1. Playboy At 50: An In-Depth Look

    By @mrpauldunphy on 2003-07-25

    Throughout its first 50 years, Playboy has featured a remarkable number of important literary contributions, and this historical legacy will be represented in the forthcoming sale by some of the most significant examples from the archives in each area, from fiction, non-fiction, the Playboy Interview, Dear Playboy, and other related correspondence.

    The sale, due to be at Christie’s New York, on December 17 includes numerous original, corrected typescripts by such important authors as Ian Fleming, James Baldwin, Nelson Algren, Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke, Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and Alex Haley.
    Ian Fleming’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service was first published in Playboy in May and June of 1963.

    Included in the sale are the advance proofs of parts I through III of the first English edition, which are divided and marked with corrections and insertions by the author (estimate: $18,000-24,000).

    Below are four pictures taken from one vey high resolution photograph showing the manuscripts, one can clearly see the notes made by Fleming around the edges of the text in the extract. Click on the thumbnail to view the full version. Please note the pictures are of high quality, and so anyone using a 56k modem will have to be patient. (Pictures courtesy Christie’s).

    CBn can also reveal that there are several items not specifically mentioned in the press release issued by Christie’s a few days ago.

    Alongside the manuscripts for On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Playboy will be auctioning printed proof sheets of Fleming’s short story “The Property of a Lady,” published January 1964. These are estimated to fetch $3,000-4,000, and three typed letters to the editor of Playboy regarding publication of his work, one with a secretarial signature. These are expected to reach $2,500-3,500.

    Hugh Hefner, founder of Playboy started out his career as a cartoonist and among the most exciting aspects of the Playboy collection is the large and important body of illustration art and cartoons, including memorable images by such renowned cartoonists as Shel Silverstein, Jack Cole, Eldon Dedini, Phil Interlandi, Erich Sokol, and Gahan Wilson.

    Also included are examples from Playboy’s masterful “Little Annie Fanny” series by Kurtzman and Elder. A particularly relevant highlight includes “Little Annie Fanny: James Bomb,” from the December 1967 issue (estimate: $20,000-30,000).

    A special preview exhibition of highlights from the collection opens at Christie’s galleries in Rockefeller Center on July 23, at 1:00 p.m. to kick off the national tour.

    Highlights from Playboy at 50: Selections from the Archives will then be on view in Pebble Beach, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago, and New York from July through December. The touring exhibition will include fine art, original illustrations and cartoons, photographs, manuscripts, and memorabilia celebrating 50 years of cutting-edge, classic pop culture.

    Tour Schedule:

    July 23-August 8 – Christie’s New York , 20 Rockefeller Plaza
    August 14-17 – Equestrian Center, Pebble Beach, CA
    September 9-15 – Christie’s Los Angeles, 360 North Camden Drive
    September 19-21 – The Palms, Las Vegas, 4321 Flamingo Road
    October 24-31 – Christie’s Chicago, 875 North Michigan Ave.
    December 13-16 – Christie’s New York, 20 Rockefeller Plaza.


    December 17 – Christie’s New York, 20 Rockefeller Plaza, 10 a.m. & 2 p.m

    Interested bidders around the world can view the catalogue and all property from the sale approximately 5 weeks before the sale on a special subsite devoted to Playboy at 50: Selections from the Archives at the website. Information on Playboy’s 50th anniversary auction can also be found at the Playboy website.

    Thanks to Christie’s and Playboy for their assistance and information. Thanks to Christie’s for the superb pictures of the OHMSS manuscripts. More information will be available leading up to the auction, and CBn will be here to report it.