Marlene Dietrich’s “short snorter”, a roll of banknotes featuring signatures from various aeroplane passengers, is selling at Swann Auction Galleries.
Marlene Dietrich was one of the biggest movie stars of the 1920s and 1930s
The term "short snorter" supposedly originated among pilots in Alaska. The name refers to any alcoholic drink poured at less than a full measure, a favourite of pilots who learned early on that boozing heavily before a flight would often result in disaster.
So far so good. Where do banknotes come into it?
The idea was, you signed a fellow pilot's banknote and they signed yours. If you didn't have the note they signed next time you saw them, you had to buy them a drink (and vice versa).
But as Dietrich proved, you didn't need to have a pilot's licence to get involved.
She compiled well over 1,000 signatures on 83 different banknotes from around the world – including names like Ernest Hemingway and General Patton.
The lot is valued at $3,000-5,000, although it could well go higher when it crosses the block in New York on November 7.
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