Catalog Archive
Auction 181, Lot 233

Rare Map from Famed Hollywood Costume Designer and Interior Designer

"Being a Map of Hollywood from the Best Surveys of the Time",

Subject: Hollywood, California

Period: 1926 (dated)


Color: Printed Color

33.4 x 24.5 inches
84.8 x 62.2 cm

This charming bird's-eye plan by Harold W. Grieve is centered on Hollywood Boulevard and extends to Santa Monica, Culver City, Laurel Canyon, and Edendale. Although the map claims to be drawn "from the best surveys of the time," it was certainly not drawn to scale, as it skips the 10 miles between Beverly Hills and Santa Monica, as noted on the map. The map focuses on the movie industry with the locations of movie studios located throughout. Edendale was formerly the home of major movie studios, and is now known as the neighborhoods of Echo Park, Los Feliz and Silver Lake. Key streets are named, including Hollywood Boulevard, Sunset Boulevard, and Santa Monica Boulevard. The mansions of Tinseltown's actors, producers, and directors are also identified. There are text bubbles emanating from buildings throughout the plan that relate to things one might overhear an actor or director say, such as "The director spoiled my story" and "He promised me a two years contract." The border is filled with film strips, including one being cut by a large pair of scissors labeled "censors," and typical scenes from a 1920s Western movie at bottom.

The artist, Harold Grieve, was a member of the film industry in the 1920s as a costume designer (notably Ben-Hur in 1925) and an art and technical director (So This Is Paris 1926, among others). After marrying silent-screen actress Jetta Goudal, Grieve turned his focus to interior design, and the couple worked on the homes of many Hollywood elites, including George Burns, Walt Disney, Mary Pickford, Cecil B. DeMille and Bing Crosby. One of Grieve's most famous designs was that of a $500,000 castellated doll house for actress Colleen Moore, which was later donated to the Chicago Museum of Science & Industry, where it remains today.

Reprints of this map were made in the 1970's and are characterized by different coloring: only shades of orange and green without any yellow or blue, and the horizon isn't colored in the movie scene below the map. Although the later reprint can occasionally be found on the market, the original 1926 edition of this map is exceedingly rare.


Condition: B+

A bright example with very minor soiling, issued folding on machine-made laid paper with "Strathmore Charcoal USA" watermarks, now flattened and professionally backed in thin, museum-quality archival tissue to repair some separations along the folds, a few tiny holes at fold intersections, and a couple of tiny tears. There are several chips along the edges of the sheet that have also been professionally repaired, with a minute amount of the outer neatline replaced in facsimile.

Estimate: $2,000 - $2,500

Sold for: $1,300

Closed on 2/10/2021