Selections from the Estate of Rod McKuen at Heritage Auctions

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DALLAS—Artwork, literature and personal-owned mementos from the estate of popular and influential poet, singer-songwriter and musician Rod McKuen will be offered at Heritage Auctions across several auctions through the end of the year. McKuen’s best-selling poetry and poignant ballads sold by the millions through the 1960s and 1970s as he once claimed the title of America’s “unofficial poet laureate.”

The collection features treasures from across McKuen’s professional repertoire. Heritage will offer three examples of original art gifted by Charles Schulz in its Comics and Comic Art Auction Aug. 27 in Dallas; McKuen wrote the song “A Boy Named Charlie Brown” which delivered him an instant smash hit and permanent pop-culture fame. One strip comically mentions McKuen by name (est. $15,000+) and a drawing by Schulz references a McKuen poem from his blockbuster book of poetry “Listen to The Warm” (est. $7,500+).

“Mr. McKuen surrounded himself with inspiration and took great pleasure in celebrating the many deep and abiding relationships that influenced his songs, his poetry and his soul,” said James Gannon, director of rare books at Heritage Auctions. “His work was a keystone to the mid-20th century culture and these personally-owned treasures will certainly speak to his millions of fans.”

The collection includes art and furnishings from McKuen’s Beverly Hills, California, home - a social hot spot for movie stars, musicians, and, in the case of John Lennon, a retreat from media spotlight. McKuen famously provided his luxuriously-appointed home to John Lennon during the singer’s “Lost Weekend,” the 18-month separation from Yoko Ono in the early 1970s. Among the home’s furnishings offered in  the Sept. 12 Fine & Decorative Arts including Estates Auction in Dallas include a German Roman Catholic Stained Glass Depicting Sacred Heart Jesus, Joseph, & Mary (est. $10,000+) and the well-documented poster Les Vieilles Histoires, 1893, signed by artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (est. $3,000+). With the parade of famous names and faces in and out of the home over 40 years, perhaps it was Frank Sinatra or Phyllis Diller who relaxed over drinks in a Pair of classic Ray and Charles Eames 670 Armchairs and 671 Ottomans (est. $2,500+).

In the upcoming Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Auction Sept. 19 in Dallas, several lots of entertainment collectibles are highlighted by McKuen’s personally-owned and played Steinway Concert Grand Piano and a set of Three Awards - marking his Gold Record for the single “Jean,” his Oscar Nomination for the song and a plaque for his star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame (est. $800+) 

One of 200 Deluxe Copies of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Illustrated and Signed Twice by Salvador Dali (est. $7,500+) and a coveted First Edition of Thoreau’s Classic, Walden, in the Original Publisher’s Cloth (est. $6,000+) as well as additional original manuscripts and books will cross the block in Heritage’s Nov. 4-5 Rare Books Auction.

McKuen’s love for the artwork of Andy Warhol is on display across three lots of iconic screen prints in Heritage’s Nov. 14 Modern & Contemporary Art Auction, including Mao, 1972 (est. $25,000+); Jane Fonda, 1982 (est. $15,000+); and Vote McGovern, 1972 (est. $15,000+).

Heritage Auctions is the largest auction house founded in the United States and the world’s third largest, with annual sales of approximately $900 million, and 900,000+ online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and receive access to a complete record of prices realized, with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit HA.com. 

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