An oil painting Winston Churchill gave to Vivien Leigh breaks auction records

Personal belongings that belonged to the English actress Vivien Leigh (1913-1967), protagonist of classic films such as “Gone with the Wind” (1939) and “A Streetcar Named Desire” (1951), raised today 2.24 million pounds (2.53 million euros) in a auction in London.

The most valued piece in the bid, held at Sotheby’s, was the oil painting “Study of Roses”, a work that its author, former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, gave to the actress. The still life sold for 638,750 pounds (721,700 euros), more than six times the price estimated by experts, who valued it between 70,000 and 100,000 pounds (from 79,100 euros to 113,000 pounds).

One of Vivien Leigh’s dresses that were auctioned in London

Jeff Spicer / Getty

In total, 321 lots from Leigh’s collection of memorabilia that her descendants had collected were auctioned, including a personal copy of the novel “Gone with the Wind,” whose big-screen adaptation earned the actress her first Oscar. .

The volume of the play written by Margaret Mitchell reached 50,000 pounds (56,500 euros) at auction, while the screenplay for the film, signed by Sideny Howard, was auctioned for 58,750 pounds (66,380 euros). She broke all previous estimates a gold ring with the inscription “Laurence Olivier Vivien Eternally”, alluding to her husband, also English actor Laurence Olivier.


A Sotheby’s employee adjusts one of the actress’s dresses

Lauren Hurley / AP

The piece was sold for 37,500 pounds (42,375 euros), although its estimated price was between 400 and 600 pounds (452 ​​to 678 euros). Another of the star objects in the auction at Sotheby’s was a portrait of Leigh, a symbol of old Hollywood, drawn by Englishman Roger Furse, which fetched a price of 62,500 pounds (70,625 euros).

The session also finished off various furniture and decorative objects from the houses in the city and the countryside that the edge shared with Olivier. The collection for sale “celebrates all aspects of his life, from the years before the (second) (world) war in London, passing through Hollywood, until his death in 1967,” said a spokesman for the auction house in a statement.


A copy of the script for ‘Gone with the Wind’ that belonged to Leigh

Jeff Spicer / Getty

“We are all responsible for confusing our favorite actresses with the heroines they represent, for mistaking Vivien’s identity for Scarlet O’Hara or Blanche DuBois,” said Sotheby’s UK Chairman Harry Dalmeny.

“But behind the disguise of the most glamorous woman of her time, we found a great art collector, patron, lover of books, who was just as intellectual as the literati, artists and aesthetes who frequented her circle,” he said.

Vivien Leigh was a great art collector, patron and book lover

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An oil painting Winston Churchill gave to Vivien Leigh breaks auction records