One of my 2016 goals was to be more timely with my posts — obviously, I’m already slipping — but in the meantime I’ve got some catching up to do. Last February, the Van Eaton Galleries in Sherman Oaks presented “The Story of Disneyland,” a massive auction of Disneyland memorabilia (as covered in a previous blog), and it was so successful that they did it again in November.
The first auction was the stockpile of one person, while “Collecting Disneyland” featured items from more than 20 different collectors. They ranged from souvenirs and ephemera like popcorn boxes to concept art, cast member costumes, Imagineer prototypes and models, attraction posters and even ride vehicles.
Some of the lots were repeats of things we’d seen in the last auction, like these Adventureland Moai salt and pepper shakers.
Among the more oddball items was this prop hand from the Indiana Jones animatronic figure in the final scene of the Indiana Jones Adventure attraction. Its value was estimated at $5,000-$7,000 but it went for $10,000.
I adore most things mid-century so I guess it shouldn’t have been surprising that I was drawn to the items from the 1960s, like this set of condiment jars themed to Pirates of the Caribbean ($2,250).
This 1960s canvas suitcase emblazoned with “I’m Going to Disneyland” ($2,250) was another of my favorite finds. The origin is a bit of a mystery — it’s unclear whether it was ever for sale at the park or of it was part of a store window display or other promotion.
Also towards the top of my wish list would have been this Enchanted Tiki Room shield ($6,500) molded after the ones Rolly Crump designed to surround the “magic fountain.” Apparently, it had been part of a juice stand at The Poly in the 1970s.
More recent items up for auction included “One Enchanted Evening,” an original Shag painting ($15,000) created for the 40th anniversary of Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room in 2003.
What really made this exhibition special were the retired ride vehicles from the PeopleMover, Skyway and Space Mountain housed in a separate room next door. Visitors even had the opportunity to get in and take some photo ops. The PeopleMover vehicles (restored with the help of original designer Bob Gurr) were valued at $200,000-$300,000 but I didn’t see a final sale price, same for the Space Mountain car ($50,000-$60,000). In comparison, the Skyway bucket must have seemed like a bargain to the person who snagged it for $11,500.
Alas, the auction has already come and gone, but you can still purchase the catalog for “Collecting Disneyland: An Exhibition and Auction” on Van Eaton Galleries’ web site for $30 for the softcover book and $95 for the hardcover (also includes the softcover).