A Multimillion-Dollar Norman Rockwell Is the Surprise Star of the Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds Auction
The painting is expected to fetch between $2 million and $3 million, in a sale that also includes a variety of Star Wars memorabilia.
The late actress Debbie Reynolds’s prized Norman Rockwell painting will go under the hammer in October at Los Angeles-based auctioneers Profiles in History in a two-day personal property auction from the estates of Reynolds and her daughter Carrie Fisher.
Carrying a pre-sale estimate of $2 million to $3 million, the Rockwell is the top lot in a sale that includes over 1,500 pieces of Hollywood memorabilia, art, and design from the eclectic collections of the Singing in the Rain and Star Wars stars.
The 1926 Rockwell depicts Benjamin Franklin with a quill pen. It was commissioned for the Saturday Evening Post to commemorate the 150 year anniversary of the signing of the declaration of independence.
The work was hanging in the Norman Rockwell Museum in Massachusetts until Reynolds’s death last December. It is described as one of Rockwell’s “most historic and well-known paintings.”
The sale, dubbed “The Personal Property Auction of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds,” also features such treasures as a life-sized sculpture of Fisher as Princess Leia exiting a phone booth with a blaster; a bronze sculpture of Yoda; and Fisher’s “eclectic collection of re-purposed vintage novelty signs and store displays showcasing her trademark sense of humor.”
In a statement, Todd Fisher—brother of Fisher and son of Reynolds—described them in a statement as “magnificent collectors” who “amassed an amazing and diverse collection in their lifetimes…. The size and scope of their collection rivals most museums. So in keeping with my mother’s wishes we have decided to share part of their magnificent collection with all their friends and fans.”
Why Profiles in History? Essentially, the family stuck with the company they knew well and trusted. The auction house has worked with the family for over four decades, handling Reynolds’s previous three auctions, which brought in a total of $30 million.
“Debbie and Carrie were both dear friends for many years,” Profiles in History CEO Joe Maddalena said in the auction house’s statement. “I hope fans from around the world have an opportunity to acquire a memento from their remarkable lives and careers. They are both missed.”
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