Vivien Leigh’s nude yes, but her nightgown no

Vivien Leigh, the actress who played the unforgettable Scarlett O’Hara in gone With the Wind and Blanche Dubois in A Streetcar Named Desire he continues to arouse passions despite the fact that he died almost 54 years ago. At least among all those who have bid for the actress’s personal belongings that have been auctioned online from Barcelona on the 26th. Of the 79 lots that went on sale, 93% have been awarded what they consider since Setdart, “A complete success”. Many of these personal objects, such as shoes, bags, letters, photographs, handkerchiefs, cigarette cases and cushions, increased their starting value up to 14 times their price, such as the two matchboxes from the sixties that had their initials printed (609 euros ) and Buccellati’s silver cigarette case with the last cigarettes that the actress never smoked (6,100 euros).

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In the sale that took place over six hours this Wednesday, the actress’s personal agenda from 1967, the year of her death, also achieved good auctions and that Leigh’s children gave to Elvira Clara Bonet, her friend from Barcelona who has collected all these objects for decades (for 7,916 euros) and the gold metal stamp box with the name and address of the actress (2,679 euros). In total, they have exceeded 70,000 euros, most of which have been acquired, as explained by Setdart, North American, English and Australian buyers, who have acquired several lots at the same time.

Vivien Leigh nightgown that has not ended up selling.
Vivien Leigh nightgown that has not ended up selling.Setdart

But not all the objects have reached the expected prices nor have they ended up having a buyer. The photographs in which Vivien Leigh and her new husband, the actor Laurence Olivier, were seen bathing naked during their honeymoon in 1940 have ended up selling for less than the starting price: 3,532 euros for the batch of six images that included the two naked, despite the fact that they cost more than 7,000 euros and were two totally unpublished images that corresponded to the couple’s family album. “A person from Barcelona bought them, who actually picked them up this morning. It is the only lot he has bought ”, they assure from the auction house. The lace nightgown with floral embroidery from the sixties has not been sold, because it did not reach the estimated price of around 2,000 euros.

Vivien Leigh's Diary from 1976, the year she died, which has been sold for 7,916 euros.
Vivien Leigh’s Diary from 1976, the year she died, which has been sold for 7,916 euros.

This intimate garment, along with the other four objects that have not been sold (a ceramic candlestick, three photographs of the actress’s family album from 1967, a note card from 1950 and a commemorative bust dedicated to the artist) can be followed acquiring by direct sale in the same auction room for prices ranging between 350 and 2,000 euros.

Elvira Clara Bonet, who corresponded with the actress for 10 years, between 1957 and 1967, the date on which Leigh died and came to visit her in her London home on a couple of occasions, has followed the sale of the objects in contact with the auction house, they assure from Setdart. “The sale has experienced a bittersweet flavor. On the one hand, happy to know that there is still interest in the actress around the world and that her fans want to have objects of her and on the other sad to get rid of those objects that he has had with her for so long, “they explain. “The success of the auction of these objects has been possible by being present in three international platforms that has made it possible for us to reach the whole world”, they emphasize from Setdart.

The prices reached in this auction, however, are far from those reached in previous years sales related to the actress who won two Oscars, in 1940 and 1951. In 2017, Sotheby’s of London, raised 2.5 million euros for the sale of other objects that belonged to the actress, in this case were paintings from her private collection, jewelry, dresses, books and furniture.