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Original Grey Gardens Hand Mirror
This is the celluloid mirror that is featured in the documentary. The burn marks are likely from being passed back and forth over the sterno heat can that was placed on the nightstand between Big and Little Edie’s beds. It was donated to Grey Gardens Online by a special friend.
From the collection of JCK & BJK.
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Little Edie’s Bible
The Bible has a touching inscription from Big Edie “To my beloved daughter Edith Bouvier Beale, Sept. eight-1954; Easthampton, Long Island-N.Y. Trusting that she will study thoroughly the inspiring truths here in. From her devoted Mother”. Little Edie also made thoughtful notes in the margins of the Bible. Out of respect to the memory of Little Edie and due to the personal nature of this piece, I will not reveal what Little Edie wrote inside the Bible. The Bible was re-covered at one time with a kind of thin black canvas, upon which Edie embellished with cutout wrapping paper. Little Edie loved to decoupage and would also apply cutouts from various magazines and newspapers to correspondence that she sent to friends, family, and admirers.
From the collection of JCK & BJK
BENCH
Big Edie’s Piano Bench
This piano bench is one of the only pieces of original furniture that Little Edie salvaged from Grey Gardens . For obvious reasons, the upholstery is long since gone. The bench was no doubt witness to many collaborations between Big Edie and Gould, and the Bouviers and Beales would often gather around the piano for an impromptu song at family gatherings.
From the collection of JCK & BJK
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Jackie Onassis Note to Little Edie and Newspaper Clipping
This undated note to Little Edie was most likely included in a Christmas gift. The stationery is by Crane. The newspaper clipping was initialed by Little Edie with an “E.”
From the collection of JCK & BJK
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Little Edie’s Pair of French Jeweled Clips
These gorgeous jeweled clips were worn by Little Edie in a variety of ways: on her shoes, head scarf, and clothing. She can be seen wearing them at the 1968 Wainright Dinner Dance in a photo on page 185 of the “A Life In Pictures” book by Eva Beale.
From the collection of JCK & BJK
CATS
List of Grey Gardens Kitties
Little Edie made this thorough list of the various cats that called Grey Gardens home in 1969. She scratched through the total number twice, and settled on 25 as the grand total of felines. The cat food cans are souvenirs from the set of the HBO “ Grey Gardens ” film.
From the collection of JCK & BJK
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Big Edie Envelope with Grey Gardens P.O. Box Number
This is an envelope with an October 13, 1970 postmark addressed by Big Edie with the P.O. Box number for Grey Gardens printed on the rear flap.
From the collection of JCK & BJK
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“The Marble Faun” Book signed by Jerry Torre
Jerry Torre signed this vintage hardback copy of “The Marble Faun” by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The inscription reads: “The most memorable moments of my life began when I met Mrs. Edith Bouvier Beale at ‘ Grey Gardens .’ May all your days be filled with treasures! Jerry Torre The Marble Faun of Grey Gardens .”
From the collection of JCK & BJK
BROOCH
The Edie Bouvier Beale Brooch
This is considered to be the ultimate Grey Gardens collectible. Little Edie finished every “revolutionary costume” with this accessory. David Crotty, a fan and admirer of Little Edie, painstakingly re-created it with extraordinary attention to detail. The brooch is four inches long and is handmade in brass and gold with white topaz. It was worn by Christine Ebersole in the musical and will be seen on Drew Barrymore in the movie. Purchase online at www.thegreygardensbrooch.com.
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Edie Beale Swimsuit
Little Edie famously wore this bathing suit in the Maysles documentary. Not one to limit this piece to the sun and sand on the beach, she would often pair the swimsuit with other clothing for a totally unique ensemble. As with most vintage clothing (especially swimwear), the swimsuit is extremely difficult to find today. The few examples I have seen do not have tags identifying a maker or designer. Any information would be appreciated!
From the collection of JCK & BJK
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Grey Gardens “Eye Room” Fan
This wonderful fan hung on the wall in the “Eye Room” at Grey Gardens. Lois Wright painted the giant eye on the fan as a symbolic nod to the room that she occupied temporarily at Grey Gardens. The fan measures almost two feet across and is one of the last surviving pieces of original artwork from the home.
