Hollywood icon Bacall’s belongings lure bidders



NEW YORK: Hollywood screen icon Lauren Bacall’s personal possessions from the precious to the mundane hit the auction block in New York, drawing plenty of fans Tuesday.

Collectors were jostling for a memento of the Oscar-winner from among more than 200 items from fine art to kitchenware, and avant-garde to kitsch.

The sale continues Wednesday at Bonhams auction house.

The collection includes jewelry and clothes, aboriginal and African art, English and French furniture and items bought in antique shops around the world.

Items that date from her marriage to legendary on-screen co-star Humphrey Bogart and sculptures by English artist Henry Moore are among the most prized items.

Bacall, one of Hollywood’s great golden age actresses, died in August aged 89 in her nine-room home overlooking Central Park, which is also on the market for $26 million.

Most of the items sold so far were at or above the price estimates made by the auctioneers, Bonhams said.

The proceeds of next week’s auctions will go to her three children.

All 740 lots — from Yves Saint Laurent evening wear to a cheese slicer, silver tea strainer, suitcases and papier mache ornaments — filled Bacall’s plush Manhattan residence, and have toured the world, attracting potential buyers from China to France.

A hand-colored etching by naturalist John James Audubon “American White Pelican” fetched $173,000, three times more than was expected, a Bonhams statement said.

From the Bogart years, before he died from cancer in 1957, was his black granite games table and a pair of silver candelabras from the couple’s marital home in Los Angeles.

The table brought in $26,250 — almost nine times the estimated value.

The auction house said Bacall became interested in African art while accompanying her husband on location for “The African Queen” starring Bogart and Katharine Hepburn, which was filmed in Congo and Uganda.

Other items from around the world include Indian miniatures, a Japanese portable brass tea set and a marble table inscribed with “in the name of Allah” in Arabic calligraphy. (AFP)

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