Signed Cunard Line Dinner Menu - 1959
Nothing tells a story better than a curated ensemble of memorabilia surrounding a notable event. In this case we offer several items featuring the flamboyant “Mr. Showmanship” himself, Liberace.
Starting with a striking and typically florid signature, with Liberace’s trademark hand-drawn piano, on the face of a “Gala Dinner” Menu aboard the RMS Queen Elizabeth, depicting a lovely watercolor image of the famed ship on the cover, which is fittingly adorned with red tassels. The evening’s menu is dated Saturday, May 30, 1959.
Accompanying this is the original First Class Passenger List for the ship’s May 27, 1959 departure from New York to Cherbourg, France and on to Southhampton, England, listing Liberace as one of the passengers. Lastly we include an original UPI press photo of Liberace meeting the Queen Mother Elizabeth—after whom the ship was named—following a gala royal command performance in London just three weeks later. All in near mint condition.
RMS Queen Elizabeth was an ocean liner operated by the Cunard Line. With her running mate RMS Queen Mary, she provided luxury liner service between Southampton, the United Kingdom, and New York City, the United States, via Cherbourg, France.
LIBERACE (1919-1987), born Wladziu Valentino Liberace, was a famous American entertainer and pianist of Polish and Italian descent. Liberace began playing the piano at four and while his father took them to concerts to further expose the children to music, he was also a taskmaster demanding high standards from the children in practice and performance. Liberace’s prodigious talent was in evidence early. He memorized difficult pieces by age seven. He studied the technique of the famous Polish pianist and later family friend Paderewski and at eight, he met the great pianist backstage at the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee, “I was intoxicated by the joy I got from the great virtuoso’s playing. My dreams were filled with fantasies of following his footsteps… Inspired and fired with ambition, I began to practice with a fervor that made my previous interest in the piano look like neglect.”
Liberace’s final stage performance was at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City on November 2, 1986. His final television appearance was on Christmas Day that same year on the recently-aired Oprah Winfrey Show TV talk show. He died at the age of 67 on February 4, 1987 at his winter house in Palm Springs, California.