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Amazing I LOVE LUCY Prop and Auction


rickee
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Well Lucy and Ricky fans, this past Saturday was a red letter day in the world of collectibles; especially with regard to "I Love Lucy."

 

The instantly recognizable male Chinese statuette from "I Love Lucy" that sat in various positions on the fireplace mantle of the Ricardo's apartment finally surfaced at Premiere Props Auction House and the gavel price did not disappoint!

 

The story goes that back in 1985, when the musical group Manhattan Transfer was making a video for "Blee Blop Blues" as part of their TV special, they wanted to saluter "I Love Lucy" with the Ricardos and Mertzes as well as the famed NY apartment living room. The set was recreated by a designer that had access to the former Desilu prop department. During the search for props and furniture, apparently the male Chinese statuette was found and used in the final cut. He was placed on the left side of the mantle..."back home" once again after all those years.

 

While this video record is not the clearest, it is in tact and you can see the statuette in the background at the very beginning from two vantage points.

 


 

Cheryl Bentyne (Lucy) Tim Hauser (Fred) Alan Paul (Ricky) and Janis Siegel (Ethel) did a great job in my opinion.

 

 

Not 100% sure how the item came into the hands of the auction house, but from what I could gather, singer Alan Paul of Manhattan Transfer recently verified it's authenticity as he was there on the set when the prop was found and used. Did he have it all these years? Could be. The item was also given a battery of forensic tests and DNA to boot. There is a company that checks these items carefully for their authenticity and our little guy passed the test with flying colors.

 

So, what started out at a mere $700 opening bid built up into a bidding frenzy and after 15 minutes of excitement, it ended at....$25,000! Needless to say, the seller and auction house were very happy.

 

In all likelihood there might be another one somewhere out there, as duplicates easily were made for such everyday use and wear over the years of filming. The question now is...where is his mate?


 

 

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I remembered the statue but I totally forgot Ricky used it as a stand in Oscar.  Just goes to show with this and recent other auctions there is still a market for real ILL collectibles.  

I found something similar in a flea market and treat it as if it WERE the original.  Now I want a set of those dishes.

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Wow is right. Though it would go for a few thousand...certainly not $25k! Those statues are individually hand painted so no two are alike. The design from the neck down matches to a 'T'. The head however appears to be different. If you look closely at the one used on the show, the eyes are different and the black part on the "hair line" is not visible compared to the statue sold. There's even is a crack on the neck area which makes me think the head was replaced so about 90% is original. :lucythrill:

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Wow is right. Though it would go for a few thousand...certainly not $25k! Those statues are individually hand painted so no two are alike. The design from the neck down matches to a 'T'. The head however appears to be different. If you look closely at the one used on the show, the eyes are different and the black part on the "hair line" is not visible compared to the statue sold. There's even is a crack on the neck area which makes me think the head was replaced so about 90% is original. :lucythrill:

I have a lot of screen grabs of the statues, but no true crystal clear close-ups from the show, as they never got that close...always in the near background. How are you comparing the eyes and hairline...from what source? It may be entirely possible the head was replaced....remember these were used constantly over the years and it's 100% logical that props fell and were altered, but if you have some great show closeups...would love to see. Thx!

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I have a lot of screen grabs of the statues, but no true crystal clear close-ups from the show, as they never got that close...always in the near background. How are you comparing the eyes and hairline...from what source? It may be entirely possible the head was replaced....remember these were used constantly over the years and it's 100% logical that props fell and were altered, but if you have some great show closeups...would love to see. Thx!

 

Nothing very clear or close up...but in some scene shots like the ones you have, the eyes look thinner and further apart. Then again it could be the lightning throwing it off. I don't see any descrepancies with the body though. That I think is the real deal.

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I was always curious about the Chinese decorations they had in that apartment. Very cool to see some detailed photos.

 

Now let's get some ceramic cats! I would love to have one of those.

They appear now and then on Ebay, but they are highly collectible and can run into $$$$. They were originally created in the late 1950's and are based on an Italian design.

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Rickee, thanks so much for posting the Manhatten Transfer video! I've never seen it before. Love their singing, the skit, the apartment set, & their acting, too :marionstrong: .

 

Very cool about the long lost prop statue. Rumor has it that the Appleby's gifted it to the Ricardo's during Carolines "Chinese Modern" phase :lucythrill: .

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Rickee, thanks so much for posting the Manhatten Transfer video! I've never seen it before. Love their singing, the skit, the apartment set, & their acting, too :marionstrong: .

 

Very cool about the long lost prop statue. Rumor has it that the Appleby's gifted it to the Ricardo's during Carolines "Chinese Modern" phase :lucythrill: .

Oh i loved that video when it came out, so well done, such a great tune too.  Manhattan Transfer were such a great group too, jazz but tolerable jazz.

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