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

BOOK REVIEW: Spectacular Gems and Jewelry from the Merriweather Post Collection

Spectacular Gems and Jewelry from the Merriweather Post Collection

Liana Paredes

Published by GILES in association with Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens
PRICE — UK£29.95 / US$39.95
ISBN — 978-1-907804-92-2

Marjorie Merriweather Post is well-known as a collector of Russian and French Decorative Arts but what is less appreciated is the collection of jewellery she amassed over the decades. This ranges from historic pieces such as the diamond earrings believed to have belonged to Marie Antoinette, a diadem and necklace owned by Napoleon’s wife the Empress Marie Louise and an emerald which belonged to the Emperor Maximilian of Mexico (a carpet thought to have been owned by him adorns the dining room floor at Hillwood). Alongside such gems add pieces by Cartier – she was their best American customer –, Harry Winston, Van Cleef & Arpels, David Webb and Fulco di Verdura and you get a marvellous insight to jewellery design and fashion in the first six decades of the 20th century. Flowers, birds, figures, domestic objects all provided inspiration for brooches and bracelets – Mrs Post had a diamond-set brooch in the form of her legendary yacht ‘The Sea Cloud’ and another in the form of her turboprop airplane ‘The Merriweather’.

Turquoise, diamond and platinum necklace by Harry Winston 1961

This is a detailed and highly enjoyable look into this outstanding collection of jewellery and is well-illustrated throughout, including designs and pictures of Mrs Post wearing various pieces. It combines jewellery design and social history in a way that emphasises that Mrs Post’s life was indeed spectacular!

An accompanying exhibition is on at Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens until 7th January 2018

 

https://www.hillwoodmuseum.org/Spectacular-Gems-and-Jewelry

gilesltd.com

Art in the Age of Black Power

SOUL OF A NATION: ART IN THE AGE OF BLACK POWER, Tate Modern, until 22nd October 2017

 

Elizabeth Catlett
Black Unity, 1968
Mahogany wood
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, © Catlett Mora Family Trust/DACS, London / VAGA, NY 2017

 

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

 

It is quite startling to enter this exhibition and be confronted by copies of the Black Panther newspaper – the printed form of the ideology behind the Black Panther movement of the early sixties which wasn’t always engaged in peaceful or lawful pursuits.

Faith Ringgold (b.1930)
American People Series #20: Die, 1967
Oil on canvas,1828 x 3657 mm
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Purchase; and gift of the Modern Women’s Fund, © Faith Ringgold

There are images in varying media of many of the personalities involved in the rise of the awareness of Black Power including Aretha Franklin, Muhammad Ali and Toni Morrison.  On the more political side we have of course Martin Luther King and Malcolm X who has a painting dedicated to him by Jack Whitten on public display for the first time.  There is a fragment from The Wall of Respect in Chicago which became a powerful symbol of the Civil Rights movement.

Andy Warhol
Muhammad Ali, 1978
Synthetic polymer and silkscreen inks on canvas, 1016 x 1016 mm
Private collection
© 2017 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York and DACS, London

This is a timely and far-reaching exhibition and a major celebration of a crucial but perhaps overlooked area of American art history when black artists rose to the challenge of increasing their visibility and saying out loud and clear ‘We are here!’

Roy DeCarava
Couple Walking,1979
Photograph, gelatin silver print on paper, 356 x 279 mm
© Courtesy Sherry DeCarava and the DeCarava Archives

http://www.tate.org.uk

The Encounter!

THE ENCOUNTER: DRAWINGS FROM LEONARDO TO REMBRANDT, National Portrait Gallery, London, until 22nd October 2017

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

Giulio Pedrizzano, The Lutenist Mascheroni by Annibale Carracci c.1593-4
Copyright: Royal Collection Trust © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017

This delightful exhibition features old master European portrait drawings by the likes of Leonardo da Vinci, Durer and Rembrandt, many rarely seen and some not displayed for decades.

Young Woman in a French Hood, possibly Mary Zouch by Hans Holbein the Younger c.1533
Copyright: Royal Collection Trust Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017

It attempts to show that the artist and the sitter connected and is rather like going through a Renaissance copy of Vanity Fair featuring as it does eight portraits of people from the court of Henry VIII by Hans Holbein the Younger – the David Bailey of his day – but also people from the street as well.

