Betty White memorabilia auction rakes in $4 million – much more than anticipated
(CBS NEWS) — A three-day auction of Betty White’s personal belongings memorabilia raised $4 million – exceeding the auction’s original estimate of $400,000 to $600,000.
Thousands of bidders attended the auction, either live in Beverly Hills or online, where 1,600 pieces were for sale. The top-selling item was White’s director’s chair from “The Golden Girls” set, which went for $76,800 – a whopping 76 times its original estimate.
White, who died in 2021 at the age of 99, starred in “The Golden Girls” from 1985 to 1992. Other pieces of show memorabilia were also among the top-selling times at the auction, which was run by Julien’s Auctions. Teleplays – or scripts – for the pilot and final episodes of the show, which were signed by the cast, sold for $57,600 and $51,200.
A lavender dress she wore on the show in 1986 sold for $32,000 – 54 times its original estimate. More of White’s scripts and wardrobe from the show were also sold.
A sapphire and diamond ring White wore on the “Mary Tyler Moore Show” sold for $32,000 – 35 times its original estimate. And the wedding ring she wore throughout her marriage to Allen Ludden sold for $25,600.
Aside from being a beloved comedic actress, White was also known for her love of animals. Fittingly, a painting of a King Charles spaniel by Sir Henry Edwin Landseer, called “Waiting For His Master,” sold for $22,400. Several other animal-themed art pieces were also sold.
Some of her other home decor was also auctioned off – as was the bright yellow front door to her home in Brentwood, which was sold for $10,000.
Her awards were also sold, including a framed plaque of her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which sold for $16,000. Her 1988 James Herriot Award, presented to her by the Humane Society, brought in $11,520.
“You would be hard-pressed to find an individual as iconic and well-loved as Betty White, whose impact is absolutely multi-generational,” said Martin Nolan, executive director of Julien’s Auctions. “This auction represented a collection unlike anything we have ever seen before which brought in record-breaking results and thousands of Betty’s most loyal fans from all over the world who participated.”