A historic bed, originally from 10050 Cielo Drive, in Los Angeles, California, will be up for auction Feb. 10 at Ole Hound Auction House. The bed frame was reportedly in the house during the time it was rented by Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate.
Tate, an American actress and model in the 1960s, married Polanski, her director and co-star in the 1967 “The Fearless Vampire Killers,” in January 1968. She was killed in 1969 by members of the Manson Family.
The house that built them
The 10050 Cielo Drive house was in Benedict Canyon, a part of Beverly Crest, north of Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California, according to cielodrive.com. The residence was constructed in 1941 to resemble an early 19th century European style farmhouse for Michele Morgan, a French actress.
Rudolph Altibelli, a music and film industry talent manager, bought the house in the early 1960s and rented it out. Residents of the house included Cary Grant, Dyan Cannon, Henry Fonda and Olivia Hussey.
Manson reportedly visited the house in late 1968 when it was occupied by Terry Melcher, son of actress Doris Day, and Candice Bergen with roommate/talent manager Roger Hart. The couple broke up in 1969 and Melcher relocated to Malibu.
Polanski and Tate began renting the home from Altibelli in February 1969.
The Tate murders
On Saturday, Aug. 9, 1969 Tate, along with four others, was murdered by members of the Manson Family in the Cielo Drive home.
Abigail Folger, heiress to the Folger coffee fortune, was sitting on the infamous bed when the killers arrived to the house. Susan Atkins, who was later convicted of the murders, walked down the hall and Folger looked up at her, smiled and waved hello, thinking she was someone’s friend, according to cielodrive.com.
The Manson Family was a cult led by murder-conspirator Charles Manson in California in the late 1960s. Manson’s followers committed a series of nine murders at four locations over a period of five weeks. He was found guilty of conspiracy to commit the murders of seven people, all of which were carried out by members of the group at his instruction. He was sentenced to serve nine concurrent life sentences at Corcoran State Prison in California.
At the time of Tate’s death she was eight and a half months pregnant with the couple’s son.
Road trip to Social Circle, Georgia
Kris Clark, owner of Ole Hound Auction House, in Social Circle, said he was contacted by someone who had recently moved to Georgia that wanted to downsize their furniture collection.
The furniture consigner, who asked to remain anonymous, had previously rented property from Altibelli. She purchased the bed from Altibelli in 1996, along with several other items. The other items, had already been sold or given away in California, Kris Clark said.
“She moved out here, she contacted me the week she moved out here about it,” he said. “She pretty much was giving me a rundown of everything she wanted to sell and it was all stuff that was okay, but nothing of super value.”
Kris Clark told the consigner that “anything weird” would bring in good value for an auction. That is when she mentioned the bed from the Cielo Drive home.
Put it to bed
The bed frame is the centerpiece of Ole Hound Auction House’s first-ever antiques, oddities and relics auction Friday, Feb. 10. It will be auctioned off as lot No. 100. Included in the lot will be the actual walnut antique bed, a hand written and signed bill of sale from Altibelli, a copy of a letter to Altibelli from Vincent Bugliosi thanking him for his testimony in the Manson case and a copy of the book “Helter Skelter,” in which the bed is pictured and mentioned.
Bugliosi served as a Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney and successfully prosecuted Charles Manson and the Manson Family members. He is also the co-author of “Helter Skelter.”
In-person, phone, absentee and online bidding will be available for everything in the auction. Online bidding is available for it, and all of the other items in the Feb. 10 auction, online now at https://new.liveauctioneers.com/catalog/98860_oddities-and-relics-ole-hound-auction#page=1. The winning buyer is responsible for all shipping and packaging costs. As of Thursday, Feb. 2, the bed had received 15 bids and was up to $2,550.
Kris Clark said while he expects some Manson fans to be interested in the bed, he has received more interest from Tate fans. The bed has already received international and celebrity interest, he said. He believes that it will sell to either a phone bidder or an online bidder.
Vince Farrell, of Ole Hound Auction House, said members of the public interested in attending the auction should be prepared to have fun.
“This is a fun auction to come to, it really is,” he said. “(Kris) makes it fun. He’s a fun auctioneer. And when the crowd gets into it, it’s better.”
Other items included in the auction include a human skull, an accordion, antique photographs – including a picture book of hangings – a salesman sample cemetery vault, antique medical equipment, the March 1990 edition of “Playboy,” which features now-President Donald Trump on the cover, and more.
The auction is set to start at 7 p.m., but Kris Clark recommended arriving early or calling in advance to reserve a seat, as he expects it to draw a large crowd. He estimated, with the bed being item No. 100, to get to it around 8:30 or 8:45 p.m. Winning bidders of any of the items will be able to pay via cash, credit or debit accounts.
Ole Hound Auction House is located at 179 Highway 11 South, in Social Circle. For more information about the auction or any of the items available, contact the auction house at 706-474-3443.
The auction will also be live on Ole Hound Auction House’s Facebook; however, bids will not be accepted on Facebook.