Massive archive of materials related to Elizabeth Taylor, assembled by her fan and friend Tom Gates over the course of five decades—a relationship documented in the 2006 biography Elizabeth by J. Randy Taraborrelli. It is an extensive and wide-ranging collection of photographs, periodicals, and memorabilia covering Taylor's sixty years in film, television, and theater.
A highlight of the collection is a glossy 7.75 x 9.75 photo of Taylor, signed and inscribed in black felt tip to Gates, "To Tommy, No flash bulbs Please! Elizabeth Taylor."
A photojournalist by trade, Tom Gates covered New York City's social scene and entertainment events for Palm Beach Society Magazine in his column 'Tom Gates' Manhattan.' This collection, measuring 13.5 linear feet, consists of approximately 4,100 photographs of Elizabeth Taylor, 2,000 discrete individual articles (some multi-paged), 210 full magazine issues, 16 scrapbooks, and memorabilia. The majority of photographs are publicity and still photos from nearly all of Taylor’s film, television, and theatrical appearances. There are also more candid photographs taken by news outlets. They all show Taylor’s developing screen image through the years and demonstrate how the studios chose to market her. In addition, the collection includes books, souvenir programs from her film and theatrical appearances, a copy of Taylor’s childhood book Nibbles and Me, scrapbooks, fan club newsletters, and other memorabilia. Finally, there are Gates’s own candid photos of Taylor, some published in the Taraborrelli biography, but the majority unpublished.
Photographs (5 linear feet):
There are approximately 4,110 photographs of Taylor, consisting of approximately 3,800 mostly black-and-white 8 x 10 inch prints, approximately 280 mostly black-and-white smaller prints, and 28 color positives. The photographs span Taylor’s entire career, and the vast majority—approximately 2,400—are studio portraits and publicity, wardrobe tests, and production stills, most of which are in plastic sleeves in binders organized chronologically by production. Many of the photographs come with original copyright stamps, typescript captions, and occasional cropping notations. Most are stamped by the Phil Burchman Agency/Pictorial Parade Inc., including photographs by Jack Albin. Other copyright stamps include those of United Press International, George Konig, Hyman Fink, Graphic House Inc., Dell Publishing Co., ACME Newspictures, Metropolitan Photo Service Inc., and Barry Taub. A number of photographs cover the complete process of a Taylor production, from on-set stills to premiere. In addition to images from films like Giant (1956), there are a number of photographs from her personal life: among these are images of Taylor with her second husband Michael Wilding and their newborn son Christopher, Taylor posing for a Christmas advertisement, and Taylor out on the town. She is also seen with the likes of Eddie Fisher, Richard Burton, and Natalie Wood. Finally, there are original prints of photographs by Tom Gates, photographs printed in magazines, and prints of digitized photographs. Remarkably, few prints are duplicative. While all of these photographs were available for publication, many of them have likely never been published.
Periodicals (8 linear feet):
Approximately 210 magazines, approximately 2,000 discrete individual articles, 16 scrapbooks, and 3 fan club newsletters. The magazines cover Taylor’s life and career from 1945 until her death in 2011. Titles include film monthlies such as Modern Screen, Photoplay, and Screenland, general interest magazines such as Life, Look, and Saturday Evening Post, fashion magazines such as Cosmopolitan and Esquire, and gossip magazines such as Confidential and Whisper. There are also many periodicals that cannot be accessed digitally, such as Filmland, Star Album, and Movie Life, as well as fanzine issues devoted entirely to Taylor such as Elizabeth Taylor, Elizabeth Taylor’s Love Diary, and Liz Debbie Eddie. The three official fan club newsletters are 'Elizabeth and her Friends' (Vol. 1, No. 2, December 13, 1951), 'Lines on Liz' (No. 3, Summer 1959), and Taylor Topics (Vol. 8, No. 1, Autumn 1960).
Memorabilia (.5 linear feet):
Beginning with a copy of Taylor’s book Nibbles and Me from 1946 to a Christmas ornament from 1998, Gates’ collection of Taylor memorabilia spans her entire career. Includes: a first edition of Nibbles and Me, hardcover with dust jacket, published in New York by Duell, Sloan & Pearce, 1946; a full set of 8 lobby cards from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof; five lobby cards from Mexico for The Last Time I Saw Paris, The Big Hangover, Beau Brummell, The Girl Who Had Everything, and Rhapsody; copies of souvenir programs from her films Cleopatra and The Taming of the Shrew, and from stage appearances in The Little Foxes and Private Lives; a National Velvet coloring book; bags advertising her perfume Passion; a canvas bag featuring Taylor’s portrait by Michaele Vollbracht; copies of Christie’s catalogs of Taylor’s jewelry collection; cardboard cutouts of Elizabeth Taylor paper dolls; and a 1998 Christopher Radko Christmas ornament from the Elizabeth Taylor Foundation.
Due to the overwhelming size of this collection, it will be sold as is and no returns will be accepted. Interested parties are encouraged to view the collection in person at our offices or call us with specific inquiries.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.