“The Walt Disney signature is such a cool signature and people just want to have things signed by him,” observes Mike Fazio, animation and Disney expert for California-based Profiles in History, the nation's leading dealer in guaranteed-authentic autographs, letters, documents, manuscripts and entertainment industry memorabilia.
Two rare documents signed by Walt Disney will be on the auction block on Friday, December 9th, and whether in person, online, by phone or absentee bid, you will have the chance to acquire a unique piece of Disney history. Fazio says up for grabs will be Walt Disney's Last Will and Testament and another document marking the genesis of the Disney empire. The auction will also feature lots of Disney animation and theme park memorabilia, Nightmare Before Christmas art and props as well as highly sought Peanuts comic strip art and never-before-seen production art, scripts and cells from the original Transformers animated series.
Disney's Last Will and Testament is significant according to Fazio because when Disney signed and dated the document in 1941. It stated that, upon his death, besides leaving his wealth to his wife Lillian and his two daughters, a portion of his worth should be set aside for the use by the Disney Employees Bonus Pool to benefit studio workers. Disney's signed last will is a nine-page legal document executed in Los Angeles on August 7th, 1941 and hand dated and signed on August 9th. The document is signed by Walt Disney on page nine and his initials WED appear on page 4. The item is expected to fetch anywhere between $40,000 and $60,000 at auction. “When we saw that we knew we wanted to have it in the auction,” Fazio explains.
In addition to the will, an equally important Disney artifact is on the block. A second signed document responsible for the branding of the Disney kingdom is available and could go for $80,000. Following the success of movies like Peter Pan, Disney fulfilled his obligation with RKO Pictures and paved the way for the founding of his own Buena Vista Distribution Company. That caused Disney to grant a license for use of his name which had become a valuable brand unto itself and very much a household name around the world. Bidding for this document is expected to start at $60,000.
According to Fazio the two Disney signed items were owned by a person with a huge collection of Walt Disney artifacts. “He has been collecting it for 30-40 years and has several different documents that have Walt Disney's signatures on them,” Fazio added that a team of experts from Profiles in History meticulously went through the items and felt these two autographs would be something people would be interested in purchasing.
Often the task of getting the collector to part with their valuables is challenging. “Sometimes we have to talk them into it,” Fazio notes, “they show us many different things. It is kinda our job to help convince them there is a chance you can make some pretty good money,” for consigning their items for auction.
Besides the Disney-signed items, Profiles in History will also have a number of other collectibles up for auction including Jack Skellington reference maquette and coffin sleigh and trash can prop from The Nightmare Before Christmas, a complete set of light-up miniature models of the buildings, attractions and sculptures found in the Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando and numerous pieces of classic and contemporary Disney animation art. Jiminy Cricket as the “Tramp” production cell with a matching background from Pinocchio is available as well as the Wicked Queen production cell from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
If Disney theme park props, costumes and art are more to your liking, Profiles also has a number of items up for your consideration. If you are a fan of Peanuts” or the perennial holiday favorite How the Grinch Stole Christmas, extremely rare cels and production backgrounds can be yours if your price is right come auction time.
For more information on the auction please visit www.profilesinhistory.com