Lot 321
  • 321

The 'Eternally' Ring

400 - 600 GBP
37,500 GBP
bidding is closed


the exterior engraved with floral decoration, and inscribed to the interior Laurence Olivier Vivien Eternally.

Catalogue Note

Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier were married on 31st August 1940, at San Ysidro Ranch in the Montecito foothills near Santa Barbara, shortly after midnight. Their wedding was the culmination of a passionate love affair conducted in secret over several years, that the couple had increasingly struggled to conceal as their fame grew. The two had first met admiring each other's performances on the London stage, and were eventually cast as the romantic leads in Fire Over England in 1937, an historical film about the Spanish Armada. Later that year, Olivier was invited to play the titular role in a production of Hamlet at Elsinore castle in Denmark, where the original play was set, and helped Leigh secure the role of Ophelia. Though both were married at the time, the two had become increasingly close over the course of these productions, and Vivien and Larry agreed to confess their love for each other to their spouses after returning from Denmark. However, it was only after years of waiting for their divorces to be granted that Vivien and Larry were finally able to wed. Their marriage came at a particularly eventful period in their acting careers, both having starred in their most high-profile Hollywood roles to date: Vivien had won an Oscar® for her performance as Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind, and Larry had starred and been nominated for Best Actor as Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights in the previous year. Their partnership also extended twice more to onscreen roles around this time, starring as romantic leads in both the thriller 21 Days Together (1940) and the historical biopic That Hamilton Woman (1941). Together they enjoyed married life for nearly twenty years, supporting each other across America and the UK, through plays, films, health issues and a world war, and even when they finally separated in 1960, the two remained lifelong friends.