By: Dave Astor
Ann Landers’ possessions were auctioned for nearly $250,000 in San Francisco and $55,000 in Elgin, Ill.
The late columnist’s 1992 Cadillac brought in more than $10,000, Bunte Auction Services co-owner Kerry Bunte told E&P Online. He added that two IBM typewriters sold for $225 and $175, Landers’ Sioux City (Iowa) Central High School yearbook for $150, various owl statues for $25 to $1,400, and books autographed by Richard Nixon and Robert Kennedy for several hundred dollars apiece.
“The $55,000 was about what we expected,” said Bunte, whose auction house is located about 35 miles from Chicago, where Landers lived.
Bunte held its sale Saturday and yesterday, while Butterfields Auctioneers in San Francisco raised the $250,000 yesterday. The highest price at the latter sale was $29,125 for a rare signed “Enchanted Owl” print by Canadian Inuit artist Kenojuak Ashevak, according to the Chicago Tribune, where Landers worked after leaving the Chicago Sun-Times in 1987.
The Tribune said other items Butterfields sold included six Louis XVI-style light fixtures ($8,000-plus), an 18th-century Italian settee ($6,500), 27 boxes of correspondence with notables such as President Carter and Barbara Walters ($5,875), a 1977 painting of Landers ($1,200), and five letters from Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis ($1,000-plus).
Landers’ daughter, advice columnist Margo Howard, said the auctions were held because there were too many items in her mother’s 15-room apartment for the family to keep everything and because she wanted her mother’s fans to have some of what she owned.
Landers, who died this June at age 83, appeared in 1,200 newspapers via Creators Syndicate.