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Lot # 773 (of 873)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1930s Howard Hughes Signed Guest Book

Starting Bid - $500.00, Sold For - $1,725.00

Vintage guest book signed and inscribed by reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes, and many other 1930s celebrities. Originally the property of vivacious, blonde actress June Knight, this 1926 hardcover guest book collected the signatures and thoughts of her party guests from Christmas Eve 1932 to December 2, 1945. Included among the 42 pages are the autographs of boxers Jack Dempsey and Max Baer, movie-star Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., original Tonight Show bandleader Skitch Henderson, and most notably Howard Hughes. Hughes was still in his "Hollywood Playboy" period when Knight caught his fancy while working for Universal Studios in the mid-1930's. The billionaire turned up at a 1935 party hosted by the actress, and signed the guest book, "Wish you best of luck always May 10, 1935 to June/Howard Hughes" ("10"). This is an absolutely flawless example of Hughes' elusive signature, written in his prime, in blue ink in a strong and confident hand. Due to his later retreat into seclusion and dementia, such an ideal example of Hughes' hand is a particularly rare find. The book itself is in remarkably fine shape considering the extensive handling it went through over a period of many years. The binding is relatively firm, though there is some loosening and separating of the pages at the very top and bottom. The pages themselves are of heavy stock paper, and are free from any major imperfections. The writing within is fantastically clean and perfectly preserved, featuring the signatures of a cross section of Hollywood high society during this glamorous time. The lot also includes a printed invitation for a 1937 June Knight party, a Christmas card from June Knight, and newspaper clippings pertaining to Hughes and Knight (including a clipping featuring Hughes "nightclubbing with June Knight"). Together, this guest book and related materials represent not just a significant collection of 1930s signatures, but a magnificent window into the high society circles of a bygone era in Hollywood. Very Good to Excellent condition. LOA from James Spence, Steve Grad and John Reznikoff/PSA DNA. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000/$2,000. SOLD FOR $1,725.00

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