Everything but the kitchen sink would be one way to describe the staggering array of possessions owned by Lauren Bacall that go under the hammer in New York next week.

From fine art to kitchenware, from avant garde to the kitsch: hundreds of items collected and loved by the Hollywood siren go on sale Tuesday and Wednesday at Bonhams auction house.

The collection is nothing if not eclectic. It includes jewellery and clothes, Aboriginal and African art, English and French furniture and items bought in antique shops around the world.

Items that date from her marriage to legendary on-screen co-star Humphrey Bogart and sculptures by English artist Henry Moore are among the most prized items.

“One thing with Lauren Bacall, when she collected she didn’t collect because of value or potential value,” said Jon King, vice president and director of Bonhams in New York.

“An item that cost $100, if it appealed to her she would buy it. If it was $100,000, if it appealed to her, she would buy it… her aesthetic sense that’s all that mattered,” King told AFP.

Bacall greatly admired Moore, visiting him in England and treasuring his work. She kept most of the small maquettes next to her bed and the most expensive of which is valued at $40-60,000.


At the lower end of the spectrum, die-hard fans with a several hundred dollars might be able to snap up some walking sticks.

Bacall, one of Hollywood’s great golden age actresses, died last August aged 89 in her nine-room home overlooking Central Park, which is also on the market for $26 million.

The proceeds of next week’s auctions will go to her three children.

All 740 lots — from Yves Saint Laurent evening wear to a cheese slicer, silver tea strainer, suitcases and papier mache ornaments — filled Bacall’s plush Manhattan apartment, and have toured the world attracting potential buyers from China to France.


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