Ken Kallin began collecting autographs, antique books, and other memorabilia in 1980 after an encounter with Bette Davis left him with five signed photographs of the star. Over the past three decades he has amassed 120,000 items and he will part with all but a few this coming Saturday when he puts his collection up for auction in order to aid his daughter.
Kallin's daughter has a rare autoimmune disease called mixed connective tissue disorder, or MCTD, and, in addition to being in nearly constant physical distress, is also struggling financially. Her condition prevents her from working and her medical treatments are costly. Kallin's daughter and her husband also have two daughters to support.
Of the auction, Kallin says, "It's for a higher purpose."
Kallin's collection includes over 680 antique books; 7,300 modern books; 1,430 letters; more than 22,520 photos and 60,740 trading cards, all of which are autographed. He will also auction off movie posters, sheet music, sports memorabilia, and other collectibles. The collection has not been independently appraised but the auction house working with Kallin believes it could be worth up to $4.5 million. There are a few items Kallin will hold onto: two books by Bob Graham and one photo of Bette Davis.
Kallin's collection will be auctioned this Saturday at 1pm by Jay Sugarman Auction Corp.