Some possessions once owned by the late author Truman Capote, who during the late 1950s and early 1960s resided in the 70 Willow Street basement apartment made famous by his essay A House on the Heights, will be auctioned off in November. The items belong to Joanna Carson, a former wife of late talk show host Johnny Carson, who was Capote's friend and confidant.
In a press release about the auction to be held on November 9 in Manhattan, Bonhams writes: The Truman Capote collection consists of hundreds of items providing a unique and fascinating insight into the life and character of the man. Highlights include the tuxedo worn in 1966 to his famous Black and White Ball at The Plaza Hotel; his personal pair of ice skates; the intriguing collage boxes he created in the early 1980s; needlepoint pillows; Baccarat glass; as well as books, prints, photographs, manuscripts, jewelry and furniture.
The collection of Baccarat glass comprises gifts given to Capote by Katherine Graham, William and Babe Paley, Winston and C.Z. Guest, Halston, Roddy McDowell, Cecil Beaton, Carol and Walter Matthau, Tallulah Bankhead and others — in thanks for the Black and White Ball (which celebrates its 40th anniversary on November 28th).
Intimate personal items are the most fascinating: the photograph of his mother that was always at his bedside, a hand-tinted photograph of Truman as a young boy; the candid never-before-seen snapshots; the last known photograph taken the day before his passing – all touching reminders of Truman.
The books in Capote’s personal library cover a wide variety of genres and reveal a great deal about the author’s fascinations: biographies of politicians and aristocrats; true crime stories; Hollywood history; British and American literature; and memoirs. Most revealing are the intimate letters, notes, postcards and photographs sent to close friend Joanne Carson, who shared an extremely close and affectionate relationship with Capote during the last years of his life.