Julien’s Auctions Criticized for Selling Fragment From Carole Lombard Plane Crash That Killed Her: ‘Despicable, Horrible, Macabre’

The item appears as part of the “Danger, Disaster and Disco” lot

Carole Lombard
Carole Lombard in Publicity Photo for "To Be or Not to Be" (CREDIT: Getty Images)

Julien’s Auctions, the Beverly Hills-based company that specializes in movie memorabilia, drew sharp criticism on Friday for listing a fragment for sale from the plane crash that killed actress Carole Lombard in 1942.

The item is offered as part of the “Danger, Disaster and Disco” lot, which runs from June 12-14 and is cosponsored by Turner Classic Movies. The starting bid is $250, with the piece of wreckage valued at between $1,000 and $2,000.

Film historian Olympia Kiriakou tweeted, “It’s quite despicable that @JuliensAuctions is selling a piece of mangled plane debris from the crash that killed Carole Lombard.”

Her tweet was shared by X user Frank Wells, who wrote, “I’m trying to figure what kind of ghoul would want this in their home, certainly not an actual Carole Lombard fan. And do what with it? Display? Trot it out at parties? ‘Hey, check this out….’”

One X user called the auction “horrible and macabre,” while another wrote, “What the actual f–k? Julien’s has hit rock bottom.”

Lombard was known for the films “To Be or Not to Be,” “Nothing Sacred,” “Twentieth Century” with John Barrymore and “My Man Godfrey” opposite Willam Powell, who was her first husband.

She married “Gone With the Wind” star Clark Gable in 1939. Lombard was on a promotional tour to sell war bonds when the plane carrying her crashed not far from Las Vegas. She, along with her mother and 15 U.S. Army soldiers, were killed in the crash that occurred in the early hours of Jan. 16, 1942.

Jeff Bridges promoted the auction on YouTube, teasing 20 items from “The Big Lebowski,” including the rug that “really ties the room together.”

According to the video, a portion of the proceeds will go to charity No Kid Hungry.

TheWrap has reached out to the auction house for comment.


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