December 3, 2009

Audrey Hepburn Auction December 8 in London

Paris Breakfasts alerted me to an auction taking place in London next week. For many years, beginning in 1951, Audrey sent one of her first fans boxes of hand-me-downs, and she is now selling them. There are 16 Chanel bags, 17 pairs of Chanel shoes, sandals and pumps, hats, letters, dresses and more.

Here are some items that are offered:

audrey1The Givenchy haute couture black chantilly lace cocktail dress, worn in `How to Steal a Million', 1966, comprising: lace cocktail gown with wrap-over back, high neck with scalloped edge, side fastenings, the full skirt edged in a flounce stiffened with horsehair, narrow black patent belt, worn over a black silk petticoat, labeled and numbered 30.361, the matching jacket with narrow Givenchy label to the neck, bust 86cm, 34in, waist 61cm, 21in; together with a photograph of Audrey wearing the gown, Audrey wears this ensemble in the Ritz bar scene of the film, where her character dons a matching lace face mask over glittery eye-makeup in order to disguise herself. Her attempt not to draw attention to herself in this stunning creation spectacularly failed! Hubert de Givenchy created a similar, though not identical, cocktail gown as part of the haute couture collection, Autumn-Winter 1966, model 432.

audrey2A Givenchy haute couture black cloqué silk dress worn to promote the film “Paris When it Sizzles”, 1962, labeled and numbered 23093, the empire-line bodice cut high at the front and low at the back, rear bow ties, bust 86cm, 34in, waist 66cm, 26in; together with a publicity photograph by Bob Willoughby of Audrey wearing the gown accompanied by her dog “Famous”. Although the film was made in 1962 the release was strategically delayed for two years until 1964.

audrey3Cartier brocaded silk and navy suede evening bag, early 1980s, the interior stamped in gold “Cartier”, the clasp inset with small diamonds, Persian-style brocaded silk panel, 23cm, 9in

audrey4A fine Hermès black crocodile “Birkin”, 2000, blind stamp D, crocodylus porosus, gilt metal hardware, with croc-covered padlock, fob and key, dust-bag, 35cm, 13 3/4in. Please note there are export restrictions on this lot outside the EU.

For some of the lots, 50% of the net proceeds will be donated to the Audrey Hepburn Children's Fund. These lots are also accompanied by letters of authenticity from the Audrey Hepburn Foundation.


  1. Unfortunately not a soul could fit into that dress, as gorgeous as it is (21-inch waist?????). I was shocked once when I read in a Hepburn biography how her health was undermined by malnutrition and edema during the German occupation of the Netherlands during WW2 ("I was very, very undernourished," she told her son Sean) and that forever afterward she had trouble gaining or even maintaining her weight. At one point she weighed 92 pounds when filming "Funny Face." And was 5 feet 7 inches tall.

  2. So lovely, even if just to look at it all...

  3. Audrey Hepburn is the best! Thank you for the post.


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  4. Hi Meg. Almost posted that dress also today, love the shot of her with her dog "Famous" siting in her chair. Kerry Taylor started off at Sotheby's, then peeled off to start her own auction house to focus on her love of textiles, which some auctioneers look askance on. Can you imagine being Tanya and regularly receiving a box of Audrey's couture treasures? Trish


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