antique Lot 199

Passion for Fashion

17th June 2019

We have such treats in store for you all – whatever your period or area of interest.

Our earliest piece, lot 25, is an embroidered linen gentleman’s undress hat, circa 1600, which was worn by a wealthy gentleman to relax in at home. Examples of this period and style only occasionally come onto the market and are usually worked in polychrome silks or blackwork. Ours, worked in vibrant green and red silks, is most unusual. Its design includes carnations and thistle motifs, within plaited gilt braided strapwork which form hearts. Possibly it was a love token or marriage gift?

Of course, we have lots of wonderful handbags by Hermès, Gucci and Chanel, but our other headline accessory has to be lot 261 – an incredibly rare pair of Alexander McQueen ‘Armadillo’ boots, S/S 2010. It has long been a dream of mine to find a pair. Formed from turquoise ray skin and leather with precipitous 17cm, 6 ¾ in heels, they must have been a nightmare to walk in. Many museums and collectors have the clothes from this collection, but very few have the boots to complete the look. Hardly any pairs were made; indeed, we believe lot 261 to have been made for the show. This is a rare chance to acquire a pair of contemporaneous boots – an opportunity which may not arise again.

From the 18th century we have an exquisite 1750s brocaded gold silk hunt waistcoat (lot 33), designed to magnificently flare out over the more sober side-saddle habit, as well as robes à la Française and à l’Anglaise in rich silks and Indienne cotton (lots 29, 34, 31). However, the jewel in our 18th century crown is indubitably, the rare and beautiful 'grand habit de cour' bodice, French, 1765-75. Of pink satin (it seems girls have always loved pink), smothered in silver bobbin lace, it would have been worn by a young noblewoman at the French court. Designed to force the shoulders back and the chest forwards, this rigid bodice style was popularised during the reign of the Sun King - Louis XIV (1638-1715), who liked the women of his court to display as much décolleté as possible, and which continued until the Revolution in France. With its tiny 21inch waist and impossibly narrow back, it must have been extremely uncomfortable to wear, albeit beautiful.

Also vying for the smallest waist size in this sale is the stunningly severe black Dior ensemble from the 'Profile Line' collection, A/W 1952, coming in at 24inches. However, the voluminous box pleats of the skirt make it appear even smaller. Vogue advised its readers that the collection was ‘Black, black, black’. The inky blackness in silk and cashmere serving to emphasise a clean, severe but sensuous silhouette, devoid of fripperies (lot 83).

No KTA sale would be complete without its Royal section and we are pleased to present three rare daywear ensembles worn by Diana, the late Princess of Wales, and much photographed on official engagements between 1984 and 88 (lots 20-22). Made by some of her favourite designers - Elizabeth Emanuel, Catherine Walker and Jasper Conran, she transformed her look each time she wore them by a clever change of accessories.

Karl Lagerfeld dreamed of dressing Diana. There are two intriguing sketches by him in 1984 showing his ideas for the Princess which were more figure-hugging. In his inimitable manner he stated in a ‘Woman’s Own’ interview, ‘I would like to see her in tighter clothes, to look more aggressive. But, sadly, she must wear British clothes!' (lots 18 and 19).

We have a matching pair of floral Liberty-print silk dresses, by Smith & Co, with matching knickers, worn by young Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret in 1935. These are some of the most photographed of their childhood clothes. A charming image of 1935 shows the girls in the dresses, watching a pantomime at the Lyceum theatre, with their parents (then Duke & Duchess of Kent) – little Margaret seemingly transfixed by the stage (lot 16).

Auction: Monday June 17th at 2pm

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

Friday June 14th, 9-5pm
Sunday June 16th, 11-4pm
Monday June 17th, 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 June 17th at 2pm

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

Friday June 14th, 9-5pm
Sunday June 16th, 11-4pm
Monday June 17th, 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. Bidders wishing to bid online need to register via the 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 via Invaluable.

Payment is 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


A rare group of Balenciaga couture toiles, 1960s


A group of Yves Saint Laurent Patron Original paper patterns, 1967-1983


A Madame Grès couture flecked tan jersey day dress, circa 1960


A Christian Dior couture by Marc Bohan black dinner ensemble, Autumn-Winter, 1962-3


A Pedro Rodriguez fully embellished guipure lace gown, early 1960s


A ruched white jersey cocktail dress in the style of Madame Grès, circa 1960


A Christian Dior London 'jewelled' chiffon cocktail gown, probably Spring-Summer, 1961


A Christian Dior by Marc Bohan Boutique embroidered satin cocktail dress, 1960s


A Balenciaga couture embroidered pink silk cocktail suit, circa 1960


A Christian Dior Paris by Marc Bohan silver sequined maxi dress, Autumn-Winter, 1966


A fine Chanel couture cocktail ensemble, circa 1966


A Pierre Cardin quilted aqua satin mini-dress, 1969


A Christian Dior white felt 'space age' hat, mid-1960s


A pair of Christian Dior fluorescent-pink patent leather shoes, circa 1966


A good Yves Saint Laurent brocatelle lamé mini dress, 1968


A Pierre Cardin man's houndstooth-check wool jersey suit, late 1960s


A Pierre Cardin brown ribbed-knit wool ensemble, circa 1969


An Ossie Clark/Celia Birtwell for Quorum 'Candy Flower' print chiffon blouse, circa 1969


Two early Ossie Clark/Celia Birtwell for Radley printed cotton tunics, late 1960s


A Quorum William Morris print culotte suit, circa 1966


An Ossie Clark/Celia Birtwell printed silk chiffon dress, 1973


An Ossie Clark/Celia Birtwell printed chiffon dress, circa 1970


Two good Quorum chiffon blouses with prints by Celia Birtwell, early 1970s


Two Radley chiffon blouses with Celia Birtwell prints, circa 1972


A Thea Porter embroidered and printed chiffon evening gown, 1970s


A Thea Porter 'Chasse Persane' printed muslin dress, 1971-72


Two Quorum shirts with Celia Birtwell prints, circa 1970


An Ossie Clark/Celia Birtwell for Radley printed morocain smock-dress, mid 1970s


An Ossie Clark/Celia Birtwell for Radley printed cotton ensemble, circa 1972


An Ossie Clark embroidered black moss-crêpe dress, mid 1970s


An Ossie Clark/Celia Birtwell for Radley printed cotton smock dress, 1970s


A Zandra Rhodes pale green printed chiffon ensemble, circa 1974