Objects from the private life of actress Vivien Leigh, who shot to fame with her iconic portrayal of Scarlett O'Hara in "Gone with the Wind" (1939), will go under the hammer at Sotheby's September sale here. Passed down through the actress' family, 'The Vivien Leigh Collection' will include paintings, jewellery, couture, books, furniture, porcelain, and other objets d'art from different aspects of her life -- from the pre-war years in London, to Hollywood and beyond, up to her death in 1967. "This is our chance to discover the real, and unexpected, Vivien Leigh. We're all guilty of confusing our favourite actresses with the heroines they portray, of blurring Vivien's identity with that of Scarlett O'Hara or Blanche DuBois. But, behind the guise of the most glamorous and talked-about woman of her age we find a fine art collector, patron, even a book worm, who was the intellectual equal of the literati, artists and aesthetes she counted among her coterie. "Her private collection does not disappoint.
Vivien approached the decoration of her homes as if she were designing a set, incorporating influences and inspiration from a life spent on screen and on stage. These houses were an extension of the theatrical space, with medieval Notley Abbey looking positively Shakespearean. Fifty years on from her death, this sale opens the door into Vivien?s private world, allowing us a privileged and fascinating glimpse into a world that otherwise only her closest friends could ever have known," Harry Dalmeny, Sotheby's UK Chairman, said. The sale will have pieces drawn from the city and country homes that Leigh shared with her husband Laurence Oliver, giving a new perspective on the actress, from her appreciation of art and patronage of Modern British artists, to her passion for books and fondness for entertaining and interior design. Highlights at the auction will include Leigh's personal copy of the book "Gone with the Wind", that was given to her by the author Margaret Mitchell. Inscribed by Margaret Mitchell with a hand-written poem: "Life's pattern pricked with a scarlet thread / where once we were with a gray / To remind us all how we played our parts / In the shock of an epic day," the book is estimates at ?5,000 - 7,000. A silver cigarette box engraved with 'Vivien and Larry Love Myron (Selznick)', gifted to the actress by Selznick, who is said to have secured Leigh with the role of Scarlett O'Hara, will also be up for sale at an estimated price of ?400-600. The script of 'Gone with the Wind' presented to Leigh by members of the cast, with photographs, circa 1939 is estimated at ?2,500-3,500. The sale will also have objects of fashion and jewellery including a gold ring inscribed with 'Laurence Olivier Vivien Eternally', is estimated at ?400-600 "We hope people take as much pleasure from this collection as our grandparents, parents and families have done," Leigh's family said. Set to be held on September 26, the sale, in all, will have approximately 250 lots.
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