Auction Results

Diana dresses head towards $1 million in “truly remarkable” auction


Diana and Charles card
Image courtesy Julien's Auctions

A dress worn by Diana Princess of Wales sold for $910,000 yesterday in the largest sale of personal items since Diana’s death.

The Victor Edelstein-designed evening dress in magenta silk and lace was worn twice by Diana in 1987.

Competitive bidding at the Beverly Hills sale pushed it up to the second highest price for a garment from the late Princess’s wardrobe. The was barely 2.5 times the top estimate of $400.

Diana was photographed wearing this dress, which helps add to its appeal for buyers.

In a statement, Julien’s Auctions said: “The auction room buzzed with excitement and spirited bidding, a demonstration of the enduring allure of the “People’s Princess.” Several lots shattered pre-auction estimates, proving the timeless elegance and historical significance of these artifacts.”

A Murray Arbeid midnight blue tulle diamanté star gown realised $780,000. It was worn twice in 1986, most famously to the premiere of the Phantom of the Opera. It went into the sale with a $400,000 high estimate.

A Catherine Walker black velvet evening gown went five times over its estimate to realise $571,000. Another Walker dress, a pink floral number, made $444,500.

A $2,000 to $4,000 estimate for a pair of Kurt Geiger pumps proved ridiculously low. The emerald green shoes sold for $390,000.

Papers also sold well.

Three handwritten letters (the first to Prince Harry) made $44,450, $28,575 and $8,890 respectively.

This was the largest Diana sale in recent years. But the “People’s Princess” has been fascinating collectors ever since she burst into public consciousness in 1981.

Her tragic death has added mystique and tragedy to her legend.

And, today buyers are breaking records to get their hands on significant items from her life. Diana’s own particular affection for clothes and her status as a fashion leader mean her dresses are particularly sought after.

The current record for a Diana dress is a Jacques Azagury-designed dress she wore in in Italy in 1985. It sold in December 2023 for just over $1m (£792,000).

A sweater showing a flock of sheep made $1.1 million in September 2023. The initial estimate was $50,000 to $80,000. The British made jumper had particular attraction because it was worn just as Diana became a public figure.

Significant items from Diana’s life are likely to remain highly desirable and continue to break records. Her children remain highly discussed public figures and Diana’s own memory and legacy is very much a live matter for many.

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