Style & Spending: Auctions

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The Independent Online
WHERE there's muck, there's money. Scandalous scribblings of the rich and famous are revealed at Sotheby's literature sale, Monday (10.30am). Greta Garbo's 40 affectionate letters to the Swedish actress Mimi Pollak tell of her feelings about romance at a time when her studio was pressing her to marry her fellow film star John Gilbert: 'I never look at any men (or women for that matter).' Of Hollywood: 'Oh, God, it is so awful.' Est pounds 15,000- pounds 20,000. Charles Dodgson - 'Lewis Carroll' and photographer extraordinary - writes to the mother of a family of 'beautiful children' enclosing a riddle for her 12-year-old daughter. Est pounds 500- pounds 600. Branwell Bronte describes his 'tormented heart' in besotted poems to his employer's wife, est from pounds 1,000. Aleister Crowley, in an unpublished and potentially libellous essay on Oscar Wilde, describes Wilde's consort, Lord Alfred 'Bosie' Douglas, as 'a sodomite and blackmailer . . . a common prostitute'. Est pounds 2,000- pounds 2,500. Also at Sotheby's, Tuesday (10.30am): the library and archive of the Fairfax family; some 500 lots of rare Civil War news sheets, est from low hundreds. Illustrated, private press and children's books: Christie's South Kensington, Wednesday (2pm). Printed books, maps: Bonhams, Monday (2pm).


At auction again: Charlie Chaplin's favourite bowler hat and cane at Christie's South Kensington, where it was bought for pounds 82,500 in 1987 to promote a Danish entertainment complex. The estimate then was pounds 10,000- pounds 15,000 and in the film and entertainment sale next Friday (10.30am) pounds 20,000-plus. Another Chaplin hat and cane are in London's Museum of the Moving Image, bought for pounds 15,000 at 'South Ken' in 1986. The sale also has costumes from Agatha Christie films, est from pounds 150 to pounds 600 per lot. Both this and Bonhams sale Thursday (2pm) offer film posters.


Nearly 100 lots of jewellery belonging to Elton John is at Sotheby's, Tuesday (7.30pm), where it is expected to raise pounds 750,000. Lowest estimate: pounds 70- pounds 100 for a nine-carat gold brooch forming the letters Watford. A charity auction of the photography, graphics and artwork in the touring 'Jimi Hendrix Exhibition' is at Bonhams, Monday (6pm).


The railway collection of the late Robert Adley, MP for Christchurch - including more than 3,000 colour transparencies of Sixties working steam - is to be sold by Onslow's, next Saturday (2pm) at the Oratory Hall, Bury Walk, Chelsea, west London. A 621-lot sale of political commemorative ceramics is at Bonhams, Wednesday (11am).

Calling time on the old year, clocks and watches are on Monday (11am) at Bonhams Chelsea, Tuesday at Bonhams (11am) and Phillips, with scientific instruments (2pm), and on Thursday (10.30am) at Sotheby's.

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