Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Elaine’s Auction Brings in $385K with Memories of Woody, Plimpton, Marilyn


The action at Doyle’s on Tuesday afternoon was the auction of memorabilia and personal items from the late Elaine Kaufman and her 47 year old landmark upper East Side restaurant, Elaine’s. By the time the last gavel fell, about $385,000 had been collected from fans and friends, a few outsiders, and some professionals who used phones and the internet.(We underestimated originally at $307.000, because we excluded the auction house’s premium.)

Dispersed now into the wind are the papier mache carousel horse that hung in the window, the old manual cash register, photographs of the rich and famous, noteworthy art work, and Table Number 1, which went for $7,000.With the premium it came to $8,750 according to Doyle’s.

Your truly was able to pick up a baseball from the 1978 World Series which George Steinbrenner inscribed to Elaine “I love you.” Bar stools, personal jewelry, a sign from the old subway system that read “No Passengers,” all of it went in an auction that took just under four hours. The narrow room at Doyle’s opened onto the street, and was packed from start to finish. But the last ninety minutes was kind of cool, with just the regulars taking the seats and bidding for items that had personal significance. Among the pieces now in the hands of Elaine’s friends: A Woody Allen signed poster of “Play it Again, Sam”; a Bert Stern photograph of Marilyn Monroe; and a drawing of George Plimpton.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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