The next best thingto buyinga work of art: OrlaKiely has designed a 12 piece collection of bags to be sold at ali four of the Tate’s galleries, to coincide with the “Art and the 60s” exhibition at Tate Britain is for Houghton), which Leiia Dunbar, Sotheby senior vice president in charge of collectables, says she decided not to have polished.
There is a creamvelvet tumc with gold embroidery on the chest and sleeves (est: $2,500 3,500) that
Hepburn wore when she married Ludlow Ogden Sini t h in 1928at home on Hawthom Street (they got a Me»can divorce seven years later). There are plenty of hats a black beanie from Hattie Camegie, a white Chanel cartwheel and several peaked Confederate Army looking caps.
There are old wooden skis and sleds; there are tennis whites and golf clubs. Rosy cheeked outdoorsiness is, of coıırse, another very New England tı*ait. And an iron jawed stoicism you might even say masochism in the pursuit of
fîtness and sport: Hepburn, famously, swam in the chill greywaters ofLong Islan d Sound most momings, even in winter, and keptup the habit into her eighties.
“Without discipline,” she said, “there’s no life at ali.” Hepburn shacked up for a tüne with the movie producer, aviator, mogul and eccentric Howard Hughes, in a house he owned in LA next to the Bel Air Countıy Club. The couple had only to climb the fence for a round of golf. According to Dunbar, who likes to joke that she’s Sotheby V
in house “forensic celebritologist”, Hughes once landed a seaplane on the links. Hepburn saved her membership card to the club for more than half a centuıy (est: $300 500).
On the inside cover of one of Hepburn’s thick square address books from Smythson of Bond Street (est: $2 3,000) she has written, in her unique hand elegant Deco curves with bony capitals stuck helter skelter in the middle of words “If Found Retum to 9191 St Ives, Los Angeles.” That was the house she had borrowed for a time from George Cukor, the great director of Adam’s Rib and The Philadelphia Story; in Hollywood, it seems, Hepburn leaned on the hospitality of friends. The address books are a roll call of the transoontinental great and good: Noel Coward, Douglas Fairbanks; Cristöbal Balenciaga in Madrid; Hubert Lanvin in Paris; Hair Masters of Thıırloe Street in London. On the flyleaf of one of these address books are neatly totted up columns of Christmas tips for her staff: $45 for a doorman or $60 for a dog walker. Such a Yankee calculation. Pragmatic. Punctilious.
On location, alone, Hepburn would paint. She had become hooked on the hobby during acruise on Howard Hughes’ yacht. Sotheby’s will selilot after lot of Connecticut shoreline scenes, in particular painting after painting of the Old
Saybrook Lighthouse, whose red top she could see from her bedroom window. She was tied to that place; she valued her roots more than she valued celebrity. “Life’s what’s important,” she once said. “Walk ing,houses,famiiy.