Christie’s online sale Audrey Hepburn: The Personal Collection Part III will open for bidding on May 2, closing on May 9, 2018. Comprising 212 lots, the sale is now available to view online www.christies.com/audreyhepburn. Following the success of Part I and II in Autumn 2017, Part III continues Christie’s celebration of this globally renowned and adored film and stage actress, fashion legend and humanitarian, in what would have been her 90th year.
Not to be missed, the sale will provide a further opportunity for fans, collectors and admirers to delve in to Audrey Hepburn’s personal world, both on and off screen, through the objects she collected, used and loved; from jewellery, fashion and accessories, to correspondence, film memorabilia and professional photography by leading photographers of the day.
Audrey Hepburn is rightly regarded not only as one of the greatest screen actresses of all time but as a style icon. 25 years after her death she maintains a resonance and popularity as strong today as it was during her lifetime. With estimates starting at just £200 and ranging up to £15,000 this auction will provide collectors and devoted fans from around the world with a further opportunity to acquire personal items treasured by one of the most famous and well-loved women of the 20th Century.
Christie’s auctions, Part I and Part II, of the personal collection of Hepburn captivated the imagination of a global audience, realizing an overall total of £6,053,875/ $8,100,085/ €6,883,255. Comprising 473 lots, the flagship live auction at Christie’s headquarters in London (September 27, 2017) and the online sale (September 19 to October 4, 2017) attracted registered bidders from a total of 50 countries across 6 continents. Both sales sparked competitive bidding from new and existing clients; in the saleroom, on the telephones, via absentee bids and Christie’s LIVETM in Part I; and via Christie’s easily accessible online sale format in Part II.
The overall top lot from the collection was sold in Part I: Audrey Hepburn’s working script for the 1961 Paramount production Breakfast at Tiffany’s which sold to Tiffany & Co. for £632,750 / $846,619 / €719,437, realizing a world auction record for a script (estimate: £60,000-90,000). The top lot of Part II was A Matador’s Traje De Luces (Suit of Lights) which realized £52,500/ $70,245/ €59,693 (estimate £3,000 – 5,000).
Luca Dotti and Sean Hepburn Ferrer commented: “Having taken 25 years to be ready to share our mother’s personal world, we were truly touched by the global response to Part I and II of her collection. It is with pleasure that we now present Part III; a further group of her belongings that we feel will be of interest to her ever-growing base of admirers.”
Adrian Hume-Sayer, Head of Sale and Director of Private Collections commented: “We are indebted to Audrey Hepburn’s two sons for entrusting Christie’s with this very special collection. Audrey Hepburn is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest icons in the history of both film and fashion. The incredible enthusiasm with which her collection was received bears testament to the enduring strength of her appeal – from Hong Kong to Hollywood the pre-sale exhibitions drew crowds wherever they went, with the London pre-sale events alone drawing in excess of 12,000 visitors. The fervor continued with vigor through both the live and online auctions, with the marathon 10 hour live sale running until midnight. The success of the sales – which saw thousands of her personal possessions across almost 500 lots all find homes – show the immense continued affection for perhaps the greatest British actress the world has seen. Part III of the collection will be offered online in 2018, details will follow in due course.”
Highlights include:Lot 2 – An ivory wool gabardine coat by Rose Bertin, Lausanne, 1968, is offered together with a pair of shoes. Audrey is wearing this coat on the cover of ‘Audrey in Rome’ by Luca Dotti, and Ludovicia Damiani, Harper Collins, 2011 (page 1) Estimate £3,000-5,000 Lot 8 – A pair of cultured pearl earrings. The simple and elegant pearl has become synonymous with Audrey Hepburn, evoking her classic and understated style. According to son Luca Dotti, Audrey ‘hated the idea of spending a fortune on diamonds and gold… What she really loved were pearls because of their purity, the fact that they were made by nature.’ Estimate £8,000-12,000 Lot 10 – A novelty Giraffe brooch, by Cartier, circa 1960. Inscribed on the reverse “ISN’T IT A SMALL WORLD?” GEORGE’, it is likely a ‘wrap-gift’ from screenwriter George Axelrod, after Paris When It Sizzles, 1964. Her son, Sean Hepburn Ferrer, has noted that Audrey identified with giraffes because they also had large eyes and long necks; they were her favorite animal, alongside her dogs. Estimate: £6,000-10,000.
Adrian Hume-Sayer continues: “We are pleased to present Part III of Audrey Hepburn’s Personal Collection as an online only sale from May2 to 9, 2018, to coincide with what would have been her birthday on 4 May. Providing Audrey’s global fan base, admirers, and collectors with a further opportunity to obtain a memento from this great screen icon. The final planned installment from her personal collection, this sale follows on from the success of Christie’s flagship auctions in Autumn 2017, with which we were proud to be entrusted.”
Born in Ixelles, Brussels in 1929 as Audrey Kathleen Hepburn, she spent her childhood between Belgium, England, and the Netherlands. She studied ballet and performed as a chorus girl in the West End before traveling to the USA to star on Broadway in Gigi, quickly rising to stardom with her Academy Award-winning performance in Roman Holiday in 1953. Her talent was instantly recognized; she became the first actress to win an Academy Award, a Tony Award and a Golden Globe in the same year. Hepburn went on to win three BAFTAs and in 1994 became one of only twelve people in history to win competitive Emmy, Grammy, Academy and Tony Awards, known by the acronym EGOT. Audrey Hepburn went on to star in some of the most iconic films in the history of the silver screen including Breakfast at Tiffany’s, My Fair Lady and Sabrina. Later in life, she devoted much of her time to UNICEF (The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund) and was awarded the US Presidential Medal of Freedom in recognition of her work as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in December 1992. Miss Hepburn died in 1993 at the age of 63.