Bela Lugosi’s cape is up for auction. It’s being offered by Profiles in History, run by Joe Maddalena.
When one hears the name “Dracula,” it is difficult to imagine anyone but Bela Lugosi wearing his signature mode of dress—white tie and tails and a cape—which he wore in the 1931 Universal Pictures classic Dracula. The “Dracula” cape embodies the iconic horror figure and is now up for auction. The cape is screen-used and consigned by his son directly. Prior to his death in 1956, Bela Lugosi gave the cape to his wife of 20 years, Lillian Lugosi, and the mother of Bela Jr., telling her that it was the cape from the film and to keep the cape for his son. Upon Lugosi’s death in 1956, the family decided that he should be buried in his Dracula costume. Given Bela Lugosi’s wish that his son should have the cape, the family dressed the body in a lighter weight version of the cape he used when making personal appearances. Lillian retained the original 1931 cape and left it, along with her other possessions, to Bela Jr. upon her death in 1981. It has remained in his possession continuously. Without question, this is the greatest single horror garment in cinema history. The auction pre-sale estimate is $1,500,000 - $2,000,000.
I think I’ll pass on this and wait for Klaus Kinski’s Noseferatu cape to become available.