Hepburn’s ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ Script Sold at Auction

AuctionsSep 29, 2017

Hepburn’s ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ Script Sold at Auction

We’ll give you one guess as to which well-known jeweler bought it.

Hollywood sweetheart Audrey Hepburn’s working script from the 1961 film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” was bought by Tiffany & Co. at auction Wednesday.

London--Wearing a black dress and a pearl necklace, Holly Golightly strolls up to the windows of renowned retailer Tiffany & Co. on Fifth Avenue in the iconic opening of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”

Now, the jeweler has bought a part of that history.

On Wednesday, Christie’s London held a sale of The Personal Collection of Audrey Hepburn (Part I), where the actress’s own script from the movie sold to none other than Tiffany & Co., which is pictured and name-checked a few times throughout the film.

The script of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” purchased at auction this week by the jeweler, features notes by Audrey Hepburn, seen here in turquoise ink.

The screenplay, dated Aug. 3, 1960, sold for $846,619, seven times its highest pre-sale estimate of $120,900. Its sale set a new world auction record for a script, according to Christie’s.

One hundred and forty pages long, the script includes deleted scenes and annotations from Hepburn, including, for example, a note on page 114, in which the script directs her to say, “but I do love Jose,” but Hepburn suggested changing it to, “I am mad about Jose.”

Tiffany Chief Brand Officer Caroline Naggiar said: “Still today, visitors from around the world travel to our iconic Fifth Avenue flagship to create their own Audrey Hepburn moment in front of the famed Tiffany windows, before they enter our magical first floor. ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ is such a significant work in cinematic history, and we’re proud to have secured this important script for our expansive archives as a way to celebrate Tiffany’s popular culture legacy.”

A company spokesperson said it could not share any more information at this time about what it might do with the script beyond adding it to its archives.

It was the top lot of the sale, which lasted for 10 hours and attracted bidders from 46 countries across six continents, according to the auction house.

It totaled $6.2 million, more than seven times its pre-sale estimate, and was a white-glove sale, continuing a recent trend in the auction world of collections being 100 percent sold out, such as for Vivien Leigh and Andrew Grima.

Perhaps fittingly, the second highest-grossing lot in the sale was a Tiffany & Co. bangle from the late 1980s, which was a gift to Hepburn from director and producer Steven Spielberg (pictured above).

Engraved on the exterior with “Audrey” and on the interior
with “You are my ‘inspiration’ Always, Steven,” the piece went for about $445,219.

Hepburn’s 1969 painting “My Garden Flowers” was the third highest-grossing lot in the sale at $300,715, while another script of Hepburn’s also made it into the sale’s top lots. Her working script for the Warner Bros. production “My Fair Lady,” dated June 24, 1963, sold for $275,962, compared with a pre-sale estimate high of $67,195.

Rounding out the top five lots was a gelatin silver print by renowned photographer Cecil Beaton of Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle (her character in “My Fair Lady”). Shot in 1963, the image sold for $125,991.

Bidding for “Audrey Hepburn: The Personal Collection (Part II)” is open online until Oct. 4.
Brecken Branstratoris the senior editor, gemstones at National Jeweler, covering sourcing, pricing and other developments in the colored stone sector.

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