(WEST SWANZEY, N.H.) – Part II of the living estate of Dolores Wettach Williams – the former high-fashion model, actress and third wife of Hall of Fame baseball legend Ted Williams – will be sold at auction on Saturday, May 30, by Knotty Pine Auction Service, beginning at 11 a.m. The sale will be held at Knotty Pine’s showroom, located at 787 West Swanzey Road in West Swanzey, N.H.
Part I of the estate was sold in November, also by Knotty Pine Auction Service. That event comprised period antique furniture, decorative accessories, original works of art, automobiles and more. Part II will feature personal effects, ephemera, photos, correspondence and memorabilia items relating to the couple, their family life and the storied careers of both Dolores and Ted Williams.
“This sale is a virtual treasure trove of memorabilia from one of America’s biggest and most famous sports celebrity families,” said John Pappas of Knotty Pine Auction Service. “Dolores was a successful cover girl and professional model of the 1950s-1970s, and Ted, of course, was one of the greatest baseball players and sportsmen of all time. He was also a decorated fighter pilot in two wars.”
The auction will include hundreds of items from Dolores’ home in Putney, Vt., which she shared with Ted during their six years of marriage, from 1967-1973. Lots will include designer clothing and accessories from her modeling career, items from her movie career and other personal effects. The Ted Williams memorabilia will include items from his playing and coaching careers, and post-career items.
Lots specific to Ted’s baseball career will include balls and bats signed by him and other Hall of Fame players, obtained by Ted and family at various Hall of Fame induction ceremonies; a Red Sox team-signed baseball from the late 1960s; jackets, shirts and hats; a treasure trove of publicity photos, many showing Ted and other major sports figures of the day, some of them signed; and other items.
Williams was famously a member of three Halls of Fame: the Baseball Hall of Fame, the Military Aviation Hall of Fame and the International Game Fish Hall of Fame. Items relating to his fishing accomplishments will include hand-tied flies; fishermen’s vests; a floppy hat and fishing license; a tournament model Ted Williams fly rod, with Flueger reel; some fishing photos; and more.
Military items will include a U.S. Marines plaque and a VFW Gold Medal of Merit Award. Books will include hunting and fishing books owned and signed by Ted, and a copy of his book The Science of Hitting, inscribed “Property of Ted Williams.” Many of the books had been presented by various authors to Ted, with signed presentations. Many have notes on the pages handwritten by Ted.
Original artwork will include an original acrylic on Masonite painting of Ted at bat, in the manner of LeRoy Neiman and dated 1960; a mixed media rendering of Ted by Robert Thompkins Handville; a pen-and-ink cartoon by legendary sports illustrator Willard Mullin, featuring Ted in the panel; a mixed media work of Williams executed in 1988 by the artist Neal Portnoy; an enlargement of an original photo of Ted by noted photographer Edward Sorel; and other pieces, many inscribed to Ted.
Additional Ted Williams lots will include a handwritten letter from President Richard Nixon, congratulating him on being named manager of the Washington Senators in 1969; gifts and other items presented to and from Ted; a highway sign from the Mass. Department of Public Works, reading “Ted Williams Highway;” and his personal jacket from the Ted Williams Baseball Camp in Lakeville, Mass.
Items specific to Mrs. Wettach Willliams’ acting career will include her test photo from the 1964 James Bond movie Goldfinger, for which she was was up for the part of “Pussy Galore” (a role she lost to Honor Blackman); her Goldfinger script copy, with handwritten notes in the margins; letters and other correspondence from agents and other industry professionals; and lots from various film projects.
Items specific to Dolores’ modeling career will include autograph books by noted photographers who worked with her, signed and with complimentary notations; ads and articles about her, when she was one of the top models in the world; personal correspondence from world-class diver Hannes Keller, who was a love interest prior to her meeting Ted; and clothing, from lingerie to modeling outfits from the period.
Also offered will be letters exchanged between Dolores and Ted – before, during and after their marriage; postcards from Ted (often signed “#9” or with some other code, to guard against their theft); a rare, original 16mm film of Ted giving hitting instructions; gift items to and from Ted; items from sports celebrities; endorsement items (from Sears, etc.); Ted Williams model golf clubs and bag; handwritten speeches by Ted; handwritten correspondence; and other personal family memorabilia.
Ted and Dolores had two children: John-Henry (1968-2004), and a daughter, Claudia (with whom Dolores now lives, in Hernando, Fla., where she is recovering from a health setback). Items pertaining to John-Henry will include bats, uniforms, a player’s duffel bag, etc.; an unusual burnt wooden baseball with portrait of Ted, signed by Ted; books; balls; letters; and family correspondence.
Previews will be held Thursday and Friday (May 28-29), from noon to 6 p.m.; and on Saturday, the day of sale (May 30), from 9-11 a.m. (or by appointment). Online bidding will be facilitated exclusively by Artfact.com. There will be a 15 percent buyer’s premium (18 percent for online bids). Terms are cash, a good check and major credit cards. Phone, absentee and left bids will be accepted. All items will come with a Certificate of Origin & Authenticity from Ted Williams Family Enterprises, Ltd.
For a full-color catalog of Part II of The Dolores Wettach Willliams Estate, you may log on to www.KnottyPineAntiques.com, or call toll-free, at 1-800-352-5251.
The next gallery sale will be held in June and feature a fine collection of ephemera, advertising and collectibles. Knotty Pine Auction Service is always accepting quality consignments for future sales. To consign a single item, an estate or collection, you may call them toll-free at 1-800-352-5251; or you can e-mail them at [email protected].
To learn more about Knotty Pine Auction Service, log on to www.KnottyPineAntiques.com.