From the collection of JCK & BJK
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George Gould Strong Diamond Ring
This exceptionally handsome gentleman’s diamond ring was given to George Gould Strong by Big Edie Beale. The ring eventually made its way back to the Beales under the safekeeping of Little Edie’s mattress. It was then sold to their friend The Baron back in the 1970′s. The ring was worn by Malcolm Gets in the upcoming Grey Gardens film.
From the collection of JCK & BJK
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Lois Wright Recipe Card Box
Lois Wright presented this charming little metal box as a gift to Big Edie in the Birthday Party Scene in the Maysles documentary. The yellow tin is adorned with red roses and other flowers. It was manufactured by the Syndicate company and is quite difficult to find today. The one featured here was signed by Lois.
From the collection of JCK & BJK
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Edie Beale Reno Sweeney Poster
This poster was once considered the “holy grail” of Grey Gardens collectibles. Only a few were believed to have been saved from Edie’s performance at the Reno Sweeney cabaret (as many as 500 copies may have been produced to publicize the show). However, many have been sold on eBay recently. I have seen three different versions of the poster with size and paper variations. Edie was said to have hated the photo of her…she thought she looked “constipated”! The one featured here was signed by Edie.
From the collection of JCK & BJK
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Big Edie Beale Jewels
Diamond and platinum heirloom jewelry belonging to “Big” Edith Beale were once offered at auction on eBay. The necklace and pendant were worn at her wedding. The earrings were a gift from Phelan Beale. Also included was a brooch featuring Bouvier diamonds. The opening bid of $300,000 was never met, but the jewelry was later offered for sale again several years later on Eva Beale’s website, Grey Gardens Collections. The photo depicts replicas by Denise Greenwood Jewelry Designs created exclusively for HBO’s “Grey Gardens.”
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“It’s All In The Stars” Paperback Book by Zolar
This book is featured in the iconic “Libra man” scene in the Maysles documentary. It has been reprinted and updated in several different editons over the years. You can find this green-cover edition (like the one in the film) occasionally on eBay, but be prepared to pay at least $50 for it!
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Bouvier, Caffey, and Beale Law Firm Letterhead
This is an example of the letterhead of Major Bouvier’s law firm that Phelan Beale later joined. This letter is signed by Major Bouvier.
From the collection of JCK & BJK
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Movieland and TV Time Magazine (March 1973)
Although the Beales were featured in many magazine and newspaper articles over the years, to my knowledge this is the only major magazine cover that the Beales ever appeared on. The article inside is extremely detailed and features several “before and after” photos of Grey Gardens after it was renovated. Note this is before the Maysles documentary.
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Julius “Cap” Krug Signature
This is a Washington, D.C. dinner registry signed by Cap Krug.
From the collection of JCK & BJK
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Lois Wright Painting
This is a “spirit” painting of Little Edie Beale by Lois Wright. Lois is a talented and creative artist, and displayed much of her work on the walls of Grey Gardens while she lived there. She continues to paint today. President Jimmy Carter even owns a Lois Wright portrait!
From the collection of JCK & BJK
GIFT
Little Edie Beale Personal Gift
Little Edie often sent poignant artwork, poems, and notes to her friends, family, and admirers. This is an example of a silk applique rose embellished with Hermes ribbon that she sent to her loyal friend, The Baron.
From the collection of JCK & BJK
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Edie Beale Fashion Sketch by Nick Verreos
Little Edie’s fashion sense has inspired designers the world over (including Isaac Mizrahi, Marc Jacobs, Calvin Klein, and Todd Oldham). This is a sketch by Project Runway designer Nick Verreos that was auctioned for charity last year.
From the collection of JCK & BJK
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Edie Beale Musical Quote
Little Edie wrote this note to a friend regarding the news that Grey Gardens would be adapted to a Broadway musical. “G.G.” is going to be made into a B’way Musical! I am thrilled about it! Don’t know any of the details yet. If only Mother was alive to see it!”
