A portrait of Audrey Hepburn by Bud Fraker. Courtesy Christie’s
A portrait of Audrey Hepburn by Bud Fraker. Courtesy Christie’s

Grab some Hollywood history in Audrey Hepburn auction

​Audrey Hepburn memorabilia has until now been restricted to autographed photographs and posters, with the odd knick-knack from the sets of her films making its way to eBay and other auction sites.

Now, though, Christie’s is offering fans and collectors of Hollywood memorabilia a rare opportunity to buy some of the actress’s personal belongings at live and online auctions in September and October.

The British actress is hailed as a film and fashion icon, thanks to her memorable movie roles, charming characters and endearing performances.

Since her death in 1993, at the age of 63, her clothes and shoes, exclusive portraits from her private archive and the letters she wrote and received were all under the Hepburn family’s ownership. Her sons, Luca Dotti and Sean Hepburn Ferrer, say they are releasing a selection of these items to “share them with her ever-growing base of admirers and those who have enjoyed her films, her sense of style and followed her humanitarian legacy”.

Starting-bid prices begin from just £100 (Dh466) and go up to £80,000 (Dh372,693), depending on the condition of the item and the movie memory with which it is connected.

For instance, an annotated copy of Hepburn's script for Breakfast at Tiffany's, complete with scribbles she made in the margins and words she underlined and crossed out in turquoise ink, is estimated to sell for between £60,000 and £80,000, while her script for Charade is expected to fetch between £15,000 and £25,000.

Also up for auction are key fashion pieces that became part of Hepburn’s signature look, including a blue satin Givenchy dress (estimate: £10,000 to £15,000).

Its designer, Hubert de Givenchy, also created the costumes for Sabrina, which gave Hepburn her second starring role, as well as Love in the Afternoon, Funny Face, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Paris When It Sizzles and How to Steal a Million. The two were known to be friends off-screen, and Hepburn wore the blue cocktail dress for a promotional event for Two for the Road.

Other items from her personal wardrobe include a Burberry trench coat (estimate: £6,000 to £8,000) and a rainbow- coloured selection of ballet pumps (estimate: from £1,500 per pair).

When Hepburn was at the peak of her screen career, between 1953 and 1968, she had portraits shot by some of the best photographers of the time, and kept some of the images for her personal archive. Christie’s now has access to some of the pictures taken by Cecil Beaton, Steven Meisel and Bud Fraker, which will also be available at the auction.

Other items up for grabs include: letters and handwritten documents; a Ciardetti Firenze powder compact with the letters "AHF", for Audrey Hepburn Ferrer, monogrammed in blue, green and red enamel; and a gold lighter with reeded decoration, inscribed with "For My Fair Lady" on the top and "Gene Allen December 1963" on the base (art director Allen won an Oscar in 1965 for his work on My Fair Lady).

“Her name is one that instantly resonates; her appeal and relevance remain as strong today as they ever were,” says Adrian Hume-Sayer, the director of private collections at Christie’s. “The sales will offer fans and collectors alike the opportunity to acquire unique, personal objects never before seen on the market, and which will undoubtedly offer new insights into the remarkable life of a remarkable woman.”

• The live auction is at Christie’s King Street headquarters in London on September 27. The online auction will run from September 19 to October 3


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