In Mabel Normand’s jewelry box were 173 pieces
estimated to be worth over $100,000.
After her death on
The auction of her gems was held December 7, 8 1931 at the Hall of Arts Studio, 1757 North Highland Avenue, Hollywood, almost 2 years after her death. On December 7, there were about 200 people at the auction. Police were on guard over this treasure but the Depression was now a reality; there was little money available to spend on trinkets and gems that was once in the pockets of her friends and admirers, the collection only made around ¼ of its estimated value.
The auctioneer indicated that a number of socially prominent people were bidding on items but only a few names were mentioned. It was reported that most of jewelry was sold to unnamed dealers, including a bracelet, which contained a 2-carat Sapphire, 6 small sapphires, a 1 ½-carat diamond and 518 other diamonds! This piece was worth $10,000 but sold for just $1,685; there maybe over 500 engagement rings with Mabel’s diamonds in them being worn, even today.
The individuals recorded as winners of a few of Mabel’s gems were mentioned in various newspapers. Mabel’s 7 ½ Star Sapphire, worth $3,500 went for $300 to Miss Bankhart, one of Mabel’s admirers; Mabel’s sister Gladys bid $1,500 on a $8,000 solitaire diamond, this may have been a ploy to increase the price which no one bit on and Gladys ended up buying her own ring.
Jim (James) Morley, the original owner of the Los Angeles Angel baseball club won the 3 ½-carat diamond for $710. Jerry Mayer, the brother of Louis B. Mayer of
In the Los Angeles Times is a picture of Jeanette (Jeannette) Lewis wearing 3 pieces of Mabel’s jewelry, which she acquired at the auction, a cuff bracelet worth $10,000, a ring valued at $5,000 and Mabel’s trademark pendant valued at $4,000 with 272 small diamond but worth far more to any fan, who saw it on her in Molly O.
Jeanette Lewis was mentioned in a Time Magazine article dated
Bess Meredith (Meredyth) paid $900 for two 3 ¼ carat diamonds and 46 small ones although this is all the description printed, these were likely a set of Mabel’s hatpins. Bess Meredyth was a scenarist, an award-winning film writer of The Affairs of Cellini (1934) and she did the adaptation of The Unsuspected (1947), she was also a silent film actress. Bess was the wife of the
This was a difficult time as many formerly very rich people had loss their money. On the same page of the paper with the information regarding the auction of Mabel’s jewelry was two articles reflective of the period. Mabel’s friends Rosetta & Vivian Duncan, who at one point were said to be worth over $4,000,000 were now bankrupt according to Vivian …”Gold mines with no gold, worthless stock, the fickleness of Wall Street and signatures on too many dotted lines’ were responsible.
Although not a friend on that same page was the story from
|HALL OF ARTS STUDIO|
|1757 NORTH HIGHLAND AVENUE|
|MABEL NORMAND AUCTION|
|DECEMBER 7, 8, 1931||200 people|
|173 PIECES WORTH $100,000|
|2 carat Sapphire, 6 small sapphires 1 1/2 carat diamond & 518 small diamonds||$ 10,000.00||dealer||$ 1,685.00|
|cliff||$ 10,000.00||Jeanette Lewis||uk|
|288 diamonds with larger stones|
|$20,000.00||Solitare Diamond||$ 8,000.00||Gladys Normand, sister||$ 1,500.00|
|3 1/2 carat Diamond||uk||Jim Morley, LA Sportsman||$ 710.00|
|7 1/2 carat Star Sapphire||$ 3,500.00||Miss Bankhart, admirer||$ 300.00|
|6 carat Marquise cut||$ 10,000.00||Jerry Mayer||$ 2,250.00|
|Long ring||$ 5,000.00||Jeanette Lewis||uk|
|5 carat set with 48 smaller diamonds|
|HAT PINS 2-3 1/4 carat Diamonds & 46 small ones||uk||Bess Meredith||$ 900.00|
|Pendant & Chain 272 small Diamonds||$ 4,000.00||Jeanette Lewis||uk|
|wriswatch platinum & diamond||$ 2,000.00|