Inside Greta Garbo's wonderful world: Weird plastic snowmen, papier mache cats, waffle irons and all of her ashtrays to be sold in LA
Playful side of Swedish actress revealed as estate is auctioned en masse in LA in December
Enormous lot includes obscure belongings as well as designer clothingGreat-nephew reveals Garbo's joyful pesonalityPrices range from $25-$8,000 (16-5,050)
16:17 GMT, 24 August 2012
An extraordinary collection of items belonging to the late Swedish actress and Hollywood icon Greta Garbo is to go under the hammer in LA.
But it's not only designer clothes and shoes worn by the classic film star who dazzled on screen between the 1920s and 1940s that are up for grabs.
A multitude of more obscure items – including a huge inflatable brightly coloured plastic snowman, a vintage waffle iron, salt and pepper sellers shaped like geese and a mechanical chef toy that fries eggs – feature in the eye-opening lot.
The auction of Greta Garbo's enormous, colourful estate will take place at Julien's Auctions in Beverly Hills, California, in December
A 'yoga costume', an old passport, a massage table, several pairs of silk pyjamas and a papier mache cat made in Mexico will go under the hammer at Julien's Auctions in December, with prices ranging from $25 (16) for some little toys, to $8,000 (5,057) for her Louis Vuitton steamer trunk.
The estate – comprising the contents of Garbo's New York apartment and Swedish mansion – reveals a playful, funny and eccentric side to the actress who died in New York in 1990, aged 84, of pneumonia and renal failure, without ever having married or had any children.
Calling Garbo 'extremely funny', 'a comedienne', and 'a magical presence in our lives', the screen icon's great-nephew Derek Reisfield has written a revealing foreword about the sale of the estate.
A giant inflatable snowman which Garbo kept in her living room to amuse her nieces and nephews is expected to fetch between 32 and 64 at auction
Of his great-aunt, he says: 'She
taught us how to do cartwheels in our backyard by the pool on hot summer
afternoons when she was in her sixties…Garbo loved jokes and
wordplay. She could do subtle or slapstick with equal facility.'
He explains how Garbo's 'wry sense of humour and her playfulness can be seen in the toys and gadgets she didn't let go of – the snowman she kept in her living room to the delight of all of us children and the Swedish trolls she left for us to find in her seat cushions'.
The mechanical chimpanzee with cymbals used to be wheeled out to entertain the children – always accompanied by funny story.
A colourful papier mache cat from Mexico, priced $100-$200 (64-128), and a giant leather ' G' lint brush, priced $75-$125 (43-79) are a couple of items available to buy that reveal Greta Garbo's more playful side
Toys including this $250 (158) egg-frying mechanical chef and a $200 (126) mechanical jolly chimp are included in Greta Garbo's estate
As well as more left-field items such as a vintage waffle iron and recipe, a lamp shaped like a pineapple, a pencil case full of used pens and a fit-to-bursting collection of buttons, the lot features Garbo's enormous wardrobe.
Clothes, shoes, hats, handbags, coats, jewellery, gloves, eye glasses and a number of silk pyjamas made by designers including Gucci, Valentina, Emilio Pucci, Louis Vuitton, Givenchy and Salvatore Ferragamo are being auctioned for prices between $100 (63) and over $1,200 (757).
Garbo's vanity items – including a box of mascara brushes, hair accessories and a vintage Gillette razor – will be sold alongside plenty of smoking paraphernalia, such as ashtrays, matchbooks and boxes and cigarette lighters and cases .
Home furnishings including silverware, glassware, furniture and kitchen utensils will appear on the lot beside traditional collectors items including signed scripts, film stills and photographs.
Greta Garbo was a movie icon during the silent and classic cinema era, appearing in 24 Hollywood films, stills from which are being sold at auction ion December
Born Greta Louisa Gustafson in 1905 in Stockholm to a homemaker and a butcher, Garbo's career began as a hat model.
She was nominated four times for the Best Actress Academy Award – for her roles in Anna Christie, Romance, Camille and Ninotchka – but never won.
Of her estate, the Beverly Hills-based auctioneers said the very personal collection 'has never been previously
available and (is) rarely seen by others'.
The sale is set for
December 14 and 15.
To see the full collection visit Julien's Auctions.
Plenty of ashtrays feature on the estate, including a $400 (253) Gucci roulette, left, and a covered brass one, which comes as part of a brass set being sold for up to $200 (126)
A green glass ashtray looks to go for up to $400 (253), while a vintage waffle iron and recipe could fetch $250 (158)
A keen smoker, Garbo's many ashtrays and lighters are being sold at auction from $100 (63)
Garbo's $500 (316) yoga costume, a $600 (379) massage table, tennis rackets ($75/47) and an inscribed copy of Giant ($250/178) are going under the hammer
Garbo's passport, left, has a price tag of some $5,000 (3,156) while a still of her in the 1930 film Romance, right, will fetch $3,000 (1,894)
Swedish actress and Hollywood icon Greta Garbo was born in 1905 and died in 1990
Garbo's Louis Vuitton steamer trunk is expected to fetch up to $8,000 (5,050)
Fun items such as this ceramic table lamp shaped like a pineapple ($75/47), left, are being sold alongside this turquoise Valentina Ottoman silk shirt dress ($800-$1,200/757)
Classic designer clothing worn by Garbo, such as this cowhide coat ($300/189), Gucci purse ($400/253) and Valentina crescent moon dress ($800/505) are also being sold