Auction of Garbo’s belongings fetches $1.6 million

December 16, 2012

A two-day sale of clothing, jewelry and other memorabilia belonging to reclusive movie star Greta Garbo fetched $1.6 million, more than three times the original estimate, according to Julien’s Auctions.

Garbo’s Louis Vuitton steamer trunk, which sold for $37,500, was among the top sellers in the auction of 800 items which began Friday, along with three leather driving caps she wore in a 1924 car advertisement that fetched $15,000.

A U.S. passport issued to her in 1964, which carried an estimate of $3,000-$5,000, also sold for $15,000, and a 1930s black velvet evening dress that had an estimated value of $1,200 went to the highest bidder for $13,750.

“Greta Garbo commanded Marilyn Monroe prices,” Martin Nolan, the executive director of the Beverly Hills auction house, said in a statement. “Her beauty, extraordinary screen presence and fashion trending style were proven to be timeless.”

Garbo, one of Hollywood’s greatest stars and beauties, died in New York in 1990 at the age of 84. She retired from film and public life decades earlier in 1941.

The sale of Hollywood golden age actress Greta Garbo’s clothes, jewelry and memorabilia has fetched $1.6 million at auction. (General Photographic Agency/GETTY IMAGES)

All of the items in the sale, including a platform bed she designed with antique Swedish carvings, photos, luggage and documents, had been kept in storage before her family decided to sell them in the auction that was announced in August.

Garbo started her Hollywood career in silent movies such as 1927’s “Flesh and the Devil” and was among the few actors to successfully transition to talkies, becoming iconic not only for her beauty, but for her brains and the streak of independence she displayed on film and in her personal life.

The Swedish actress earned four Academy Award nominations, her first for 1929’s “Anna Christie,” and was finally given an honorary award for unforgettable performances by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1954.

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