Bob Hope auction

The Japanese cabinet pictured here, from Bob and Dolores Hope's house in Toluca Lake, sold at auction for $168,000. The chairs flanking it? The pair sold for less than $800. (Julien's Auctions)

The big surprise in the recent auction of Bob Hope's furniture and artwork: an antique Japanese cabinet that sold for a whopping $168,000. Citing a confidentiality agreement, Julien's Auctions would say only that a foreign buyer purchased the piece, described in the catalog as "George I Green Japanese Parcel-Gilt Bureau Cabinet." It had been expected to sell for $75,000 to $85,000.

In our preview of the auction, what caught our eye as a relative bargain were the two Hepplewhite-style armchairs pictured with the Japanese cabinet. That lot ultimately sold for just $768.

Other highlights, as reported by Julien's: a Tony Bennett painting of flowers in a vase sold for $10,000, a Bob Hope People’s Choice Award sold for $7,500, and a photo that John F. Kennedy inscribed to Hope sold for $6,080. More results, including the modern furniture from Bob and Dolores Hope's John Lautner-designed Palm Springs mansion, are on the Julien's site.

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