What's In The Box?
Top 5 Original Album Cover Artworks

These are some of our favorite original album cover artworks we've sold over the years.

Juliens Auctions - LOT 316

Juliens Auctions - LOT 23

Juliens Auctions - LOT 1447

Juliens Auctions - LOT 270

Juliens Auctions - LOT 596

The Costumes of "Adaptation"

We all know Hollywood loves a good adaptation – it even has its own award category at the Oscars. In 2002 Spike Jonze made a film about the practice, fittingly titled Adaptation, which tells the semi-autobiographical tale of author Charlie Kaufman’s experience adapting a novel to the big screen.

The film, starring Nicholas Cage, Meryl Streep, and Chris Cooper, follows anxious screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (Nicolas Cage) as he attempts to adapt Susan Orlean’s novel, The Orchid Thief into a film script – and in the process gets entangled in her personal life, endangering himself and his identical twin brother. With Cage playing both Charlie Kaufman and Donald Kaufman, costume designer Casey Storm had to ensure the characters be easy to differentiate. Thus, Charlie opts for slouchier attire (flannels and t-shirts) while his twin brother, Donald, tends to sport a sleeker style (leather jackets and fitted button-downs).

Julien’s is excited to offer various wardrobe ensembles from the film in our upcoming auction “Legends: Hollywood and Royalty” – including pieces from the pivotal climax in which the Kaufman brothers travel to Florida to spy on Susan Orlean (Meryl Streep) and the orchid grower John Laroche (Chris Cooper), inadvertently catching them in the act of taking the illegal Ghost Orchid drug and having a secret affair. The compromised pair (Orlean in striped shirt and blue jeans, and Laroche in red shirt and faded jeans) catch the brothers, and lead them at gunpoint into the dark Florida swampland, where they will presumably be executed. Charlie (in grey T-shirt and khaki pants) and Donald escape into the darkness, hiding for hours until they feel it’s safe to exit. Unfortunately, Laroche spots them and chases them into the water, where a gator suddenly emerges from the murky depths and violently kills him. Laroche’s wardrobe bears distinctive teeth marks and studio blood!

Register now to bid in the “Legends: Hollywood and Royalty” auction for your chance to take home a piece of the action!

Madonna's Personal
"To-Do" Lists

Over the years Julien’s Auctions has offered a number of Madonna’s personal handwritten “to-do” lists. Artifacts like these present a one-of-a-kind window into the day-to-day lives of the stars we love (even in the case of Madonna, who has been the subject of seemingly endless media coverage, books, and several feature-length documentaries). Some of the revelations are mundane, but that’s part of the fun. When do we ever get to see Madonna being mundane?

Did you know that on Monday, June 20 circa 1990 Madonna was dealing with the fact that her toilet and shower head were “working weird?” Or that she was trying to locate dancer Rudolph Nuryev, and actors Dirk Bogarde, Michael York, and Jeanne Moreau? That in 1996 she wanted to acquire rights to a property called Going Down (likely the novel by Jennifer Belle)? Or that on May 12, circa 1992, her to-do list said “M-Mel-Missy-Color Me Mine LaBrea Melrose.” Was she going to paint pottery with her assistants, Melissa Crow and Missy Coggiola?!

Madonna’s to-do lists tell us about her business dealings, creative ventures, house maintenance problems, preferred snacks, social encounters, and more. Here are some of the most intriguing snippets…

”Herb doesn’t want that shot used – Liz says don’t back down – he’s trying to lie and say it must be a shot that’s been used.”

“Herb” likely refers to photographer Herb Ritts, who shot many of the most famous photographs of Madonna, including the cover of her album True Blue (Sire, 1986), and “Liz” undoubtedly refers to Liz Rosenberg, her longtime publicist.

“Told Stephen to shut up! Said it first – nothing since…They believe NC-17 is the one to do / MGM (obligated to) researching what an “R” rating would do in previews…Stephen has argued with them. Threat”

Madonna is referring to her controversial erotic thriller Body of Evidence (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1993). There was much debate at the studio regarding whether to release it uncut with an NC-17 rating, or release an edited R-rated version. Ultimately the edited version was released and the film bombed. The NC-17 version was released unrated on video. “Stephen” is likely Stephen Deutsch, the film’s executive producer.

”I do not want portable phones. Give me a car with a phone in it.”

I guess Madonna was not a big fan of the new technology?

Perhaps more than anything these lists are physical evidence of what we all know: that Madonna is very hands-on in all aspects of her life and career. It seems quintessential that she handwrites her to-do lists herself.

Make sure you register to bid in our next Music Icons auction for your chance to win a personal Madonna item for yourself!

To-Do List
Hollywood & Sports

Hollywood loves a good sports film! From the smash hit 1925 comedy The Freshman, which starred Harold Lloyd as a high schooler who joins the football team in order to get popular, to the recent biopic Air which details the history of Michael Jordan’s famed Nike basketball shoe line. There’s something about the competitive struggle of the athlete that we can all relate to.

When Roy Hobbs, played by Robert Redford in the 1984 classic, The Natural, makes his triumphant return to the baseball diamond in the film’s finale, all of us share in his triumph.

Stepping up to the plate in our upcoming “Legends: Hollywood and Royalty” auction this September is a vintage baseball bat from the production of The Natural, bearing the iconic “Wonder Kid” and lightning bolt engraving – which the character Hobbs is shown carving from the remnants of a lightning struck tree after his father’s death.

Other Hollywood sports memorabilia items up for bid are a pair of Nike shoes for the character “Pretty Ricky Conlan,” played by Tony Bellow in the 2015 Rocky sequel, Creed – and a cast-signed film poster from the Gene Hackman basketball flick, Hoosiers

Register here to bid!

Hollywood & Sports
In The Clear With
Dan Armstrong

Alanis Morissette may have been burning an ex-lover in the lyrics for her song “See Right Through You,” but the chorus could have just as easily applied to one of the most unusual guitars in her possession: a reissue of the classic 1969 “see-through” Ampeg/Dan Armstrong collaboration – carved (NOT molded) from a block of clear PMMA (polymethyl methacrylate). That’s a bit of mouthful, so you’ll hear folks refer to it by a number of other commonly used names: Plexiglas, Perspex, Acrylite, Lucite …or just good old acrylic.

Call it what you want, this guitar made a big splash when it was unveiled at the NAMM show in 1969, with Rolling Stones guitarists Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood snagging a couple right off the bat. The funky look might seem gimmicky, but Armstrong had sonic considerations in mind with his selection of the distinctive material. In 1973, he pointed out that he had wanted a material that was harder than wood for a good, sturdy sustain (as found with steel guitars). And the pickups also offered a very particular kind of sound: they were delightfully versatile, offering the user the ability to easily swap out 6 different Bill Lawrence-designed pickups in a single cavity – each producing a different tone.

While the original production only ran from 1969-1971, reissues were released in the late 90s and then again twice after Armstrong’s death (in 2006 and 2009). Artists ranging from the Stones and Lou Reed to Alanis Morrissette and Dave Grohl have favored the instrument and a few have passed through our auction house doors over the years: including those owned and used by Walter Becker, Phil Lynott, and John McVie. We’re always looking for a guitar or bass we can see right through, whether it’s the classic, heavy-rocking 1969-1971 Armstrong plexi and its reissues, Ibanez’s millennial JS series “Y2K” instruments, or even some of the kitschier 60s models like the Japanese Teisco Spectrum 5.

Click here and let us know if you have one you’d like to consign!

In The Clear with Dan Armstrong