The Milwaukee Sentinel-April 1, 1951
‘Robert Taylor Slept Here,’ But Babs Puts Bed Up for Sale
Hollywood, March 31–INS–The leather-upholstered, king-sized bed of film star Robert Taylor goes on the auction block next Monday and auctioneers reported Saturday interest in the item is terrific.
The bed is only one of the 600 articles to be sold to the highest bidder during a four-nights auction next week at the behest of Actress Barbara Stanwyck, who recently divorced Taylor.
Max Goldenberg of the Goldenberg Galleries said his establishment has been swamped with telephone calls regarding the auction.
Big Crowd Expected
“They all want to know about Taylor’s bed,” said Goldenberg.
“they want to know what it is like. Most of the callers are women. We expect quite a crowd.”
Taylor’s bed is expected to bring $700 Monday night. Taylor probably paid several thousand for it. It is a walnut affair, trimmed in leather. The auctioneer said that it resembles a cradle.
In the center of the backboard is a China figurine of a horse that served as a lamp when the film hero read in bed. On the left hand side of the headboard is a bookshelf.
Admission Fee, Too
The public sale is open to anyone, provided they pay $5 a night admission and buy a dollar catalog which lists Stanwyck-Taylor furnishings, ranging from pots and pans to a valuable Renoir original.
There are 64 other paintings to be placed on sale, including 10 pictures of an unidentified Western woman painted by Frederic Remington.
The auction represents the last step in the breakup of the marriage of the two popular film stars. Barbara got her divorce on testimony Taylor was away most of the time and he was “acting like a single man.”
[Wouldn’t you like a copy of that catalogue? I certainly would.]
The following is from Jane Ellen Wayne, Robert Taylor, New York, St. Martin’s Press, 1973, 1987. pages 153 to 155.
[After his divorce] Taylor called Tom Purvis in Ilinois:”Got to get out of here Can you put up with me?
He flew his Beechcraft to Champagne, Illinois. where Tom drove his car out to the plane on the runway. Taylor hopped in and dropped to the floor.
Purvis had gotten him a small apartment and Bob locked himself up, only going out at night to Tom’s house, donning sunglasses and always squatting on the floor of the car. But after three days he was recognized by someone. “It’s no use, Tom. I’m goin back!”
In Los Angeles he alternated between living with Ralph Couser and his wife, and with Ruth [Brugh, Mr. Taylor’s mother] in Brentwood.
Ruth had mixed emotions about her son’s divorce, but she told him to stay as long as he wanted. He slept in the maid’s room.*
“Just one thing bothers me, son–all that money you are going to have to pay Barbara, and you gave her the house, too.–everything gone.
“Not everything. I kept my coffee table.”**
…….Barbara was so emotionally upset over the divorce that she immediately moved out of their mansion and auctioned off the majority of the furniture.
The newspapers reported that one of the first items to be offered would be Taylor’s bed……..Barbara’s bed went for $360, but Bob’s laced leather headboard and the end table built into it, including a carved wooden horse supporting a lamp–sold for $630.
*Having nowhere else to go, Robert Taylor brought his romantic interests, including Ava Gardner, to his mother’s house.
**Mr. Taylor was very fond of that coffee table. He had it cut down so he could use it sitting on the floor.