This photo of actress Vivien Leigh was taken by Cecil Beaton at the British Embassy in Paris in 1947.
London--She became a well-known public figure when she portrayed Scarlett O’Hara “Gone with the Wind” in 1939. Now, an auction scheduled for this fall will take a look at her private life.

20170712 CouplePictured here is Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier at their Notley Abbey home. The photo came from a never-before-seen family album.
On Sept. 26, Sotheby’s London will auction approximately 250 lots from the personal estate of British actress Vivien Leigh, whose Hollywood career started with that iconic role.

The Vivien Leigh Collection comprises paintings, jewelry, clothing, books, furniture, porcelain, objets d’art and other items from her life, spanning her pre-war years in London to her Hollywood days and beyond, up to her death in 1967.

Many pieces will offer a new look at Leigh’s private life, including from the city and country homes she shared with her husband, actor Laurence Olivier, and showcasing her appreciation of art and patronage of British artists, books, entertaining and interior design.

It also will take a look at her style with some jewelry lots.

The auction house said that Leigh was not afraid to mix historic jewels with contemporary couture, with the bow motif appearing in her wardrobe a number of times.

The ultimate representation of this is a large mid-19th century diamond bow brooch or pendant, which is estimated to sell for between $32,100 and $45,000 at the fall auction.

Another notable jewelry lot in the sale is a gold ring from Olivier, to whom she was married from 1940 to 1960. The piece is expected to garner between about $514 and $771.



Outside of jewelry, other highlights of the auction include Leigh’s personal copy of “Gone with the Wind,” given to her by its author Margaret Mitchell and inscribed by the latter with a handwritten 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.”

It’s expected to sell for between about $6,400 and $9,000.

There also will be a copy of the “Gone with the Wind” film script presented to Leigh by members of the cast, circa 1939, which could sell for $3,200 and $4,500; an engraved silver cigarette box from the man credited with securing her the role of Scarlett O’Hara (between $514 and $771); and the wig she wore when she played Blanche DuBois in the film adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ “A Streetcar Named Desire,” which has a high estimate of $771.

More information about the sale, along with a catalogue of all lots, will be available later this summer, Sotheby’s said.

“This is our chance to discover the real, and unexpected, Vivien Leigh. We’re all guilty of confusing our favorite actresses with the heroines they portray, of blurring Vivien’s identity with that of Scarlett O’Hara or Blanche DuBois,” Sotheby’s U.K. chairman Harry Dalmeny said.

“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.”

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