Lennon's Chrysler Sells; 'Ten Commandments' Don't

By Anthony Scaduto

NEW YORK (June 18, 1996) - A sparse crowd sat on its hands and went home with memorabilia at prices well below presale estimates Tuesday at Sotheby's auction of music and movie memorabilia.

The few exceptions were materials connected with John Lennon,Marilyn Monroe, Jim Morrison and some others.

A green 1972 Chrysler station wagon that Lennon and Yoko Ono used for a cross-country trip in 1975 brought $20,700 -- $4,300 above its presale estimate.

But the same couldn't be said for a pair of Fiberglas tablets for Cecil B. DeMille's 'The Ten Commandments,' engraved in a Bronze Age language that preceded Hebrew. Estimates predicted a sale for up to $70,000 but bidding stopped at $32,500 and the lot was withdrawn.

Perhaps the most spirited bidding took place over a notebook with seven pages of Morrison's poetry and two pages of drawings that may be self-portraits. It fetched $25,300, more than double its top presale estimate.

'I bought it for a friend, a collector,' said the buyer, who would only identify himself as Ed. Asked how high the friend had been willing to go, Ed said, 'He told me to get it. I guess I would have gone to at least $100,000.'

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