Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Valentino Estate Catalog

For my 300th post I thought I would highlight one of the most difficult books to obtain dealing with Valentino, his estate catalog. When Valentino died he was reported to be in debt around $1 million dollars, George Ullman, his manager, assisted in setting up an auction of Valentino's belongings in an effort to pay off his debt. This book was published for attendees of the auction, there were only a few hundred made. The book contained a detailed listing of all of his belonging to be auctioned off. Included in this book are some photos of his belongings. This helps to serve as a guide for collectors who seek to own personal items owned by Valentino. The book is oversized with a fantastic photo of Valentino at the beginning of the book with a spider-web style tissue page. I do own a copy of this book, my copy has a torn cover; however, it is still one of my most prized books. This is an item I could never have enough of, except they are a bit pricey. This is considered the holy grail of Valentino books!

One of my faithful followers, Dizzy Dame, has asked me where I got this book and what is in it, both very good questions. I bought the book on ebay a couple of years ago. The book in the photo below is not my copy, my copy is torn at the top. I wanted to post a picture of the book without any damage. The book I purchased even with part of the cover missing was a few hundred dollars. The book lists many of Valentino's items such as, his home - Falcon Lair, his horses, his boat, clothing, swords, kitchenware, paintings, books, you name it. There are some photos but not as many as I would have liked. The items without photos are difficult to authenticate as being belongings of Valentino's if found today, and believe me everyone claims to own some of Valentino's personal belongings!

20 comments:

  1. wow,where did you you find this book?? you need to tell us some things that are in the book!

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  2. Tracy Terhune at www.valentinoforever.com has the complete estate catalogue up for browsing on his website. A great informative source for those who can't obtain a copy.

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  3. I am lost on this computer stuff...
    In 1983 I purchased a Brevete cast
    deco door latch from the craftsman that
    removed it from the (Falcon Lair)
    address. It is deco or older and guilded.
    There is a coilled snake possed bellow
    the key hole. This lock box is the size
    of a brick without the handel. It is in
    the 10 lbs. range.
    Any guidance for authentication? Any ideas
    on how to find a picture of it on the property?
    I have detailed pictures, but no idea on
    how to trace this casting. I was told that
    Valentino was "into" snakes at the time of
    COBRA. Any help?
    My next step is Southerbys.

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  4. Sorry for not responding sooner. Any type of personal item owned by Valentino, including property from Falcon Lair is very difficult to authenticate. If what you have is an exterior door you may have luck in a google image search for Falcon Lair. There are many photos online to compare your door to.

    Valentino had a cobra hood ornament on a few of his cars. He starred in the film Cobra in 1925 so there could be a connection there.

    I will be honest, it really is very difficult to authenticate it. Most Valentino collectors are very cautious of personal effects because so many people claim to own a hat, or coat, or scarf that belonged to Valentino. The Valentino estate catalog may also be an option for you as well. I do remember some interior photos of his house in the catalog. I hope this helps, good luck, I hope it is the real thing!

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  5. I have two wall scones from Valentino's estate that I bought in the 1980s from a man named (Ron Cowon) who use to go to the Beverly Hills and Hollywood to the auctions.
    I'm interested in getting an estimate as to what they are worth today.
    I am planning my will, and estate worth for my children. Any help you can give me would be appreciated.
    I was offered $1000.00 a piece for them in 1989 by a lawyer who had bought several of them also, and wanted the entire set. I no longer am in contact with that person.
    I can send pictures if interested.

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  6. Feel free to send me pictures of the scones. The most difficult thing to do with authentic Valentino items, personal effects, or items from the home is to authenticate them. The Estate catalog lists many items; however, many are not pictured, this makes it very difficult to authenticate each item. I will be more than willing to try to help you with you items, thanks and have a great day.

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  7. What price range would you consider reasonable for this item?

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  8. I saw the one on ebay. The copy I have is missing a large piece of the cover, I won it on ebay for $250 about 3-4 years ago, which is honestly the most I have paid for any one Valentino item. I have seen these in good shape go upwards of $1500. There were only a handful produced. This is one of the hardest Valentino books to get. It has been a while since I have seen one on ebay, so, it is difficult to say, anything under $1000 would be a good price.

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  9. I saw it too, that's why I asked. I actually placed a bid (I know, I'm on a rampage). Looks like a pretty good copy.
    Did you happen to see the autographed photos offered by the same seller? The signatures look a bit shaky to me. They just don't look quite right,but then I'm hardly an expert...

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  10. That is great, you are the latest force to be reckoned within the Valentino collectible world! It is a very good copy.

    I did see the photos. I have never seen any colorized photos signed by Valentino, not to say that some do not exist, I have just never seen them. Furthermore, Valentino's Sheik outfit colorized pink, that is questionable to me as well. On the Sheik photo it appears to be a stamp to me, but, it also looks too shaky to be a stamp or his real signature. The "R" in Rudolph looks way off. The Young Rajah photo looks similar but not exactly the same, again it appears very sloppy. He just did not sign a sloppy signature. Furthermore, the photos themselves do not appear to be 90+ years old. The Monsieur Beaucaire photo is exactly like one I have posted, but the autograph is in a different spot. It is a photo I have that where the signature is part of the photo. Almost all photos where the "a" in Valentino is dented is a stamp or part of the photo, but it is difficult to say. Of all 3 the Beaucaire photo has the best shot of being authentic. My gut tells me none of them are authentic. I will keep my eye on them as well. Notice no bids as of yet. Not many Valentino autographed photos last on ebay with no bids for $300.

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  11. I don't know if I'm able to go as high as the figure you mentioned, but I'm going to give it a shot. I'm hardly a force, just a big fan that's always wanted to collect and is finally getting her chance. I'll likely be outbid by somebody with deeper pockets, but I know these don't come up very often and maybe I'll get lucky like I did with the autograph.

    I feel you're correct about Valentino's signature never being sloppy. That's a great tip about the dented "a". I'm learning a lot from you and your very comprehensive blog.

    I'm so grateful to have your guidance so I don't have to start out the hard way like you. Haha.

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  12. Thank you for the kind words. I think you have a good shot at the auction catalog. This is not typically a time of the year where people spend a great deal of money on ebay, so keep your fingers crossed. I hope you get it!

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  13. I have a catalog get in touch with me 734 652 0785 even just to talk about it

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  14. Feel free to email directly if you want, just click on my profile and follow the link, thanks and have a great day.

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  15. I also have an excellent copy of this book that I would be willing to part with for the right price. Please email me @ kelley.harris72@yahoo.com for photos and more information

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    Replies
    1. Hi - did you sell your copy of the catalog?

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  16. My uncle left me a Saphire pinky ring that was sold at the Rudolph Valentino Auction. I'm looking into finding a picture or item list from the cataloge from the Auction. glaze.charlie@yahoo.com.

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  17. My future son-in-law just found a good copy of this wonderful catalog, and wants me to sell it for him. 95 beautiful pages, and the cover is missing a 1/2" and 1" piece on the lower left. I'll take photos and post it on an auction site, but am asking the question here: where best would you auction one of these today? November 20th 2012 - it might make a great present !

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  18. Where would I go to get the book The Estate of Rudolph Valentino appraised and to sell?

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  19. Anyone who knows can email me at jet9999@aol.com

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