"Lucy, I'm Home!" instantly conjures up fond images associated with the popular 1950s television show similar to the memories recalled collecting I Love Lucy memorabilia.
I Love Lucy's Popularity
The thin line between the actors and their television characters has always been part of the charm of I Love Lucy. Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz were husband and wife, having met on the set of the movie Too Many Girls (1939), just as the television characters Lucy Ricardo and Ricky Ricardo were married. In addition, Desi Arnaz played a bandleader on the television show while in real life lead orchestras and was once known as the Conga King. Lucille Ball became pregnant as did the TV show Lucy, the actress appearing on the cover of many magazines of the time.
I Love Lucy was also important to the development of early television. For instance, Desilu Studios, the two star's production company, was an early pioneer of the three-camera setup now widely used in television production.
I Love Lucy ran from 1951 to 1957 on CBS.
|Lucille Ball||Lucy Ricardo|
|Desi Arnaz||Ricky Ricardo|
|William Frawley||Fred Mertz|
|Vivian Vance||Ethel Mertz|
I Love Lucy Merchandise
Many online stores sell I Love Lucy merchandise. Everything from license plates that say America's Favorite Redhead to heart-shaped air fresheners are available. Usually a photograph from the television show has been printed on the item. This kind of I Love Lucy memorabilia includes:
- Night Lights
- Mouse Pads
- Teddy Bears
- Afghan Rugs
- Checkers and Card Games
Keepsakes are also tied in to particular episodes.
- Aprons have the image of Lucy and Ethel from the episode Job Switching when they worked in a candy factory.
- Lucy dolls are part of the celebrity Barbie collection. Their L.A. At Last doll has a long nose just like Lucy did in this episode.
Scarce I Love Lucy Memorabilia
Items directly associated with the program are particularly sought after. Sources include the Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz estates, crew members from the wardrobe, prop and make-up departments, and studio and prop company auctions.
Props - Chinaware from the Ricardo's apartment is an example of the props available. These articles often go on to be used by the next production though.
Wardrobe - Jewelry and outfits Lucille Ball and the other actors wore on the show are collectible. It is ideal if the costume comes with a movie still of the actor wearing the outfit in an episode in order to show provenance. This is also true of props.
Scripts - Personal production scripts with notes made by the actors are desirable.
Ephemera - Collectors purchase other paper items too, such as pay stubs and checks signed by the stars.
Memorabilia Connected To the Show
Practically anything once owned or used by the actors, even though not part of the television show, is wanted. In the early days of her career Lucille Ball was employed as a model for fashion designers. Dresses worn by the actress are collectable. Other items related to the show are:
- Babalu, Desi Arnaz & His Orchestra vinyl record - Several records include this song. Additional tracks might be Tico Tico, Cuban Pete, Brazil and Peanut Vendor.
- Fancy Pants sheet music - Lucille Ball appeared in the movie with Bob Hope.
- Wildcat playbill - The Alvin Theater on Broadway in 1960 starred the actress.
Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz items may be more expensive than supporting cast members articles, so a collector on a limited budget interested in I Love Lucy memorabilia could also try for William Frawley and Vivian Vance memorabilia.
- Bill Frawley Sings The Old Ones (1957) Dot Records vinyl record - The actor who played Fred Mertz sings standards like Swanee River and Shine On Harvest Moon.
Movie Prop Companies
Stores specializing in movie and television memorabilia make it easier to find I Love Lucy items.
- The Movie Props Association lists businesses selling props.
- Premiere Props bills itself as "The World's Largest Entertainment Memorabilia Store."