclosed armchair belonging to Marie Antoinette was auctioned at Christie’s in 2015 for $2,714,250. “Let them eat cake” has never been confirmed to have crossed her lips.

Photo Right: Marie Antoinette’s armchair
(Photo courtesy of Christie’s Images Ltd. 2015)

November 5, 1913: Vivien Leigh was born in Darjeeling, India. The straw hat she wore in Gone With The Wind sold for $52,500 at Heritage Auctions in 2015.

Photo Right: Scarlett’s straw hat (Photo courtesy of Heritage Auctions,

November 5, 2015: Andy Warhol’s four colorful silkscreen prints of Muhammad Ali sold for $112,500 at Rago Arts & Auction, and a silkscreen print of Grace Kelly made $106,250 at the same sale. In 2007, a single silkscreen of Muhammad Ali on canvas with the drawing overlaid in red and stamped with Warhol’s signature hit $9,225,000 at Christie’s

November 6, 1946: Berta Hummel, later known as Sister Maria Innocentia Hummel, passed away. Her paintings of children were produced by porcelain manufacturer Franz Goebel as Hummels. Only the very rare bring high prices, such as an early Goebel Hummel Flower Madonna that auctioned for $1,565 on eBay in 2016.

Photo Right: Flower Madonna (Photo courtesy of eBay seller gunnerhood)

November 7, 2015: John Lennon’s original 1962 J-160E Gibson Acoustic guitar, called the most important Beatles guitar to be auctioned, skyrocketed to $2,410,000 at Julien’s. It was purchased in 1962 and lost in 1963 when left behind at a concert by a road crew member. It turned up in a San Diego guitar shop and changed hands twice before the auction (, 11/10/15).

November 8, 1847: Author of a dozen novels—including Dracula—Bram Stoker was born in Ireland. An 1897 signed first edition of Dracula sold for $33,460 in 2006. Also that year, a one-sheet Style F movie poster, 27 x 41 inches, from the 1931 movie hit the record books at $310,700, both at Heritage Auctions.

(Photo courtesy of Heritage Auctions,

November 8, 1900: Margaret Mitchell was born, causing a straw hat to sell for $52,500.
November 8, 1960: John F. Kennedy was elected the 35thPresident of the United States. His leather bomber jacket with a sewn patch of the Great Seal of the President sold for $655,500 at John McInnis Auction.
November 8, 1978: A part of America died this day with the passing of Norman Rockwell. He recorded moments of American life, such as The Gossips, which sold for $8,453,000 at Sotheby’s in 2013. In the painting, 30 people (his actual neighbors) passed gossip that circled back to its source.

November 12, 1929: The birthday of Grace Kelly, actress and Princess of Monaco. A Christian Dior gown she wore was auctioned for $72,000 at Julien’s in 2012. A Rear Window one-sheet sold for $9,560 in 2013 at Heritage Auctions.

(Photo courtesy of Heritage Auctions)

November 12, 2013: Jeff Koons' Balloon Dog (Orange), 1994-2000, sold at Christie's for $58,405,000—the highest price paid for a work by a living artist (, 11/12/13). It was made of mirror-polished stainless steel with transparent color coating, measured 121 x 143 x 45 inches, and produced in blue, magenta, red, and yellow versions.
November 12, 2013: A signed Andy Warhol black-and-white painting portraying a Coke bottle popped to $57,285,000 at Christie’s in 2013.

November 14, 2007: A single Inverted Jenny stamp soared to $977,500 at Robert Siegel Auctions. A block of four of the famous 1918 misprints topped $4.8 million in 2014in a private sale (, 11/4/14). In May 2016, a single Inverted Jenny graded XF-Superb 95 sold for $1,351,250at Robert Siegel Auctions.

Photo Right: An Inverted Jenny stamp

November 16, 1960: Clark Gable passed away at the age of 59due to complications after a heart attack. He served in World War II as leader of a motion picture filming unit and as an observer/gunner on five combat missions in the Army Air Corps. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross. His leather Army Air Corps flight jacket with name tag went for $14,351 at Nate D. Sanders Auction in 2012.

Photo Right: Gable’s Air Corps jacket
(Photo courtesy of Nate D. Sanders Auction)

November 19, 1863: President Abraham Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address. His eyeglasses were sold by Nate D. Sanders Auctions for $84,422 in 2013.

Photo Right: Abraham Lincoln’s glasses
(Photo courtesy of Nate D. Sanders Auctions)

November 21, 1920: The birth of baseball legend Stan Musial. He was an All-Star 24 times and played in the three World Series. A 2011 St. Louis Cardinals World Championship ring presented to him sold in Nov. 2013 for $191,200 at Heritage Auctions. Stan passed away on Jan. 19, 2013.

Stan Musial

Stan’s ring (Photo courtesy of Heritage Auctions)

November 21-22, 2015: Heritage Auctions sold a trove of 17 movie posters and window cards found under a linoleum floor in a house being restored in York County, Penn., for $219,000. A few of those found were: Casablanca, $95,600; a window card for Frankenstein, $89,625; and a Style D one sheet poster for Tarzan The Ape Man for $83,650.

November 22, 1968: The Beatles’ White Album (aka, The Beatles) was released.Ringo Starr’s personal copy, estimated to sell for $60,000, hit $790,000 at Julien’s in 2015—the second most valuable album in the world. The first? See Nov. 24.
November 22, 1963: President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. The original keys to the 1961 Lincoln limousine he and Jackie were riding in sold for $26,290 at Goldin Auctions in 2016.

Photo Right: The keys to the Lincoln
(Photo courtesy of Goldin Auctions)

November 24, 2014: Bert Lahr’s Cowardly Lion costume from The Wizard of Oz sold for $3,077,000 at Bonhams.

Photo Right: The Cowardly Lion costume (Photo courtesy of Bonhams)

November 24, 2015: : Rappers Wu-Tang Clan's Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, a 128-minute-long double album of 31 songs and stories, sold for reportedly $2 million (, 12/9/12) in a private sale. Only one copy of the album was created to make it a work of art.

November 25, 1914: “Joltin’ Joe” DiMaggio, the “Yankee Clipper,” was born in Martinez, Calif. His 56-game hitting streak in 1941 still stands today. Not hitting number 57 cost him $10,000 promised by Heinz 57 Sauce for an endorsement (, 7/17/15). A1942 New York Yankees Joe DiMaggio game-used and signed jersey hit $165,900 at Goldin Auctions in 2015 (, 2/9/15).

November 27, 1940: Bruce Lee was born, the master of martial arts. His yellow jumpsuit with black stripes worn in the movie Game of Death sold for $100,500 at Spink in 2013 (, 12/6/13


Credits: and
All photos are public domain PD-US, unless otherwise credited.



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