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Joan Didion estate auction items sell for nearly $2M

In total the estate achieved $1,920,700 for selling Joan Didion's most personal items she possessed in her lifetime.

NEW YORK — Joan Didion's estate celebrated the beloved writer’s life by having a live auction Wednesday selling her most personal items.

Bidders from around the world competed for items like Didion’s sunglasses and books to silverware and furniture.

Every single lot in the sale had bidders, and auction records were achieved for photographs, prints, and paintings.

Stair Galleries, one of the leading regional auction houses in the country, was the host of “An American Icon: Property from the Collection of Joan Didion”.

According to Stair, in total, the estate achieved $1,920,700.

These were the top five items sold in the live auction:

Painting by Leslie Johnson a portrait of Joan Didion sold for $110,000.

Credit: Stair Galleries
Leslie Johnson: Portrait of Joan Didion

Painting by Richard Diebenkorn called “Twelve” sold for $85,000.

Credit: Stair Galleries
Richard Diebenkorn: Twelve

American Oak, Walnut and Bird’s Eye Maple Partner’s Desk, made in Sacramento, sold for $60,000.

Credit: Stair Galleries
American Oak, Walnut and Bird's Eye Maple Partner's Desk, J. Breuner, Sacramento, California

Print by Cy Twombly sold for $50,000.

Credit: Stair Galleries
Cy Twombly (Lot 95)

Print by Ed Ruscha titled “Book Return” sold for $40,000.

Credit: Stair Galleries
Ed Ruscha "Book Return"

An honorable mention: The famous pair of Celine Faux Tortoiseshell Sunglasses sold for $27,000.

Credit: Stair Galleries
Pair of Celine Faux Tortoiseshell Sunglasses

All auction proceeds are going towards Columbia University for research and patient care for Parkinson’s disease and the Sacramento Historical Society for the benefit of Sacramento City College scholarship for women writers.

“We are delighted with the result of this special sale. It’s been an honor working with the collection and we are so pleased that the proceeds will be benefitting two important charities that represent Joan Didion in both her hometown of Sacramento, and in New York City where she spent the end of her life,” said Colin Stair, president of Stair Galleries.

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