May 14, 1972 – The First Disneyana Auction Takes Place in Los Angeles, California
“Today, [Mickey Mouse] will be the one of the key phrases at an auction of Disneyana – relics of the early days of the Walt Disney empire built on the 1928 cartoon which gave birth to the legendary mouse.” – Kearney Bothwell, The Bridgeport Post
On May 14, 1972, the first auction of Disney memorabilia, known as “Disneyana,” was held by Sotheby’s in Los Angeles, California. Disney memorabilia had been around since the late 1920s, when merchandise featuring Mickey Mouse was sold, ranging from plush toys to watches. The term itself came into prominence with the 1974 book Disneyana: Walt Disney Collectables by Cecil Munsey. The auction contained nearly 200 items, although some items were other cartoon memorabilia pieces. The Disney pieces range from a Mickey and Minnie alarm clock, a watering can, watches, cels from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Bambi signed by Walt Disney, and figurines. The pieces were from the collections of New York businessman Robert Lesser, and Kay Kamen, who helped created the whole licensing industry through his work with Disney.