Artifacts from Two of History’s Greatest Entertainers Certified by CAG

Posted on 10/19/2022

CAG sets the stage when it comes to preserving relics connected to legends.

Collectibles Authentication Guaranty® (CAG®) was thrilled to recently certify artifacts from two of history’s greatest entertainers — William Shakespeare and Walt Disney.

A Relic with Ties to Shakespeare’s Infamous Will

Artifacts associated with the great playwright William Shakespeare are extremely rare. His signature, for example, of which only six examples are believed to still exist, is said by some to be the world’s rarest. Any relic with connections to the man known around the world as “The Bard” is held by collectors and historians alike in extremely high regard.

CAG recently authenticated an artifact that not only has ties to Shakespeare, but is related to one of the world’s great unsolved mysteries. The artifact is a fragment of wood that was part of Shakespeare’s bed frame. Those familiar with stories surrounding Shakespeare know that the bed from which the artifact was taken is at the center of a story that calls into question the playwright’s relationship with his wife, Anne Hathaway.

Click images to enlarge.

Shakespeare and Hathaway were married in November 1582, when he was 18 and she was 26. Shakespeare passed away in 1616, seven years prior to his wife’s death. In his will, Shakespeare left specific instructions that his “second-best bed” be given to Hathaway, an act which has led some to believe that there was another woman who had first place in Shakespeare’s heart.

An opposing theory held by some historians is that Shakespeare was simply referring to the couple’s marriage bed, as Elizabethan customs dictated that the “best bed” in the house be reserved for guests. There is little historical information on Shakespeare and Hathaway’s marriage that has proven helpful for deciphering the infamous comment.

CAG encapsulated the wood fragment with a special label featuring an image of Shakespeare from the Chandos Portrait, which was painted in the early 1600s.

Wood fragment from Walt Disney’s earliest workshop

CAG also recently authenticated a piece of memorabilia with connections to another historical figure celebrated for his creativity and storytelling. The relic is a piece of wood from a garage that served as WaltDisney’s first workshop in Hollywood, California.

Click images to enlarge.

Disney stayed with his uncle when he came to Hollywood in 1923 to seek a career in film. While he waited for his big break, he spent time working on cartoons. The garage, which was on the property where his uncle lived, served as Disney’s makeshift workshop.

The garage was purchased by a group known as “The Friends of Walt Disney” in 1982 to save it from being demolished. The group dismantled the garage and eventually reestablished it as a tourist attraction at the Stanley Ranch Museum in Garden Grove, California.

Through its authentication, attribution, encapsulation and imaging services, CAG partners with collectors, estates, artists and museums in ensuring and celebrating the preservation of historic memorabilia. More information on the various services that CAG provides can be found here.

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