Yours truly with Ethan Wayne during the 2011 auction
of the John Wayne Estate in Century City, Los Angeles.
The Pea Coat John Wayne wore in both Reap the Wild Wind andWake of the Red Witch. Sold by the Wayne Estate in 2011. That's Adele Palmer's original costume sketch for the part of the seafaring captain (from Profile in History Auction in 2010).
Gail Russell's pearl necklace from Wake of the Red Witch, from Joseff of Hollywood, master juweler of the studios (Julien's Auctions in 2017).
The submerged pearl chest John Wayne salvaged off the bottom of the lagoon just before being ensnared by the giant octpus. When he has to kill a man over the pearls, he kicks the wooden treasure chest. From the Profiles in History Auction 11.
Laurence Harvey's (Col. Travis) tail coat (from the 2002 Sotheby's Auction), Richard Widmark's (Jim Bowie) coat (from collector Les Hemstock, via Wayne expert Rick Spector, directly from WCC Western Costume Company), Frankie Avalon's (Smitty) cotton shirt and pants (from noted Wayne historian Rick Spector in 2001, actually made in 1954 for Alan Ladd for Saskatchewan), and John Wayne's (Davy Crockett) costume: his coat (from the Profiles in Hollywood auction in 2010) and the pants (from the Wayne estate in 2011, redyed for use in subsequent productions), along with several costumes of the Mexican Army (with Republic and Western costume stamps).
Props I got directly from Virginia Shahan (widow of "Happy Shahan", proprietor of "Alamo Village"). The two weaved baskets were used by women doing the laundry as the Mexican cavalry crosses the river, from the auction at the 1998 "Alamo Reunion" in Brackettville. The clay jug was on of several on the rack in the background of the "Republic Speech" scene, also provided by the late Virginia Shahan. The fake bricks were used in several scenes involving explosions and stunts, they were exhibited in the Alamo museum for several years. The Trapdoor Springfield serial # 447374 has been modified to look like a Brown Bess Flintlock. This firearm was one of several hundred Wayne rented for the production. The orginial rental form is dated Aug 27th, 1959. It came from Stembridge Gun Rental in Glendale. The gun has an R&M mark which means it belonged to Republic and Monogram Studios before that. From the private collection of Motion Picture Firearm Research.
They are called "The Holy Grail" by John Wayne collectors: the handpainted mugs he used to present cast and crew when the filming was done. Personalized coffee mugs from The Alamo, McLintock! and Hondo.
The most reconizable garment made for and used by John Wayne in two M.G.M. war movies: the USN combat jacket worn in both They Were Expandable and The Wings of Eagles. Not too many people picked up on that but in the last scene of The Wings of Eagles, as the audience becomes aware of Wead's terminal illness, Wayne dons this jacket on the final farewell. As Wayne is lifted from one battleship to another, he is wearing the jacket in reference to the man he protrays in the picture and who wrote They Were Expandable: "Spig" Weads. The Navy jacket has the M.G.M. production labels for Wings of Eagles (from noted film historian Rick Spector in 1998).
Canvas Chair back, made for the single occasion of the 1978 television special Wayne appeared in with James Stewart, The All Star Tribute to Jimmy Stewart. From the 1999 auction of Hollywood A Collector's Ransom.
John Wayne was a regular at Mike Lyman's Grill. Lyman was a fromer vaudeville entertainer who opened his first restaurant in downtown L.A. in 1935 and a second one at the corner of Hollywood and Vine soon after. His restaurants were loyally populated by the A-Listers from the worlds of show biz and sports. One eye catching decoration were the handprints of famous guests. John Wayne let Lyman take an imprint of his left hand (wearing his ring) and also signing it. It hung over the bar for several years until Lyman's finally closed down. Purchased in 1995.
In these pants, John T. Chance walked the streets of Rio Bravo. Since Wayne in essence wore the same togs throughout the 1960's and 70's, these tan pants were dated to Rio Bravo based on the Western Costume number, made for him in a set of at least three. From the 1999 auction of Hollywood A Collector's Ransom.
Wayne wore this vest throughout his Batjac production, Legend of the Lost and also in this beer advertisement (shot on a Cinecitta soundstage in Rome). Made of heavy-weight tan cotton, the piece is heavily stained and worn since Wayne, as was his custom, continued to use it in private. There are pictures of him wearing it when fishing. Hence, the fish bloot on the vest. From the 2011 auction of the Wayne estate.