Sir John Godsalve by Hans Holbein the Younger c.1532-4
Copyright: Royal Collection Trust Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017

An exhibition which cheers the soul with these close encounters.

A sheet of figure studies, with male heads and three sketches of a woman with a child by Rembrandt van Rijn c.1636
Copyright: The Henry Barber Trust, the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham

 

http://www.npg.org.uk/

Enlightened Princesses

Enlightened Princesses: Caroline, Augusta, Charlotte and the Shaping of the Modern World, Kensington Palace, until November 2017

Queen Caroline of Ansbach, Joseph Highmore c.1735,
Royal Collection Trust c Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017

This fascinating exhibition has come to Kensington Palace from the Yale Center for British Art where it understandably attracted so much interest while there. It considers the part played by three German Protestant princesses at the court of the Hanoverian Kings who ruled 18th century Britain. A legacy that can still be seen in today’s monarchy.

Enlightened Princesses – Installation view
(c) Historic Royal Palaces

The three princesses concerned are Caroline, consort of George II; her daughter-in-law Augusta, who was married to Frederick Prince of Wales and Charlotte (Augusta’s daughter-in-law), consort of George III. In many senses they were the right women in the right place as Britain was embracing the ideas of the Enlightenment and the princesses’ intelligence and curiosity combined with their exalted status allowed them to foster and support the new ideas.

Queen Charlotte, Johann Joseph Zoffany 1771,
Royal Collection Trust c Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017

Scientists, authors and even musicians such as Handel were all drawn to their drawing rooms. They encouraged medical advances such as inoculation and were involved in the establishment of London’s Foundling Hospital. Plants and wildlife were another interest that all three shared and Kew Gardens is part of that legacy. They also supported British trade and manufacturing.

Enlightened Princesses – Installation view
(c) Historic Royal Palaces

The exhibition succeeds in bringing both their private and public world to life.  The Yale Center for British Art’s director Amy Meyers sums it up: “Caroline, Augusta, and Charlotte had sweeping intellectual, social, cultural, and political interests, which helped to shape the courts in which they lived, and encouraged the era’s greatest philosophers, scientists, artists, and architects to develop important ideas that would guide ensuing generations”.

The Flying Squirrel, Plate T-77, Mark Catesby
c The Royal Board of Trustees of Royal Botanic Gardens Kew

www.hrp.org.uk

Christening robe made for future George IV, ivory silk satin c. 1760
(c) Historic Royal Palaces

Power and Portraiture

Power and Portraiture: painting at the court of Elizabeth I, Waddesdon Manor, Waddesdon, Near Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, until 29th October 2017 (Wed-Sun)

 

Nicholas Hilliard’s portraits of Queen Elizabeth I and Sir Amias Paulet at the Hamilton Kerr Institute.
Rothschild Family. Photo Tristan Fewings, 2017 © Getty Images

 Power and Portraiture: painting at the court of Elizabeth I is an intriguing display because it reveals these two portraits of Queen Elizabeth I and Sir Amias Paulet and makes an attribution to Nicholas Hilliard (?1547-1619) as their creator. Hilliard is of course celebrated for the exquisite miniatures executed in watercolour and vellum but documents exist that refer to his making pictures ‘in greate’ which means full-scale oil portraits.  The Pelican and Phoenix portraits of Elizabeth I are thought by scholars to be examples of works he painted or was involved with.

Power & Portraiture, Waddesdon Manor.
Photo Derek Pelling (c) National Trust, Waddesdon Manor

This is arrived at by comparing the depiction of faces, jewels and lace with Hilliard miniatures but the difference in scale between the two types of work must be factored in. These two portraits, which come from a branch of the Rothschild family, share the same similarities in style and technique. However scientific analysis at the Hamilton Kerr Institute reveals that rather than being painted on Baltic oak used in England they are on French oak. Sir Amias Paulet was England’s ambassador to France between 1576-79 and during part of his posting Hilliard was part of his household. The presence of Hilliard in France and the stylistic similarities with his other known works allows these ‘in greate’ pictures to be confidently attributed to him.

 

waddesdon.org.uk