Incredible treasures from Disneyland have brought record prices recently as bits of the park have emerged from private collections and hit the auction block. Van Eaton Galleries in Sherman Oaks has become the place to get your hands on relics from the happiest place on earth. The market is especially heated as fans have only recently begun to return to the park after being locked out for 13 months—and they’re hungry for souvenirs.
Last weekend, nearly 1,200 lots went under the hammer at the two-day “Rediscovering Disneyland” auction, including a 1970s mosaic that fetched $363,000. The roughly 3’x4’ chunk of tile was salvaged from Sleeping Beauty’s Castle during Fantasyland’s 1983 makeover. The artwork came from the collection of Ron Clark, who sold a copy of the first map of Disneyland for $708,000 at the same auction house four years ago.
Clark’s collection was one of three biggies to go under the hammer. The family of the late Marian Guiver, who worked at Disneyland and was president of a Disney fan club, put her artifacts up for bids, as did the family of Randy Bell, a 40-year veteran employee cast member of Club 33.
Artifacts from Walt’s private life, merchandise from the studio’s earliest cartoons, and treasures from the theme parks were dispersed to collectors who attended in person and called in from around the world. Mounted pieces of latex “skin” from the dinosaurs of Primeval World, rocks and minerals from Frontierland, and a prop skull from Adventureland seemed right out of a natural history museum. A single blue-and-gold China dinner plate from Club 33 sold for $12,300—a far cry from a starting price of $100. Wardrobe and props from the Haunted Mansion included bits of the stretching portraits, a butler’s costume, and a blueline map print, which sold for $17,220. A bench from Fantasyland fetched $22,140. Some more sensitive items, including a beefcake “Men of the Park” calendar meant for cast member eyes only and a 450-page guide to the “intrusion detection system” on Splash Mountain, also fetched big prices.
Bits of the Matterhorn showed up for sale, including an actual fragment of the 147’ mountain, as well as an entry plaque for the bobsled ride, which fetched $6,450. The 63-year-old concrete rock has been in the news since a chunk of rockwork detached a few months before the closure. The attraction is still closed for a retrofit. Perhaps those fragments will end up in a future auction.
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