Actress and socialite’s luxury collection of couture and fine art on preview in storied Bel Air mansion.
Beverly Hills: The private personal property of Zsa Zsa Gabor, whose opulent lifestyle defined the Hollywood aristocrat, will be offered for the first time in Heritage Auctions’ Estate of Zsa Zsa Gabor Auction April 14 in Beverly Hills. Never before available to the public, nearly 1,000 items owned by the actress include an extensive collection designer couture and accessories, Hollywood memorabilia and the socialite’s secret, star-filled address books.
Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt, Gabor’s last husband and widower, and Heritage Auctions are co-hosting a two-day preview event of the lots being auctioned from Noon to 5 p.m. PST, on Thursday, April 12, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST, on Friday, April 13, inside the couple’s storied Bel Air, California, mansion – an invitation unheard of in the world of celebrity auctions. Admittance to the preview is included with the purchase of the auction’s catalog ($50), which will be available at the entrance to the home, 1001 Bel-Air Rd, Los Angeles, California, 90077. The live auction begins at 10 a.m. PST, on Saturday, April 14, at Heritage Auctions, Beverly Hills.
“Her private collection perfectly captures what has become known as the ‘Zsa Zsa Factor,’” said Carolyn Mani, Consignment Director at Heritage Auctions.
Born in Hungary, Gabor emigrated to the United States, with her sisters Eva and Magda. The three quickly rose to stardom in New York and Hollywood and were sought-after for their distinctive European flair and style. For more than 60 years, the Gabor sisters were fixtures of American popular culture through starring roles in theater, television and feature films, as well as each’s multiple marriages.
Among the items going under the hammer are Gabor’s Hermès Etrusque Porosus Crocodile Sac Mallette Bag and luxury accessories by Chanel, Dior and a five-piece set of vintage Louis Vuitton luggage. Bidders also can expect an extensive array of designer couture, costumes and heels by Valentino, James Galanos and from Jean-Louis, Hollywood’s most celebrated fashion designer.
The star’s love of luxury ranges from a fancy, Italian 18K varicolor gold and diamond cigarette case to fine jewelry.
Movie and television memorabilia include screen-worn costumes and dozens of stunning evening dresses and gowns from various television appearances as well as more than 30 years’ worth of television and film scripts spanning the 1960s to the 1990s from programs such as Batman, Bonanza and The Donna Reed Show, among others.
Keepsakes include a leather saddle given to Gabor by President Ronald Reagan for the actress’ beloved horse “Silver Fox.” More than a dozen albums filled with never-before-seen personal photographs capture Gabor with friends such as Ann Miller, Nancy Reagan, Cloris Leachman, Lana Turner, Bob Hope, Milton Berle and Tony Curtis over a 50-year period.
An trove of correspondence sent to the star by U.S. Presidents – such as invitations, letters, thank-you notes and telegrams – form a unique collection showing how often the star frequented the White House over the course of many decades.
Among her private mementos is a 1927 Steinway Model M Grand Piano, acquired with her late husband, George Sanders, and used in the production of the 2013 Liberace biopic Behind the Candelabra, which was filmed at the mansion. Several of Gabor’s personal address books are on offer, with contact information for Johnny Carson, Sean Connery, Ronald and Nancy Reagan and Joan Rivers, among other Hollywood elites.
Iconic, New York winter scenes by artist Johan Berthelsen are among the collection’s fine art paintings, as are artworks by Hungarian artist Fried Pal and a particularly special portrait of the actress by Margaret Keane.
Marvelous examples of 18th and 19th century French furniture and décor include:
- a large silvered beef carving station from the Marylou and Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney family
- a massive, Louis XV-style 16-light crystal chandelier
- an opulent giltwood Neoclassical dining suite
- a pair of Chinese Chippendale giltwood mirrors
- a set of Louis XV-style gilt bronze wall sconces
There is also an extraordinary, 104-piece Moet Imperial Champagne collection with accessories and a fetching English Regency-style four-tiered “Wedding Cake” revolving bookcase table.
Pre-sale bidding for The Estate of Zsa Zsa Gabor Auction opens March 23 on HA.com/5371. The sale preview is Noon to 5 p.m. PST, on Thursday, April 12, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST, on Friday, April 13, at the mansion home of Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt, 1001 Bel-Air Rd, Los Angeles, California, 90077.
The live auction begins at 10 a.m. PST, on Saturday, April 14, at Heritage Auctions, Beverly Hills, 9478 West Olympic, First Floor, Beverly Hills, California, 90212. Immediately following the live auction, a non-floor, online auction begins on HA.com.