Wayne bought this fur coat for his lady friend Pat Stacy, for the occastion of a 1978 Frank Sinatra concert. Stacy described in her book, "Duke: A Love Story", how Wayne went shopping with her and picked it up himself. She kept Frank's invitation card as well. The book pictured here is also from Pat Stacy's Estate.
Contract between John Wayne and John Ford's Argosy Pictures Corpration: the 16 page typescript agreement stipulates 33 separate conditions, including his payment of $100'000 for his participation in Fort Apache . Wayne singed on the date of 26th May, 1947 - his fortieth birthday. From the Christie's auction in 1995.
Wayne used these black pants and the violet shirt from Western Costume in several appearences for commercials in the 70s, seen here in his promotion of US Savings Bonds in 1976. From Star Wares on Main, the well-known shop that used to be on Main Street in Santa Monica, before it sold out to memorabilia dealer, "Piece of the Past".
John Wayne used and re-used this particular Stockade Jacket several times: He battled the fire in it in Circus World, he wore it during McLintock's now famous mud slide fight; he then donned it in one sequence in The Sons of Katie Elder, confronting bad guy George Kennedy. He finally retired it in The War Wagon, when Bruce Cabot not only stole his land but even his clothes! When Wayne tries to get his duds back Cabot has it hanging over his chair. From the 2011 auction of the Wayne estate.
This prop ID played a part in the MGM production from 1942: Reunion in France. Wayne's downed pilot needs to get a new identiy in German occupied Paris, so the resistance provides him with a new passport. Interesting enough, the ID even has a fingerprint. From the 2009 Profiles in History auction.
Books owned by John Wayne: "Bill Kelly's Encyclopedia of Gunmen"; "Stagecoach", the first print of the Film Classics Library, 1975 (signed by Claire Trevor); an early draft of the screenplay for The Alamo (mid Fifties, when the script was developed by several writers, signed by Wayne); "Saga of the Colt Six-Shooter", signed by the author, George E. Virgines, to Wayne; "The Day Jesse James Was Killed", also signed by the author, Carl Breihan, to Wayne.
On August 8, 1978 John Wayne granted author Bill Kelly what would become “The Duke's last written interview". During his visit at the Newport Beach home, the writer gifted Wayne with his book, ("The first one off the press", as he proudly told Wayne). The oral interview was later published on CD and Wayne is heard reading the inscription, "Never lend this book - my bookcase is full of books I borrowed from my friends", and roaring out loud.
The branding iron John Wayne used in the 1978 "Great Western" commercial. He takes it from the fire and pushes it into the wood. Directly from the family of the former director of Great Western Bank.
This letter opener was gifted to John Wayne from the officers at Fort Benning, Georgia, as he wrapped location filming of The Green Berets. The inscription reads " ". In the early part of the 1970s, Mrs. Quantana was working as a live-in house keeper in his Newport Beach home for a number of years. Her husband develeopd a close relationship with John Wayne, and the Waynes were present when Mrs. and Mr. Quantana got married in the mid 70s. "After Mr. Wayne passed away, I was given several of ihis personal possessions from his wife and family. He kept the letter opener as a special memento. Obtained directly from Mr. Quantana in 2006. With The Green Berets, Wayne started another tradition of giving a Zippo lighter to cast and crew members, inscribed with "Stolen from John Wayne" (since an inscribed lighter was an important prop in one of the scenes). He gifted several Brannigan crew members with this special made belt buckle (Heritage Auction 2014).
Painting of canvas used to advertise The Conqueror on three-sheet posters, inserts and foreigen fim posters. The painting was formerly part of the collection of archery innovator Hugh Rich (Julien's Auctions 2018).
His US Navy Cap saw a lot of action in Operation Pacific (1951). John Wayne wore it the role as "Lt. Cmdr. Duke E. Gifford" and saved it, until it was sold in the 2011 Heritage auction of the Wayne estate. Auctioned again by Heritage exactly 10 years after, in 2021.
The John Wayne 35mm collection: orginal prints that ran in cinemas in the year of their original release. Many of these titles are now extinct. Among the 30plus Wayne movies in this archive, ranging from Stagecoach to The Shootist, one is the original Technicolor roadshow version of The Alamo which has the physical cuts where Wayne had to edit out scenes to shorten it.
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All pictures posted on this website are from the collection of the author, unless otherwise noted