Princess Diana’s Iconic Purple Dress to Be Auctioned at Sotheby’s – WWD
A tulip-shaped, aubergine velvet strapless gown worn by the late Diana, Princess of Wales, in a royal portrait alongside the-then Prince of Wales in 1991, and which later appeared in a Vanity Fair shoot in 1997, will be sold during a Sotheby’s auction in New York on Jan. 27.
With an estimated value between $80,000 and $120,000, the dress, designed by Victor Edelstein, was previously sold for $24,150 as part of the 1997 auction that comprised 80 dresses from Princess Diana’s personal collection to benefit the AIDS Crisis Trust and the Royal Marsden Hospital Cancer Fund.
The dress originally appeared in Edelstein’s fall 1989 collection. He was one of the go-to designers for Princess Diana for over a decade, from 1982 to 1993.
In 1991, British painter Douglas Hardinge Anderson depicted Diana wearing the dress in a painting now hung at the Royal Marsden Hospital Cancer Fund, which she visited.
The dress was later featured on Franklin Mint’s 1998 limited edition Princess Diana doll, as part of a collection of 1,000 dolls wearing her most famous dresses.
The dress is part of Sotheby’s inaugural curated auction “The One,” which aims to present an unprecedented selection of the finest products in history.
A purple diamond cross worn by Princess Diana is set to be auctioned by Sotheby’s this month as well. The Attallah cross is named after the former group chief executive officer of Asprey & Garrard, the late Naim Attallah, who owned the piece of jewelry, which has since been passed on to his daughter, Ramsay.
The princess famously wore the Attallah cross in October 1987 to a Birthright gala, a charity that works toward the protection of human rights during pregnancy and childbirth. Diana on that occasion also wore a purple Catherine Walker gown that resembled a Tudor court dress.
The cross is estimated to reach 80,000 to 120,000 pounds.