Chase National Bank check, 6.25 x 2.75, filled out and signed by Dean, “James Dean,” payable to himself, “James Dean,” for $45, March 22, 1954, and again endorsed on the reverse, “James Dean.” In fine condition, with expected bank stamps and cancellation holes (only affecting his signature in the payee field), and a stray mark at the bottom edge just touching the first letter of his signature. Within two weeks of writing this check, Dean would be cast as Cal Trask in the screen adaptation of Steinbeck’s East of Eden, departing from New York on April 8, 1954, bound for Hollywood to begin shooting. An excessively rare Dean item signed three times from the period he embarked on his short but bright cinematic career. Pre-certified PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA
Category Archives: James Dean
American actor (1931–1955) best known for his star turns in three 1950s screen classics: East of Eden, Rebel Without a Cause, and Giant. His untimely death in a high-speed car crash came to represent the very embodiment of the ‘live fast, die young’ philosophy—and elevated him to the status of a legend that remains unique in the annals of Hollywood. Large vintage ballpoint signature, “James Dean,” on a light brown 6.5 x 9 sheet, dated at the bottom by the collector November 28, 1954. In fine condition. Accompanied by an unsigned glossy photo. Dean’s crisp signature measures 4.5″ long in the center of the sheet. Dean was in between film roles at the time, having finished East of Eden the prior month and returning to New York for a brief visit, where he found out his then-girlfriend Pier Angeli became engaged to Vic Damone. When the two married in November, there were reports of Dean watching the ceremony from across the road while on his motorcycle. More than half a century after his death, demand for any authentic Dean material far exceeds the availability. Pre-certified PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.
Rare and extremely desirable triple-signed bank check, 6.25 x 2.75, filled out and signed by Dean, payable to James Dean for $50.00, November 20, 1953. In fine condition, with expected stamp and cancellation holes, some lightly affecting first name of signature on pay line (endorsement signature is pristine). The year of 1953 proved to be quite successful for Dean, as he appeared in 14 different roles, including November television performances in the role of ‘Joey’ in Armstrong Circle Theater’s The Bells of Cockaigne and as ‘Paul’ in the television film Harvest. In early 1954, Dean headed for Los Angeles to begin shooting East of Eden, the role that would garner him the first posthumous acting nomination in the history of the Academy Awards. Triple-signed checks from Dean are very highly coveted by collectors. Pre-certified PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.
Scarce vintage ballpoint signature and inscription, “To Linda, James Dean,” on an off-white 5 x 3.75 album page with an ink collector’s notation to the bottom. Also signed and inscribed on the reverse by John Agar. A uniform shade of toning, light scattered creases, irregularly cut right edge, light paper loss to the lower left, and a few stray ink marks between the inscription and signature, otherwise fine condition. Pre-certified PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.
American actor (1931–1955) best known for his star turns in three 1950s screen classics: East of Eden, Rebel Without a Cause, and Giant. His untimely death in a high-speed car crash came to represent the very embodiment of the ‘live fast, die young’ philosophy—and elevated him to the status of a legend that remains unique in the annals of Hollywood. Rare and highly desirable bank check, 6.25 x 2.75, filled out and signed by Dean, payable to Lee Diamond Co. for $131.00, September 22, 1954. In fine condition, with expected bank stamps and cancellation holes, a couple lightly affecting first stroke of the signature. Dean was in Hollywood around this time finishing work as Cal Trask, the troubled son of a wealthy businessman, in the film East of Eden. This very month, Eden director Elia Kazan wound up screening a rough cut of his film for colleague Nicholas Ray, director of Rebel Without a Cause, who was so impressed by Dean’s on-screen presence that he offered the star the famed role. Just slightly more than a year to the day after this jewelry store visit, Dean was killed in his Porsche 550 Spyder. Pre-certified PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.
Wonderful original charcoal and pastel portrait of James Dean, done by astist, Ray Lucas, on a light gray 13.25 x 20 sheet. Image depicts Dean in a leather jacket, resting his head pensively in his right hand. Signed under the image, “R. Lucas, Hollywood 55,” and signed and inscribed in blue ballpoint, “To a well accomplished artist whom I wish a great deal of success to. With all my best, James Dean, ‘Jim’ 1955.” In fine condition, with two missing corner tips and a few dings to left edge. An extraordinary oversized image, boasting two signatures, as Dean’s career was taking off.