Audrey Hepburn – Christie’s

Personal Collection of Audrey Hepburn, Christie’s King Street, London SW1, 27th September 2017

 Part II – Online Auction, 19th September – 3rd October 2017

Lot 127
BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S, 1961
Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly on the set of the 1961 Paramount production Breakfast At Tiffany’s three gelatin silver production stills
largest sheet: 14 x 11 in. (35.6 x 27.9 cm.)
Estimate: £1,000-1,500 / $1,300-1,900 / €1,100-1,600
CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2017

September is proving quite a month for sales by legendary actresses as following on the heels of the  Vivien Leigh sale at Sotheby’s we also have a sale of the possessions of Audrey Hepburn at Christie’s in London.  How does the song go ‘anything you can do I can do better’?

Lot 144
CHARADE, 1963
A COCKTAIL GOWN OF BLACK SATIN
GIVENCHY COUTURE
The two piece ensemble comprising a ftted bodice and skirt, each with a hem of semi-tubular black paillettes,
set on edge, with multiple canvas tags to the interior, as well as black woven label with canvas tag inscribed 23174,
designed for Audrey Hepburn as Regina “Reggie” Lampert in the 1963 Universal production Charade
Estimate: £50,000-80,000 / $64,000-100,000 / €55,000-86,000
CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2017

Audrey was more than just a beautiful film star and wonderful actress.  Due to her association with Givenchy she became almost accidentally a fashion icon and is indeed regarded as one of the most iconic figures of the last century and in her last years became a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF.  One of the fund raising events she was involved in for UNICEF was a concert at the Barbican by Michael Tilson Thomas entitled From The Diary Of Anne Frank and Audrey was the narrator reading excerpts from the diary.  It was extremely moving as Audrey had experienced similar wartime distress and hardship living in Holland like Anne Frank and one could feel that she found the reliving of this time somewhat painful and that the words could indeed have been her own.  Afterwards in the green room she confessed that she had been shaking before she went onstage.

Lot 178
MY FAIR LADY, 1964/REX HARRISON
A CONTINENTAL GOLD SNUFF BOX, CIRCA 1965
Rectangular box, the cover and sides set with panels of sablé engine-turning with flared thumbpiece, the base of polished gold and engraved with the inscription To / Eliza Doolittle / from / Henry Higgins
2 3/8 in. (60 mm.) wide
2 oz. (60 gr.)
Estimate £5,000-8,000 / $6,400-10,000 / €5,500-8,600
CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2017

How well I remember sitting in the Regal Cinema in Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow in 1961 watching and loving Breakfast At Tiffany’s and now 56 years later it is regarded as one of the most-loved films of all time, even having been shown at the Royal Albert Hall with live orchestral accompaniment.

Lot 119
BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S, 1961
Audrey Hepburn’s working script for the 1961 Paramount production Breakfast at Tiffany’s, dated 3 August, 1960, the script bound with two brass brads and comprising 140 pages of mimeographed typescript including deleted scenes, with 53 pages printed on yellow and 28 on blue paper representing changes to the script with varying dates through to 21 September 1960, the majority of pages with upper right corner either snipped, torn or folded down when completed, the parts for the character of Holly Golightly marked in Hepburn’s signature turquoise ink, with words underlined in blue ballpoint pen and pencil for emphasis, passages or directions crossed out, and approximately 20 pages annotated in Hepburn’s hand with copied out lines, minor amendments and notes including:
– p.15-16: where Holly asks Paul to help find her shoes for her visit to Sing Sing, Hepburn has amended Brown alligator [shoes] to Black, and deleted the lines And if you come across a black brassiere I can use that too… and garter-belt, garter-belt, garter-belt, garter-belt… I think maybe it’s hanging in the bathroom…would you mind…
– p.114: where the directions require Holly to rattle of sentences in Portugese, Hepburn has twice added the line Eu acho che voce esta gostando do acouqueiro
– p.119: next to …but I do love Jose Hepburn has suggested the revision I am mad about Jose – blank end page: Hepburn has jotted a brief scene list… intro, H-P-Sing Sing, P’s apt. bathrobe, cocktail, Sing Sing, Doc., drunk, scene in room, day on the town, library, chicken saffron, pickup… and scrawled the details of a fight f. 274 U. airl, 11.35 A.M.
11 x 8¾ in. (27.9 x 22.2 cm.)
Estimate: £60,000-90,000 / $77,000-110,000 / €65,000-97,000
CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2017

