LA CONFIDENTIAL: As an upcoming auction of her estate reveals, the author JACKIE COLLINS’ home was as FLAMBOYANT as her strong, colourful characters …
She called it, “the house that Hollywood Wives built” and famously declared it was inspired by the iconic David Hockney painting A Bigger Splash. Jackie Collins’ sprawling Beverly Hills mansion, sold for $24 million last year, not only provided the base from which she wrote her 32 best-selling books (by hand) but also provides an eye to her distinctive style. Intensely private, she once told Vanity Fair, “I don’t live the Hollywood lifestyle. I move in it. I’m an observer.”
She bought the house, located next door to that of Al Pacino, in 1988 with her husband and nightclub owner Oscar Lerman, razing it to the ground one night and rebuilding it in a loose Art Deco style. The main house, built around a central pool, comprises eight bedrooms, 15 bathrooms, a billiards room, gym and screening room. Openness, light, stucco and glass are the predominant elements melding with its main features – the extensive double-height foyer, immense lounge and Jackie’s study with Biedermeier desks and bookcases housing first editions of her Hollywood romances.
Elsewhere a 100ft gallery space is home to her extensive art collection. Highlights of this are several works by the English painter Beryl Cook including Tango in Bar Sur and Train Station Café. Of her acquisitive style, Collins’s daughters Tracy, Rory and Tiffany explained, “Our mother never did anything in small measures! She was passionate about collecting and spent many decades selecting paintings, statuettes and jewellery which brought her joy and inspiration.”
There are 1,000 lots in the forthcoming Bonhams auction of her estate including her bespoke 2002 Jaguar XKR Sportscar (finished in metallic gold), and some of her jewellery of which a 6.04-carat diamond and platinum ring (estimated at $100,000 – $150,000) is a standout. Other pieces by Cartier and Nardi as well as watches by Patek Philippe, Harry Winston, Chanel and Chopard show that Collins was as “ab fab” as her iconic characters – such as Lucky Santangelo, Cameron Paradise and Madison Castelli.
Her passion was scouring Parisian flea markets. She admitted to under-packing, such was her love of shopping while on holiday. Synonymous with leopard print, (who can forget the Annie Leibovitz photograph of her in the back of a limo with big sister Dame Joan?), Collins had 11 silver and bronze leopards around her living room and admitted, “I love their beauty, speed and movement.” In addition to surrounding herself with family photographs (she had six grandchildren who called her Jack-Jack) Collins also collected buddhas and had a preference for Art Deco statuettes. Nude with Shawl by Josef Lorenzl is the pièce de resistance.
Jackie Collins: A Life in Chapters will take place on May 16 – 17 at Bonhams Los Angeles, 7601 W. Sunset Boulevard. www.bonhams.com.
Penny Mc Cormick
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