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PARIS WHEN IT SIZZLES, 1964/WILLIAM HOLDEN
A DIAMOND AND GEM-SET KEY FOB
PARIS WHEN IT SIZZLES, 1964/WILLIAM HOLDEN
A DIAMOND AND GEM-SET KEY FOB
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These lots have been imported from outside the EU … Read more
PARIS WHEN IT SIZZLES, 1964/WILLIAM HOLDEN A DIAMOND AND GEM-SET KEY FOB

VAN CLEEF & ARPELS, 1960S

Details
PARIS WHEN IT SIZZLES, 1964/WILLIAM HOLDEN
A DIAMOND AND GEM-SET KEY FOB
VAN CLEEF & ARPELS, 1960s
The circular fob depicting a stylised Parisian view with two pear shaped yellow gem-set birds against a backdrop of the Eiffel Tower, the foreground with circular-cut emerald, diamond and ruby detail, the reverse engraved DEAR AUD OH! THE WONDER OF KNOWING YOU, AND THE LUXURY OF WORKING WITH YOU LOVE BILL, to a fancy belcher link chain with key ring terminals, French marks, fob signed Van Cleef & Arpels and no. ?407C5, key ring with maker’s mark VCA and indistinct number
The fob: 3.2 cm. diameter; 9 cm. overall length
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These lots have been imported from outside the EU for sale using a Temporary Import regime. Import VAT is payable (at 5%) on the Hammer price. VAT is also payable (at 20%) on the buyer’s Premium on a VAT inclusive basis. When a buyer of such a lot has registered an EU address but wishes to export the lot or complete the import into another EU country, he must advise Christie's immediately after the auction.

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Adrian Hume-Sayer
Adrian Hume-Sayer

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Lot Essay

Hepburn first starred opposite William Holden in the 1953 Paramount production Sabrina, playing the lovesick teenager to his millionaire playboy. Although married, Holden was well known to be just as promiscuous in real life and reputedly began an affair with the young Audrey. Holden adored her, later declaring she had been the love of his life I was really in love with Audrey but she wouldn't marry me. Audrey had swiftly ended the relationship when Holden confessed his irreversible vasectomy. According to biographer Ian Woodward, the distraught Holden embarked on a round the world tour: I was determined to wipe Audrey out of my mind by screwing a woman in every country... When I got back to Hollywood, I went to Audrey's dressing-room and told her what I had done. You know what she said? 'Oh Bill!' ...as though I were some naughty boy.

When Audrey and Bill reunited almost a decade letter to shoot Paris When It Sizzles, the eternally smitten Holden was anxious, telling Ryan O'Neal: The day I arrived at Orly airport to make Paris When It Sizzles, I could hear my footsteps echoing against the walls of the transit corridor, just like a condemned man walking the last mile. I realised I had to face Audrey again, and that I had to deal with my drinking, and I didn't think I could handle either situation. Audrey was by then married to Mel Ferrer, and the tormented Holden turned to alcohol, causing production chaos. Holden's biographer revealed Bill had always drunk during films, but never as he did on Paris When It Sizzles. Although the gossip columnists claimed otherwise, Audrey declared she was nothing more than kind and sympathetic to her old friend ...all I did was 'mother' him a little.

The French marks on this chic keyfob suggest Holden purchased the jewelled token as a gift for Audrey while still in France, the Parisian scene a reminder of their long summer in the city filming Paris When It Sizzles. Likely a bespoke design, the two love birds are set against an Eiffel Tower, hinting at the film-within-the-film The Girl Who Stole the Eiffel Tower, the zany screenplay pieced together by the on-screen couple as their romance unfolds. Holden's character suggests that the fictional film could have a theme song by Sinatra, as Sinatra's voice booms out The girl who stole the Eiffel Tower also stole my heart.

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