Some of Elizabeth Taylor's dresses are to sell for almost £100,000

Selection of Elizabeth Taylor’s designer outfits are set to sell for £97,000 – including Christian Dior dress she wore to collect her Oscar in 1961

  • Outfits include the Christian Dior dress Elizabeth Taylor wore at the 1961 Oscars
  • Gifted to Anne Sanz, whose husband was chauffeur and bodyguard to Taylor
  • 15 lots with an overall estimate of £97,000 being sold at Kerry Taylor Auctions
  • Read more: New book publishes rare photographs of film star Elizabeth Taylor 

An astonishing collection of Elizabeth Taylor’s designer dresses the Hollywood star gifted to a family friend are set to sell for almost £100,000 after being found inside an old suitcase.

The outfits include the Christian Dior dress Taylor wore at the 1961 Oscars where she won Best Actress for the film ‘Butterfield 8’.

A decade later the British-American actress summoned Anne Sanz to her suite at the Dorchester Hotel in London and told her she could have as many dresses as she liked from her packed wardrobe.

At the time Taylor was married to film star Richard Burton and she was tired of hauling her massive wardrobe of 40 suitcases on their global travels.

Mrs Sanz, whose husband Gaston was chauffeur and bodyguard to Taylor, stuffed two of the actress’ suitcases with designer gowns.

Her family discovered them in a ‘big suitcase in the spare room’ and in total there are 15 lots with an overall estimate of £97,000 being sold at Kerry Taylor Auctions in Bermondsey, London, on December 6.


The outfits include the Christian Dior dress Taylor wore at the 1961 Oscars (pictured) where she won Best Actress for the film ‘Butterfield 8’


The collection includes a ‘black widow’ robe (pictured left) Taylor wore in the 1967 film ‘Boom!’ (pictured right) which was designed by Karl Lagerfeld and has an estimate of £10,000


There is another Dior couture blue silk crêpe dress that Taylor wore to a wedding, which is expected to fetch £15,000

Anne Sanz pictured with Elizabeth Taylor (right) aboard their private yacht

Mrs Sanz wore a few of Taylor’s more simple shift dresses but the rest were kept in one of the suitcases largely untouched for half a century.

Gaston Sanz, a French World War Two veteran, had worked for Taylor since the 1950s and was one of her most trusted and longest-serving employees.

He met and married British-born Anne in 1968 and she then became an integral part of the Taylor-Burton household.

Taylor gave Anne a white matelassé cocktail dress and matching bolero to wear as her bridal gown when she wed Gaston, which is in the sale with an estimate of £600.

Gaston and Anne accompanied the couple and their children wherever they travelled, staying in America, Mexico, Switzerland, England or on their yacht anywhere they fancied in Europe.

When they had a daughter they named her Elizabeth and Taylor and Burton were both godparents to her.


 Anne said that Taylor regarded the Oscar dress (pictured) as a lucky charm and she liked for it to accompany her on her travels even though she only wore it for the awards ceremony

The yellow and ivory dress (pictured above) was designed by Marc Bohan for Christian Dior

The actress wore it to the 1961 Oscars with long evening gloves and diamond and pearl droplet earrings. Pictured, the label on the dress

Anne was also gifted a vintage crocodile dressing case, which has an estimate of £1,200

Inside Elizabeth Taylor’s crocodile dressing case (pictured) with an estimate of £1,200

The famous couple owned a house in London but preferred to stay in a rooftop suite at the Dorchester Hotel and frequently visited the UK either for filming at Pinewood and Elstree or to visit Burton’s extensive Welsh family.

One day in 1971, Taylor called Anne to her suite and explained that Anne could take her pick as she was tired of continuously moving her extensive wardrobe on their global travels – by this point it consisted of about 40 massive suitcases.

She said that Taylor regarded the Oscar dress as a lucky charm and she liked for it to accompany her on her travels even though she only wore it for the awards ceremony.

The yellow and ivory dress was designed by Marc Bohan for Christian Dior and she wore it to the 1961 Oscars with long evening gloves and diamond and pearl droplet earrings.


Anne’s family discovered the outfits (pictured) in a ‘big suitcase in the spare room’ and in total there are 15 lots with an overall estimate of £97,000 being sold at Kerry Taylor Auctions in Bermondsey, London, on December 6

Taylor wasn’t expecting to win at the Oscars (pictured is her dress), having been nominated and rejected for Best Actress four times previously, but she did win for her role in Butterfield 8


Taylor, dressed in Dior (pictured) gave a teary acceptance speech that is considered one of the Academy Awards most memorable and heartfelt

She wasn’t expecting to win, having been nominated and rejected for Best Actress four times previously, but she did win for her role in Butterfield 8, where she played the part of a Manhattan call girl who had a tragic affair with a rich married man.

Taylor gave a teary acceptance speech that is considered one of the Academy Awards most memorable and heartfelt.

The iconic dress has an estimate of £60,000. Anne was also gifted a vintage crocodile dressing case, which has an estimate of £1,200.

There is another Dior couture blue silk crêpe dress that Taylor wore to a wedding, which is expected to fetch £15,000, and a ‘black widow’ robe Taylor wore in the 1967 film ‘Boom!’ which was designed by Karl Lagerfeld and has an estimate of £10,000.

Elizabeth Taylor kissing her goddaughter (Anne and Gaston’s daughter) Elizabeth

Richard Burton pictured with Gaston Sanz. When Taylor divorced Burton for the second time in 1976 they both asked Gaston to work for them, an impossible choice as he was fond of both of them

When Taylor divorced Burton for the second time in 1976 they both asked Gaston to work for them, an impossible choice as he was fond of both of them.

So the Sanz family decided to leave their service and return to London as their little girl was ready to start school.

Kerry Taylor said: ‘The family contacted me about this collection, they had been kept in a big suitcase in a spare room. 

‘I think over the years at Christmas they would take them out to look at them and then put them back but they haven’t really been touched so they are in excellent condition.

‘There are one or two items that Anne wore, but she didn’t wear any of the haute couture. I just couldn’t believe it when I saw them all. I recognised the Soirée à Rio dress straight away but I thought it was in the Dior collection.

One of suitcases where the dresses were stored over the years, pictured

Telegrams, pictured, sent to the Sanz family from Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton

‘They got a duplicate made, I had to contact them and say “I’m afraid you haven’t got the original because I have”.

‘With anything like this, the items are only as good as their provenance and it doesn’t get better than this provenance. There are so many photographs and letters that prove the couple’s relationship with Elizabeth Taylor.

‘Anne’s husband Gaston worked for Elizabeth Taylor and Anne was a family friend and very close to them, as you can see from the pictures.

‘It’s a once in a lifetime collection and I feel honoured and privileged that they came to me – any auctioneer would give their back teeth to have this prestigious collection. Some of the pieces will appeal to fashionistas as much as Elizabeth Taylor fans.’

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