Elsa Schiaparelli's personal collection comes to Christie's at $1.1m

The personal collection of Elsa Schiaparelli will sell through Christie's in Paris on January 23, 2014, having been consigned to auction by her granddaughter and actress Marisa Schiaparelli Berenson.

Horst P Horst Schiaparelli photograph
Schiaparelli was central to the thriving fashion scene of 1930s Paris

The collection has a value of around $1.1m, offering fashion, furniture, fine art and decorative arts from the great designer.

Elsa Schiaparelli (1890-1973) was an Italian fashion designer, famous for being at the heart of 1930s Parisian avant-garde and a deadly rival of Coco Chanel.

"Madame Elsa Schiaparelli was incomparable. There is no equivalent to be found. Her imagination knew no bounds," said fellow designer Yves Saint Laurent.  

"She would have transformed you in less time than it takes to tell - and saved you. She was a bouquet of spells. She was a constellation of the stars, a fireworks display. Watch out! Or be hypnotized."

Schiaparelli Lesage Astrologie collection blouse
Schiaparelli teamed up with the renowned embroidery atelier Lesage for the Astrologie collection

Leading the collection are pieces from Schiaparelli's Astrologie collection, which is described by Christie's as having had a "cosmic impact on 1930s fashion". Worn by the likes of Marlene Dietrich, the star piece will be a violet silk blouse with zodiac designs in the finest embroidery that renowned atelier Lesage could produce. It is valued at $34,000-41,000.

The piece is followed by an intricately beaded Bucking Bronco waistcoat insired by Schiaparelli's 1940s trip to Texas. Recalling her earlier circus collection, it is valued at $14,000-16,000.

Elsa Schiaparelli apartment Jean-Michel Frank
Schiaparelli in her Jean-Michel Frank-designed apartment, decorated with personal items from her artist friends

Starring among the furniture on sale is a 1936 bronze Alberto Giacometti floor lamp that comes from Schiaparelli's Parisian apartment, which was designed by Jean-Michel Frank. Schiaparelli was close friend with the likes of Giacometti, Dali and other artists of the day. The lamp is estimated to sell for $81,000-110,000.

Fine art is highlighted by a portrait of Elsa Schiaparelli's daughter Countess Maria Luisa Yvonne Radha de Wendt de Kerlor, better known as "Gogo" Schiaparelli. Painted by Leonar Fini (1908-1996), who collaborated with Schiaparelli on his perfume bottle Shocking in 1937, it will sell for $41,000-67,000.

At Christie's on November 13, an Elsa Schiaparelli black velvet evening gown made $47,500 as the second highest selling lot of the sale.

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