ORANGE, Calif. – A breathtaking 40,000-piece collection of motion picture and TV memorabilia, original animation art and other historically important entertainment collectibles will be offered to the public on Oct. 29 in an auction that is shaping up to be one for the history books. Purchased sight unseen from an abandoned self-service storage unit, the collection is described by California auctioneer Don Presley as “the find of a lifetime.”
Don Presley Auction Co. – best known for its high-profile auctions of antiques and fine art from prominent Southern California estates – is producing the sale together with Dave Hester (Dave Hester Auctions) and celebrity auctioneers Dan and Laura Dotson. The Dotsons, who own American Auctioneers in Riverside, Calif., are known to millions of viewers as emcees of the hit TV show Storage Wars. Hester is also a regular on the show.
Presley said the collection to be auctioned is one of “tremendous quality and value.” He described the consignors as “two very hard-working individuals who have been business partners for 25 years. They routinely attend auctions to bid on the contents of storage lockers whose rent has gone unpaid, but they never expected to end up with a bonanza like this collection has turned out to be.” Storage-locker auctions can be a huge gamble, Presley said, because the bidders don’t know what they’re bidding on. They get a quick glimpse at the contents of a storage unit before bidding commences, he said, but boxes and other containers are kept sealed, so their contents are not revealed.
“At these auctions you might end up with something of genuine value or you might pay thousands of dollars for boxes of old office files that have to be hauled to the dump at the buyer’s expense,” Presley said. “In this case, the buyers hit the jackpot, fair and square.”
The prior owners of the collection, who are well-known motion picture industry executives, amassed the remarkable trove of Hollywood memorabilia over a period of several years. The collection was neatly boxed and kept under lock and key at a storage facility, but at some point in time, the rent on their storage unit fell seriously into arrears. Despite repeated notices, the rent remained unpaid until such point the contents were deemed “abandoned” and sent to a storage-locker auction to be sold to the highest bidder.
The two business partners who placed the winning bid on the goods have been buying and reselling storage-locker contents for more than 25 years. However, they had never before come across anything quite as special, or as valuable, as the entertainment archive.
“At first, we knew nothing about the identity of the collection’s prior owners, and we had only a vague idea of what the items were worth. It was only later that we learned it was a very famous and valuable collection. We wanted to make sure there were no legalities that could prevent us from selling its contents,” one of the purchasers said.
The purchasers decided to seek advice from longtime friends in the auction business whom they knew they could trust – Dan and Laura Dotson.
“The Dotsons know that we are hard-working people who run an honorable business,” one of the purchasers said. “I called Dan and said, ‘I’ve got some really good stuff that I want to sell, but I need your help.’” After being briefed on the situation, Dotson called a respected Los Angeles law firm that specializes in intellectual property and collectible art and memorabilia, and arranged for a consultation to take place. After studying the case, the attorneys confirmed that the purchasers were, indeed, the legal owners of the collection and that they were perfectly within their rights to sell the contents, if they so desired.
The 40,000-piece entertainment and pop culture collection will be auctioned on Oct. 29th in 400 group lots – a method that presents a buying opportunity like no other before it. The collection’s contents include movie memorabilia, props, costumes, posters, scripts and other ephemera; movie production items (including Disney and Bollywood), thousands of Disney animation production cels, original Tim Burton art, unreleased publicity photos, and many autographed theatrical posters, prints and artworks.
A specialty collection of Wizard of Oz memorabilia spans the entire 20th century and includes posters, prints and lobby cards, autographed and foreign-language Oz books, film compilation reels with footage of decades of Oz productions, and movie production publicity stills that were never released to the public.
Additionally, the collection features Star Wars and Star Trek memorabilia, and thousands of examples of highly desirable Japanese animation art, with highlights including original paintings from manga and sci-fi legend Go Nagai, and fantastic concept art by author/illustrator Mark E. Rogers (The Runestone).
“We think there will be massive international interest in this collection,” said Don Presley. “I have been an auctioneer since the 1970s, and in my opinion this is Hollywood’s premier archive of entertainment memorabilia. It’s filled with unique treasures ranging from the silent-film era through modern-day productions. A collection like this comes along only once in a lifetime.”
The Saturday, Oct. 29 auction will begin at 10 a.m. Pacific time/1 p.m. Eastern time. Don Presley Auction’s gallery is located at 1319 W. Katella Ave., Orange, CA 92867. All forms of bidding will be available for the auction, including live via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers.com and Proxibid.com. For additional information or to book a phone line for bidding, contact Don Presley Auction, tel. 714-633-2437 or e-mail email@example.com. Online: www.donpresleyauction.com.