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Ackerman trove to be auctioned

February 05, 2009|Associated Press

He always vowed that he wouldn't die unless he could take it with him.

But now that Forrest J Ackerman really is gone, the grand old man of science fiction's memorabilia collection is on the auction block.

Thousands of items, including the Count Dracula ring worn by Bela Lugosi in the 1931 horror classic "Dracula," the vampire cape Lugosi wore for decades -- even the actor's outfit from the "worst film ever made," Ed Wood's cheesy "Plan 9 From Outer Space" -- are going up for bid.

So are such notable pieces as a signed, first-edition copy of Mary Shelley's novel "Frankenstein" and a first-edition copy of Bram Stoker's "Dracula" that was signed not only by Stoker but also by Lugosi, Boris Karloff and numerous other horror film notables.

The auction, tentatively scheduled for the last week of April, is expected to raise $500,000, said Joe Maddalena, president of Profiles in History, which is handling the sale.

Ackerman, the science- fiction writer, editor and literary agent widely credited with coining the term "sci-fi," spent a lifetime collecting tens of thousands of pieces, ranging from the junky to the very rare. He died in December at age 92 at his home in Los Angeles.

Maddalena said that Ackerman's will stipulated that his estate's share of the profits be divided among his friends.

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