Grey Gardens: The Musical Collectibles and Merchandise
There were quite a few items produced in association with the Broadway production of Grey Gardens. Many were sold at the theater shop, but some of the more unique items were only distributed as promotional souvenirs to cast, crew, and media. Because of the vast array of the items, I will not describe them all and will only show a few of the more hard-to-find treasures. There was an official glossy program, t-shirts, throw blanket, baseball caps, plush cat, lapel pins, button pins, tote bag, coffee mug, coffee kettle, keychains, sweatshirts, jacket, red shoe doorstop, cast lithograph drawing, leather cocktail coasters, pillow, silver mirror, paperweight, notepad, inkpens, etc.
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Grey Gardens Coloring Books
These set of three limited edition coloring books are more like works of art than something you might actually use. Each volume is signed by the artist and includes ten single-sided pages per book. What a fun idea! Order online at: http://www.greygardenscoloringbooks.com.
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Staunch Character Bobble Head Doll
This figurine has received rave reviews. A limited edition of 100 of these special figurines were made, and each is hand numbered. Her “brooch” features two sparkling crystals. The cat and raccoon are separate pieces and can be displayed any way you please. She also comes equipped with an American flag. The doll is already in the collections of Al Maysles, Drew Barrymore, Michael Sucsy, Muffie Meyer, Christine Ebersole, and others! She took over three months to produce and was created by GG aficionados/collectors JCK & BJK.
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Cat and Raccoon Graphic Pillows by Salvor Fauna
These fun pillows will add a touch of “G.G.” to any room in your house. These pillows are made by Salvor Fauna, a New York City-based design company. Order online at: http://www.zincdetails.com/shp/shopexd.asp?id=453054823.
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Edie Beale Art by Bruce Lennon
Artist Bruce Lennon has thoughtfully created a variety of interesting Grey Gardens-related items. One of my favorites is the set of Edie Beale Paper Doll refrigerator magnets. He has also created lithographs, paper masks, can labels, and standees. Check out http://www.yessy.com/brucelennon/ggardens.html for a full selection of his work that is available for purchase.
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Edie Beale 11.5″ Fashion Doll
A fan named Deborah sent this in to me. What a great likeness of Little Edie in her VMI March costume! I am told that her little brooch is actually 14 karat gold. Wow!
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Little Edie Photo Frame
This hand-painted frame was created by artist Aaron Bowers in 2005. Thanks for sending this in!
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Little Edie Beale Bear
This one-of-a-kind bear was auctioned in 2007 for the “Broadway Bears X” fundraiser for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. The bear was deigned by Fay Koplovitz and features an original, hand-made costume. No detail was overlooked, and when she was auctioned at the event, the bear even featured a fur coat! She was signed by Christine Ebersole. This bear was one of the most popular and sold for $4,250!
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Little Edie Blythe Doll
This is a special Blythe doll designed by Gina Garan and Christina/Oriettacat. Gina is a successful photographer and operates a website devoted to the Blythe phenomenon and her husband, Asa, was a cast member of the GG Broadway musical. Sounds like the best of both worlds! For more information visit www.thisisblythe.com.
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New York Magazine (January 10, 1972)
Gail Sheehy wrote an excellent article about the Beales in 1972 called “The Secret of Grey Gardens.” It was the summer of 1971, and Sheehy’s family had rented a home across the street from what her then-7-year-old daughter called the “Witch House.” Several pages long, this is one of the best articles ever published on the Beales, and the story features an in-depth interview with Little Edie. The photos are striking. The iconic cover photo would later become part of the poster artwork for the Maysles documentary.
TSHIRT
Revolutionary T-Shirt
This great t-shirt is essential for any “GG” fan! Get yours online at the Houdoolou store: http://www.houdoolou.com/Little_Edie.html
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GG Holiday Cards
These charming cards by Johnny DePalma made their debut in October of 2008. They are black and white and illustrated by Miss Molly Crabapple of Umbrelly Books. The inside reads: Wishing you an Absolutely Terrific Holiday! For more information, please visit: http://blog.umbrellybooks.com/
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Portrait of Little Edie Beale
By New York artist Ilana Simons.
From the collection of JCK & BJK
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HBO Promo Leather Photo Book
This beautiful leather photo book has “Grey Gardens” embossed on the front cover and includes two “before and after” photos of the home from the movie set. This item was given to the press prior to the airing of the film on HBO.