Christie’s East to Auction DeMille Possessions

Nearly 30 years after movie mogul Cecil B. DeMille’s death, memorabilia from his estate is headed for the auction block.

More than 200 lots from DeMille’s Hollywood mansion, including furniture, decorations, Oriental rugs, paintings, jewelry and other memorabilia, spanning a 46-year career that included 70 films, will be sold at auction Oct. 18 at Christie’s East in New York.

Until the majority of the contents were brought to auction at Christie’s, his Hollywood Hills home had been kept just as it was when DeMille lived there. The 50-room estate was actually two houses. The original Mediterranean-style house was bought in 1916, then in 1920 he acquired the neighboring home belonging to Charlie Chaplin and converted it to his business office and guest suites.


Cecilia DeMille Presley, DeMille’s granddaughter who lived in the house for a number of years after her grandfather’s death, said the family decided it was time to sell the estate items.

“It’s something we wanted to do. It’s also time the house had somebody living in it,” she said.

Presley, who has managed the DeMille estate for several years, said the family wanted to ensure that everything was properly handled. She said they believed it could best be done by those of her generation who were closer to her grandfather and his life in Hollywood.

Of the house contents being sold, including rare books that have DeMille’s logo in them, Presley said, “We wanted people to have them who are interested in movie memorabilia.”

Material to be auctioned will be on exhibition Oct. 14-17 at Christie’s East in New York. A catalogue is also being offered at $12. The auction house will also present a five-film DeMille film festival Oct. 13-Oct. 17 in New York.

Information: (213) 275-5534.