Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Bob Maheu Estate Sale

Very quietly this weekend, the belongings of Howard Hughes' recently deceased right-hand man, Bob Maheu, were sold off in what otherwise would seem like a run-of-the-mill estate sale. I wouldn't have known about it -- and evidently nobody in the local media saw it coming -- except that I was out to brunch with some friends crazy about Vegas memorabilia and they mentioned it.

They had seen it in the R-J's classifieds, where the ad read: "ESTATE SALE of R. Maheu. Furn., Doultons, Silver, China, Beds, Antiques. All Goes! Fri & Sat 8:30a-2p. 3523 Cochise Ln. Call 702-379-7364."

Maheu, of course, lived one of those epic Vegas lives, earning himself an obit in The New York Times. So I ran over to the estate sale before I went to cover the gay-rights protest, also on the east side of town.

The house itself, built in 1964 and bought by Maheu for $125,000 in 1972, was fascinating. It's in the Paradise Palms development (so famous there's a Wikipedia page for it) and backs up to the storied Las Vegas National Golf Course. One of the homes in the Conchise Lane cul-de-sac was used as Frank Rosenthal's in "Casino" even though Lefty didn't live there. Aside from Maheu, such notables as Debbie Reynolds, Dean Martin and Tony Spilotro lived in this hood. Here's what it looks like from the aerial located on the Clark County Assessor's website:


There were some really fun features to this place. The lady running the estate sale made me stop taking photos just when I saw the raised, kidney-shaped bathtub, so you don't get to see that. But there's plenty more, from the sunken front living room...


...to the swimming pool...


...to the closets...


...to the once-state-of-the-art sound system...


...to the spiral staircase in the second living room...


...that led to this bar and den.


I really wasn't quite sure what these (click on the image to more clearly read the song titles) were in the chest to the left of the TV above...


...until I saw this and realized they were scrolls for the player piano!


Maheu and his late wife, Yvette, were clearly a very musical folks with, uh, eclectic tastes...




I loved spotting these old decanters and that fascinating cash register behind the upstairs bar...


A lot of what was to be found -- especially since I arrived in the last hour of the two-day sale -- were typical estate sale tchochkes. Those figurines below are priced at $4,500 for the pair...



...but I didn't check to see what the monogrammed napkins or the Dinah Shore cookbook were selling for.


They were hoping for $8K for this, though:

I wondered, spotting this, if Maheu was an early Sarah Palin fan!


I know, I know...what about Howard Hughes stuff? Well, I did get there near the end, as I said, so collectors probably picked the place clean but I did spot this photo montage that included a Hughes-related newspaper clipping.


My greatest moment was searching the pockets of an old golf bag and coming up with these golf balls, one from a Hughes Invitational tournament and another from the Desert Inn Golf Course:


Paid $1 for them. And in the utility closet over the washer and dryer, I spotted a box that contained 40 matchbooks from the Savoy Motel.


I can't find much online about this place and it appears that it stood at 496 W. Keno Lane, which no longer exists. But it was, according to the matchbooks, "opposite Circus Circus" with "gracious accommodations surrounded by five major casinos." I'd love to know more if anyone can assist. No idea what they're worth, but for $5 they were fun to have. (I probably could've bargained down, but I was already in trouble for all my picture-taking and didn't want to anger anyone any further.)

I also picked up something called The Nevada Cook Book, a 1973 reprint of an 1887 book that includes instructions on everything from making cake icing to washing "doubtful calico," whatever that is.

Oh! Oh! Oh! And, finally, I picked up this record:


I have no idea why. I just found it to be pretty and very vintage Las Vegas. I think maybe I'll frame it. Right now, it's standing up behind this Stardust snow globe I bought at the Chip Collector's Convention in 2007 for $5.

16 comments:

Brian said...

That bar looks amazing. Classic stuff.

Anonymous said...

for someone who was mocking memorabilia collectors not long ago, you've clearly become a convert. welcome to the club, steve!!!

Roberta said...

Oh my, am I sorry I missed this!

Amy said...

Me, too, Roberta. I may have to get unlimited texting on my cell plan just so I can subscribe to Steve's Twitter feed. He Twittered about this, but I didn't read it 'til hours later. I just hate it that I missed this!

Anonymous said...

what's a doulton?

Troy in Las Vegas said...

Steve- Remind me when we get old to not hold onto the same crap from "the good old days"
I know, I know, but the guy's place looks like an old guy lived there.
Yes, that bar area could have been really a cool area, especially with that awesome television.
Regardless, it must have been interesting though too bad there was not more Hughes stuff to discover.

Anonymous said...

I wonder whether there were any CMKX memorbilia at the estate sale?

jmdjo13 said...

Fascinating! Enjoyed this tour very much although I did expect there would be notes about CMKX and Naked Shorting tucked away here, there and everywhere.

Goldengirl

jmdjo13 said...

Fascinating! Enjoyed this tour very much although I did expect there would be notes about CMKX and Naked Shorting tucked away here, there and everywhere.

Goldengirl

UncleJack said...

I'm glad you made it. No one that I know saw it coming. I'll cross post it at VeryVintageVegas

Anonymous said...

I am Renee of CallReneeEstateLiquidation.com and I post all upcoming sales at the above website. Had you been honest about why you were taking the photos-I probably would have let you have many more photos. When asked, you even stated the photos would not be going into a public forum - and here they are.

FYI, Much of the Huges related items were donated to museums - although there were many fun treasures that were still found.

Check out future estate sales at the above website. The crusifix and other larger ticket items can be found at my antique mall - Not Just Antiques Mart at 1422 Western Avenue. 12,000 sq ft of shopping fun - and lots of vegas history!

THE STRIP PODCAST GUYS said...

well, you did seem pretty cross about it and what i said was that i wouldn't show any people. i blotted out the faces of those who were in any of the photos. but i'll make it up to you -- we'll talk about your shop on "The Strip" next week as our Top Secret Tourist Tip. Sounds like you've got a whole lot of great stuff there. Don't know if you saw my later post when I returned last Saturday, but take a look...

Johnny Mooncricket said...

What is CMKX?

Anonymous said...

CMKX was a scam.
Were there any letters to his grandson ACCA DACCA?

stressfreeliving said...

Thank you for posting this blog and the great pictures.

thomas said...

I bet if they dig in the attic you will find something from CMKX


Dzoldnuts