Audrey Hepburn's 'personal collection' up for auction in London

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Sandy Kenyon reports on the auction of items belonging to a timeless Hollywood legend (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

Audrey Hepburn's movies are timeless, and her legacy is one that resonates across generations from her iconic style to her humanitarian work. Now, items from her wardrobe to mementos from her famous films are being auctioned off online in London.

Almost a quarter of a century has passed since Hepburn's death, and her sons have turned to Christie's to auction off what's being called her "Personal Collection."

There are hundreds of items, and they are the stuff of which her dreams were made. They are in a style uniquely her own and indicative of a way of working that was methodical, but made to look effortless.

"(She) was the girl from across the landing who puts on a little, black dress," son Sean Hepburn-Ferrer said. "Doesn't have the means, but knows how to put it together and goes out in the world and captures a universe."

Hepburn barely survived World War II as a young woman, weighing less than 100 pounds when her native Holland was liberated from Nazi occupation. But she came to define elegance for a post-war generation and beyond.

"An enormous amount of her fan base are actually teenagers and young, young women now who look at her style that liberated us all," Christie's vice president Gemma Sudlow said.

Unlike the auctions Christie's staged for Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor, there is a distinct absence of "bling" at the auction of Audrey Hepburn's personal possessions.

"There's a humility to it," Sudlow said. "There's sort of a modest quality about these pieces, but equally, there's a sparkle. There is a flair."

Hepburn's first leading role came on Broadway as "Gigi," and she would be forever linked to Manhattan by her most famous movie, "Breakfast at Tiffany's." Her personal shooting script for that movie is expected to sell for as much as $100,000 or more.

"What one gets is a sense of how brilliant she was at her craft," Sudlow said. "When you look at the annotations she made in her signature turquoise ink."

Sudlow will be the first to tell you the word "icon" is used too often, and yet, somebody like Audrey Hepburn embodies what it really means to be iconic. She had a unique mix of beauty and kindness, grace and elegance. Her eyes were justly famous on the big screen, but had to be seen in person to be fully appreciated.

For more information on the auction, visit Christies.com.

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