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Lady Liberty's nose and other icons for sale

By Bradley Gallo, CNN
  • Some historical items and celebrity belongings and photos head to the auction block
  • They include an Elizabeth Taylor costume, Janis Joplin's blouse and a Diana Ross dress
  • A ring that Elvis Presley wore, Clark Gable's Tiffany cigarette case
  • And a replacement nose tip for the Statue of Liberty

New York (CNN) -- How would you like to own a baseball signed by six U.S. presidents, Frank Sinatra's cigarette lighter, Mickey Mantle's love letter to his future wife or part of Lady Liberty's nose?

They are among the hundreds of iconic objects from America's past going on the auction block at Guernsey's in New York later this month.

The Statue of Liberty, which has graced the New York harbor for more than 100 years, was starting to deteriorate a few decades ago. The paper-thin tip of her nose was affected the most; it protruded the farthest into the salty winds. Joseph Fiebiger, owner of P. A. Fiebiger Inc., was responsible for renovating the nose in 1983.

"We had to create and destroy noses to check the thickness and validate what we were doing. We made so many noses because we needed so many parts," Fiebiger said.

It took three copper nose impressions to complete the project, leaving one unused nose-tip available on the free market. Arlan Ettinger, president of Guernsey's, is thrilled to have it for the auction, but he is aware of its quirkiness.

"When you look at the thing -- it's an interesting piece of copper that has been hammered out. If you didn't know what you were looking at, it would seem like a piece of abstract art," Ettinger said.

Guernsey's estimates it will sell for $150,000 to $200,000. Why would someone spend that much for it?

"Who amongst us hasn't grown up with story after story about the meaning of the Statue of Liberty, what it has meant to all of us and what it symbolizes today," Ettinger said.

The seller, who wants to remain anonymous, did not plan to unload the nose, but eventually said, "I'm not a worthy custodian of the piece, and so it's time to let it go."

Also up for auction on September 24 are the original tablets Charlton Heston used in Cecil B. DeMille's film "The Ten Commandments."

The Fiberglas panels resembling reddish, speckled stone tablets are expected to bring in $30,000 to $40,000. Seller Joyce Aimee hopes the final price is higher because the proceeds will benefit the Americana Dance Theatre, where she serves as executive director. The theater was given the tablets by the late Arnold Friberg, the costume designer for the movie.

"We are a nonprofit that needs money, and that's why we are selling them. We want to continue to flourish," Aimee said. She is sad to see them go, but cries out, "Will the 11th Commandment please take care of these!"

Frederic Remington's "Mountain Man" sculpture is the piece that expected to bring the highest price.

The original plaster was molded by the artist himself. It was used to make the famous bronzes. Remington gained national prominence when Theodore Roosevelt became a fan of his Western-style art.

"His work has been reproduced so often that people who have no interest in art are familiar with Remington bronzes," Ettinger said.

This sculpture was up for auction at Guernsey's 25 years go. Its estimated worth then was $200,000. Today, Ettinger estimates this Remington plaster should go for more than $1 million. Seller George Turak would love for that to happen.

"There's a mountain man bronze that was sold this year at Sotheby's for $1,082,500 that was made by Remington from this plaster," Turak said.

But will Turak's sculpture be the largest monetary sale achieved at Guernsey's?

"I'm not sure since Liberty's nose has never been available before," Ettinger said.

Some other items up for grabs include:

• Several recorded sermons or speeches of Martin Luther King Jr.

• The first issue of "The Amazing Spiderman" comic book.

• An original script for the Three Stooges in "Low Afternoon."

• One of Liberace's pianos.

• The last home run baseball hit in the old Yankee stadium.

• Barbra Streisand's first demo recording.

• An original sketch by Andy Warhol.

• Elizabeth Taylor's dress from "National Velvet."

• Original classic Marilyn Monroe nude calendar negative.

• Many photos of celebrities.