Profiles in History, run by Joe Maddalena, is proud to announce that the desk where Bram Stoker wrote Dracula will be a part of their Hollywood Auction on December 15 & 16.
It was at this desk that Irish borth author Bram Stoker (1847-1912) created the most famous literary character in the world — DRACULA (published in 1897). At the beginning of the last century, Stoker gave this historic desk to his close friend JSR Phillips, editor of the Yorkshire Post. The author often stayed with Phillips at his home in Balmoral, Headingley, Leeds. Over the past century, the desk had become battered, with the drawers missing and its legs being sawn short. The owner of the desk commissioned master furniture artist Mark Brazier-Jones, whose works are held in the esteemed collections of The Victoria & Albert Museum, The Louvre and The Museum of Art and Design, among others, to preserve and enhance the cultural artifact as a work of art.
Brazier-Jones states in part: “Even as a new desk, in its day, this was a modest item of furniture, a place for a man to work, and yet possessing a noble honesty. I wanted to keep the desk complete and intact, to save all its scars and broken varnish, this history alive with its gnarled textures…I decided to attach, via callipers and clasps the necessaries to regain functionality. To this I have also embroidered imagery appropriate to the great man’s inspirations and imaginings. I visualize Stoker sat pen to paper contemplating a moonlit rose garden, breathless milk white cleavage and blood soaked lace. All the fixtures and fittings I have created are in bronze and burnished steel. He has also leather lined two secret compartments I have devised (the position of which will only be revealed to the final owner of the desk). There is also a bronze ‘treasure chest’ secret compartment carved with a tangled rose vine bas-relief. This, though hidden, can more easily be found and as such may act as a decoy for the other two compartments. The face panel of each drawer is acid etched through to copper and nickel layers. The effect is to subtly represent a misty tableau of Whitby Abbey by moonlight high on the cliff above Whitby Harbour surrounded by gravestones and bats. Over these drawer fronts are five bronze handles, each one different. On the lower left, a bat, to the lower right, a savage hound (in Stoker’s book Dracula arrived in Whitby as a giant dog). The three upper drawers consist of scrolling rose thorns and buds. The interiors are lined in deep buttoned blood red velvet. The baroque rose motif is used again where they seem to crawl up and across the table top frame giving the feeling time has stopped like an overgrown grave.”
Brazier-Jones designed and crafted a magnificent candelabra congruent with the Dracula theme to set atop this functional work of art. A truly breathtaking piece, the desk and candelbra are expected to fetch $60,000 – $80,000.
ABOUT PROFILES IN HISTORY
Founded in 1985 by Joseph Maddalena, Profiles in History is the world’s largest auctioneer & dealer of original Hollywood Memorabilia, historical autographs, letters, documents, vintage signed photographs and manuscripts. Born into a family of antiques dealers in Rhode Island, Joseph “Joe” Maddalena learned early on how to turn his passion of collecting historical autographs into a career. Upon graduation from Pepperdine, Joe pursued his passion to become a full-time dealer of historical documents, and opened his first office in 1985. Profiles in History has held some of the most prestigious and successful auctions of Hollywood memorabilia and own virtually every Guinness Book record for prices of original screen-used memorabilia.
Highlights from their previous auctions include the “Cowardly Lion” costume from The Wizard of Oz ($805,000); Steve McQueen’s “Michael Delaney” racing suit from Le Mans ($960,000); From the history-making Debbie Reynolds Auction in June 2011, Profiles in History sold the Marilyn Monroe “Subway” Dress from The Seven Year Itch for $5.52M and the Audrey Hepburn Ascot Dress from My Fair Lady for $4.44M. In February 2012, Profiles in History arranged the sale of a pair of Judy Garland screen-used Ruby Slippers from The Wizard of Oz to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. In addition, Joe Maddalena is the star of Hollywood Treasure, which just ended its second season on Syfy. Hollywood Treasure takes viewers into the fascinating world of showbiz and pop culture memorabilia. For more information visit www.profilesinhistory.com