The Rock & Roll Pop Culture Auction July 2019
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 7/27/2019
Exceedingly rare archive of Howard Hughes signed love letters and more to girlfriend Billie Dove including the following: 1. Ten handwritten letters, 1-5 pages each, four of which are signed "Howard", the remaining signed by some pet name initials; 2. Eleven handwritten notes, six signed with pen name initials; 3. One typed letter signed in type; 4. One unusual two-page letter, typed that has all been crossed out but one line is handwritten "Do you love me?"; 5. One original typed love poem; 6. Eleven envelopes, all but two address in Howard Hughes's hand; 7. Five telegrams; 8. One printed Christmas card; 9. Several original photographs ranging from 4.5 to 8 x 10; 10. Several pages of notes written in Billie Dove's hand regarding her first meeting Howard Hughes, etc. Early in 1929 Howard Hughes met Billie Dove on the Starlight dance floor of the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. Hollywood gushed about “love at first sight,” and over the next few years they were one of the most talked about couples in America. Dubbed the “American Beauty” from the title of one of her films, Billie Dove was at her peak in the late 20's ranked with Colleen Moore and Clara Bow as among the most popular actresses in the cinema. Indeed, for a time, she surpassed Mary Pickford, Gloria Swanson and Greta Garbo at the box office. Born Lillian Bohny in 1903, by 1917 she was snapped up by Flo Ziegfeld for his Follies, where she made it into the central spotlight. She broke into the movies in the early 1920s, move to Hollywood, and, during her 12-year career, made 36 silent films (including the famous Black Pirate, shot in early technicolor and co-starring Douglas Fairbanks Jr.) and 12 talkies. By the late 1920s Howard Hughes with the wealth of his inheritance and the profits from the business his father had built, was producing movies independently from the major studios by the late 20's. He put Dove in two of his films: Cock of the Air and The Age for Love. Dove's first marriage in 1923, to film director Irvin Willat, was coming to a close when they first met, as was Hughes' marriage, and he arranged for the two pending divorces to go smoothly by paying off the two parties. He offered to pay Willat $325,000 for an uncontested divorce with Dove. His wife Ella accepted a $1.2 million settlement for theirs. Though they were now free to marry one another, the marriage never took place, for reasons that remain not altogether known. It seems certain that Hughes' philandering and his fits of jealousy doomed the relationship. It seems clear, by her having kept these letters so securely hidden for these many years, that Billie Dove kept the memory of Howard Hughes close to her heart. As for Hughes, it was said by more than one of his later paramours that, much to their consternation, he spoke regularly of Billie Dove, his first and perhaps only soulmate, throughout the many years following their relationship. Secreted away by the “American Beauty” silent screen star Billie Dove for some six decades, this collection of autograph letters, notes, and other miscellaneous materials sent by legendary businessman and aviator Howard Hughes represents the writings of a young and very powerful man smitten by the love for a young movie star, a legend in her own right. Autograph letters of Hughes are exceedingly rare, and this group, so closely guarded by Billie Dove, is a unique treasure. Considered by many to be his one true love, Billie Dove was the “one that got away”.  Overall very good condition. Comes with a detailed printed write-up describing Hughes' relationship with Billie Dove and the items being offered here. Also comes with a letter of authenticity from PSA/DNA and a Gotta Have Rock & Roll™ Certificate of Authenticity.
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $25,000
Final Bid: $0
Estimate: $40,000 - $50,000
Number of Bids: 0
Auction closed on Saturday, July 27, 2019.
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