The sale is in two parts with Part 1 being offered at Christie’s London and Part ll in an online-only sale. The auctions  feature annotated film scripts, including Breakfast At Tiffany’s, original portraits from   photographers such as Cecil Beaton and Philippe Halsman, her personal wardrobe and many costumes  from her films including a black Givenchy cocktail dress from Charade although not the Breakfast At Tiffany’s dress which  was sold previously.

 

Lot 109
THE NUN’S STORY, 1959
TWO FOR THE ROAD, 1967
A COLOURESS PASTE TIARA
composed of a continuous series of graduated navette and circular shaped paste, to close-back settings on a sprung frame; worn by Audrey Hepburn to the London premiere of The Nun’s Story, July 1959 and as Joanna Wallace in the 1967 20th Century Fox production Two For The Road 11¼ in. (29 cm.) inner circumference
Estimate: £7,000-10,000 / $9,000-13,000 / €7,600-11,000
CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2017

This is the first time these items, which until now have remained with her family, have been offered for sale and they give us a rare glimpse into the very private world of a remarkable woman.

 

Lot 132
A SLEEP MASK SLEEP SHADE CO., CIRCA 1960
The blue satin shade applied with pink and blue lace-trimmed fowers, marked SLEEP SHADE CO., 282 MISSION ST, SAN FRANCISCO, CAL 8 in. (20 cm.) long
Estimate: £100-150 / $130-190 / €110-160
CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2017

 

http://www.christies.com/audreyhepburn

Lot 219
A RED DRESS COAT
VALENTINO COUTURE, SPRING/SUMMER 1971
Of red silk gazar; together with a pair of Andrea Carrano scarlet pumps
Estimate: £1,000-1,500 / $1,300-1,900 / €1,100-1,600
CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2017

I am grateful to John Kirkwood for writing about this sale

Vivien Leigh – Sotheby’s

Vivien: The Vivien Leigh Collection, Sotheby’s, New Bond Street, London W1, 26th September 2017

 

Lot 14 A Large Collection of Photographs of Vivien and Larry
Estimate £800-1,200
Courtesy of Sotheby’s

Vivien Leigh was one of the most beautiful and talented actresses to ever grace both stage and screen and now she is once again the star of the show when Sotheby’s auctions hundreds of items belonging to her in London on 26 September.

Jewellery including a mid 19th-century diamond bow brooch, a gold ring given to Vivien Leigh by her husband Laurence Olivier and a 18th-century chrysoberyl devant de corsage.
(Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for Sotheby’s)

From Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind to Blanche Dubois in A Streetcar Named Desire and Karen Stone in The Roman Spring Of Mrs Stone Vivien almost reflected her own life in her films.  The feckless Scarlett ‘thinking about it tomorrow’ is Vivien in her early theatrical pursuits where she was a whirlwind jumping from (mainly) success to success then Blanche sadly shows us Vivien in her troubled years long before bi-polar personalities had been categorised.  Then finally we have Karen Stone a bewildered widow who falls for the ersatz charm of an Italian gigolo played by Warren Beatty complete with cod Italian accent.  Mrs Stone has found a new way of living and remains a sad but noble survivor.

Interior, Notley Abbey
Courtesy of Sotheby’s

When I was ten years old I saw Vivien on stage at the Kings Theatre in Glasgow in Noel Coward’s South Sea Bubble and can still recall the ‘presence’ that came across the footlights.

