Peruse and bid on the contents of the old Annabel's on Berkeley Square, founded by Mark Birley in 1963
“I do not remember the exact moment when my first husband, Mark Birley, decided to name his nightclub after me,” declared Lady Annabel Goldsmith, in her memoir. “I suppose there must have been discussions, but although I have never particularly liked the name myself, Mark thought it was a good one for a club, and I agree with him. Now I look back on his decision with pride and consider it the most tremendous compliment he could ever have paid me.”
It turned out to be the perfect name for a club – I am particularly fond of it – and many mono-monikered, copycat establishments followed in its wake. Birley described Annabel's when it launched “as a new kind of Night Club in London. One which is international in character, and more of a club in the true sense than any other”. It may have been a basement, Nick Foulkes declares in the Christie's auction catalogue, but “it was a basement of a million stories”. The original club closed earlier this year, reopening two doors down for a new generation of elite revelers. Its parties however, and clientele, are the stuff of legend and many an Annabel’s anecdote is still uttered, or whispered, in restaurants and bars across the capital.
So we’re hugely excited about the news that Annabel's and Christie's are hosting a resplendent auction in November, featuring more than 250 lots of items from the old Annabel's at 44 Berkeley Square. Up for auction will be artworks spanning H. M. Bateman cartoons and Sir Alfred Munnings paintings; art deco glassware; vintage posters; velvet furniture and permanent fixtures and fittings, showcasing the glitzy world of Annabel’s, from 1963 to 2018. Lot estimates range between £50 and £120,000, with the proceeds of two specific lots going to Annabel's owner, Richard Caring's, charity The Children’s Charity For The Good Of All Children. The first of these is Christian Voigt's last picture of the old Annabel's in all its glory and the second is a chic series of ten framed black and white photographs by Richard Young of Annabel's through the ages featuring a host of famous faces, including Princess Diana, Elizabeth Taylor, Goldie Hawn, Anna Wintour and Kate Moss.
The auction, hosted publicly at Christie's, King Street, will also be live streamed in the new nightclub – a truly 21st-century auction – so members can get in on the action. Don't miss out on the chance of owning a piece of Annabel's history. I certainly won't. It's got my name on it.
Richard Young Charity Lot; Elizabeth Taylor leaving Annabel's
Essential Information: Catalogues are £25 each, which admits two people, and they can be purchased online at christies.com, at King Street or on the door