Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The Collection of Robert Taylor, Part 1

A feature of my former website that I wanted to be sure and transfer over to this blog is spotlighting the collections of others.  Here's the first!

I am both honored and thrilled to be able to bring you some of the incredible Vincent Price objects from the collection of my friend, Robert Taylor.  Robert's a passionate collector who has seen to it that many of the items you see below will be going, eventually, to archival homes where researchers will have access to them in perpetuity.  Without his forethought and generosity, some very important Vincent Price memorabilia might never have been seen again by the general public.  He has also allowed me to include images of some of his favorite pieces here, in this truly special gallery!  The captions are by Robert.

The Price family sewing box!  You just never know what will turn up in this world!  The photos are of both Prices and Grants.

Another memorabilia collector named Robert W. bought a costume hat at an auction some years ago-- it has a costume dept. tag with Vinnie's name printed on it inside -- but there is no hint as to when or what production it was for.  So Robert W. photographed it and sent the photo to Vinnie, asking if he knew what movie or tv show, etc. it might be from.  Evidently Price had no idea either (maybe it was never used, for that matter), but with typical Vinnie humor he cut out the hat, glued it to his own photo, and sent it back to Robert W. with the inscription, "My best hat!"  I was happy to get the hat, but it's the photo that sealed the deal! The photo on the right shows the hat on a head I have!

The shoe was pressed flat inside the baby book I'd purchased, and when I found it there, I thought, "Drat, its mate must have fallen out during the past 90+ years."  But there in the book, on the page where V.L.P., Sr. wrote about Vinnie's baptism day, 15 Oct. 1919, it says that baby Vinnie kicked off the other shoe somewhere on the way to the church -- and though they searched for it, it never could be found.  So this single shoe is exactly what Vinnie's family had and preserved.  I "stuffed" it with acid-free tissue and it came back into shape very well.  Note, too, the curl of his baby hair.

Vinnie's smaller briefcase, plastered with stickers from his endless travels [near right].  The wear on this piece bespeaks how much VP used it over the years.  I like the length of orange yarn tied to the handle -- a "marker" so he could spot it quickly in the airport luggage pick-up area.

Vinnie's larger briefcase which he carried on endless trips and tours.  Note the heavily worn handle and his gold initials.

Vinnie -- tallest in the family! -- behind his mother and father, Marguerite and V.L. Sr., with his brother and sisters and their families on the occasion of Mr. and Mrs. Price's Golden Wedding anniversary in 1944.  To celebrate the occasion, one of Vinnie's nieces models the wedding gown that Marguerite had worn in 1894.

This was from Vinnie's personal collection.  His role as King Charles II in HUDSON'S BAY (1941). 

A poster which once belonged to Forry Ackerman.  It was given to me by a mutual friend after Forry's passing.

I believe this was taken around the time Vinnie was doing his stint on PBS' wonderful show, Mystery!

This is Vincent Price's little travel alarm clock which he carried with him on every trip he took for many years.  Behind it are two of his favorite photos of his beloved mother and father.

Vincent Price collected many things, including rare seashells!  On the left is the largest shell his collection boasted, a Syrinx aruanus, the Australian Trumpet Syrinx!  This one is about 21" from tip to tip, one of the prizes of Vinnie's collection.  It has a hole drilled near the tip on one side so that it can be blown (as the Pacific Islanders can do), and I understand that occasionally, when they gave parties, Vinnie could be persuaded to attempt to get a resounding tone from it.  To everyone's delight, he could only achieve a barrage of rude noises!  On the right you can see this shell and a smaller one displayed in the Price home.

Amusing little Italian etching from Price's personal collection.

A 1930s studio portrait, a 19th Century figural candlestick holder in the form of a British naval officer bulldog!  And another view of his little travel-alarm clock which he carried on all his travels.

A pair of 19th Century watercolor illustrations, probably for use in a zoological book. Price liked this pair of monkeys very much, I was told. 

This is the silver cigarette box that's engraved commemorating VICTORIA idea who gave it to him....The shells were in it when I got it. Vinnie just could not stop collecting!

Left: An important page from the 1911 baby book -- all writing in the book was his dad's, by the way -- but his beloved mom, Marguerite, did sign this page: his name, his birthdate, and time of birth. Right: A page in Price's baby book from 1911 -- with some of his baby curls. 

His baby mittens, also in the baby book.

Some of the cards from Price's billfold --and one or two of wife Mary's, too, I think -- and a silver luggage tag from Tiffany's!

The letter Vincent wrote to Evie Karloff regarding the recent passing of Boris--a touching tribute letter of condolence.

More of Robert Taylor's incredible collection of Vincent Price memorabilia coming soon!

All photographs and descriptions on this page are copyright by Robert Taylor.  Unauthorized use is prohibited.