Costumes and Props From ‘The Crown’ Head to Auction - Kanebridge News
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Costumes and Props From ‘The Crown’ Head to Auction

Tue, Jan 30, 2024 11:37amGrey Clock 3 min

Fans of The Crown will soon have the opportunity to own a piece of the royal drama as Bonhams is auctioning off a range of items from the Netflix series, which ended its six-season run in December.

More than 300 lots are currently available for online bidding through Feb. 8, and an additional 160 will go under the hammer during a live sale at Bonhams’ London headquarters on Feb. 7.

Since its debut in late 2016, The Crown has captivated viewers around the world with its visually stunning approach and dramatic portrayal of the British royal family’s tales of heartbreak. Throughout the show’s 60 episodes, viewers followed the twists and turns of the royals.

“The iconic costumes, props, and set pieces from The Crown are extensively researched and made with truly impressive attention to detail by master craftspeople,” Charlie Thomas, Bonhams U.K. group director for house sales and private and iconic collections, said in a statement. “Not only is this an incredible opportunity to own pieces from the landmark show, it is also the closest anyone can come to owning the real thing—be it the facade of 10 Downing Street or Princess Diana’s engagement ring.”

Claire Foy (as The Queen): Full-length teal ballgown, featured in the promotional poster (© Netflix 2020, Inc.) and pale gold satin pointed heels. Season 2 Episode 1 and Episode 4. Estimate: £3,000-5,000
Composite: Courtesy of Bonhams / Netflix

Highlights of the auction include recreations of Princess Diana’s iconic items, such as the sapphire engagement ring that actress Emma Corrin debuted as Diana in season 4 (presale estimate: £2,000 (US$2,537) to £3,000); the revenge dress actress Elizabeth Debicki wore as Diana during her split from then-Prince Charles in season 5 (estimate: £8,000 to £12,000); and the leopard swimsuit Debicki sported in season 6 while on vacation during Charles’ 50th birthday party for then-Camilla Parker Bowles (estimate: £800 to £1,000).

Emma Corrin (as Lady Diana Spencer): Engagement announcement, engagement ring. Estimate: £2,000-3,000. (Film still © Netflix 2020, Inc.)
Composite: Courtesy of Bonhams / Netflix

Expected to fetch the highest prices are a pair of life-size replicas from the set: the Gold State Coach, which is estimated to sell for between £30,000 and £50,000, and a facade of 10 Downing Street, the British prime minister’s office and residence (estimate: £20,000 to £30,000).

Described by Bonhams as a “rococo masterpiece,” the actual royal coach was built in 1762 for King George III and has been used at every coronation since 1831, when King William IV succeeded to the throne.

“We wanted to make something special, and Netflix had the money, ambition, and ability to go the whole hog. The Gold State Coach is fabulous,” said Andy Harries, CEO Left Bank Pictures and executive producer of The Crown, in the auction notes.

Gene D’Cruze, the series’ head of construction, said the items for sale are among the most impressive and accurate recreations ever committed to film.

Elizabeth Debicki (as Princess Diana): The ‘Revenge dress’, custom-made off-the-shoulder black cocktail dress. Season 5 Episode 5. Estimate: £8,000-12,000. (Film still © Netflix 2020, Inc.)
Composite: Courtesy of Bonhams / Netflix

“I’ve built every single set on every series—more than 1,000 of them—and employed 140 people. It’s all done old-school. I’ve done 80 TV series, but The Crown is the best—best production, best art department, best locations, best series, best people,” said D’Cruze in the auction notes. “I especially love the 10 Downing Street facade. Most sets only last six months, but this stood for seven years.”

Proceeds from the live auction will go toward establishing a new scholarship for students at the National Film and Television School (NTFS). According to the auction house, the program will support students at the globally renowned school over the next 20 years.

The Crown’s huge global success has much to do with working with the best creative and production talent in this country and we want to invest the proceeds of this magnificent auction into the next generation of film and TV talent,” said Harries in a statement.

A special exhibition of items from the auction has been on a global tour—having already appeared in New York, Los Angeles, and Paris—and will remain on display at Bonhams London through Feb 5.


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The S&P 500 index has been crushing private-equity returns in the past year, and Blackstone ’s second-quarter results illustrate that trend.

As part of its earnings release early Thursday Blackstone said its corporate private-equity returns in the year ending in June were 11.3%. That compares with a 24.5% total return for the S&P 500.

In the prior year ending in June 2023, the S&P 500 topped Blackstone with a 19.4% return against 9.7% for the firm’s corporate private-equity business, which has $145 billion of assets and remains one of its most important areas along with real estate.

Blackstone is the leading alternatives firm with over $1 trillion in assets under management and has the largest market value of any public investment firm at more than $160 billion.

Driven by Nvidia , Microsoft , Apple , Amazon and other big technology stocks, the S&P 500 has handily topped most asset classes in the past several years.

Another sign of more difficult times for private equity came earlier this week from Calpers, the $503 billion California pension fund, when it reported it s preliminary returns for its fiscal year ending in June . Calpers is one of the first major endowments or pension funds to report results for the June fiscal year. undefined The pension fund, a major player in private equity, said its private-equity investments gained 10.9% net of fees—although that figure is lagged one quarter. Calpers’ public-equity investments were up 17.5% in the year ended June—its strongest asset class. Private equity remains a favorite of many pension funds and leading university endowments like those of Harvard and Yale. Their view is that private equity can beat public-market returns over the long term.

But the private-equity business has gotten tougher in recent years due to keen competition for deals, higher interest rates and a less receptive IPO market, which has made exits tougher.

And private-equity portfolios of firms like Blackstone look nothing like the S&P 500, given their investments in small to midsize companies.

Blackstone, for instance, bought a majority stake in Emerson’s climate technologies business last year and more recently purchased Tropical Smoothie, a franchiser of fast-casual cafes. It also holds a stake in Bumble, the publicly traded online dating site, and it’s an investor in actress Reese Witherspoon’s media company, Hello Sunshine. Blackstone’s corporate private-equity business runs $145 billion and has 82 investments, according to the firm’s website.

Blackstone’s private-equity business has strong long-term returns including a gain of over 50% in the year ended in June 2021 when it handily topped the S&P 500 index.

But the S&P 500 index has become difficult to beat more recently and it’s dominated by some of the best companies in the world. It carries less risk than private equity, given the cash-rich balance sheets of its leading companies like Apple , Microsoft and Alphabet .

Private-equity firms, by contrast, often use considerable leverage to boost returns. Investors can get exposure to the S&P 500 through index funds that charge 0.1% or less in annual fees and with immediate liquidity.

A key risk with the S&P 500 is its vulnerability to a selloff in the leading tech firms that now make up over 40% of the index. The recent rotation into smaller companies illustrates that.

Blackstone shares gained 1.1% to $136.31 Thursday in the wake of its earnings news as investors focused on rising investment deployments and positive management comments on the firm’s outlook.

The firm’s nearly $40 billion of inflows and $34 billion of capital deployment during the second quarter marked “the highest level of investment activity in two years,” Chief Executive Officer Stephen Schwarzman said in a statement.

Citi analyst Christopher Allen wrote in a note to clients on Thursday that while Blackstone’s overall performance was mixed, the outlook appears to be improving given fund-raising and deployment trends.

Investors also were heartened by Blackstone President Jon Gray’s comments about a bottoming in commercial real estate and strong capital deployment in that area.

But ultimately, the game for Blackstone and its alternatives peers is about performance—particularly beating low-fee public investments like the S&P 500. That seems to be getting more difficult.