Christie’s will hold a landmark auction celebrating Annabel’s, 44 Berkeley Square ·1963–2018· on 20 November 2018. The legendary destination of royalty, fashion icons, recording stars and Hollywood greats alike, from Kate Moss to Frank Sinatra, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles, to Jack Nicholson, Elizabeth Taylor and Leonardo DiCaprio, among many others, Annabel’s was founded 55 years ago by Mark Birley; Richard Caring acquired the Birley Group – including Annabel’s – in 2007.
The auction comprises over 250 lots, spanning Modern British, Old Master, 19th century and Victorian Paintings and Drawings; Political Cartoons; Prints; Vintage Posters; Furniture, Glassware, Silver and Lighting; as well as a complete Annabel’s table setting for eight (estimate: £1,000-1,500); the sale will also feature a small number of works from Harry’s Bar. Led by one of the final portraits of Henry Thomas by Glyn Philpot, R.A., 1937 (estimate: £80,000-120,000), estimates range from £50 to £120,000. Offering unprecedented access to the normally private world of Annabel’s, the pre-sale public view will take place in-situ at 44 Berkeley Square from 16 to the 20 November, with one catalogue admitting two visitors. The auction at Christie’s, King Street, will also be live streamed into the new club at 46 Berkeley Square.
Among the rich array of evocative highlights offered from the old Annabel’s club, including ‘the red velvet corner sofa’ (estimate: £2,000-4,000) and the iconic Bodhisattva from The Buddha Room (estimate: £10,000-20,000), is Christian Voigt’s last picture of Annabel’s taken before the doors were closed (estimate: £5,000-8,000, illustrated above). The proceeds from this lot by Voigt, along with another lot comprising 10 framed prints by photographer Richard Young celebrating the many legendary Members and Friends who have gathered at Annabel’s over the years – including iconic images of Princess Diana, Elizabeth Taylor, Kate Moss, Jack Nicholson & Michael Caine, will go to The Children’s Charity For The Good Of All Children (estimate: £5,000-8,000).
Orlando Rock, Christie’s UK Chairman: “Everyone has a story to tell about Annabel’s, the iconic and visionary London nightclub founded by Mark Birley over half a century ago. Emerging from the ashes of London’s post-war gloom, Annabel’s became synonymous with glamorous sophistication, epitomising the heady cocktail where ‘old’ and ‘new’ world’s collided. Witnessed by a cast of thousands who represent a veritable who’s who of London society since the ‘60s, Christie’s is incredibly excited to have been chosen to present the iconic backdrop of so many fabled evenings for sale at auction.
The taste is uniquely Birley’s – caricatures by Bateman and sketches by Ward jostling with theatrical Jazz age posters by Colin and costume designs by Bakst from the Ballet Russes, whilst Modern British works by Philpot, Orpen and Munnings remind us all of the intellectual inheritance of his painter father Sir Oswald Birley. Each and every lot – from The Buddha Room’s Bodhisattva to the well-trodden dance floor and even the toast racks – is sure to evoke many memories and excite collectors internationally who want to celebrate the unique atmosphere, laughter and friendships that Annabel’s represents. We look forward to welcoming the public to the free pre-sale public exhibition in-situ at Annabel’s 44 Berkeley Square from 16 November, ahead of the sale on 20 November.”
Richard Caring: ‘Since its ground-breaking opening 55 years ago, Annabel’s has earned a global reputation founded on luxury, style and unrivalled atmosphere making it one of the most elegant and glamorous Clubs in the world. Home to an Aladdin’s cave of treasures, known and loved as a landmark of opulence and revelry, it is my great privilege to offer Annabel’s Members and friends the chance to own a piece of its history as a permanent keepsake. It’s a celebration of the atmosphere, style and people who made Annabel’s the place to be, then and now. Annabel’s has always been an avid supporter of charitable causes and I am delighted that the proceeds of Christian Voigt’s iconic photograph of the Club, as well as Richard Young’s celebrity portraits taken at Annabel’s, will be sold to benefit The Children’s Charity For The Good Of All Children.As the greatest and most iconic nightclub in the world, I’m honoured to have had the opportunity to carry on its legacy.’