Mae West's Gowns, Headdresses, Tiaras and More To Be Auctioned Off

Mae West's Gowns, Headdresses, Tiaras and More To Be Auctioned Off

Julien's Auctions, the world-record breaking auction house, has announced its highly anticipated event PROPERTY FROM THE LIFE AND CAREER OF Mae West auction, part of the LEGENDARY WOMEN OF HOLLYWOOD two-day extravaganza taking place on Friday, November 1 and Saturday, November 2, 2019 at The Standard Oil Building in Beverly Hills and live online at

This special event celebrates the trailblazing career and style of the 1930s American actress, singer, playwright, screenwriter, comedian, and sex symbol. The star who coined legendary one liners such as, "When I'm good, I'm very good, but when I'm bad, I'm better," will showcase a dazzling collection of ornate headdresses, tiaras, jewelry, wigs, film and stage worn bodiced gowns and more. (top photos left to right: Mae West's Diamond Lil gown and gold lamé headdress).

"Mae West was an indomitable force to be reckoned with who pushed the envelope and broke all the rules," Darren Julien, President/CEO of Julien's Auctions said. "Julien's Auctions is proud to present this fabulous collection and an important archive of her work and singular style that made her one of the first female icons and feminist pioneers of her time."

One of the top highlights of the auction will be an array of her curvaceous, show stopping costumes, such as a custom made scarlet red satin gown worn by West in the 1950 production of Diamond Lil (estimate: $10,000-$20,000). The gown has a boned bodice with puffed layered tulle sleeves and is embellished with foliate trim with ruby red bugle beads, sequins, and faceted glass in metal casing and a long skirt with layered tulle embellishment and a train. Also included is the custom made rose silk chiffon hostess gown worn by Mae West in the 1952 production of Diamond Lil (estimate: $2,000-$4,000).

Other highlights of the auction include a collection of over 250 fan letters to Mae West dated from 1969 to 1980 housed in four ivory colored scrap books which West would show to press when they would come to her Rossmore home (estimate: $600-$800); a gold tone trophy on a wood and marble base that reads "To the Queen of Mens Hearts Miss Mae West From your Athletes we love you 1955" (estimate: $500-$700); a gold tone tiara with rhinestones and painted faceted glass stage worn by Mae West in her starring role as Catherine II of Russia in the 1944-45 Broadway production of Catherine was Great, which she wrote (estimate: $800-$1,000) (photo above right); a black silk dress worn by West in 1952 while viewing the Navy's latest "Mae West" life-jackets (estimate: $1,000-$2,000); a hand held wood mirror frame painted ivory with gold detail used by West in her 1950s Las Vegas stage show (estimate: $600-$800) (photo above left); a custom made silk chestnut maxi dress with ivory dots worn by Mae West in 1940 (estimate: $1,000-$2,000); a circa 1960s custom made white silk dress printed with artistic black roses (estimate: $600-$800); an inscribed "Mae West" life preserver presented to West by Major George Gaines in 1954 (estimate: $600-$800); a 'Dialogue Continuity' script from arguably the star's most famous film, the 1933 Paramount release co-starring a young Cary Grant annotated with West's pencilled edits as well as the film's treatment titled "Don't Call Me Madame," the Working Title of the film (estimate: $2,000-$3,000); West's custom made heavily embellished gold lamé headdress worn in photographs taken by G. Maillard Kesslere B.P. circa 1944 for promotional pieces for Catherine was Great (estimate: $1,000-$2,000); a blonde Catherine was Great wig worn by West in the 1944-1945 Broadway production (estimate: $800-$1,000) and more.

Julien's Auctions
The Standard Oil Building Beverly Hills
257 N. Canon Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Monday, October 28 - Friday, November 1, 2019
11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Pacific Time Daily
Free to the Public


Friday, November 1, 2019
Session I: 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time

Friday, November 1, 2019
Session II: 1:00 p.m. Pacific Time

Friday, November 1, 2019
Session III: 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time

Saturday, November 2, 2019
Session I: 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time
Session II: 1:00 p.m. Pacific Time

Registration is required to bid in this online auction and can be done in person at the exhibition, or online before the sale at the Registration page to bid by phone, proxy or in person, or online at to bid live online, or by calling (310) 836-1818. For inquiries, please email or call 310-836-1818.

There are four ways to bid in this sale:

  1. Bid through Julien's Auctions Online Live in Real Time at
  2. Bid over the telephone through an auction house representative.
  3. Submit a bid in person
  4. Enter Absentee bids. Absentee bid forms are included in the back of each catalogue, and are also available by calling Julien's Auctions or online at

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