In 2003, Shirley Bassey held an Auction of Gowns at Christie’s, raising £250,000 for charity. The auction theme continues with two further sales taking place in summer 2005.
In June 2005 Rosebery’s held their quarterly auction which included the contents of Shirley’s London residence. This included personal effects, paintings, furniture and related ephemera.
In September 2005 Sotheby’s auctioned off eighteen lots taken from Dame Shirley’s Monaco residence. This collection comprised beautiful decorative ornate furniture and works of art.
Sotheby’s Press Release:
Sotheby’s, Olympia is delighted to announce the sale of a collection of items from the luxurious Monaco residence of Dame Shirley Bassey, the legendary, big-voiced songstress who has enjoyed five decades at the top of the music industry. The collection of furniture, works of arts and paintings from her apartment will be sold in the Furniture and Interior Decorator sale at Olympia on Wednesday, September 28, 2005. Encompassing some 18 lots, the collection includes decorative pieces that highlight Dame Shirley’s great passion for all things glitzy and glamorous. The sale will offer Bassey fans the opportunity to buy a small but unique piece of the performer’s life.
Dame Shirley’s elegant apartment, in one of Monaco’s most prestigious blocks, has panoramic views over the sea and the Royal Palace. Up until now her apartment has been furnished in a very decorative and ornate manner but according to her manager, Beaudoin Mills, Dame Shirley is now keen to move towards a more minimalist and simple style of decor. He states that “it’s a case of out with the old and in with the new” and as a result a small collection of pieces from the Monaco apartment are to be auctioned.
Highlighting the furniture and works of art items in the collection will be a Louis XVI cylinder bureau, circa 1800 and a Louis XVI style salon suite with faux leopard-skin upholstery. The bureau, is expected to fetch £5,000-£7,000 while the leopard-skin salon suite, is estimated at £3,000-£5,000. A Sevres style porcelain and gilt bronze mounted vase (estimated at £800-£1,200) and a white marble figure of a hermaphrodite reclining (estimated at £3,000-£5,000) will also be of interest along with an Italian painted parcel gilt credenza and an ornate Rococo-style giltwood and gesso overmantel mirror. The credenza is expected to fetch £2,000-£3,000 while the mirror is estimated at £4,000-£6,000. A further highlight among the furniture pieces will be a pair of gilt and patinated bronze candelabra, estimated at £2,300-£3,000.
Among the paintings on offer will be two watercolours of Naples by the 19th century Neapolitan School and an impressive old master painting entitled Bacchus and Ariadne by a follower of Carlo Maratta. The views of Naples are expected to fetch £600-£800 while Bacchus and Ariadne, is estimated at £6,000-£8,000.