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SYLVESTER STALLONE’S HERITAGE AUCTION

We were privileged to attend the auction preview of Sylvester Stallone’s much awaited consignment with Heritage Auctions in Los Angeles this past weekend. The auction, which took place over a period of three days and covered 1,400 pieces of Stalloneabilia brought in over $3 million, a portion of which Sly will be donating to charities for U.S. veterans and wounded service people.

Upon entering the exhibition hall, true Rocky fans couldn’t help but gasp at the veritable museum before them, even set to the soundtrack of the Rocky series which was playing throughout the hall. Encased in dozens upon dozens of display cases were the very textures of the entire Rocky series, beautifully displayed alongside mini DVD screens showing the scenes from the films in which each particular item can be spotted on screen. Centered in the middle of the floor behind velvet ropes was Rocky’s gold and black Italian Stallion emblazoned Harley Davidson, famously featured in Rocky III, along with the motorcycle helmet (sold for $6,875) Balboa throws at his statue on the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum. The Harley ultimately was passed and as of today still remains unsold.

The black leather Rocky II jacket was positioned to be seen immediately upon entering the exhibition, creating a breathtaking effect. It felt like seeing a part of Rocky Balboa standing right there; this, and several other iconic pieces from the films simply oozed Rocky’s aura in a powerful way. Other eye-poppers were Rocky’s black tiger jacket from Rocky II (sold for $42,500) and heavy brown leather bomber jacket from the Russian training sequence in Rocky IV (sold for $32,500).

The green neon sign which was hung outside Adrian’s Restaurant (sold for $8,125) sat proudly on a display table with lights ablaze; the size of the sign is enormous in person, it appears to be much smaller on screen. Leaning next to the sign was the gigantic Mighty Mick’s Gym sign used in Rocky Balboa (sold for $7,500). This monster of a piece just about hit the ceiling and the Mickey figure painted on the sign was roughly lifesize.

SURPRISE! IT’S SLY

With only a few potential bidders examining the pieces in the expansive hall, we were stunned to suddenly see Sylvester Stallone himself walk into the room, dressed in a pinstriped sportscoat and red tie. Sly toured the exhibit himself over a period of ten minutes or so, taking several videos with his cell phone (none of which have yet appeared on his social media accounts). After looking into the cases filled with his Rocky pieces, Sly checked out some of his more personal items and pieces of furniture available at one end of the hall, then walked briskly to the opposite side to preview costumes and props from many of his other hit films including Rambo, The Expendables, Demolition Man, Cop Land, Grudge Match, Oscar, Cobra, Lock Up and Escape Plan. Mr. Stallone then doubled back to the Rocky display cases, peering into the setups for the tiger jacket and championship belt, then paused spending a few minutes talking about his leather jacket from the original Rocky while standing in front of it, explaining that the jacket was something he’d actually owned at the time of the filming, and because of the low-budget nature of the first film, was forced to actually wear it on screen. (That particular jacket went with a high price tag, as expected, and sold for $149,000 after what the auction house described as “spirited bidding.” Heritage Auctions President Greg Rohan explained that the original leather jacket was expected to sell for $75,000 but was bid up to $149,000. “It’s a true piece of Hollywood history, so emblematic of the character and the times,” Rohan said of the vintage 1970’s coat. “It’s not surprising to see fans moved to bid like this for such an iconic costume.”) sylvester-stallone-auction-preview After stepping into a curtained anteroom with the lovely folks from Heritage Auctions, Mr. Stallone eventually re-entered the exhibit hall to greet the dozen or so lucky fans who happened to be at the right place at the right time. He very graciously and patiently took time to pose for photographs and chat with several people – us included! – even asking afterwards: “Ok, is everyone happy?” before turning to leave with a friendly wave and a “Merry Christmas”.

Superfan Denise Montini flew in from New Hampshire to attend and was one of the few who got to meet the man; she attended the auction the following day and was able to spend more time with Stallone, who chatted with her about the items she was interested in, even offering her advice on which pair of Rambo boots were the better buy. Montini managed to snag the pair she wanted in the end. Mr. Stallone gave a brief speech at the podium before the proceedings, saying: “The memorabilia I have has been used and been a part of my life for, kind of hard to admit this, well over 40 years. It’s been in my possession and I’ve fond memories attached to just about every object. There comes a point, though, when I think that I’ve used these objects enough and have created enough memories that I can let them go.”

Shockingly, the championship belt that Balboa won in Rocky II did not sell, nor did one of the crown’s of the collection, Stallone’s personal Mead notebook with his handwritten original draft of the Oscar winning script for Rocky. Sly also pulled his red Cleto Reyes gloves used in Rocky II from the auction after they did not reach the reserve price of $200,000.

SOLD! Stallone Auction Highlights

  • Enormous ringside posters of Rocky and Apollo from Rocky ($30,000)
  • Rocky’s black rubber ball ($32,500)
  • Apollo Creed’s boxing shoes from original Rocky ($17,500)
  • Rocky’s Italian Stallion boxing shoes from Rocky II ($18,750)
  • Rocky’s jumprope used in Rocky II ($7,500)
  • Stallone’s personally annotated script from Rocky III ($21,250)
  • Rocky’s cashmere overcoat from garage scene with Paulie in Rocky III ($13,750)
  • Rocky’s black tracksuit from Rocky III training ($10,625)
  • Rocky’s bloodied gold boxing trunks from Rocky III ($28,750)
  • Rocky IV stars-and-stripes boxing trunks ($57,500)
  • Ivan Drago’s red satin robe, shorts and shoes from Rocky IV ($45,000)
  • Apollo Creed’s stars and stripes top hat and coat from Rocky IV ($43,750)
  • Rocky’s boxing glove pendant from Rocky V ($25,000)
  • Rocky’s black leather jacket from Rocky V ($17,500)
  • Rocky’s fedora hat from Rocky Balboa ($9,375)
  • Adrian’s gravestone from Rocky Balboa ($4,000)
  • Rocky’s complete sweatsuit and Converse sneakers from Balboa ($37,500)