Julien’s Auctions invites you to attend the auction of one of the greatest pioneers of television comedy. On September 22, 2013, join Julien’s as we present Property from the Estate of Phyllis Diller.
The first lady of comedy and cultural icon was known for decades for her self-deprecating humor. In the 1960s, her fame skyrocketed, appearing on several of Bob Hope’s television specials, USO tours and three movies. Wearing her trademark blonde wig, long cigarette holder and loud cackling laugh, Diller’s jokes and gags played off of a persona of dreadful cook and eccentric, disheveled housewife to “Fang,” her imaginary husband.
The auction includes Diller’s extraordinary costumes, wigs and jewelry from her professional, stage and television appearances, together with outstanding antiques, artwork, and memorabilia from her longtime residence on South Rockingham Avenue in Los Angeles. Also offered for sale are many items from her fruitful collaboration with Bob Hope. These highlights include a camel colored coat and dress ensemble that Phyllis Diller wore to the Bob Hope Airport dedication ceremony, a black chiffon dress ensemble worn by Phyllis Diller to the Bob Hope Memorial Tribute at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, a half-length portrait of Bob Hope from the eponymous “Bob Hope Salon” in Diller’s Brentwood estate, and numerous photographs, documents, and mementos from their long friendship. It is a story of Hollywood’s golden era of comedy, representative of two of the most famous names to ever capture the hearts of audiences around the globe.
Also offered are antiques and furniture from Diller’s beautiful estate in Brentwood, California. Highlights include a Kashan Persian rug, a Georgian style mahogany secretary breakfront, multiple lots of fine china dish sets and Bohemian cut crystal stemware, and a Reed & Barton sterling flatware service in the Florentine Lace pattern. Also featured is an Andy Warhol colored screenprint, “Cow,” signed and inscribed “H.B.P.D. (Happy Birthday Phyllis Diller) Love Andy Warhol.”
Additionally, this auction includes a number of pianos played by Diller, an accomplished concert pianist, and many selections of paintings and prints from her own second career as studio painter. A black lacquer Chickering Grand Pianoforte, signed “Phyllis Diller” in silver marker pen, a custom made Cannon Guild Harpsichord, and an oil on canvas painting of a stage with curtains and a shining spotlight from the foyer of her house. It was this painting which she had each houseguest pose in front of upon entry to her home. Awards, personal mementos, photographs, scripts, handwritten letters, personal clothing and other remarkable collectibles from Diller’s life and career are included in this auction. Her personal artwork, which was very much a reflection of her soul and her bright, whimsical approach to life are included amongst the highlights.
Get in on the laughs as Julien’s celebrates the life and career of the Queen of Comedy — Phyllis Diller on Sunday, September 22, 2013.