Charlton Heston was a larger-than-life actor who brought rugged intensity to the roles of Moses, Marc Antony, and Ben-Hur. The gravitas he brought to dystopian science fiction and disaster movies was matched only by his later passion for the
National Rifle Association. He traveled the world with his photographer wife Lydia, and at the height of his success commissioned architect William S. Beckett to design a spectacular modernist home in Coldwater Canyon. The Academy Award winner died in 2008 and his wife recently moved out of the family home, which sold in January for more than $12 million. Heston’s treasures were consigned to Bonhams for an auction scheduled for March 22 at their Hollywood showroom. Here are some of the more unusual items up for bid.
A Terence Gilbert painting of Charlton Heston in Planet of the Apes; Estimate $250-$350Heston appeared in four Apes pictures, including the 2001 Tim Burton remake, but this painting of Colonel Taylor in a loincloth is the only piece of Ape memorabilia in the sale.
A pair of door knockers from the House of Hur used in Ben-Hur; Estimate $3,000-$5,000Ben-Hur production designer Ed Carfagno had these brass Star of David knockers cast in Rome. At the end of filming Heston took them home and had special doors to his Coldwater den designed for them.
A large Charlton Heston National Rifle Association plaque; Estimate $300-$500Heston served as president of the NRA from 1998 to 2003 and is said to have ended every speech to the organization with a line about prying his gun from his “cold dead hands.”
Austen, Jane. 1775-1817. Novels by Miss Jane Austen. London Richard Bentley, 1833. ; Estimate $3,000-$5,000It’s hard to imagine the swaggering, ape-hating Charlton Heston of Planet of the Apes curling up with a cup of tea and a copy of Sense and Sensibility, but the actor maintained a vast library of classic literature.
A Noguchi-style walnut and brass-mounted on glass coffee table; Estimate $300-$500Architect William S. Beckett designed a spectacular modernist home for the couple filled with iconic mid-century furniture including an Eames lounge chair and this customized version of an Isamu Noguchi coffee table.
Marc Chagall (1887-1985); Moses, from Verve, Vol. VIII, nos. 33-24; Estimate $250-$350The same year that Heston played Moses in The Ten Commandments, Chagall created an entire portfolio of paintings depicting characters from the bible.
A Charlton Heston Mardi Gras crown and belt ; Estimate $300-$500Guess who was the king of the Mardi Gras? Heston wore this sequined laurel wreath with plastic leaves and glass grapes as the King of the Bacchus Krewe in 1983.
An original Al Hirschfeld caricature of Heston and the cast of The Big Country; Estimate $4000-$6000Big, brawny Heston dominates this original drawing with hands bigger than his co-stars heads and the name of Hirschfeld’s daughter “Nina” hidden in the creases of his chaps.
A pair of large plaster frescoes of the walls of Per-Rameses from The Ten Commandments hand-painted by Charlton and Lydia Heston; Estimate $8000-$12,000This 2 1/2′ maquette was modeled on 100’ walls that director Cecil B. DeMille had
built in Egypt for the film. The pair was gifted to Heston as unfinished white plaster and the actor and his wife Lydia painted them in.
A collection of assorted mineral specimens; Estimate $250-$400Heston was an actor, an art collector, and a bibliophile, but who knew he was also a rockhound?
A Charlton Heston group of sports memorabilia; Estimate $250-350Soon after Heston received this Voit ball signed by 30 members of the USC Football team he starred as a quarterback in Number One. One of the USC players also went on to become an actor. Whatever happened to that O.J. Simpson?
A Charlton Heston painting of a scene from Macbeth; Estimate $1000-$1500In a 1952 production of Shakespeare’s play, the intense actor fought Burgess Meredith inside an actual burning castle in Bermuda. His note on the back says “It was arguably the most effective Macbeth combat ever staged.”
A Charlton Heston jacket and shirt from The Omega Man; Estimate $600-$800Heston was playing the last man on earth when he donned this green velvet blazer with Edwardian ruffles and cuffs created by Ronald Reagan’s longtime tailor. Heston