Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 82

The Fall Manuscript, Collectibles, Stamp and Space Memorabilia Auction

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Lot 1082
Collection of Vintage Disneyana and Advertising. Five items: Two vintage Disneyana pieces. Map of Disneyland from 1966 (30" x 45") in near mint folded condition and one counter card display (27" x 16") for a Coca-Cola sponsored sweepstakes from mid-1960s with easel on verso intact and in nice condition with only light foxing in white areas. Television's "Batman" inspired this point of sale piece for IDEAL toys from 1966 (36" x 26") folded as issued with very minor stains and one tab torn held in check with tape on verso. An Aurora Models sweepstakes promotional piece, "Space Age Countdown", on cardstock (22.25" x 15.5") from 1969 displaying photos of models popular at the time including kits for 2001:a space odyssey, Fantastic Voyage, and Land of the Giants in very good condition with only minor creasing. Finally, a vibrant silk-screened counter card (14" x20"), for Taca Airways, easel on verso intact with chip in right top corner, toning and some soiling.
Estimated Value $250 - 300.
From the Dann Cahn Collection.

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Lot 1083
[Disney] Unique Desert Battalion Collection - With 11 Original Disney Sketches, Military & Celebrity Memorabilia. The Desert Battalion was organized in late Spring 1942 by Gladys Lloyd "Robbie" Robinson, wife of actor Edward G. Robinson. This "feminine battalion," run by "brigadears," was recruited to entertain U.S. soldiers who were stationed in remote, desert locations over some 18,000 miles in Southern California. It was there that General George S. Patton trained his troops for the conditions they would face in the deserts of North Africa.

Some 600 young women between the ages of 18 and 25 eventually took part in the Desert Battalion. During the week they worked in factories, offices, and war plants. On the weekends, the women paid their own bus fare to travel to camps in the middle of nowhere to dance nonstop for hours in the sweltering heat and to talk with the lonesome troops and generally cheer them up with some female companionship. The women were chaperoned and were not allowed to drink alcoholic beverages or "neck"; they also had to promise not to divulge military information. The Desert Battalion covered over 350,000 miles in the two years it entertained the troops.

In 1944, Mrs. Robinson and Jack Preston published a soft cover book called "The Desert Battalion" (Hollywood: Murray & Gee, Inc.). To illustrate the book, Walt Disney contributed twelve original drawings made by his animators. It was decided that, to avoid legal problems, individual animators could not be named but that each Disney sketch could be marked "c W.D.P." The Acknowledgment in the front of the book states: "The Walt Disney drawings in this book were produced and contributed by the staff of Walt Disney Productions-supervised by Don Douglas. The jacket and other cartoons were donated by Milt Gross…." Eleven of the original Disney drawings are included in this collection; Mrs. Robinson never had the other drawing, for some reason, but it was used to advertise the book. The drawings are on 10 x 12" paper held loosely on 12½ x 14" mounts. Eight of the drawings are in 14 x 16" frames; spindle holes can be seen at the bottom edge of the three unframed drawings, so we assume that the other eight have them as well. Two drawings by Milt Gross are also present: a mock-up illustration of the group leaders, used in the book, and a charming ink and watercolor drawing of a large yellow dog reclining under a tree, signed "Milt" and inscribed "Hi Gladys" with a couple of musical notes, not used in the book.

Included with this collection are copies of several letters from the Disney file on the Desert Battalion: an inter-office memo noting that "Mrs. Edw. G. Robinson called Walt and asked him to supply a number of drawings for this book, 'Desert Battalion'…." and discussing how to attribute the Disney drawings while avoiding violating Disney's exclusive contract with their publisher, as well as a copy of Don Douglas' letter to Mrs. Robinson, a copy of Mrs. R's handwritten letter to Walt Disney, thanking him for his "outstanding contribution to our war work" and a copy of her letter to Don Douglas, describing the enthusiastic reception of the book and thanking Walt Disney, Roy Williams, [Fred] Moore, "and all the gang." This tells us that Williams and Moore, two Disney greats, were two of the animators who contributed to the book.

The collection contains too many items to enumerate, but some of the highlights are: 11 original Disney drawings; 2 original Milt Gross drawings; an original letter from Walt Disney to Mrs. Robinson; 2 original copies of the book "The Desert Battalion"; a shadow box with insignia of the various armed forces the Battalion entertained: some 95 military patches, pins, ribbons, wings, etc.; 6 scrapbooks containing approximately 430 photographs of the various camp and entertainment activities, plus many newspaper clippings, invitations, advertisements of the Desert Battalion activities (photographs include celebrities such as Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Jack Benny, John Garfield, Edward G. Robinson, etc. who attended the "A Night to Remember" gala); over 350 letters from military officers, servicemen, parents and press; a Walt Disney ad for the book; and numerous other items. An original letter from Allied Supreme Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower expresses his appreciation for his copy of the book, and two original letters from First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt are present. President Roosevelt's secretary, Grace Tully, expressed his thanks for the book. Among the military officers who wrote letters was Major General Ralph P. Cousins, aviation pioneer and developer of the radio beam, who wrote three letters.

This fantastic, unique collection is a feast for anyone interested in Disneyana, World War II, or Hollywood celebrities. It truly should be seen in person to be appreciated.
Estimated Value $3,000 - 5,000.
Ex estate of Gladys Lloyd "Robbie" Robinson.

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