Vintage cars and vases going for a song at Doris Day memorabilia sale

A red lacquer Young Chang upright piano (est 1,600-3,200) part of the film memorabilia, artwork and jewellery belonging to the late Hollywood star Doris Day which are set to go under the hammer. Juliens Auction/PA WireA red lacquer Young Chang upright piano (est 1,600-3,200) part of the film memorabilia, artwork and jewellery belonging to the late Hollywood star Doris Day which are set to go under the hammer. Juliens Auction/PA Wire
A red lacquer Young Chang upright piano (est 1,600-3,200) part of the film memorabilia, artwork and jewellery belonging to the late Hollywood star Doris Day which are set to go under the hammer. Juliens Auction/PA Wire | pa
She may have been the golden girl of Hollywood’s gilded age, but at heart the vivacious Doris Day was a woman of modest tastes.

Now some of the more unusual items among the late screen idol’s estate is to set to go up for sale, with film memorabilia, artwork and jewellery among the “affordable” lots to be auctioned.

There are floor lamps and flower pots, alongside a vase gifted by Sir Paul McCartney, and followers of the film star can soon bid for a piece from her personal collection.

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The sale is unique, says the executive director of Julien’s Auctions, Martin Nolan, because of the relatively low guide price for many of the items.

Undated handout photo issued by Juliens Auction of a 1930 Ford convertible (est 8,000-16,000)part of the film memorabilia, artwork and jewellery belonging to the late Hollywood star Doris Day which are set to go under the hammer. Juliens Auction/PA WireUndated handout photo issued by Juliens Auction of a 1930 Ford convertible (est 8,000-16,000)part of the film memorabilia, artwork and jewellery belonging to the late Hollywood star Doris Day which are set to go under the hammer. Juliens Auction/PA Wire
Undated handout photo issued by Juliens Auction of a 1930 Ford convertible (est 8,000-16,000)part of the film memorabilia, artwork and jewellery belonging to the late Hollywood star Doris Day which are set to go under the hammer. Juliens Auction/PA Wire | pa

“The nice thing about Doris’s auction is everything is really affordable,” said Mr Nolan. “She wasn’t an elitist when it came to what she collected.

“It didn’t have to be big names or big artists. If she saw a piece of art she loved she got it and she hung it on her wall and lived with it and loved it and enjoyed it.

“It didn’t have to be Monets and Picassos.”

Day, who rose to fame as a big-band singer, went to have several hits, and would go on to become one of the top box office draws of the 1950s and 60s. Her hit songs included Que Será, Será.

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A cover artwork, part of the film memorabilia, artwork and jewellery belonging to the late Hollywood star Doris Day which are set to go under the hammer. Julien's Auction/PA WireA cover artwork, part of the film memorabilia, artwork and jewellery belonging to the late Hollywood star Doris Day which are set to go under the hammer. Julien's Auction/PA Wire
A cover artwork, part of the film memorabilia, artwork and jewellery belonging to the late Hollywood star Doris Day which are set to go under the hammer. Julien's Auction/PA Wire | pa

Known for her freckled face and wholesome looks, she personified a time of innocence in post-war America.

Born Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff in Cincinnati, to a music teacher and a housewife, she had dreamed of a dance career before a car she was in was hit by a train when she was 12, leaving her with a badly broken leg.

Listening to the radio throughout her lengthy recuperation, the young Miss Kappelhoff had begun singing along with Ella Fitzgerald and, as she recalled, “trying to catch the subtle ways she shaded her voice, the casual yet clean way she sang the words”.

She began her singing career on a Cincinnati radio station, before a bandleader changed her name to Day, after the song Day After Day, to fit it on a marquee.

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Film memorabilia, artwork and jewellery belonging to the late Hollywood star Doris Day which are set to go under the hammer. Julien's Auction/PA WireFilm memorabilia, artwork and jewellery belonging to the late Hollywood star Doris Day which are set to go under the hammer. Julien's Auction/PA Wire
Film memorabilia, artwork and jewellery belonging to the late Hollywood star Doris Day which are set to go under the hammer. Julien's Auction/PA Wire | pa

As Doris Day, she is best remembered for starring opposite Rock Hudson in romantic comedies such as 1959’s Pillow Talk, as well as for sitcom The Doris Day Show. Her other film roles include Calamity Jane and The Man Who Knew Too Much. The actress died in May last year at the age of 97.

The Beverly Hills-based Julien’s Auctions is now overseeing a sale of property from her estate, which will be held over two days this coming weekend on what would have been her 98th birthday celebration.

All of the proceeds from the sale will go towards The Doris Day Animal Foundation to which she dedicated most of her later life.

More than 800 lots are going under the hammer in the sale, including the actress’s classic 1930 Ford convertible which was seen in the opening credits of her Best Friends television show with a guide price of £8,000 to £16,000 as well as her Golden Globe awards.

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A red lacquer Young Chang upright piano, gifted to Day by her son, music producer Terry Melcher, has an estimate of £1,600 - £3,200.

And other items from Day’s home in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, include a vintage glass floor lamp (£320 to £480), a brass embossed elephant jardiniere given to the actress by Hudson (£800 to £1,600) and a square painted yellow tole vase, which was a gift from Sir Paul McCartney, with a guide price of £160 to £320.

Mr Nolan added: “It’s just a really good cross-section from a lady who gave us so much joy and entertainment and who lived her life very well.”

Julien’s Auctions is one of the world’s biggest auction houses and has previously handled the sales of items belonging to stars including Michael Jackson, Marilyn Monroe and Amy Winehouse.

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Mr Nolan has revealed that more catalogues for the Day sale have been sold than for any celebrity bar Jackson, with the number of people viewing lots up 50 to 60 per cent on expectation.

Exhibitions such as the sale of property belonging to the late Doris Day are normally open to viewing before bidding begins, but Julien’s Auctions is now hosting a virtual tour of the lots instead.

“It’s a live auction with no-one in the room, so just the auctioneer calling the bids,” said Mr Nolan. “Anyone at home on their computer can go online and be able to see and hear the auctioneer. Even if they don’t intend to bid, they can just watch.”

The Property From The Estate of Doris Day auction takes place on Saturday and Sunday, with more information available at juliensauctions.com.