Our 'Passion for Fashion' sale produced record prices and some surprises, with the sale making £100,000 above the top estimate.
It was a fascinating multi-facetted auction, including early pieces with fascinating provenances, celebrity and royalty rarities, fine haute couture (superb Diors in particular), through to museum-quality McQueen.
Indeed, the top price of the day went to Alexander McQueen with a 'Widows of Culloden' collection tartan dress which sold for £31,000.
Next highest price of the day was a total surprise and a world record price for Madame Carven – an adorable white organza dress, 1948-50, which looked so pretty on the stand with a miniscule 20in waist - which reached £19,000 against a £500 estimate.
In almost 40 years in the auction business I have never before handled a pair of 1963 Vivier Comma heel shoes, so this was an ambition finally satisfied. They sold for £16,000 against a £2,000 estimate and the other pricey pair of Vivier/Dior shoes - with kingfisher-effect feathers - sold for £5,000, one of the shoes actually autographed by M. Vivier himself.
Another surprise came in the form of the John Galliano houndstooth wool suit from his seminal 'Pin Up' collection, Spring-Summer 1995. This was the key look from that collection, cleverly combining a New Look silhouette with modern lightweight fabric and padding to produce something that looked vintage but was comfortable to wear. It sold for £15,000 against a £1,200 estimate.
The bidding war continued for a superb Liberty & Co hand-painted and beaded opera coat with a ‘Tree of Life’ design redolent of 18th-century chintzes and palampores. It was in superb condition and sold for £10,000 against a £500 estimate.
Two purses were also hotly contested – a printed silk purse produced as part of an anti-slavery campaign in 1826 which made £5,500, and another, a folding silk reticule with cut steel floral adornments, c.1820, sold in aid of Oxfam, which raised £8,500.
The collections of British royalty-related clothing created huge interest with H.M. The Queen’s baby coat fetching £6,000 and the Liberty printed floral dresses worn by Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret fetching £11,000. Princess Margaret’s Thea Porter made £3,200 and her Dior London day dress made £4,000.
You will find all the results on our website complete with images. Our next auction is October 8th so do please contact us if you have pieces you wish to consign. In the meantime Kate, Lucy and I wish you all a great summer and see you again soon!