Lot 269 Vivien’s monogrammed luggage, all monogrammed V.L.O., and two black leather luggage labels with insert name cards printed Lady Olivier
Estimate £800-1,200
Courtesy of Sotheby’s

The items in this sale include diaries, family photographs, paintings as well as library and personal items – even the wig she wore as Blanche. I was quite surprised and delighted to see that Vivien possessed a similarly framed item exactly the same as one I recently bought in a charity shop.  It is a sketch by Ronald Searle published in Punch in January 1957 as part of his Heroes of our Time series entitled Sir Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh. – not Lady Olivier!  In it Vivien looks out from the sketch brightly and vivaciously whilst Sir Laurence is in the foreground in his Richard lll costume and make up,  including the hump, and looking out at us resignedly, cigarette clutched firmly between his fingers.

Vivien Leigh painting at an easel in a garden
Courtesy of Sotheby’s

The accompanying catalogue features many lovely photos of Vivien but then how could you take an unlovely one?

 

Lot 224 Vivien’s writing bureau, mid-18th century, acquired from Asprey in 1949
Estimate £600-900
Courtesy of Sotheby’s

 

http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/2017/vivien-leigh-collection

 

I am grateful to John Kirkwood for writing about this sale

Alma-Tadema!

Alma-Tadema: At Home In Antiquity, Leighton House Museum, 12 Holland Park Rd, London, W14,, until 29th October 2017

I am grateful to John Kirkwood for visiting and writing about this exhibition:

 

Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, The Finding of Moses, 1904. © Private Collection

Unbelievably for such a well-known artist, this is the first exhibition of the works of Alma-Tadema in London since 1913. He was a great friend of Lord Leighton and will of course have visited the House which makes the placing of the exhibition here most fitting.

Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema,
Self-Portrait of Lourens Alma Tadema, 1852.
© Fries Museum, Collection Royal Frisian Society

A visit to Pompeii on his honeymoon inspired Alma-Tadema to depict carefully researched scenes of life in Ancient Rome which reminded me very much of scenes from the very popular spectacular epic films of the fifties and sixties such as Quo Vadis?, The Ten Commandments, The Fall of the Roman Empire and Ben-Hur and apparently Alma-Tadema had been an inspiration for some of the filmmakers even as late as Gladiator. Indeed many of his paintings are amazingly in the CinemaScope ratio!

Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema,
A Pyrrhic Dance, 1869.
© Guildhall Art Gallery, City of London

There are photographs, artefacts and drawings and paintings from his two houses, one close to the Regent’s Canal and the other in Grove End Road whose exterior remains largely unchanged.  There is also a selection of the panels painted by Alma-Tadema’s artist friends including Lord Leighton which hung in Alma-Tadema’s house and which are reunited for this exhibition. The Studio will also house the portrait of Leopold Lowenstam a friend of Alma-Tadema which was rediscovered on the Antiques Roadshow in 2016 and is on public display for the first time.

Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema,
Coign of Vantage, 1895.
© Ann and Gordon Getty

The exhibition is a wonderful journey through Alma-Tadema’s work displayed in a beautiful and atmospheric setting.

 

 

http://www.leightonhouse.co.uk

 

Anime Architecture

I am grateful to John Kirkwood for visiting and writing about this exhibition:

Anime Architecture: Backgrounds of Japan, Main Gallery at House of Illustration, 2 Granary Square, King’s Cross, London N1, until 10th September 2017

Background illustration for Ghost in the Shell cut 341 by Hiromasa Ogura
©1995


Being totally unfamiliar with Anime, this exhibition came as a delightful surprise.  The technique involved in producing these films seems quite complicated but the results are well worth the trouble.
Perhaps the most well-known anime film is Ghost In The Shell, recently remade as a live action film with Scarlett Johansson who looks as much like a Japanese as I look like Scarlett Johansson – the beard of course doesn’t help!
Hiromasa Ogura’s watercolours for the anime Ghost In The Shell are on display and are based on photographs of Hong Kong and depict a slightly exaggerated contrast between a derelict Chinese town and the extreme development of the urban space.  They are quite haunting and intriguing and somewhat reminiscent of film noir of the forties and fifties.

