316
316
The Xmas 1940 wristwatch
Estimate
8001,200
LOT SOLD. 25,000 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
316
The Xmas 1940 wristwatch
Estimate
8001,200
LOT SOLD. 25,000 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Vivien: The Vivien Leigh Collection

|
London

The Xmas 1940 wristwatch
manual winding movement, the circular dial applied with Arabic numeral indicators, to shoulders set with calibré-cut rubies and single-cut diamonds, the reverse engraved Vivien Larry Only!! Darling Xmas 1940, to a later link bracelet.
watch dated 1940, later bracelet with British hallmarks for London, 1959
rubies, diamonds
length approximately 170mm
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Literature

Possibly that insured by Laurence Olivier, Lloyd’s policy, 3 April 1941, ‘4. Gold watch £23’, (Laurence Olivier Archive, The British Library, London, Add MS 79831).

Catalogue Note

This watch is likely to have been a gift from Larry to Vivien for Christmas 1940, marking their first Christmas together as a married couple. While undoubtedly a happy occasion for the two, this Christmas was also an unsettled period, unavoidably shaped by the conflict unfolding in Europe. Upon returning to England from America in 1940 to support the war effort, the newlyweds found their beloved house Durham cottage partially damaged by bomb raids. So began a transient time for the Oliviers, spent in temporary accommodation while waiting for renovations to be carried out, mostly near Worthy Down near Winchester, where Larry's squadron was based. Nevertheless, the couple remained active as performers, starring opposite each other in ‘That Hamilton Woman’ in the Autumn of 1940, as Emma, Lady Hamilton, and Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson. In spite of the challenging circumstances that framed the early years of their marriage, the exuberance of the inscription to the reverse of this watch, in Olivier's own handwriting, speaks volumes of his joy at finally being married to his ‘Darling’. Vivien clearly loved the watch, as she was often photographed wearing it at numerous points throughout her life, in private and public. She also appears wearing the watch on the sets of some of her most celebrated films such as The Roman Spring of Mrs Stone (1961).

Vivien: The Vivien Leigh Collection

|
London