Star with Heart of Gold

Audrey Hepburn’s Silk Scarf comes to Charterhouse

A silk scarf, owned by icon and humanitarian Audrey Hepburn is going under the Charterhouse hammer in Sherborne on Friday 21st June.

“Rarely do items belonging to star of stage, screen and fashion icon Audrey Hepburn come on the market.” Commented Richard Bromell. “This is due to fans and collectors keeping their treasures safe just like our client who has owned the scarf, photographs and letters for the past 56 years.”

Actress Audrey Hepburn was born in 1929. She lived abroad and studied ballet moving to London in 1948 where she continued her ballet training and started performing as a chorus girl in West End productions. Having had minor parts in several films she starred in the Broadway play Gigi in 1951.

In 1952 she shot to stardom for playing the lead role in Roman Holiday, for which she was the first actress to win a Golden Globe Award, an Academy Award and a BAFTA Award for a single performance.

She then went on to star in numerous Hollywood films including Sabrina, War and Peace, My Fair Lady and Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

In the Charterhouse auction are a silk scarf, a handwritten letter from Audrey Hepburn, a signed photograph, other photographs and ephemera which were collected by Linda Barnes as a girl in 1963.

As a young girl, Linda lived in Bournemouth. Aged 13 she developed Anorexia Nervosa and became dangerously ill over the next few years. The first film Linda watched Audrey Hepburn in was Roman Holiday when she was about 6 years old. To Linda, Audrey was the epitome of perfection – a view which has stayed with her throughout her life.

Whilst Linda was ill she sent a note to Audrey Hepburn via Paramount Films in London which landed on James R Wilcox’s desk.

James R Wilcox worked in the Editorial-Publicity Department of Paramount Films, London. In his reply, dated December 1962, he states “…Normally I am not permitted to give or sell film star photographs for private collections, but this time I am making an exception…”

Whilst Linda cannot remember why Mr Wilcox made an exception and sent her some images, she suspects her mother might have also sent Mr Wilcox a covering letter mentioning her illness as at the time she was not expected to live for long.

After Mr Wilcox forwarded Linda’s note on Linda received a reply from Audrey in 1963. The reply included a silk scarf and handwritten letter “….Enclosed is also a scarf which I thought you would like. I find it so pretty with all its woodland flowers, most of which grow up here in the mountains … I send you my warmest wishes, and love, Audrey”.

So pleased was Linda when she received the scarf and the letter that she also kept the envelope and the tissue paper which the scarf was wrapped in. In addition, the parcel contained a photograph with personal dedication to Linda from Audrey, all of which are included in the Charterhouse auction.

Also accompanying these items in the auction are the letter from James R Wilcox and the group of monochrome production still photographs.

All the items are estimated to sell for £1,000-2,000 when they are sold by Charterhouse in Sherborne on Friday 21st June and Linda has decided to donate the proceeds of the auction to UNICEF, which Audrey Hepburn supported from the early 1950’s.

Charterhouse are now accepting further entries for their busy auction programme with classic & vintage motorcycles on 1st June, coins, medals, trains and other collectors’ items 20th & 21st June and for their classic & vintage car auction on 23rd June.

For further information regarding these specialist auctions, or to arrange a home visit, contact Richard Bromell and the team of experts at Charterhouse, The Long Street Salerooms, Sherborne 01935 812277 or email

Richard Bromell with the Audrey Hepburn scarf

Audrey Hepburn production still photographs, letters and ephemera £1,000-2,000 in the Charterhouse auction in Sherborne, Dorset on Friday 21st June