- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 23, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - NEW YORK (AP) _ The estate of sultry jazz singer and actress Lena Horne has sold some of the fancy gowns, jewelry, fine art and books that filled her New York City apartment.

More than 200 items went up for sale Wednesday at the Doyle New York auction house. They included a small Louis Vuitton trunk with stickers inscribed “Lena Horne Hayton” sold for $20,000. It had been estimated at $500 to $700.

Other items also sold well above their estimated. A reversible mink coat by Horne’s favorite designer, Giorgio di Sant’ Angelo, sold for $8,125. It had been estimated to bring in up to $500.

But an abstract painting by artist Charles Alston that was expected to bring up to $50,000 was sold for $20,000.

Horne’s signature song was “Stormy Weather.” She died in May at age 92.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

Lena Horne was known for her elegance as much as for her sultry voice.

On Wednesday, 200 items that once filled her Manhattan apartment were being sold by her estate at Doyle New York auction house, objects that epitomized her sophisticated taste: French-style furnishing, elegant costumes, jewelry and fine art.

Many admirers of the singer and actress may find that owning a piece of the legendary star’s belongings may not be out of reach.

A sequined cardigan evening coat is estimated to sell for as little as $100-$200, while a small Louis Vuitton trunk with stickers inscribed Lena Horne Hayton was being offered with a pre-sale price of $500-$700. And a soft leather vanity case inscribed LH was estimated at $200-$400.

Horne’s favorite designer was Giorgio di Sant’ Angelo, and a reversible mink coat by the Italian creator was estimated at $300-$500. A Chanel five-strand choker of gold-tone metal links and faux baroque pearls had a $1,000-$1,200 pre-sale estimate.

The auction house said the estimates were based on current market values but that the celebrity provenance was the “X factor” that would determine the price at auction.

The highest priced item in the sale is a colorful abstract painting by African American artist and muralist Charles Alston, estimated to bring $30,000 to $50,000.

Horne’s refined taste extended to the furnishings in her Upper East Side home. A Rococo-style gilt-metal and glass 12-light chandelier and a pair of Continental Rococo-style gilt wood mirrors are both estimated at $1,500 to $2,500.

Horne, who was also a dancer and civil rights activist, died last May at the age of 92. She appeared on screen, stage, on records and in nightclubs and concert halls. Her signature song was “Stormy Weather” but her vocal range extended from blues and jazz and to such Rodgers and Hart classics as “The Lady Is a Tramp” and “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered.”

In the 1940s, Horne was one of the first black performers hired to sing with a major white band, the first to play the famed Copacabana nightclub in New York City and among a handful with a Hollywood contract.

A striking figure, Horne was the subject of some of the artworks in her collection, including a 1959 portrait by Geoffrey Holder, estimated at $2,500-$3,500, and a 1950 bronze sculpture by Peter Lambda that could bring $3,000-$5,000.

The collection also includes books and photographs, among them a group of books autographed by Langston Hughes ($300-$500) and a selection of contact sheets by Richard Avedon taken during a photo shoot with Horne ($75-$100).


Online: https://www.doylenewyork.com

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