“Hepburn’s working script for the 1961 Paramount production Breakfast at Tiffany’s is one of the top lots of the sale in London, with an estimate of £60,000-80,000 (US$77,373-103,164). It has been marked up and annotated by Hepburn in the turquoise ink she favoured, and it offers an incredible insight into her working process: when you watch scenes back, you can see how the mark-up translates on the screen,” Hume-Sayer explains. Hepburn’s working script for the 1963 mystery-thriller film Charade is also on offer at a slightly more modest estimate of £15,000-25,000 (US$19,343-32,239).
Acknowledging Hepburn’s immense popularity, where she has remained a symbol of grace, elegance and humanity 24 years after her death, Hume-Sayer suggests that the majority of bidders will approach the collection from a more personal perspective, rather than viewing lots based on their monetary value. “Hepburn’s appeal is one that transcends borders, gender, and the generations. Her personal collection is already drawing massive international interest,” Hume-Sayer says.
“The value added by provenance is difficult to quantify. In the case of Hepburn, alongside the intrinsic value of the object, previous auction records are taken into account, such as the black satin evening gown designed by Hubert de Givenchy for Hepburn as Holly Golightly in Breakfast At Tiffany’s.” Hepburn’s iconic black dress was auctioned by Christie’s in 2006 for £467,200 (US$602,482) – well over its original estimate of £50,000-70,000 (US$64,478-90,269). “Where the historic interest of the item in question is so compelling, it would be impossible to dismiss it. The market will decide the final value,” Hume-Sayer remarks, “I think people will see these objects as a personal investment rather than a purely financial one.”