Maxine's Estate Sale

Gifts from Sinatra and Tommy Tune among treasured items at Maxine Mesinger estate sale

Gifts from Sinatra & Tune for sale at Maxine Mesinger estate auction

90 Maxine Mesinger auction October 2013 Maxine Mesinger, from left, NAME, Liza Minnelli, Emil Meyer Mesinger
Maxine and Emil Mesinger join Liza Minnelli, center, at one of the star's performances in Houston. Photo courtesy of Morton Auctioneers & Appraisers
Maxine Mesinger auction October 2013 Patrick Swayze and Maxine Mesinger
Maxine Mesinger was close friends with Patrick Swayze. Photo courtesy of Morton Auctioneers & Appraisers
Maxine Mesinger auction October 2013 compact case
Carol Channing and Maxine Mesinger had a special relationship as seen in this silver tray. Photo courtesy of Morton Auctioneers & Appraisers
91 Maxine Mesinger auction October 2013 Maxine Mesinger auction October 2013 NAME, from left, Maxine Mesinger, Emil Meyer Mesinger and Carol Channing
An early photo of Maxine Mesinger with Carol Channing and two unidentified friends. Photo courtesy of Morton Auctioneers & Appraisers
Maxine Mesinger auction October 2013 letter from Frank and Barbara Sinatra
Maxine Mesinger had a long-standing friendship with Barbara and Frank Sinatra. Photo courtesy of Morton Auctioneers & Appraisers
Maxine Mesinger auction October 2013 Tommy Tune shoe
Tommy Tune sent Maxine Mesinger one of his size 13 tap shoes as a love note. Photo courtesy of Morton Auctioneers & Appraisers
148 Maxine Mesinger auction October 2013 Emil Meyer Mesinger, from left, Bill Cosby and Maxine Mesinger
Bill Cosby autographed this photo with the Mesingers. Photo courtesy of Morton Auctioneers & Appraisers
Maxine Mesinger auction October 2013 Maxine Mesinger and Emil Meyer Mesinger
Maxine and Emil Mesinger were wed in 1944. Photo courtesy of Morton Auctioneers & Appraisers
90 Maxine Mesinger auction October 2013 Maxine Mesinger, from left, NAME, Liza Minnelli, Emil Meyer Mesinger
Maxine Mesinger auction October 2013 Patrick Swayze and Maxine Mesinger
Maxine Mesinger auction October 2013 compact case
91 Maxine Mesinger auction October 2013 Maxine Mesinger auction October 2013 NAME, from left, Maxine Mesinger, Emil Meyer Mesinger and Carol Channing
Maxine Mesinger auction October 2013 letter from Frank and Barbara Sinatra
Maxine Mesinger auction October 2013 Tommy Tune shoe
148 Maxine Mesinger auction October 2013 Emil Meyer Mesinger, from left, Bill Cosby and Maxine Mesinger
Maxine Mesinger auction October 2013 Maxine Mesinger and Emil Meyer Mesinger

Slow down for the lowdown: A dozen years after her death from complications associated with multiple sclerosis, famed gossip columnist Maxine Mesinger's name is once again in the headlines, this time with an auction of furnishings, decorative arts and celebrity memorabilia that she and husband Emil Mesinger collected over half a century of schmoozing with social headliners and stars.

The gavel goes down on the contents of the Mesingers' eclectic estate at Morton Auctioneers & Appraisers at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26.

 The woman who covered the lifestyles of the rich and famous from Houston to Hollywood accumulated a treasure trove of memorabilia. 

The woman who covered the lifestyles of the rich and famous from Houston to Hollywood for the Houston Chronicle accumulated a treasure trove of memorabilia. Her wit and scoops on bold-faced types ("she snoops to conquer") appeared in the Chronicle six days a week from 1964 until decades later when her illness forced her to scale back.

Maxine continued to pen her column until she died from complications of multiple sclerosis in January 2001. She was 75. Emil died in June, 2013.

Among the items to be auctioned are a note to Miss Moonlight signed only “Blue Eyes” from long time friend Frank Sinatra and a book with an inscription from Tommy Tune that begins “To Auntie Max,” accompanied by one of his size 13 tap shoes complete with autograph. The sterling silver tray from Carol Channing, inscribed simply “Carol Loves Maxine," reveals the close relationship that the columnist developed with numerous stars of stage and screen.

The Mesingers's son, Jay Mesinger, emailed from his base in Boulder, Colo., "It was so overwhelming to take Mom and Dad’s home apart and prepare for the estate sale. Literally hundreds of pieces of collectibles and memorabilia spanning almost 50 years." Mesinger says that a portion of the auction sales will go to the Maxine Mesinger MS Clinic at Baylor College of Medicine.

Beyond the celebrity items, the auction will include furnishings and accessories in French, English and Italian styles ranging from 19th century French gilt wood furnishings to whimsical pieces in Murano glass.

Morton's William C. Medsger commented on the auction offerings, "One would be hard pressed to name a notable figure of the 20th century, including crowned heads of Europe, that is not represented in the Mesinger collection . . . Viewing this estate collection is something like a trip to Disneyland right here in our own backyard."