antique Lot 70

Passion for Fashion

10th December 2018

We present both antique and museum quality fashion as well as luxury designer-wear and accessories, including coloured furs from the Renate Hirsch-Giacomuzzi collection and handbags in exotic skins.

Fashion ranges from sumptuous 18th century brocade gowns to the finest haute couture from every decade of the 20th century, including a Belle Époque masterpiece by Maison Worth (see peacock- feather embroidered satin gown, lot 38). From the 1920s-30s we include couture rarities by Paul Poiret (see Chinese coat, lot 51, and gold ‘Goddess’ gown, lot 58); a finely beaded chinoiserie gown by Jean Patou (Nuit de Chine), lot 54, as well as others by Jeanne Lanvin, Nina Ricci, Augustabernard and Germaine Lecomte.

Our star couture lot is undoubtedly the Schiaparelli ‘Hall of Mirrors’ ensemble AW 1938-39, Zodiac collection (lot 70). The elaborately embellished jacket, which comes complete with matching dress, was acquired by a stylish British shop girl who married well and was a fan of Wallis Simpson’s style and wardrobe, which no doubt influenced this purchase. Slightly earlier, but equally rare is Schiaparelli’s Telephone Dial compact for which she collaborated with Salvador Dali in 1935 (lot 69).

Glamorous couture of the golden age is exemplified by Hubert de Givenchy's pink shantung silk and beaded evening ensemble, SS 1963 (lot 90). This is quintessential Givenchy couture at its best, with lashings of embroidery, whilst remaining elegantly understated. No doubt it was much admired when its beautiful owner wore it for a cruise on the SS France in 1963. From the 1950s we also include couture by Dior, Balmain and Balenciaga.

From the 1960s there is a rare Paco Rabanne armour dress and another in purple leather of 1967 (lots 102 and 104); also a rare Pierre Cardin man's knitted wool jumpsuit (lot 107) and a couture sequined mini dress by Courrèges (lot 106). From the 1970s, we have Saint Laurent’s couture ‘Le Smoking’ shorts ensemble as well as evening wear groovy London designers such as Zandra Rhodes, Thea Porter, Bill Gibb and Ossie Clark. We also include part two of an important Roberta di Camerino archive, some of the tromp l’oeil garments with matching un-cut printed panels.

The 1980s includes a fabulous, complete Westwood/McLaren ‘Hobo’ collection Matisse toga dress and accessories (lot 153) as well as John Galliano’s recently re-discovered show-piece yellow wool coat from AW 89-90 (lot 159). There are also rarities from his ‘Honcho Woman’ and ‘Fillibustiers’ collections of the early 1990s.

During the 1990s, no-one did glamour or bling better than Gianni Versace and we include early Oroton pieces as well as lavishly beaded evening wear - such as the Sea-shell dress used for the SS 1992 marketing campaign (lot 192) as well as the red cocktail dress from his first couture collection, shown in Paris at the Ritz hotel, SS 1990 (lot 194).

The 2000s are well represented by Alexander McQueen including an iconic tartan highland-inspired dress from his ‘Widows of Culloden’ collection, AW 2006-7 (lot 206) and the more abstract black Aran knit ‘tyre’ dress from ‘Horn of Plenty’, AW 2009 (lot 213).

Our Royalty section is stronger than ever – including three rare 1870s mourning bodices worn by Queen Victoria, with associated letters, which originally belonged to her Page of the Back Stairs, Mr Searle. We have a small group of infant garments originally worn by Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret as well as the Chad Valley rag-doll, once a prized childhood possession of H.M. The Queen herself (lots 221-227).

Also included are letters, Christmas cards and fashion sketches from the Victor Edelstein archive which relate to his designs for Princess Diana as well as for Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher (lots 229-248).

In 1996, two Princess Diana garments were purchased from a second-hand shop in Hereford, having been taken there by a housekeeper working for one of Diana’s close friends. These comprise: a Chelsea Design Co smart navy wool blazer with gilt buttons, worn as part of her off-duty wardrobe (lot 249); as well as the highly formal and beautiful Emanuel evening gown the Princess wore on an official visit to Bahrain in 1986 (lot 252). The lady who bought it thought she might wear it to a local hunt ball, but in the end (luckily) she decided it was a bit too grand! It was only in recent years whilst watching a documentary on the Princess that she recognised the gown and re-discovered it, carefully folded away in a box in the bottom of her wardrobe.

Auction: Monday 10th December at 2pm

Venue: 249-253 Long Lane, London, SE1 4PR

Friday 7th December, 9-5pm
Sunday 9th December, 11-4pm
Monday 10th December, morning viewing by appointment only

Purchasers will be charged a buyer’s premium which for lots up to £50,000, is 25% of the hammer price. For lots selling for above £50,000, the buyer’s premium is 20% of the hammer price. The premium is subject to VAT at the prevailing rate.

Auction: Monday 10th December at 2pm

Venue: 249-253 Long Lane, London, SE1 4PR

Friday 7th December, 9-5pm
Sunday 9th December, 11-4pm
Monday 10th December, morning viewing by appointment only

Purchasers will be charged a buyer’s premium which for lots up to £50,000, is 25% of the hammer price. For lots selling for above £50,000, the buyer’s premium is 20% of the hammer price. The premium is subject to VAT at the prevailing rate.

