She may have boasted that she didn’t care much for clothes and jewelry, but the sale of Katharine Hepburn’s baubles, bangles and beads has fetched a pretty penny: nearly $1.8 million for 222 items.
A diamond and sapphire brooch that her boyfriend Howard Hughes gave to the screen legend, who died at 96 last June, sold for $120,000 Thursday night at Sotheby’s auction house in New York, the Associated Press reports.
Also on the block: artwork by Hepburn as well as furniture, clothing, studio photographs, movie contracts, her actors’ union membership cards and even her department store “charge cards.”
About 400 people filled Sotheby’s showroom and competed with phone and Internet bidders to drive the prices far above pre-sale estimates for the two-day sale.
The cream-colored velvet dress Hepburn wore to her 1928 wedding to Ludlow Ogden Smith (they were wed six years, though remained friends afterwards) sold for $27,000.
Two canceled checks to Hepburn’s voice coach went for $2,280 and $2,400, and a suffragist leaflet with a picture of Hepburn’s mother on it sold for $300 more than that.
A seascape painting by Sir William Nicholson, “Mending the Nets,” sold for $102,000, and a silver cigarette box engraved with the signatures of the rest of the cast from the Broadway production of The Philadelphia Story (which included Joseph Cotton) sold for $57,000.
The sale continues Friday with more artwork, furniture and movie memorabilia.