The Value of Sentiment

On 26th September 2017, Sotheby’s held The Vivien Leigh Collection with 321 lots of her personal possessions auctioned in London.

Lot 321 The Eternity Ring 1940’s – this item had been well publicised. An exterior engraved with floral decoration and inscribed on the interior “Lawrence Olivier Vivien Eternally”.

This gold ring was given an estimate of £400-£600 by Sotheby’s representing its intrinsic value and yet its Sentiment resulted in its realised sale value that day of £37,500.


Vivien and Larry were married on 31st August 1940 at San Ysidro Ranch near Santa Barbara, shortly after midnight. Their wedding was the culmination of a passionate love affair conducted in secret over several years with increasing struggle to conceal as their fame grew. Both were married at the time they met and it was only after the years of their divorces being granted that they could wed. Their marriage came at a time Vivien had just won an Oscar for Best Actress as Scarlett in Gone with the Wind and Larry had been nominated for Best Actor as Heathcliffe in Wuthering Heights.
They would remain married for 20 years.


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