Richard Attenborough
A Life Both Sides of the Camera

Richard Attenborough: a life both sides of the camera – a sale of Lord Attenborough's memorabilia and selected contents from his houses in London and on the Isle of Bute – is taking place at Bonhams Knightsbridge, London on 21st October.

Lord Attenborough (1923-2014) was one of Britain's best loved public figures whose career in the film industry as actor and director spanned 65 years. The sale will reflect not only the breadth of his own creative life, but also his deep interest in the history of the industry.
Highlights include:

• A rare 1918 Charlie Chaplin film poster for A Dog's Life (£10,000-15,000)

• A replica of the prop cane used by Richard Attenborough in Jurassic Park 1993 (£3,000-5,000)

• A wealth of material from all his best loved films including a rare poster The Great Escape (£800-1,200) and a wooden clapperboard used during the production of Gandhi (£2,000-3,000).

• Works from his extensive collection of Modern British art including a portrait of Attenborough by Bryan Kneale RA (British, 1930) (£2000-3000), a portrait of Lord and Lady Attenborough by John Bratby RA (British, 1928-1992) (£4000-6000) and Great Portwood Street by Alan Lowndes (British, 1921-1978) (£10,000-15,000)

• A set of early black and white stills from Brighton Rock 1947 (£1,000-1,500)

• The working screen play for the multi Oscar winning film Gandhi (£2,000-3,000).

The sale will also include furniture and other personal effects including Lord Attenborough's desk from Beaver Lodge, his office next door to the family house in Richmond.

In the words of Lord and Lady Attenborough's son, the celebrated theater director Michael Attenborough, "My parents had impeccable taste, they never bought anything as an investment, but simply because they loved it; and they lived by the firm conviction that beautiful surroundings had the power to humanize, to enrich one's relationship with the world."

Managing Director of Bonhams Knightsbridge, Jon Baddeley, said, "Richard Attenborough was a much loved public figure and also, of course, respected and admired the world over as an actor and director. This sale will illustrate the many facets of his long life and I know it will attract a great deal of interest."

Richard Attenborough

Richard Attenborough (1923–2014) was an English actor, film director and producer. His most memorable performances include Pinkie in Brighton Rock (1947), Squadron Leader Bartlett, 'Big X' in The Great Escape (1963), John Christie in 10 Rillington Place (1971) and John Hammond in Jurassic Park (1993). As a director, he won two Academy Awards for the 1983 epic Gandhi and during his career was the recipient of four BAFTAs and Four Golden Globe Awards. Among his other notable films as director were A Bridge Too Far (1977) Chaplin (1992) and Shadowlands (1993). He served as President of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Richard Attenborough was made CBE in 1967, knighted in 1976 and raised to the Peerage as Baron Attenborough of Richmond upon Thames in 1993.


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to


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