Showbusiness at Toovey’s!

Norman Wisdom receiving his ‘This is Your Life’ book in 1957 which is being sold at Toovey’s

Important costumes and collectors’ items belonging to Sir Norman Wisdom and Dame Vera Lynn are to be sold at Toovey’s Washington salerooms on Thursday 1st December 2022.

Norman Wisdom was famous as an actor, comedian, musician and singer. He was best known for a succession of comedy films produced between 1953 and 1966 featuring his hapless onscreen character, often called Norman Pitkin.

Amongst the items entered for sale are three suits, a dressing gown and other accessories from the movies as well as related collectors’ items.

These include the iconic Norman Wisdom ‘Gump Suit’ made by W. Snape & Son, Wolverhampton in June, 1956. The suit is complete with its original cap, shirt and tie. Norman Wisdom wore his ‘Gump Suit’ in his first five films for the Rank Organisation. It would have been worn during the making of ‘Up in the World’ (1956) and ‘Just my Luck’ (1957), and was also used during his many performances in the theatre from the 1950s through to the 1980s. It carries a pre-sale estimate of £3000-£5000.

Also included is his leather bound ‘This is Your Life’ book which was presented to him in 1957. It contains approximately thirty-nine mounted black and white photographs from the show and carries an estimate of £300-£500.

A number of Dame Vera Lynn’s costumes are also to be sold at Toovey’s in the same auction in aid of the Dame Vera Lynn Charitable Trust.

A Norman Wisdom ‘Gump Suit’, and a blue dress and gown worn by Dame Vera Lynn on television, which are being auctioned at Toovey’s

Amongst these is a blue dress and matching gown. Designed by Fortuny, the dress with its blue silk trim and beautiful beaded and sequin appliqué would have been worn by Dame Vera Lynn on television. It is estimated at £150-£250.

During the Second World War Dame Vera was known as the Forces Sweetheart, a singer of undoubtable talent she became an icon of hope in the face of the sometimes seemingly insurmountable challenges of the Second World War.

Speaking to Vera Lynn’s daughter, Ginny, about the sale she said “Mummy’s charitable work was very precious to her, so it is very fitting that the costumes we have entered for auction at Toovey’s will benefit the Dame Vera Lynn Charitable Trust.”

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