The Estate of Author Judith Krantz Heads to Auction
Art and memorabilia from the Bel Air home of celebrity author Judith Krantz will go to auction in Los Angeles on April 8. Krantz, who died at age 91 in 2019, dominated bestseller lists from the late seventies into the nineties with ten racy romance novels that brought her fame and fortune, beginning with Scruples (1978), a #1 New York Times bestseller, and its follow-up, Princess Daisy (1980), which brought in a record-setting $3.2 million for paperback rights alone.
Krantz spent her earnings on fur coats and jewelry, and also, with her longtime husband Steve Krantz, on the art and objects now for sale. They include an ink wash painting by Reuven Rubin, a Marc Chagall lithograph, and an Eames lounge chair and ottoman. According to Abell Auction Co., a full catalogue will be available on April 2.
Some of the offered items have a close tie to Krantz’s life in journalism and publishing, such as some inexpensive Good Housekeeping magazine pages ($50-75) and the book cover art decoupage pictured above ($300-400). Before Krantz published her debut novel at age 50, she spent 27 years in magazine editorial, writing about fashion, shopping, and sex for Ladies' Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, and Cosmopolitan. Her fourth novel, I’ll Take Manhattan (1986), depicted magazine publishing as a world of glitz and glamour (and possibly inspired one nerdy, teenage library page toward a far-less-flashy journalism career).
“Abell is honored to offer a stunning collection from the longtime Los Angeles residence of Judith Krantz, who achieved incredible publishing success and became one of the world’s first celebrity authors,” said senior vice-president of business development Joe Baratta. “This is an opportunity for buyers, collectors and fans from around the globe to acquire an item she treasured during her remarkable life.”