a Vintage Los Angeles Lifestyle and Fashion Blog

PROPERTY FROM THE ESTATE OF GRETA GARBO

WARNING – IMAGE HEAVY.  It isn’t often that something sets my heart racing.  Who knew a simple social media scan could make my stomach go flip flop.  While scanning my Facebook feed, I came across notice of a very special event.  Julien’s Auctions was having a public display and subsequent auction of some of the estate of a Hollywood legend – Greta Garbo.  Garbo, a screen icon known for her luminous performances, extraordinary beauty and mysterious retirement from the film industry, has always been an actress who fascinated me from an early age. The collection made stops in Ireland and on the Queen Mary 2 on its way to Beverly Hills.  For a few precious days, this family collection, soon to be scattered across the globe, would one last time shine for those fortunate enough to hear about this extraordinary opportunity.

Greta Garbo

THE COLLECTION

The collection included clothing, artwork, household items and movie memorabilia.  These items will never be seen together again.  Therefore, I wanted to give those who could not attend the opportunity to view them.  There was also an auction catalog that may still be available for purchase from Julien’s.  So without further ado, let me share with you some of what I was able to see.  I’ll even record some of the final prices, especially where there are cards noting what the estimated auction price was.  Not all of the items were on display.  There were over 850 lots up for bid.  I certainly couldn’t post all of the photos I took, but it is a lovely little snapshot of her life.
In addition to the household items, which included everything from pots and pans, medicine balls and skis, glassware, silver service items, pottery, Louis Vuitton luggage, her painting supplies, and much, much more, there were more personal items up for bid as well.  I found it fascinating, strange and sad.  Imagine if someone took most items from your home and put them up for auction.  Seemingly personal items, like kitchen utensils, books, waffle maker and juicers and toys.  Nothing seemed sacred.  I’m sure the family kept many lovely items.  But to have so much of a legend’s items just sold off to the highest bidder, including her nail clippers, just didn’t feel proper.
Greta Garbo bar set

Monogrammed sterling cocktail set – This went for $27,500.

Greta Garbo china

Royal Doulton Clovelly china set for 8.

Greta Garbo china

Blue transferware Arabia teacups.

Greta Garbo check with signature

Signed check to Lilly Dache, Inc.

Greta Garbo vanity

Glass vanity items from her dressing table.

Greta Garbo passport

One of her two passports for bid, this one issued in 1964 – $12,000.

Greta Garbo etching

Birds eye maple cigarette case.

Marwitz sunglasses – $4,500.

Cigarette lighters and ashtray, circa 1965.

THE FINER THINGS

I enjoyed reviewing her more glamorous personal items.  Jewelry, money clips, and silver pens.  Little, elegant aspects that gave glimpses into her life.  One thing she loved was monograms.  She collected many monogrammed items.

Greta Garbo jewelry

Goldplated “G” brooch and pearl and diamond ring.

Greta Garbo pill case

Monogrammed vermeil pillbox – This went for $8,000

Greta Garbo compact

Gold Verdura compact – $27,500.
That would be my hazy reflection in Greta Garbo’s compact.

Money clip – $2,000

Rhinestone shoe clips – $1,250.

14K “GG” monogrammed baby I.D. bracelet – $2,250

Silver Tiffany pen – $1,100.

THE CLOTHES

Now we’ll get to what many will consider the best part – the clothes.  The Greta Garbo collection included everything from hats to shoes, blouses to pants and skirts, belts, coats, furs and, of course, dresses. Most of what was displayed were the dresses and coats.  While the display included a few pieces from the 30s and 40s, most of the display focused on her dresses from the 50s and 60s.  Some fun sizing tidbits – she wasn’t tiny.  As you recall from my post on the shoeprints of Grauman’s Chinese Theater, I’m envious of the tiny sizing of some of our legendary actresses of the golden era, so this was a nice observation for me to make.  This glove lot above ranged in size from 6 1/2 to 7, but others went up to 7 1/2.  While at least one pair of her shoes were a size 7, most were 9 to 9 1/2.  And were sensible and low-heeled to boot.

Greta Garbo dresses Greta Garbo dresses Greta Garbo dresses Greta Garbo dresses

Greta Garbo dresses

Black velvet evening dress from the late 1930s.

Greta Garbo dresses

Black rayon dress from the early 1940s.

Greta Garbo dresses

Brown and turquoise wool flannel skirt suit from the early 1940s.

Beaver fur coat

Black velvet turban – $10,000.

Navy blue leather Coach handbag. That’s right – Coach.

One of many lots of gloves.

The exhibition got me so inspired, I actually thought I might follow along with the bidding the next day.  By some strange chance I might be able to own a piece of Garbo’s legacy.  What happened next?  If you check out my next post, you may find out…

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3 comments so far.

3 responses to “PROPERTY FROM THE ESTATE OF GRETA GARBO”

  1. wacky tacky says:

    Wowee! I wish I had known about this. That evening dress is pretty incredible!

  2. Lily says:

    Congrats on your mysterious win! Looking forward to hearing more!

    Next time you hear about such things, throw a bone our way, too…

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