Fans of 'The Crown' are bidding on 300 unique items from Princess Diana's "revenge dress" to porcelain corgis and signed scripts
Ready, steady, bid! Fans of The Crown are trying furiously to get a little piece of TV history and there are some unexpected gems up for grabs in a new auction.
With 450 costumes, set pieces and props from all six seasons of the award-winning show up for sale at The Crown Auction at Bonhams, including a replica of Queen Elizabeth's coronation outfit, the world’s only reproduction of the Gold State Coach and a vintage Jaguar car. However, it’s a piece of furniture with symbolic meaning that seems to be proving popular.
An antique bureau first seen in season 2 with Claire Foy playing Queen Elizabeth is one of the few lots in the online auction that has exceeded its estimated value.
"The Queen’s desk has a lot of bids at the moment,” Meg Randell, Head of Designer Handbags and Fashion at Bonhams tells PEOPLE exclusively. “It’s obviously captured the imagination somehow."
Described as a "parquetry and gilt metal mounted cylinder bureau in the Louis XVI style," the bureau comes complete with a pull-out writing surface and includes various props such as a pair of urns, a desk lamp, photograph frames (one featuring horses and another a lakeside view) and a blotter. With an estimate of $2,548 to $3,823, the bureau is currently at $4,078.
Perhaps it’s the symbolic nature of the piece of furniture that has enthralled the bidders. The bureau was previously used onstage for The Audience, a play written by Peter Morgan (who also wrote The Crown) and starring Helen Mirren which premiered in London in 2013 and went to Broadway two years later. According to Bonhams, the organizers of the much-anticipated auction, the play was “the nucleus of the idea for The Crown."
Until February 5, members of the public can pose next to a reproduction of the St. Edward’s Chair used in the coronation scene, get close to Princess Diana’s replica "revenge dress" as worn by Elizabeth Debicki and see the screen version of Kate Middleton’s risqué catwalk dress worn by Meg Bellamy in the final season of the Netflix show as visitors tour three floors of an exhibition at Bonham’s headquarters on London’s New Bond Street.
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And it’s not just members of the public who have popped in to take a look at the 450 items unique items display.
"Some of the crew have been to see it, and they’ve been really excited to see everything together,” reveals Randell. "We had a couple of girls who were extras and they came in with their parents, which was really nice.”
The auction includes Launer handbags (carried by characters like Queen Elizabeth and Margaret Thatcher in the show), light fittings, signed scripts, Princess Kate's signature Penelope Chilvers boots and numerous couture evening dresses. There’s even a bespoke Harvard jumper worn by Debicki, which was made specifically for the show to replicate the same slouchy collar on Princess Diana's original from the 1990s.
"The level of detail with the outfits is extraordinary. They have been hand-embroidered, hand-finished it to the same level as the original, and they are complete one-offs,” says Randell, who visited Elstree Studios before the show wrapped and saw the seamstresses at work. “There were just rows and rows of these amazing craftspeople making the outfits. It was like an atelier.”
Some of the more quirky items for sale include a pair of porcelain Beswick corgis, inspired by an archival image of Queen Elizabeth with similar pieces at Windsor Castle, and a champagne swizzle stick, used by Helena Bonham Carter while playing Princess Margaret in season 3.
The online auction, which features approximately 300 lots and ends on February 8, runs alongside the live auction on February 7, where 150 lots will go under the hammer at an event predicted to last for several hours. The combined sales will establish the Left Bank Pictures – The Crown Scholarship Programme at the National Film and Television School, which has training sites all over the U.K.
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