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THE NUN'S STORY, 1959
TWO FOR THE ROAD, 1967
A COLOURESS PASTE TIARA
These lots have been imported from outside the EU … Read more
THE NUN'S STORY, 1959 TWO FOR THE ROAD, 1967 A COLOURESS PASTE TIARA

Details
THE NUN'S STORY, 1959
TWO FOR THE ROAD, 1967
A COLOURESS PASTE TIARA
composed of a continuous series of graduated navette and circular shaped paste, to close-back settings on a sprung frame; worn by Audrey Hepburn to the London premiere of The Nun's Story, July 1959 and as Joanna Wallace in the 1967 20th Century Fox production Two For The Road
11 ¼ in. (29 cm.) inner circumference
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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

Audrey chose this elegant tiara to complete her evening ensembles at premieres and events during 1958-1959, notably at the Los Angeles premiere of Gregory Peck's The Big Country on 22 August, 1958, and at the London premiere of The Nun's Story at the Warner Theatre, Leicester Square, 27 July, 1959, the twinkling headpiece appropriately paired with a regal Givenchy gown. British Pathé footage entitled First Night Sees Stars! shows Audrey arriving at the premiere with husband Mel Ferrer and Sir Laurence Olivier, in aid of the Actor's Orphanage.

The tiara remained in Audrey's personal collection until seven years later she chose it to wear with her pink paillette Belville Sassoon evening gown in Two For The Road. Hepburn as Joanna Wallace is seen wearing the tiara as she and husband Mark [Albert Finney] return to their hotel room following an evening gala as guests of Mark's clients Maurice and Francoise Dalbret. As they merrily dissect the evening, a tipsy Joanna changes into a long white nightgown, the tiara now askew, until Mark seductively approaches her with the line As I said to the Duchess, if you want to be a Duchess be a Duchess. If you want to make love, hats off. Joanna smiles and removes the tiara.

For Two For The Road, director Stanley Donen decided not to use Audrey's favourite Givenchy to design the costumes, opting instead for cutting edge ready-to-wear by all the top designers of the Swinging Sixties. Film costume historian Kimberly Truhler explains the important role that costume played in the movie as Joanna and Mark examine their marriage through flashbacks: Costume changes galore show Joanna evolve from simple college girl first falling in love to jaded wealthy sophisticate wearing high fashion. Style becomes critical to the story as all the cars, clothing, hair styles, and makeup communicate what stage we are in their relationship.

Although Audrey's costumes were clearly well planned and designed over months of pre-production, the fact that Hepburn's own tiara was used in this scene suggests it may have been a last minute addition to the costume, perhaps to strengthen the impression that the couple are going up in the world.

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