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Let the bidding begin! Treasures from Hollywood icons hit the block

Mark Mainz / Getty Images file

The late Rue McClanahan's items are just some of what's going on the auction block this month.

There are holiday gifts, and there are holiday gifts. Just in time for the biggest gift-giving extravaganza of the year, the estates of three legendary Hollywood figures have opened up their coffers, so shoppers take care -- you're going to have to open up your wallets and purses even wider if you want some of these unique items.

First off, the son of late "Golden Girls" star Rue McClanahan, Mark Bish, is fulfilling his mother's wish to share her belongings with her fans. According to Fox News, Bish will launch a series of auctions beginning Dec. 17 around the country, the first of which will feature the contents of her living room from her New York City apartment. Along with furniture and artwork, expect plenty of entertainment memorabilia and "Golden Girls" outfits, jewelry, scripts and even the purse she took to the 1996 Emmys.

Also included: What she called "doodles" and what fellow "Golden Girls" star Betty White is quoted in the article as calling "artwork." She also saved "doodles" made by a guest star on the show -- a young George Clooney. 

Auction bidding can be done at Hutter Auction Galleries in person, on the phone, or at www.liveauctioneers.com.

For those looking to own not just a nice piece of showbiz memorabilia but an actual iconic item, Nate D. Sanders Auctions is putting Orson Welles' "Citizen Kane" Oscar on the block. Welles wrote, directed and starred in what The American Film Institute called the top film in the past 100 years.

"Kane" won Welles his one and only Academy Award, 1941's Best Writing, Original Screenplay Oscar. (He was awarded an Academy Honorary Award for his contribution to motion pictures in 1971.)

While alive, Welles thought he had lost the statuette, but it resurfaced after his death, bequeathed to his daughter Beatrice. A court battle ensued with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to prevent her from selling it; since 1950 winners have had to sign a paper which allows the Academy to buy back any Oscar for $1 before it goes to the free market; during the 2002 court case, the statuette was valued at $1 million. Beatrice won her right to sell the Oscar.

The auction ends Dec. 20; bids can be placed online at www.NateDSanders.com or on the phone.

Mark Porter, from Christie's Americas, gives TODAY's Savannah Guthrie a look at some of Elizabeth Taylor's jewelry and fashion items, such as an emerald diamond pendant and wedding dress.

And finally, Elizabeth Taylor's jewelry and art are going up for sale in New York City Tuesday night at Christie's auction house. But according to Forbes, you'll really need to stretch those dollars to take home some of her baubles -- items up for grabs include a diamond bracelet given to her by Michael Jackson (estimated price: $30,000-$50,000) and a 33.19-carat diamond ring she received from Richard Burton and wore every day. That is expected to go for as much as $3.5 million.

Later this week other sales of her art, clothing and memorabilia will go live, with part of the proceeds going to The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, which she established in 1991. And in February of next year, her collection of impressionist and modern art will go on sale at Christie's in London.

Let's start shopping!

Do you think you'll bid on something? Tell us what in the comments!

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