A careful selection of personal belongings and attrezzi that accompanied Vivien Leigh throughout her life is gathered in the auction that will take place on May 26 at the Setdart auction house, through its web portal www.setdart. com
The collection made up of fifty objects, offers the opportunity to bring the most intimate dimension of this exceptional actress and woman closer to the public. It is undeniable that the fame of Vivien Leigh, interpreter of the indomitable Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the wind, reached all corners of the planet. Not surprisingly, the then fifteen-year-old Elvira Clara Bonet, immediately fell in love with the actress after seeing the premiere of the film in her native Barcelona. Unusual is that, guided by great perseverance and devotion, managed to correspond with the star for more than a decadeculminating in two personal meetings at his London residence.
After the death of Vivien Leigh, her last romantic partner John Merivale invites Clara Elvira Bonet to attend the funeral, along with close friends such as Michael Redgrave and Alec Guinness. As a result of the relationship that Elvira Clara Bonet establishes with the relatives of Vivien Leigh after her death, and in response to the affection and devotion that she feels for her, she is presented with countless personal objects of great sentimental charge..
Setdart has the honor of auctioning off this unique collection in which there are intimate memorabilia such as the gold and silver cigarette case that he always carried, an 18th-century Italian sanguine on paper, as well as emblematic props: a parasol belonging to the filming of Gone with the Wind, or some lenses used by Vivien Leigh in her last film The Ship of Fools, from 1965. The correspondence addressed not only to Vivien Leigh but also to her partner in cast Olivia de Havilland, sheds light on the actresses’ hectic lives, as well as the closeness they shared with their fans at the time.
Among the jewels in the collection, the agenda that Vivien Leigh used the year of her death in 1967 stands out., with annotations in blue ink in her own hand such as “mother’s birthday” or “dinner with Bill’, as well as entries that allow us to reconstruct the details of the daily life of the actress in her last year. The English house Sotheby’s auctions a similar lot in 2017: the diary used by Leigh between 1937 and 1939, auctioned for £15,000.
Another undoubted “highlight” of the auctiontestimony of the torrid romance with the great British star of the moment Laurence Olivier, is a small series of unpublished photographs in which you can see them swimming naked.
The resounding success of gone With the Windone of the highest grossing movies in history, catapults Vivien Leigh to fame and consecrates her as one of the most important icons in the history of cinema and on the West End stages. Vivien Leigh’s charismatic personality, her dramatic personal story, and the fascinating historical moment in which she finds herself, continue to intrigue generations of admirers and collectors to this day.
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Vivien Leigh’s personal belongings collection up for auction – Martin Cid Magazine