Concept Design for Ghost in the Shell 2 Innocence by Takashi Watabe
© 2004 Shirow Masamune KODANSHA

Pencil drawings by Takashi Watabe whose fantastically realistic style has become a hallmark for Japanese anime films are also on display.
By the end of the exhibition I was very keen to see an anime film and in the last room of the exhibition my wish was granted as there are three short excerpts from two anime films.  I now look forward to watching more on DVD.

 

 

 

Open Tuesday-Sunday 10am-6pm. Closed Mondays

 

houseofillustration.org.uk.

 

Jane Austen’s Portraits

The Mysterious Miss Austen, The Gallery, Winchester Discovery Centre, Jewry Street
Winchester, until 24th July, 2017

Jane Austen by James Andrews, watercolour, 1869
(c) Private collection, courtesy of the 19th Century Rare Book and Photograph Shop, Stevenson, Maryland.

I had of course known about Jane Austen for many years but had not actually read one of her novels until I was in my early twenties and found out what an absolute delight they are. I knew something of her life (I just passed where she stayed in Covent Garden’s Henrietta Street this morning) but it was a real delight to come and see this exhibition which marks the two hundredth anniversary of her death and which not only brings together five portraits of her under the same roof for the first time, but includes letters, items of clothing and a manuscript alternative ending to her final novel Persuasion, which was not used in the end. There are also items from both an English and an American private collection which bring the story up-to-date and the rather fine ceramic vase Jane Austen in E 17 by Grayson Perry has been loaned as well.

Installation view:
Jane Austen Pelisse coat

I found it unexpectedly moving and although as the exhibition’s title suggests she does remain somewhat mysterious I felt I had at least encountered her. It was therefore wholly appropriate to pay my respects as I bowed my head to read the inscription on the tablet set into the floor of the north aisle in nearby Winchester Cathedral, commemorating her life and burial there.

Jane Austen ledgerstone – Winchester Cathedral by John Crook

https://hampshireculturaltrust.org.uk/the-gallery-at-winchester-discovery-centre

Installation View:
Jane Austen portraits display

“Love Scenes”

 Dan Llywelyn Hall – “Love Scenes”, Lights of Soho, 35 Brewer Street, London, W1, until 17th June 2017

GOLDFINGER

I have had the pleasure of writing about Dan before and I very much want to share his new exhibition of work with you. It reflects his long-term interest in the theme of love over the centuries through art or popular culture.

LOVE ARABESQUE

He has developed a strong following for his artworks whether landscapes, city scenes or portraits such as the one he painted of the Queen in 2013.  He says of this show:  “Lights of Soho occupies a building that once was central to the Paul Raymond empire; a venue familiar with scenes of erotica and physical embodiments of love. The ‘Scenes of Love’ series should feel at home here with my depictions of the greatest love encounters through the ages.”

1001 NIGHTS

https://www.LightsofSoho.com

CASABLANCA

http://www.danllywelynhall.co.uk/

 

 

 

Photo London 2017

Photo London 2017, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2, 18th – 21st May 2017

Isaac Julien
Pas de Deux with Roses (Looking for Langston Vintage Series), 1989/2016
Ilford classic silver gelatin fine art paper, mounted on aluminum and framed
Framed size 58.1 x 74.5 cm
22 7/8 x 29 3/8 in
edition of 4 plus 2 artist’s proofs
Courtesy the Artist and Victoria Miro, London
© Isaac Julien

This the third edition of Photo London emphasises not only the fact that this is most definitely a world-class photography fair but also what an important, vibrant role London plays in contemporary photography. Hence I am using this time just one image to celebrate the work of Isaac Julien an internationally acclaimed London-born and based artist and filmmaker.  Don’t miss this opportunity to see the best of what the world has to offer both at the fair and elsewhere in London. Please allow yourself time to visit the fair more than once – it’s well worth it.

 

http://photolondon.org