LOS ANGELES, December 01, 2022--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Abell Auction Co. is proud to present the estate of Larry Flynt (1942–2021), the iconic public figure who helmed the HUSTLER empire and worked tirelessly to expand the parameters of free speech in America. Featuring a collection of American slag glass lamps, art deco lighting, Empire furniture, appointments and much more. The online auction will be held on Tuesday, December 13 at 9 a.m. PST.
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This Christmas photo of Larry Flynt and his wife Elizabeth Berrios was taken at the Los Angeles headquarters of Larry Flynt Publications in 2008. Abell Auction Co. will offer treasured items from the Flynt estate at its December 13 online sale. www.abell.com. (Photo: Business Wire)
The objects of art in this sale were personally collected by Flynt, who was an aficionado of antiques and at one point owned an antique and collectibles store on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. The treasures on offer here adorned the legendary headquarters of Larry Flynt Publications, known as the Flynt Building, at the intersection of La Cienega Boulevard and Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. Flynt acquired the ten-story modernist building in the mid-1990s and decorated his palatial offices with thousands of artworks, ranging from classically inspired paintings and Tiffany- and Handel-style lamps to marble and bronze statues. Items in this estate adorned the Flynt Building penthouse, furnished with more than 100 sitting areas, each with its own paintings, lamps, flowers, ornamental vases and gilded and carved furniture. These myriad objects of art reflect Flynt’s one-of-a-kind personality and luxurious lifestyle.
From a young age, Flynt was a keen provocateur with an eye for business. Born in 1942, he grew up in poverty in Kentucky and Indiana and dropped out of school at an early age. After stints in the armed forces and at a General Motors plant, he opened the first HUSTLER Club, in Dayton, Ohio, in the late 1960s. Flynt followed its success with a string of clubs across the state and in 1972 created a simple black-and-white newsletter to promote them. This newsletter evolved into HUSTLER Magazine, Flynt’s flagship adult publication, which became famous for its explicit photos, irreverent cartoons and political exposés. Nothing was off limits for HUSTLER.
Over the course of his lifetime, Flynt was involved in a great number of legal battles and became a champion of the First Amendment. In the most important of these actions, he took Hustler Magazine, Inc. v. Falwell all the way to the Supreme Court. The televangelist Jerry Falwell had sued for libel and emotional distress over a Campari ad parody published in HUSTLER depicting Falwell’s "first time." In 1988 the Supreme Court Justices ruled unanimously in Flynt’s favor. First Amendment advocates cheered the decision as an expansion of the parameters and protections of free speech to solidly include parody and satire. As Flynt often said, "Free speech is not for the idea you love but for the idea you hate most."
Flynt steadily built his publishing company into a business empire that now includes 60 retail stores, casinos, gentlemen’s clubs and the most adult broadcasting channels in the world. Remarkably, he did so from the confines of a wheelchair, the result of a 1978 assassination attempt over an interracial layout in HUSTLER Magazine. His eventful life and constant battle for free speech became the subject of Milos Forman’s 1996 Golden Globe-winning movie "The People vs. Larry Flynt," starring Woody Harrelson.
Without a doubt, Flynt’s estate sale offers a unique opportunity to own not only beautiful treasures, but an important piece of American history.
An auction preview is being held at the Abell gallery (2613 Yates Ave. in Los Angeles) on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. PST through December 13. Visit www.abell.com for a complete catalog or call 323.724.8102 for more information. Buyers may register for the sale and bid online at www.abell.com, LiveAuctioneers.com or Invaluable.com.
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