Jewels belonging to Gone With The Wind star Vivien Leigh will
go under the hammer alongside some of the actress’ most prized
Earrings, a charm bracelet, and a wrist watch gifted by husband
Sir Laurence Olivier are among the dazzling lots that recall
the glamour of Hollywood’s Golden Age.
The jewellery, as well as paintings, couture clothing, books
and furniture once belonging to the actress have been passed
down through her family and will now be auctioned by Sotheby’s
in London later this month.
David Macdonald of Sotheby’s told FEMAIL: ‘These objects are
not the most valuable but they have a bit of magic. They have
that link with one of the greatest Hollywood icons of the 20th
Treasured possessions: Actress Vivien Leigh’s jewellery will
go under the hammer alongside pieces of clothing, books and
artwork at an auction at Sotheby’s in London later this month
Thoughtful gifts: A number of the pieces were engraved and
given as gifts by her husband Sir Laurence Olivier during
their 20-year marriage. Pictured, the couple together in 1956
Among the most remarkable pieces is a 1940s charm bracelet
treasured by Leigh.
The tokens include a miniature gold engraved script from
Gone With the Wind, the film for which she won the first of her
two Oscars. It also features a locket bearing a photo of her in
character as Lady Hamilton from the 1941 film That Hamilton
It is expected to fetch between £1,000 and £1,500 at
Mr Macdonald said: ‘Charm bracelets are very personal, they are
a talisman that are very close to you. It is really compelling.
It says a lot without saying much, it is quite
The auction will also include a number of pieces given by Sir
Laurence. The pair met in 1935, while married to other people,
and embarked on an affair. They wed in 1940 and stayed married
for 20 years, becoming a Hollywood power couple.
Talisman: A charm bracelet belonging to Leigh is one of the
most ‘magical’ lots on offer. Among the trinkets is a
miniature engraved gold script from Gone With The Wind (seen
Sentimental: Another charm is a locket containing a portrait
of Leigh in character as Lady Hamilton from 1941’s That
Hamilton Woman, in which she starred opposite Sir Laurence
Gift: This watch was given to Leigh by Olivier for Christmas
1940, their first together as a married couple. The back is
engraved with their names, the date and the words ‘only
For their first Christmas as a married couple, Olivier gifted
his beloved ‘Viv’ a wristwatch engraved with their names and
the words ‘only darling’.
The gold timepiece, which could sell for up to £1,200, was
often seen on the actress in private and in public, even after
the end of their marriage.
Mr Macdonald added: ‘[He gave this to her at] the height of the
war, it is not long after they’ve got married. What’s very
telling about his piece is she wore this all her life, even
after marriage ended. You see this watch in some of her latest
‘It is quite telling that she chose to keep this. Again, there
is a sense of it being a talisman. It’s not hugely valuable but
it is desperately evocative.’
The most valuable piece of jewellery is a diamond bow brooch
valued at between £25,000 and £35,000.
Dazzling: The most valuable piece of jewellery is a
diamond bow brooch valued at between £25,000 and £35,000
Romantic: This engraved gold ring is engraved with the words:
‘Laurence Olivier Vivien Eternally’. There is speculation
that the piece is the wedding ring from their 1940 marriage
Leigh died in 1967, aged just 53, in London, after suffering
from tuberculosis. The jewellery was passed down to Leigh’s
only child, Suzanne Farrington, who in turn left the pieces to
her three sons upon her death in 2015.
It was kept inside a leather jewellery case, which will also be
The case is believed to have been gifted to Leigh on 12 October
1949, the opening night of her West End performance of A
Streetcar Named Desire at the Aldwych Theatre. The theatrical
production of Tennessee Williams’ play was directed by Olivier,
whom was possibly the giver of this present.
Other items going on sale include Leigh’s personal copy of the
Gone With The Wind novel, given to her by its author Margaret
Mitchell and expected to fetch up to £7,000.
The jewellery will go on sale alongside hundreds of Leigh’s
personal possessions including this 1961 evening dress
designed by Stiebel
Leigh died in 1967, aged just 53, in London, after suffering
Among the items is this Gone With The Wind film script, which
was presented to the actress by members of the cast, and
could sell for more than £3,500
Other items up for auction include a silver cigarette box given
to Leigh, then a relatively unknown actress, by the man
credited with securing her the role of heroine O’Hara.
Leigh’s pink, full length, evening dress is expected to fetch
up to £300 and a diamond bow pendant could fetch £35,000.
A Gone With The Wind film script, presented to the actress by
members of the cast, could sell for more than £3,500.
Sotheby’s UK chairman Harry Dalmeny said the auction provided
the chance ‘to discover the real, and unexpected Vivien
‘We’re all guilty of…. blurring Vivien’s identity with that
of Scarlet O’Hara or Blanche DuBois,’ he said.
Leigh’s 19th Century dressing table (£900) and books from the
couple’s library are among the highlights
Vivien Leigh’s personal copy of ‘Gone With The Wind’
inscribed by its author Margaret Mitchell with a hand written
poem on display at Sotheby’s
‘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 … fascinating glimpse
into a world that otherwise only her closest friends could ever
Her family added: ‘We hope people take as much pleasure from
this collection as our grandparents, parents and families have
The auction will take place at
Sotheby’s in London on September 26.