RegencySuperior Auctions the Celebrity Sleuth 'Exotica Erotica' Collection

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Regency-Superior, a well-known and leading auctioneer of stamps, historical documents, space memorabilia and other fine collectibles, is offering the single-largest collection of tantalizing celebrity material ever to be sold at public auction; the ‘Celebrity Sleuth’ Collection.

1957 photo of Sophia Loren famously glaring at Jayne Mansfield, Signed

A photograph can be an instant of life captured for eternity that will never cease looking back at you. – Brigitte Bardot

Regency-Superior, a well-known and leading auctioneer of stamps, historical documents, space and other fine collectibles, is offering the single-largest collection of tantalizing celebrity material ever to be sold at public auction. The auction will be held beginning at noon on December 5th and 6th at the Regency-Superior galleries in St. Louis, Mo., and live, online.

The Collection, formed over more than a 30-year period, led its collector to trademark the word ‘Nudeseum,’ a term that he hoped would apply to its eventual planned disposition. At the time of his death, Michael Jackson was negotiating purchase of the Collection, in hopes of opening an appropriate institution to permanently house this never-to-be-seen-again grouping in Las Vegas.

Materials in the Collection were gathered by the Celebrity Sleuth, who began and operated the magazine of the same name over much of the same period of time, with an impressive national newsstand run of 175 issues over a more than 25-year period. This Washington, D.C. political speechwriter by day put his deerstalker cap on at night and – relying on his trusty photographic memory and magnifying glass – ‘revealed’ celebrities, musicians, politicians, athletes and others in entirely new ways, attracting both admiration and amazement. He arguably redefined the idea of ‘celebrity exposure’ as it now exists, along with the accompanying press attention – both positive and probative – it attracted.

At the time, Playboy, Penthouse and other magazines were competing with each other as to how much they could show. The Sleuth, recognizing that the early lives, careers and habits of many stars were virtually unknown, set out not only to uncover them (from early, anonymous photo shoots), but also add to the pop culture narrative of their lives. As a result, this Phi Beta Kappa turned ‘famous shamus’ in a cap – who decided to remain anonymous due to his ‘day job’ connections – began deep research that led to numerous headlining mainstream media news stories over the years, including the discovery of the first-ever nude photographs of Marilyn Monroe (1946 photos found in a 1950 instructive photo journal), the only topless image of Lucille Ball and even early ‘wardrobe malfunctions’ of Joan Blondell, Carmen Miranda, Marilyn Monroe and many other stars. It was also The Sleuth who discovered an early nude photo on a deck of cards of America’s Sweetheart, Betty White (which was used humorously by David Letterman to ‘out’ her on his show). All of these items – and hundreds more, including all of the Celebrity Sleuth issue files and archive materials (including those for ‘future issues’ that were never published) – are offered in this historic auction.

The Sleuth’s original approach – providing an interesting story along with provocative images – proved immediately popular with the American public, and ‘Celebrity Sleuth’ magazine did the print version of going viral. Within a few years, the Sleuth (by now in contact with many stars, models, Playmates and queens of burlesque), was not only making original discoveries, but also began adding to his collection directly from the sources. At a point, famous women began seeking inclusion as Celebrity Sleuth subjects. Two handwritten letters from recently deceased stripper Blaze Starr detail surreptitious closet and Oval Office encounters with JFK – as a rising senator and as president, during the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis. There are cans of split-pea soup signed by ‘The Exorcist’ child star, Linda Blair, and even an Ivory Snow soap box signed by the model and future porn star Marilyn Chambers, as well as ice skates signed by rink rivals Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding (plus signed photos of all as well).

In addition to coverage (and uncoverage) of thousands of both the ‘usual suspects’ and those you’d never imagine, there’s a large representation of the legends of the Golden Age of the Silver Screen, including Mae West’s one and only nude (signed!), Greta Garbo’s first (and last) exposures, Joan Crawford’s ‘Dearest’ disrobings, Jayne Mansfield’s lip-printed 40D bra and hot water bottle ‘flotation device,’ and Sleuth’s exclusive first figure study ‘finds’ – heretofore not known to exist – of Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly, Natalie Wood and even Princess Diana! And, of course, there’s Marilyn Monroe – lots and lots of Marilyn -- ranging from her as cover girl of ‘Playboy’ No. 1, to many scarce calendars (including a rare salesman’s sample of the iconic ‘Golden Dreams’) and even her first magazine cover as Norma Jeane, plus a wide array of other memorabilia items, such as a ‘Some Like it Hot’ thermometer.

And today’s top stars did not escape The Sleuth’s net, as evidenced by rare examples of All Things Kardashian as well as autographed nudes and worn bras from ScarJo to LiLo {Johansson to Lohan} and ‘The Legion of Jennifers’ – the single most popular name for newborn American girls every single year from 1970 through 1984 and now coming to the fore a quarter century later in the fine ‘forms’ of Aniston, Garner, Lopez, Lawrence and Love Hewitt (a pulchritudinous ‘Party of Five’ indeed)!

These are not mere epidermal exposures …the artifacts are no less than a social and cultural history of the last hundred-plus years – harkening back to and highlighting an age when starlets often found their anatomies were the only avenue to exhibiting their abilities. That has thankfully changed: due to the woman’s movement, modern morés and social media, current celebrities have far more control over how and when their images are presented – with the result that this era of ‘unexpected revelations’ and ‘unintended consequences’ is likely to never come again. Making the results all the more rare.

Lastly, these treasures continue to be “ripped from today’s headlines”: in just the past week, Kate Winslet complained about being “airbrushed” (our revelations need no retouching); Canada has elected a glamorous new Prime Minister (whose mother’s offerings include vintage prints sans panties); and Maureen O’Hara’s signed silver gelatin photos – and rare nude – have added allure with her death at 95.

A collection of this scope (more than 100,000 artifacts) also would not be complete without signed movie and television cast photos, lacy lingerie, books, magazines, pulp publications, adult film stars, original Hollywood slide files (including many from famed paparazzi photographer Ron Galella) and the Celebrity Sleuth archive files, which contain a significant amount of unpublished material. And, of course, there are thousands of signed nude images – many you’d never imagine they would autograph!

Viewing of the Celebrity Sleuth Collection is available until the day of the auction. Online bidding, with thousands of full-color photographs is available now, 24/7, at, and will always include description, estimates and up-to-date opening bids. Additionally, collectors will be able to bid live online during the sale or in person at the auction if they have reserved a paddle number.

The cost of the catalog is $19 for domestic, $29 international, and may be ordered by contacting Regency-Superior, 229 N Euclid Ave, Saint Louis MO 63108, by calling toll-free at (800) 782-0066, or visiting the company’s website at The cost of the catalog is refundable towards any successful bid made at the sale.

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Wayne Youngblood
since: 04/2010
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