August 07, 2007

Lucy-Desi Center Auctions Off Lucille Ball Memorabilia

As reported in The Post-Journal, If it had a connection to Lucille Ball, it was up for bid Saturday at the Reg Lenna Civic Center.

Everything from old cigarette ads to movie posters to a reel of Lucy's 1939 film, "Beauty For The Asking," was included in the annual Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Memorabilia Auction.

In addition to the vintage memorabilia, the auction featured contemporary pieces from artists based in New Jersey, Buffalo and Jamestown.

Bidding started as low as $1 for an I Love Lucy postcard, and ranged all the way to $800 for a rare Lucy rag doll.

Doors to the civic center opened at 12:45 p.m. for a viewing period, during which potential bidders could inspect the quality and condition of the items, with the auction scheduled to begin shortly after 1:30 p.m.

The auction was part of the festivities for Lucy's Birthday Celebration, which was organized by the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center in Jamestown. The celebration began Friday and continues through Sunday.

Chuck Ludwig of Ludwig Auction Services, said he likes organizing the event because it draws so many people to the city. Ludwig puts on the auction at no cost to the center. "I've enjoyed doing these auctions, because about 98 percent of the people are from out of town," he said.

Jamestown has become a mecca for fans of the beloved redhead. Many of the people who attended the auction came clad in Lucy T-shirts; some held Lucy purses.

Sue Cushman of Salem, Ohio said she was a die-hard Lucy fan, and enjoyed the celebration. "We plan on coming back again because we had a great time," she said.
Sue and her husband, Jeff, planned to bid on some of the vintage movie posters and magazines.

Matthew Noith and Ashley Englend of Bangor, Maine said that they planned to bid on a red leather photo album with pictures from the television show and Lucy's signature.

Ludwig expected the vintage movie posters to fetch the biggest price at the auction.
"Last year, we had a painted storage trunk go for about $1,000, but this year I think it will be the movie posters," he said.

The auction featured 100 lots, and was expected to begin shortly after 1:30 p.m. and go on for about two hours.

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