A "breathtaking" 40,000-piece collection of motion picture and TV memorabilia, original animation art and other historically important entertainment collectibles will be offered to the public on October 29.
Purchased 'sight unseen' from an abandoned self-service storage unit, the collection is described by California auctioneer Don Presley as "the find of a lifetime" and "an auction that is shaping up to be one for the history books."
Don Presley Auction Co of Orange, California - best known for its high-profile auctions of antiques and fine art from prominent Southern California estates - is producing the sale together with Dave Hester (Dave Hester Auctions) and celebrity auctioneers Dan and Laura Dotson.
The Dotsons, who own American Auctioneers in Riverside, California, are known to millions of viewers as emcees of the hit TV show Storage Wars. Hester is also a regular on the show.
He described the consignors as "two very hard-working individuals who have been business partners for 25 years. They routinely attend auctions to bid on the contents of storage lockers whose rent has gone unpaid, but they never expected to end up with a bonanza like this."
The prior owners of the collection, who are well-known motion picture industry executives, amassed the remarkable trove of Hollywood memorabilia over a period of several years.
"At first, we knew nothing about the identity of the collection's prior owners, and we had only a vague idea of what the items were worth. It was only later that we learned it was a very famous and valuable collection.
"We wanted to make sure there were no legalities that could prevent us from selling its contents," one of the purchasers said.
The collection's contents include movie memorabilia, props, costumes, posters, scripts and other ephemera; movie production items (including Disney and Bollywood), and thousands of Disney animation production cels.
Original Tim Burton art, unreleased publicity photos, and many autographed theatrical posters, prints and artworks will be up for sale.
A specialty collection of Wizard of Oz memorabilia spans the entire 20th century and includes posters, prints and lobby cards, autographed and foreign-language Oz books, film compilation reels with footage of decades of Oz productions, and movie production publicity stills that were never released to the public.
Additionally, the collection features Star Wars and Star Trek memorabilia, and thousands of examples of highly desirable Japanese animation art, with highlights including original paintings from manga and sci-fi legend Go Nagai, and fantastic concept art by author/illustrator Mark E. Rogers (The Runestone).
"We think there will be massive international interest in this collection," said Don Presley. "I have been an auctioneer since the 1970s, and in my opinion this is Hollywood's premier archive of entertainment memorabilia.
"It's filled with unique treasures ranging from the silent-film era through modern-day productions. A collection like this comes along only once in a lifetime."