Setting a new auction record, Tiffany & Co. bought the original 1961 working script of Audrey Hepburn’s classic film Breakfast at Tiffany’s for nearly $1 million this week. With a sale price of $846,619. It’s the most expensive film script ever bought at auction, Christie’s noted.
Hepburn received an Academy Award nomination for her role as the capricious, complicated Holly Golightly with a thing for the high-end jewelry store in the film adaption of Truman Capote’s novel. Her copy of the script, which even has deleted scenes and margin notes in Hepburn’s own handwriting, was the top lot in the “Audrey Hepburn: The Personal Collection (Part 1)” sale. Assembled by her sons, it included more than 250 items from the iconic actor’s life and career.
Clearly, Hepburn’s legacy is alive and well for modern-day fans. More than ten hours of live auction in London, the collectibles ultimately went for a total of about $6,202,299 — more than seven times the pre-sale estimate, according to Christie’s. Over 12,000 visitors stopped by the public auction display to view the items, the auction house reported, and the live auction was also hotly attended.
Besides the script, Hepburn acolytes could snatch up everything from costume jewelry to Givenchy dresses to used ballet flats, all items that ultimately went for thousands of dollars a pop. The most popular lot was an eye mask: it sold for roughly $8,363, and caught the attention of the highest number of real-time bidders. (Hepburn was famous for her use of silk sleeping masks. All about that beauty rest, of course.) Then there was a golden bangle from Tiffany & Co., gifted to Hepburn by director Steven Spielberg in the late 1980s, which included the inscription: “You are my ‘inspiration’ always.” That one went for about a hefty $447,209.
But mostly the auction will be remembered for that script sale. What better place for it to end up than in the hands of Tiffany’s itself?