The Steve McQueen Sale

Never-before publicly displayed, the late actor’s property is being offered by his widow at auction at the Petersen Museum Los Angeles on November 11th.

More than 200 McQueen lots are catalogued. According to Vice-President and Motoring Dept. director Mark Osborne, "The items represent a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire property from the quintessential American icon Steve McQueen."

Bonhams & Butterfields has marked the significance of the sale by producing a limited edition collectors' hardback catalogue.

The sale mainly comprises items from the interests Steve held dear, such as riding horses or motorbikes, as well as hunting and shooting and collecting amusing tin toys and signs or automobilia.

Highlights include multiple lots of entertainment memorabilia such as the brown leather chaps worn by the actor in the film Tom Horn (est. $2/4,000) and his leather-bound presentation script from that 1980 Warner Bros. feature (est. $1,000/1,500). The 1960s-era foldable Persol sunglasses worn in the opening scenes to The Thomas Crown Affair (est. $2/3,000) feature blue-tinted lenses and are offered with a carrying pouch. Several movie posters are included in the sale, as well as prints, advertising signs and vintage biking ephemera.

Furniture and household decorations include a Wurlitzer Model 1015 jukebox with hand-written tiles for McQueen’s favorite songs by Bill Haley, Bing Cosby and Glenn Miller (est. $3/5,000). The sale includes several wood cabinets and gun racks, a Mills nickel slot machine designed with an eagle motif (est. $1,500/2,00), and a cash register the actor had custom-made for a never-realized plan to open a grocery store in Idaho – designed with a brass plaque reading: McQueens Grocery (est. $1,000/2,000).

A Penknife inscribed 'To Steve from Dutch' aka Von Dutch - $7,000 - 12,000

A pair of persol sunglasses - $2,000 - 3,000

Five saddles from McQueen’s collection are highlighted by a brown leather western saddle with German silver mounts by Jack Grigsby, signed by the maker on the seat and stirrup, offered with its metal and wood display stand (est. $2/4,000). McQueen’s extensive toy collection is expected to entice collectors, many of the 1930s and ‘40s cast-iron toys are considered rare and include Hubley Harley-Davidson motorcycles, an Arcade Andy Gump roadster, buses and dump trucks, Buddy L trucks, fire engines, and hook & ladders

A western saddle by Jack Grigsby - $2,000 - 4,000

A Wurlitzer jukebox - $3,000 - 5,000

The actor’s vintage Harley-Davidson sweater, mounted in a frame, is expected to bring $3,000 to $5,000 while his Belstaff motorcycle jacket could sell for as much as $4,000. McQueen’s Mastercard is estimated at $1,000 to $2,000 and several other cards include his Rolls-Royce owner ID card (est. $400/600).

Several hunting knifes from McQueen’s collection are to be offered, as is a brass and wood folding knife designed by and bearing an inscription “to Steve from Dutch” from its noted maker, the late Von Dutch (est. $7/12,000). As many as 20-lots of rifles, shotguns and revolvers include Winchester lever action and saddle ring carbines, slide action rifles and Parker Brothers double-barrel boxlock shotguns.

According to the auctioneers, the sale and preview is being seen as a reunion opportunity for many of McQueen’s entourage and friends. In 1999 McQueen was elected to the Motorcycle Hall of Fame and his dramatic bike scenes in the film The Great Escape remain some of his best known.

Not merely a collector of bikes (having owned as many as 100 models), he was an avid racer and supporter of motorcycling sports events having raced as a member of the Vase A team in 1964’s International Six Days Trial in East Germany.

Please CLICK HERE for further information and details on catalogues and bidding.

Text - Classic Driver
Photos - Courtesy Barbara Minty McQueen/Bonhams & Butterfields - Strictly Copyright

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