Few TV wardrobe items are as iconic as the Columbo raincoat. And if you’ve ever longed to wrap yourself up in the wonder garment as you enjoy an episode of the greatest detective show of all time, now’s your chance, as the coat goes under the hammer at Bonhams in New York on Wednesday 13 June 2018.
If you’re reading this and experiencing a sense of deja vu, that’s perfectly understandable. You see, the revered mac, along with Columbo’s beat-up leather high-top shoes, failed to sell at an auction in November 2017 – after having been expected to fetch anywhere between $80-120,000! You can read my original post on that here.
“I’m just hoping they go to a good, deserving home where they will be treasured for the pop culture gems they truly are.”
That was then, this is now. As part of Bonhams’ TCM Presents… A Celebration of Robert Osborne auction, the coat-and-shoes combo is once more up for grabs to the highest bidder. There will be 402 lots under the hammer as part of the auction, with Lot No. 217 the one of most pressing interest to Columbo fans.
You can read the particulars of Lot 217 right here, but in a nutshell the legendary mac is described as ‘a tan long-sleeved raincoat with 3 large buttons down the front, 2 side pockets, and cuffed sleeves, well worn, with patches, small tears, discoloration, and light staining present’.
The shoes, meanwhile, are unglamorously written up as being ‘a pair of brown leather high-top shoes with brown laces, size unknown, each with a cork shoe liner.’ It does note, however, that they were made by ‘Shoemaker to the Stars’ Di Fabrizio. Who knew when Columbo walked them into the pool in Most Crucial Game that they were in fact haute couture?
The estimated sale price has dropped considerably to between $30-50,000. Not a cheap investment, then, but compared to what was being asked for just 7 months ago, and considering the priceless nature of the items themselves, someone’s potentially in the running to snaffle an ALMIGHTY BARGAIN!
Like most Columbo fans, I’m not a contender to take ownership of these splendid items. But, and again like most Columbo fans, I am just hoping they go to a good, deserving home where they will be treasured for the pop culture gems they truly are.
Interestingly there’s at least one other Columbo item up for grabs – a portrait of Janet Leigh, created for the episode Forgotten Lady from Season 5. Read more about that here. The original work was created by Jaroslav Gebr, an artist of some renown who created a number of works for the show – including the iconic Columbo portrait from 1989’s Murder: A Self Portrait.
I’ll report back on final sales prices in mid-June, assuming there are buyers. If not, well, then who knows what the future holds for the famous raincoat? We must try not to worry, though. As Columbo himself put it in 1973’s Candidate for Crime: “There’s still a lot of wear in this fella.”
Coat aside, what are the Columbo props you’d most like to own? Fire a comment below!