Rat Pack tuxedos see 300% increase in Debbie Reynolds auction

A fantastic group of tuxedos worn by members of the Rat Pack have seen some of the top bids in the final auction of Debbie Reynolds' legendary movie memorabilia collection - perhaps the finest in the world.

Rat Pack Tuxedos
The tuxedos were each acquired individually, except for the Peter Lawford example, which Reynolds bought at the famous 1970 MGM auction

The sale took place with Profiles in History on May 17-18 in California, following on from 2011's now-historic auction, which set many of the movie memorabilia records still standing today.

Reynolds personally acquired a tuxedo each from Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr and Joey Bishop, but gained the Peter Lawford ensemble from the famous 1970 MGM auction at which she acquired much of her collection.

The group sold for $120,000, making a 300% increase on the $30,000 high estimate.

"There's an element of the 'Debbie Reynolds factor'," commented Profiles in History CEO Joe Maddalena in an interview with Paul Fraser Collectibles.

"I think that people understand that the provenance is so specific, so solid, that it made a huge difference to values. She bought stuff directly from the studios way back when, and that definately plays a part."

Top lot overall was a $130,000 VistaVision motion picture camera used by Paramount in Alfred Hitchcock's To Catch a Thief, Disney's Mary Poppins, Marlon Brando's One-Eyed Jacks and George Lucas' Star Wars. It was valued at $60,000-80,000, realising a 62.5% increase on estimate.

A pair of Dorothy's ruby slippers is one of the most sought after pieces for movie memorabilia collectors, with any memorabilia from The Wizard of Oz selling well

A pair of Dorothy's ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz - one of the most coveted items for collectors - sold for $44,500. The fur coat worn by Orson Welles in Citizen Kane made $100,000, up 66.6% on its $60,000 top estimate.

Harpo Marx top hat
The hat was acquired directly from Harpo Marx and even came complete with his wig

More highlights included a Charlie Chaplin bowler hat, which sold for $27,500. Harpo Marx's signature top hat - acquired directly from the comedian himself - made $22,500, while Vivien Leigh's black straw "Shanty Town" hat, worn as Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind, made $35,000.

As for the future of the Debbie Reynolds collection?

"She's held on to a few items, she has a Maltese Falcon that she'll never sell, but otherwise she's done," added Maddalena.  

Paul Fraser Collectibles specialises in sourcing iconic memorabilia and collectibles - view our online store today.

Featured products

Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Sale price£399
In stock
Fidel Castro signed certificateFidel Castro Signed Certificate
Fidel Castro signed certificate
Sale price£2,995
In stock
King Henry VIII Autographed DocumentKing Henry VIII Autographed Document
King Henry VIII Autographed Document
Sale price£55,000
In stock