The personal collection of Audrey Hepburn, a symbol of grace, elegance and humanity, will be auctioned at Christie’s London on 27th September. The collection will be on display for public viewing in Hong Kong and Los Angeles before they go to auction. Sean Hepburn Ferrer, Audrey Hepburn’s eldest son, introduced his mother collection for this auction at the media preview.
Hepburn’s eldest son, Sean Hepburn Ferrer
One of the highlights of the exhibition is a film script from Breakfast at Tiffany’s with annotation written by Hepburn herself, carrying the highest estimate of £60,000 – 90,000 (US$78,360 – 117540).
A copy of film script from Breakfast at Tiffany
Hepburn had always dreamt of being a ballerina. Some of her favourite ballet pumps are also included in the selection and are estimated at £6,000 - 9,000 (US$7,836-11,754)
The pale blue satin cocktail gown that Hepburn wore in publicity portraits for Two for the Road was designed by Hubert de Givenchy. The dress is estimated to fetch £10,000 – 15,000 (US$13,060 – 19,590).
Pale blue cloque satin cocktail gown. Givenchy Couture.
Given that Hepburn was a fashion legend, her collection must be full of dresses and accessories. So we asked Sean what’s so special about the selection for this auction.
Q: What’s so special about all these dresses and shoes that go for the auction this time?
S: After she died, I waited a few months to go into her dressing room. There was a bedroom, the bathroom with the shower, and then behind there was a dressing room with about eight double doors. For the last five years, she had been an ambassador for UNICEF so she would have to travel with two suitcases to South America to the far east, then go to New York, go to the White House, go to the Larry King show, speak before YPO (Young President's Organization), and do some press, go to her friends’ house and have spaghetti in the kitchen. And all of these she had to do it from two suitcases.
A three quarter length trench coat. Burberry. Estimate: £6,000 - 9,000 (US$7,836-11,754)
A personalized powder compact. Ciardetti, Firenze. Estimate: £2,000-3,000 (US$2,612 – 3,918)
S (continue): The fascinating thing is that after those five years, she had further distilled her wardrobe, down to only two closets, for winter and summer. She was very generous, she had simple things but when she didn’t wear them anymore, she would give it to friends of her, who is in her similar body type. So if she did keep these things, it means that they were very precious to her. So the things we had for the sale are the things that she really loved, which she kept in the attic, which she didn’t want to part with, maybe she didn’t wear them anymore so much but she kept them.
Q: Why did you organize this charity auction?
S: When she died, we felt that, if she had had more time, she would have wanted to continue the story about the children. So we created the non-profits, the UNICEF and the family non-profit to continue that work. So every day, we give 50% of our time to doing same kind of work that she did. This is our small way to honour her memory.
Q: Any particular lot means most to you？
My Garden Flowers
S: It’s the painting that I love because it’s something that’s her, not something that she bought, is something she created. Apart from the painting, most of her writings, most of her drawings as a little girl, we kept all of that. So the things that she created are the most valuable, so most of them we kept.
My Garden Flowers was an oil canvas created by Hepburn herself, depicting a variety of flowers in a basket. Sean said that his mother liked picking flowers from the garden and this painting was created when she was pregnant with her second son. The painting is estimated at £15,000 – 25,000 (US$19,590 – 32,650)
Q: Which one of your mother’s movies that you like most？
S: I cannot say that I like one film better. Each film for her had a special emotional value because of the friendships that were born there. Like Roman Holiday, Gregory Peck. Sabrina, Billy Wilder, the director, and so forth. So the films that had a meaning for her were for personal reason. Of course, I like the classics like Breakfast at Tiffany’s. My Fair Lady had its tremendous meaning as I was describing a moment ago. But I also love Funny Face because she got the chance to dance, she wanted to be a dancer. So you can see, the dream like this has been in the bottle, and open it up, then the genie comes out and she is dancing around the room. Those are the reasons why I liked certain films.
Speaking of the Hepburn’s friendship, another lot at this sale - a cigarette lighter with inscription ‘For My Fair Lady’ - was given by Gene Allen, art director of My Fair Lady. The lighter is estimated at £3,000-5,000 (US$3918 – 6530)
Q: So next year is the 25th anniversary since she passed away in 1993. Shall we expect anything from you?
S: Yes, you will. I am putting together a special exhibition.
Other highlights at the auction
A Cocktail Gown of Black Satin. Givenchy Couture.
Estime: £50,000 - 80,000 (US$65,300 - 104,480)
A Colouress Paste Tiara
Estimate: £7,000 - 10,000 (US$9142 - 13,060)
A Pair of Black Enamel and Paste Square Earrings. Givenchy.
Estimate: £700 - 1000 (US$914 - 1306)
Auction house: Christie’s London
Sale: The Personal Collection of Audrey Hepburn
Sale no. : To be confirmed
No. of lots: To be confirmed
Previewing: 2017/9/23 - 26
Flagship live auction｜2017/9/27
Online auction｜2017/9/19 -10/3
Exhibition in Hong Kong
Viewing dates: 2017/9/1 - 9/8
Time: 10am - 10pm
Venue: The LANDMARK Atrium
Address: Queen's, 15 Queen's Road Central, Central
Entrance fee: Free
Enquiries: +852 2500 0555