Christie’s helps you live like a movie star through its estate sale of Maria Felix, a woman named one of the world’s best dressed of her time
By Kristelle Devieux
The movie star had just as much elegance in choosing her wardrobe as she did her furniture.
Born in Alamo, Mexico in 1914, Maria Felix got her fame in 1943 when she played the role of Doña Barbara, a character that closely mirrored her own vibrant personality. She was dubbed La Doña for the rest of her life. Through her career, La Doña emerged as an international screen legend, sophisticated fashion icon, avid art collector, and humanitarian. Over the course of her life, Felix remained a constant focus of paparazzi attention due to her powerful screen presence and adventurous personal life.
During the month of July, auction-goers will see the estate of Maria Felix hit the block at Christie’s, with more than six hundred lots being offered on the 17 and 18. The lots have been grouped into three categories: a superb collection of paintings, exuberant 19th century European furniture including an extensive porcelain collection and decorative works of art, and a lavish selection of couture clothing, jewelry, and memorabilia.
The collection of paintings is comprised of sixty works by renowned international artists such as Leonara Carrington, Leonor Fini, Stanislas Lepri, Antoine Tzapoff, and Diego Rivera. Many of the paintings depict stunning portraits of La Doña herself. Leonora Carrington’s paintings, never publicly exhibited, include Maja del Taror, a large scale surrealist painted in 1965 that represents a double portrait of La Doña in the guise of a tarot card. Antoine Tzapoff’s paintings of La Doña incorporated jewelry and objects from her collection as props in the paintings; both the paintings and the props will be offered in the estate sale.
Among the effusive furniture and decorative arts offered is a gilt-metal and Meissen porcelain-mounted secretaire cabinet, circa 1880, and a pair of Regence giltwood consoles designed by Nicholas Pineau in 1725.
The movie star had just as much elegance in choosing her wardrobe as she did her furniture. In 1984, she was nominated as one of the world’s best dressed women; this sale is reflective of her sophisticated style. The auction will offer thirty lots of Christian Dior pieces, such as a suede coat with patchwork sable lining, and a sleeveless mink fur coat with a multi-colored abstract design.
No celebrity auction would be complete without jewels, and this will be no exception. A pair of gold and turquoise enamel oversize snake earrings by Cartier and a Van Cleef & Arpels gold and diamond minaudiere will be available amongst other sparkling options.
For more information on the lots from the Estate of Maria Felix: La Doña, visit www.christies.com.