Thursday, September 17, 2009

My collection

I've been putting off this entry for a while because I keep finding new things to add to my collection, so I tell myself "Wait until you get this in the mail". I realized today that collections will always grow, so now is the time to tell you about what I already have!
I was raised going to Garage Sales ad Flea markets, always searching for a deal and enjoying the beauty and craftsmanship of older things. It's unfortunate that most of my generation would rather buy crap from Walmart than something well-made and already broken in!
Sheet music was an important part of family entertainment through the 1940s. There was usually one person (often a young girl or mother) who played piano in each household. After seeing a picture, if you wanted to hear the music from something, buying the sheet music was your only option until the later introduction of LP soundtracks in the late 40s.
Before I became interested in classic musicals, I started buying vintage sheet music for decoration. The first pieces were from Gilbert and Sullivan's "The Mikado", an operetta I have seen a couple of times and really enjoy:

With the advent of my classic film obsession came a classic film collection. I began only getting sheet music at garage sales and flea markets, then gravitated to the dangerous eBay (dangerous because I spend too much money!). My goal is to collect every piece of sheet music from all 10 Fred and Ginger movies. By my estimation, I am about halfway through.
I have 3 from "Flying Down to Rio", but my camera ran out of battery while I was trying to photograph them.

I have 2 covers from Carefree, which are really special and will be descirbed at the bottom of the post!
Including the Carefree covers, I am only missing one movie: the elusive Vernon and Irene Castle. I know there was some sheet music published for the film. I saw a piece once in an ebay lot that went for over $70-not worth it for one piece (except the piece at the end...:D). I may never find all the pieces from Vernon and Irene Castle, as the movie was not nearly as popular as their previous films. Also because it was more a dance film and a period piece, the music was not relevant to 1939 popular music styles.
Some other movie memorabilia:

A cover of the Family Circle from 1940, an original framed picture of Ginger from Vernon and Irene Castle, and an original publicity still for "Don't Bet on Love".

This lovely picture came from the personal collection of Gail Patrick! I went to an antiwue show this summer, and this guy had literally thousands of pictures of her that he purchased from her step daughter after her husband's death. There were also many large pictures of other stars-everyone from Cary Grant to Anna May Wong-autographed to Gail. Very interesting, and I love the back story.
Now for the item to end all items! I am most proud of the sheet music I have collected from "Carefree", as it is the most rare (and beautiful!) of the Fred and Ginger music I have so far. This is especially true of the music for "I Used to be Color Blind" because it's AUTOGRAPHED by BOTH FRED AND GINGER!!!!! I almost died when I found this on eBay. I ended up spending $70 on it, but I'm so happy I did. I'm having it appraised in a couple of weeks, along with an original poster from "Roxie Hart" which should arrive in the mail today.

Look at the signatures-it's definitely them!
Of course, that's only about half of my collection. I'll post more later.
Ta-ta for now!


Kate Gabrielle said...

wow, what a neat collection! I love the cover design on the black and white Roberta sheet music! These would look so great all framed and hung up together. Make sure you post how much that sheet music is appraised for, I'm really curious now! :)

Maggie said...

Thanks! The music for "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" is actually black and green, but it's a very pale green. I actually bought that one when I bought the ones for the Mikado, and had no idea that I had something I already wanted until a couple of months ago!
I expect the autographs to be worth about $350. According to a value chart, their autographs on the same item is quite rare, and is worth $250 on a blank piece of paper, and up to $550 on a photograph. Hopefully it will be somewhere in the middle.
My "Roxie Hart" poster came in just after I published this entry. When I get new camera batteries I'll post a picture of it too!

jwalker said...

Just killer, Maggie!!! I guess my next logical (well, my wife wouldn't describe it that way! :-] ) step for me after pretty much finding all her movies would be to start collecting Ginger stuff... eBay is quite addictive... I bought quite a few VKM movies on there, but saw a heap of other cool stuff regarding Ginger and Ginger/Fred... Nice idea about the sheet music...that was a BIG thing back in those days, just a bit prior to iPods!!! Folks just had to PERFORM the tune in order to hear it!
And ANYTHING with Ginger's sig on it would just be invaluable for me!
Again, nice Collection! JW

Gingerfan11 said...

LOVE your page and LOVE Ginger Rogers, here is my site address if you would like to follow me. I would be delighted..Arianna..

Maggie said...

Will do!

Allison said...

Pretty neat collection. I have a bunch of old sheet music I inherited from a friend, but was just like 12 at the time and wasn't familiar with a lot of it. I'll have to look through the collection and see what I have. Yeah, great stuff you have there.

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