Vivien Leigh- gone but clearly not forgotten

A brief follow-on from my earlier blog, with the results from the sale of the personal effects of Vivien Leigh testimony to her lasting appeal. With a broad range of material documenting her personal life with Laurence Olivier and after, and virtually her entire career on stage and in the movies, very nearly everything sold at a significant multiple of its presale estimate.

Some noteworthy items are shown below:

John Piper’s gouache and watercolour of Notley Abbey, sold for £32,500 against a high estimate of £12,000.


First edition of Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale, sold for £30,000 against a high estimate of £9,000.


A pier mirror from Durham Cottage, Chelsea, sold for £60,000 against a high estimate of £1,500.


And, fittingly, to conclude the sale, a gold ring inscribed ‘Laurence Olivier Vivien Eternally’, for £37,500.

All these pieces acquired as keepsakes for mournfully adoring fans? Absolutely, without a doubt. And the high prices? Can one put a price on sentiment?

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