October Legends Closing October 29
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 10/30/2016

      It’s the stuff legends are made from - literally. This amazing archive documents the tumultuous three and a half year love affair between up and coming director/producer/playboy Howard Hughes and the wildly successful starlet Billie Dove. Hughes was working on his “Hell’s Angels” masterpiece and trying to force his way into the Hollywood scene. Billie Dove on the other hand was already an icon of the silver screen. At the time, her movies brought in more money than even Mary Pickford and she was put in the same category as Clara Bow. Even the beginning of their romance sounds like a Hollywood script - the two were each married to different partners and divorces were needed. Always looking for the quickest solution, no matter the cost, Hughes bought off both ex’s with very generous settlements to avoid any inconvenient public court battles. The two became an instant Hollywood power couple, attracting the all the paparazzi attention 1930’s Hollywood had to offer. The relationship came to a dramatically sudden end in 1932. Most curiously, the reasons for their split were never divulged. One may assume from Hughes’ later reputation that his reputation as a promiscuous ladies’ man and jealous lover had a lot to do with the final rift. Billie quickly married a wealthy businessman and retired from Hollywood completely.

      Hughes spent the rest of his life lamenting his lost love, Billie Dove. There are a few stories floating around Hollywood that some of Hughes’ later lovers less than pleased by the regularity in which he talked of his Billie Dove. Let’s take a look at a few highlights from this rare look into a 1930’s Hollywood romance. An October 17, 1931 dated telegram sent from Hughes’ yacht Hilda congratulates Billie on her performance and in a recent film. (It’s interesting to note that Hughes bought the Hilda because Billie enjoyed sailing. In one of the letters in this archive Hughes writes of flying to Santa Barbara to see a man about a boat - the Hilda, perhaps?) A handwritten pencil telegram draft also sent from the Hilda talks of a prospective personal appearance tour. Most of the notes are of a playful and almost giddy variety, including a 2 1/4 x 5 1/2” scrap of paper bears the simple note “For Billie from someone who is VERY HAPPY”.

      There is also a 1932 dated telegram with envelop that ends “don’t forget to be good you’re not in tropics”. Some are written in that cryptic language that two lovers develop over time, such as a note on a torn scrap of paper from Billie: “Take a look at teeth of all the women here tonight B.” The archive follows the trajectory of their tumultuous three year relationship, from the honeymoon-heights of the Christmas present gift label marked “For my B.” to lovelorn uncertainty as shown in the two-page letter with every line scratched out except the last: “Do you love me?” An October 21, 1932 telegram from Hughes consoles Billie about an unstated something that happened to her. His last line is an eerie foreshadowing of his later years “Am sure mine will have to come out some day and I won’t have as many friends to console me as you have”. Besides it’s obvious interest because it deals with two legendary Hollywood lovers, the archive is a time machine of the glamorous 1930’s.

      Many of the letters and telegrams are sent from or to exotic locales like a yacht off the coast of Jamaica, the Hotel Miramar in Biarritz and the Golden State Limited traveling between Chicago and Los Angeles. There is a lovely Art Deco Christmas card from Hughes and an envelope simply addressed “Billie Dove Stage 3”. Altogether this archive includes 10 autographed letters of 1 to 5 pages in length, four of which are signed “Howard” and the others by pet name initials. There are 11 notes, six signed with pet name initials and one type written letter signed in type. There is the aforementioned two-page blacked out “Do you love me?” letter and Christmas card. 11 envelopes of different sizes and originals are included, nine in Howard Hughes’ handwriting. There are five telegrams and several original photographs and negatives ranging from 4x5’s to 8x10’s. Conditions of the pieces in the collection vary. Most of the letters have folds from mailing and storage and some edge toning from age. The archive is housed in a red binder. All the photos, letters and notes are displayed in clear plastic pages. The binder slides into a matching red slipcase. A wonderful insight into the lives of the world’s most eligible bachelor and his Hollywood love that got away. A total of 17 individual LOAs from PSA/DNA will accompany this collection.

Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $10,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $12,000.00
Estimate: $40,000+
Number Bids: 1
Auction closed on Sunday, October 30, 2016.
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