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Bar guest book sells for $11,900


March’s most expensive sales on AbeBooks reveals the broad scope of collectible books. The list of top 10 sales includes a guest book but it’s no ordinary guest book. The book belonged to the Castello Bar from the Castle Schloss Mondsee near Salzburg in Austria, and it sold for $11,900.

Castle Schloss Mondsee, now an upmarket hotel, began life as a Benedictine abbey and was founded in 748. This guest book is packed with famous signatures, including Burt Lancaster, Greta Garbo, Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. The book belonged to an Austrian aristocrat, Countess Micheline Almeida (1911-2000), whose family used to own the property and she clearly hosted the rich and famous when they visited the area.

Bound in red leather, the guest book  even features some bars of music for the song, The Hills are Alive, from The Sound of Music, which was filmed in and around Salzburg in 1964. The book has been signed by the movie’s director Robert Wise, and the stars, Plummer and Andrews, and dated April and May 1964.

Other signatures in the guest book include the Prince of Liechtenstein Franz Josef II, actor Tony Curtis, socialite Brooke Astor, boxer Gene Tunney, actress Natalie Wood, actor Jack Lemmon, poet W. H. Auden, comedian Peter Sellers, British politician Harold Wilson, fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent (who added a sketch), opera singer Kiri Te Kanawa, motor racing driver Niki Lauda, the Aga Khan, pianist Arthur Rubinstein, Looney Tunes artist Chuck Jones, many opera and ballet performers, numerous European aristocrats and other notable people.

The Almeida family sold the property in 1985 and it became a hotel in 2001. The guest book was sold by longtime AbeBooks seller Kurt Gippert from Chicago.

See the list.

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Richard Davies

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