Published: March 9, 2017
CLEARWATER, FLA. — An important piece of Jaws history is hitting the market. Blackwell Auctions LLC will auction the personal Jaws movie scrapbook of actor Alfred Wilde, who played Harry Wiseman (“Bad Hat Harry”) in both Jaws and Jaws 2, on Saturday, March 18, at noon. The actor compiled the photo and autograph collection during filming in 1974.
This fresh-to-the-market collection includes nearly three dozen pages of photographs and autographs — including handwritten sentiments by director Steven Spielberg, actors Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss and Robert Shaw along with signatures of nearly the entire cast and crew, as well as Peter Benchley, the author of Jaws. Also included are an original shooting call page, original script pages, tickets from the premiere showing in Martha’s Vineyard and more. None of the 100 original candid snapshots has ever been published.
A standout in the collection a personal note Spielberg wrote to Wilde, signed “Steve Spielberg” and, under his name, in parentheses, wrote “Director of JAWS.” “It’s like looking at Steven Spielberg’s rookie card,” said auctioneer Edwin Bailey, one of Blackwell’s owners. “He identified himself as the director because back then, darn near nobody would have had a clue who ‘Steve Spielberg’ was.”
Unlike many movie memorabilia items or collections, which may change hands many times within years (or months) of a major movie’s release, this collection has never been offered for sale since the movie’s release in 1975, and it has never been on public display.
Establishing an opening bid was a challenge, as only one “comp” could be found: In early 2014, a Los Angeles-based auction gallery sold an unnamed movie technician’s photo album and four lifejackets used by Spielberg and the three main Jaws actors. There were no autographs, nor did it appear that any actors personally engaged with the person who shot the photos. That collection sold for $50,000.
Blackwell Auctions has set the opening bid for this scrapbook at $25,000, with an estimate of $50/75,000. “There are only a few collectors out there with both the desire and the resources to own something like this,” Bailey said, “an item that utterly transcends a signed poster or a screen-used prop.” “This scrapbook represents, as well as anything but the movie itself, the very spirit of Jaws, the cinematic masterpiece that made Steven Spielberg a household name.”
Rounding out the auction will be a collection of Arts and Crafts sterling silver, to include Kalo Shops and Lebolt pieces, as well as paintings, coins, jewelry, Asian carved items and other pieces.
Preview will be Friday, 2 to 6 pm, and auction day, starting at 10 am at 10900 US Highway 19N, Suite B. For more information, www.BlackwellAuctions.com or 727-644-0457.
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