Cagney memorabilia will be auctioned

September 30, 1992|By New York Daily News

NEW YORK -- James Cagney's Oscar (for "Yankee Doodle Dandy") is not for sale, but just about everything else in his estate is on the block.

This morning at 10 a.m., the William Doyle Gallery will auction off 637 items from Cagney's estate at the St. Ignatius Loyola Church, 980 Park Ave. They include the tweed caps cocked so jauntily on his head in dance numbers; a pair of tap shoes; an autographed photo of him smashing a grapefruit in Mae Clarke's face in "The Public Enemy"; the saddle he used as a cowboy in one of his early films, "The Oklahoma Kid"; posters of his movies; 16mm reels of a dozen of his films; thousands of photos, scripts, magazines and books; his driver's license and passport, plus dozens of his personal scrapbooks.

Some of Cagney's paintings (by him and of him) and sculpture are expected to sell at $5,000 to $12,000, but other items are expected to go for less. In fact, many are in the $100-$200 range.

"We wanted to offer less expensive items so that the average Cagney fan, and not just the wealthy collector, could buy some pieces," said Susan Roediger, the Doyle Gallery's marketing director.

The sale is not to raise money for Mrs. Cagney, but to empty the Cagneys' Dutchess County (N.Y.) farm of some of its thousands of items.

Cagney -- the New York street kid who became a Hollywood superstar -- enjoyed a 30-year career in films. He gained an early reputation as a tough guy in fast-paced 1930s gangster films such as "The Roaring Twenties," "White Heat" and "The Public Enemy," but won his most acclaim as singer/dancer George M. Cohan in "Yankee Doodle Dandy." Cagney died in 1986.

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