If you have never bid with us before we require you to register. This can be done in person during the exhibition or via email in advance of the auction. We require photographic proof of I.D such as a driver’s license or passport and proof of address. Please clearly supply your full name, address, telephone number and email details. We may also request credit card information. This information is held by us in strictest confidence under GDPR.

Bidding in person: Just turn up on the day of the sale – if you have already registered you will be handed a numbered paddle, which you show to the auctioneer once you have made a successful purchase. If you are a new bidder we will require you to register with us first.

Commission bidding: Your written maximum bid is given to the auctioneer to operate on your behalf. We undertake to purchase the lot(s) on your behalf as cheaply as possible taking into account the reserve and other bids received. Bids can be left with us directly – online, by fax or by email. You can also download a bid slip here. You can leave bids via the website but please note if you are a new bidder we will contact you for further ID, and your bids will not be registered until this information is supplied. 

Telephone bidding: There are a limited number of lines so we advise that you request telephone bids well in advance of the auction and not on the day of the sale when it may not be possible to assist. We require a list of your requested lot numbers and primary and back-up phone numbers if possible. Landlines are preferable to mobiles, which are not as reliable. We also recommend you leave a cover bid in-case we cannot reach you for whatever reason.

Live Internet bidding. You are able to bid in real-time during the auction via Invaluable or Live Auctioneers. Bidders wishing to bid online need to register via either on-line bidding platform and complete their registration process for us to approve. Please note there is an additional 3% buyer’s premium for online bidding this way.

Payment in due immediately, in pounds sterling. We do not accept other currencies. We accept payment by debit or credit cards (there is a maximum of £1000 for payments on credit cards), cash (up to £8000 only), or bank transfer (fees apply to sending bank wires depending on the country of origin).

We send out invoices the day after the auction and include shipping quotes where necessary.

On receipt of cleared funds, lots can be collected from our saleroom. They are available for collection during our office hours – Monday to Friday 9.30-5pm. We provide shipping quotes via our appointed shippers, Godspeed Couriers. If you would like to contact them prior to the auction with any questions, please email Gary Martin, They provide competitive worldwide quotations for packing and shipping of purchases and are experienced in handling rare costume and textiles.

Download Catalogue


An unusual Paco Rabanne bubbled polyester gauze wedding dress, circa 1986


An Yves Saint Laurent wool suit, 1980s


A Chanel couture ivory and navy tweed suit, Autumn-Winter, 1984-5


An Yves Saint Laurent couture twinkly anthracite plush evening dress, circa 1986


A Gianni Versace black silk evening dress with beaded cut-work back, Autumn-Winter, 1986-87


An early Gianni Versace Oroton mesh dress, 1984-86


A Gianni Versace rhinestone encrusted and quilted satin ensemble, circa 1991


A Valentino black and gold brocatelle cocktail dress, 1980s


A Gianni Versace black silk evening dress with beaded and embroidered sleeve, Autumn-Winter, 1986-87


An Issey Miyake Rhythm Pleats 'Circle' dress, Spring-Summer, 1990


A Yohji Yamamoto little black dress, Spring-Summer, 2003


A rare Issey Miyake man's inflatable rubber jacket, 1987


A Comme des Garçons beaded black wool crêpe and nylon gauze dress, 'Adult Punk' collection, Autumn-Winter, 1997-98


An Issey Miyake 'Flying Saucer' dress, Spring-Summer, 1994


An Issey Miyake man's inflatable jacket, circa 2001


A Comme des Garçons purple and black nylon 'lingerie' dress, 'Beyond Taboo' collection, Autumn-Winter, 2001


A Comme des Garçons 'Flat' or '2D' collection leopard print coat, Autumn-Winter, 2012


A Comme des Garçons tartan shorts ensemble, 'Inside Decoration' collection, Autumn-Winter, 2010


A good Jean-Paul Gaultier faux monkey-fur dress-coat, circa 1993


A John Galliano military inspired jacket, 'Honcho Woman' collection, Spring-Summer 1991


A rare John Galliano bias-cut dress and bodice, 'Olivia the Filibustier' collection, Spring-Summer, 1993


A rare John Galliano ivory satin corset-bodice, 'Olivia the Filibustier' collection, Spring-Summer, 1993


A rare John Galliano 'Amphetamine' jacket, 'Olivia the Filibustier' collection, Spring-Summer, 1993


A John Galliano hound's tooth checked wool suit, 'Pin-up/Misia Sert' collection, Spring-Summer 1995


An Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche black ostrich feather mini dress, 1990s


A Moschino Lichtenstein pop-art printed crêpe suit, Spring-Summer, 1991


A fine Vivienne Westwood 'Hunt' ensemble, 'On Liberty' collection, Autumn-Winter, 1994-95


A good pair of Vivienne Westwood black patent elevated platform shoes and red patent orb bag, 1994-5


A pair of Vivienne Westwood elevated riding boots, 'On Liberty' collection, Autumn-Winter, 1994-95


A good pair of Vivienne Westwood gold leather elevated platform shoes, 1994-95


A Vivienne Westwood black silk ball gown, 1994-95


A rare Gianni Versace printed silk and beaded 'Sea Shell' dress, Spring-Summer, 1992