Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice
Heritage is in the process of relocating its world headquarters to a new Dallas area location, which will be announced soon. Please call 214-528-3500 to confirm all Heritage appointments, events or deliveries in Dallas, as our departments and staff are moving at different times from separate locations.


    James Dean's Violin. Dean's mother, Mildred, had every intention of making her son an artistic child, slightly more cultured than those around him. Mildred borrowed a violin for James when he was a small boy, and sent him off for lessons regularly. She read him a great deal of poetry, and as they spent so much time together, the boy developed a particularly strong sense of attachment to his mother. When she died from terminal cancer in 1940, it had a devastating effect on the boy; as he later recalled: "My mother died when I was eight. The violin was buried too." This handsome violin was obtained from Clyde Glessner, who had owned it since 1945 (It had been in the family since 1880). Clyde's mother and Dean's grandfather, Johnny Wilson, were cousins, and Wilson borrowed the violin so that Dean could take lessons. Made in Germany in 1877, the violin is in Very Fine condition with moderate scraping and scuffing to the finish but no actual body damage, and comes in a hard carrying case that is also in Very Fine condition with very light wear. A very unique and special item. From the James Dean Museum archive.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2006
    6th-7th Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 26
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,819

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 40 days left to consign to the 2020 September 13 - 14 Luxury Accessories Signature Auction - New York !

    Learn about consigning with us

    This is the most impressive book I have ever seen!
    Daniel R.,
    Rockville, MD
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search