Auction News

Princess Diana dress sales boom is “sparking a gold rush”


Dress worn by Princess Diana being auctioned

Strong prices achieved by clothes owned by Princess Diana are sparking a rash of sales.

That’s the view of the co-founder of an auction house hosting a major new sale of the late royal’s clothing in June.

Princess Diana’s Elegance and a Royal Collection will be held at Julien’s Auctions on June 27, online and in person.

The house’s co-founder, Martin Nolan, told the US TODAY programme that the sale of a dark blue, star-decorated evening gown by Jacques Azagury in December had lit the fuse on a Diana boom.

That gown realised $1.1 million. A record, and 11 times more than the pre-sale estimate.

Nolan said: “Because of that record amount, you’re got press, then of course, people started to come to us and say, ‘We have this to sell, we have that to sell.'”

There are currently 50 items available to bid on online. The sale should include 150 lots in total.

Some of Diana’s most iconic items top the pre-sale estimates.


This Victor Edelstein gown is the top item revealed so far.

The 1987 Victor Edelstein-designed lace evening gown was worn twice in public by Diana. It’s a magenta silk and lace gown with off-the-shoulder silhouette and branded lace sleeves. Edelstein adapted a design from his collection for Diana.

The gown carries a pre-sale estimate of $200,000 to $400,000.

The diamonte stars are similar to the decoration of the record-breaking dress sold in December.

Also featuring is a tulle gown by Murray Arbied, worn by Diana to the Phantom of the Opera premiere on October 1, 1986 and to a dinner and ballet performance later that year. It is in midnight blue and decorated in mini diamonte star shapes.

It also carries a $200,000 to $400,000 estimate.

Not yet listed is the silk magenta dress with black lace worn by Diana in a 1985 White House trip that included a dance with John Travolta.

Among the other items on sale are hats, a suit worn on a trip to Hong Kong, a blouse and skirt.

There are also items worn by the Duchess of Windsor, Wallis Simpson.

Diana was known to be collectible, but the record-breaking sale last December will raise expectations for this sale. She is now in the same bracket as Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn, whose most iconic costumes are the most valuable celebrity-worn garments.

Valuing collectible clothing is extremely hard, ultimately such items are worth what can be realised at auction. Many observers will expect a new record to be on the cards at this sale.

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