Three of Dame Shirley Bassey’s stage gowns are for sale again – two by Douglas Darnell at Kerry Taylor Auctions and one by Sarah Perceval is being sold privately. Scroll down for more information.
The Passion For Fashion Auction is taking place in London on Monday 20th November where the catsuit and White Harem Dress are up for grabs. The sale features clothing and accessories from the 1600s-2010 – dresses, coats, shoes, furs, handbags and costume jewellery, including a collection of 17th-18th century dresses plus early stage costumes from ballet and opera as well as modern ensembles worn by Princess Diana, Dame Shirley and even a nightshirt worn by Sir Winston Churchill.
The venue is 249-253 Long Lane, Bermondsey, London, SE1 4PR. Viewing is available on Sunday 19th November from 11am to 4pm but there is no viewing on the morning of the auction and purchasers are required to register ahead. Click here for details.
The Catsuit (Lot 381)
“Dame Shirley Bassey’s magnificent show ensemble by Douglas Darnell, late 1960s. comprising brown chiffon catsuit encrusted with pearlescent sequined flowers, shell-shaped sequins, pearl beads, lace, turquoise droplets and Swarovski aquamarine, topaz and aurora borealis crystals; together with a matching trained evening coat covered in shimmering iridescent sequins, lined in gold lamé and edged in ostrich plumes; and a matching over-dress with lavishly beaded bodice over layered eau de nil voile skirts edged in braid, bust approx 86cm, 34in (3) Provenance: ex lot 42, Christies Auction ‘Dame Shirley Bassey – 50 Years of Glittering Gowns’, 18th September, 2003, sold for £6000. This ensemble was much loved and worn on stage from the late 1960s until the 1990s. It was photographed for the inside gatefold of the ‘Something Else’ (1971) album; the cover of ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ (1971); ‘Star des Bal Pare’; ‘Love Story Por Su’ and the Shirley Bassey Collection. The legs were originally flared and the hems trimmed with feathers, which were later removed by Darnell and the trouser legs straightened. The catsuit was worn for performances including ‘The Talk of the Town’ shows in April 1970 and both the catsuit and dress for her 60th Birthday concert at Althorp Park, July 1997.. Estimate: £1000 – £1500 (+30% BP)”
The White Harem Dress (Lot 382)
“Dame Shirley Bassey’s white sequined ‘Harem’ stage dress, designed by Douglas Darnell, late 1960s. of ivory devoré chiffon with graduated spots overall, the scanty diamond shaped bodice panels linked to the bias-cut skirt by bugle beaded straps, covered overall in Swarovski aurora borealis crystal and large mirror sequins to the skirt, bust approx 86cm, 34in The harem or ‘belly-dancer’ dress was delivered by Darnell to the Prince of Wales Theatre, but he arrived late, running through the streets with the dress over his arm. However, the star couldn’t fit inside the dress so Darnell recalled he ‘clawed her bottom down into it – by which time she looked as though she’d been got at by a tiger’. Provenance: ex lot 49, Christies Auction ‘Dame Shirley Bassey – 50 Years of Glittering Gowns’, 18th September, 2003, sold for £4500. Dame Shirley was photographed wearing this gown on stage in Viareggio Italy in 1968. Estimate: £600 – £1000 (+30% BP*)”
The 1990 Sarah Perceval dress shown above is being sold privately by a Bassey fan. If anyone would like to make a bid on this one, please Contact The Bassey Blog for the seller’s details.