LONDON – Bidding soared at Kerry Taylor Auctions on June 23 as people in the saleroom battled online and telephone bidders for items from British textile and fashion designer Cilia Birtwell’s collection.
Internet bidders utilizing LiveAuctioneers’ platform had a major impact on the 376-lot auction, contributing £150,630 to the sales total. More than 2,000 people viewed the auction catalog on LiveAuctioneers.com and tallied 16,748 page views. Twenty-nine people competed through LiveAuctioneers, placing 1,810 live bids. More than 100 people placed absentee bids through LiveAuctioneers.
Museums and private collectors vied for an iconic “Heavenly Twins” dress (above left) worn by Birtwell in David Hockney’s famous double portrait Mr. & Mrs. Clark & Percy. The Ossie Clark black and scarlet moss crepe dress, 1970, eventually sold to a representative of Manchester City Galleries in the room for £11,250 ($17,701) including premium.
“I am delighted that the Manchester museum has purchased this piece – not only is it my hometown but the fashion museum at Platt Hall has always been close to my heart,” said Birtwell.
Auctioneer Kerry Taylor said, “We had enormous interest from international museums and private collectors as well as women who wanted to acquire the clothes to wear. It was a great honor to have been entrusted with such an historically important collection.”
The following lots all sold to British and overseas museums:
An Ossie Clark/Celia Birtwell “Ziggy Stardust” printed chiffon dress (above right), 1973-4. Price realized: £3,500.
A rare and early Ossie Clark “Hoopla” jersey minidress (below left), circa 1965. Price realized: £687.50.
A fine Ossie Clark/Celia Birtwell chiffon dress and matching evening coat (below right), 1976. Price realized: £2,125.
An Ossie Clark/Celia Birtwell strawberry embroidered black crepe ensemble (below left), 1971, sold for £1,875.
An Ossie Clark/Celia Birtwell printed chiffon and crêpe evening gown, circa 1974, sold for £1,625.