Colin Firth’s lake-soaked Mr Darcy shirt from Pride And Prejudice sold for £20k

Colin Firth’s lake-soaked Mr Darcy shirt from Pride And Prejudice sold for £20k
The shirt was estimated to reach £7,000 to £10,000 (Cosprop/Kerry Taylor Auctions/PA)
PA Media - Cosprop/Kerry Taylor Auctions

The shirt worn by Colin Firth when he strode across fields dripping wet after a swim in the lake during the TV series adaptation of the classic novel Pride And Prejudice has sold for £20,000 at a charity auction.

The shirt smashed its estimate of £7,000 to £10,000.

Oscar-winner Firth played Fitzwilliam Darcy in the 1995 BBC adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel, opposite Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennet – who is surprised when she visits his estate, Pemberley, to find him wet and not properly dressed.

The moment has been re-imagined in Netflix series Bridgerton, when British actor Jonathan Bailey steps out of a lake, and was also referenced in Bridget Jones’s Diary, which stars Firth as another Mr Darcy, a nod to his portrayal by writer Helen Fielding.

The costume was donated by Cosprop, a costume house founded by Oscar and Bafta-winning designer John Bright in 1965, to raise funds for The Bright Foundation, an arts education charity founded by Bright.

The winning buyer will pay £25,000 for the piece of television history when the 25% buyer’s premium is included.

Royal visit to HampshireThe Duchess of Cornwall saw the shirt during a visit to Jane Austen’s House in Alton, Hampshire (Finnbarr Webster/PA)PA Archive/PA Images - Finnbarr Webster

The auction, held on Monday and hosted by Kerry Taylor Auctions in London, raised £285,300.

A vintage 1950s Christian Dior taffeta ball gown, worn by Madonna in 1996’s Evita, sold for £40,000, while Johnny Depp’s Sleepy Hollow costume fetched £24,000.

The auction featured costumes worn by stars of the silver screen including Dame Julie Andrews, Helena Bonham Carter, Jude Law, Tom Hardy, Eddie Redmayne, Gwyneth Paltrow, Dame Judi Dench, Ralph Fiennes, Scarlett Johansson, Nicole Kidman, Keira Knightley, Daniel Radcliffe, Alan Rickman, Margot Robbie, Dame Elizabeth Taylor, Renee Zellweger and Aidan Turner.

Bright said: “My life’s work has been committed to costume design for film, TV and theatre and I feel incredibly fortunate to have been able to pursue this path.

“It is my firmly-held belief that the arts and creativity can shape happier and healthier children and enable young people to reach their full potential.”

A new lot has been added to the online-only part of the auction, running until March 10, after Hollywood actor Depp donated an original piece of artwork.

The untitled work, dated 2023, was created using acrylic paint, Liquitex paint marker and fineliner, and is signed.

He said: “Unfortunately, too many young, emerging artists lack access to proper resources and opportunities needed to hone their craft.

“I hope my artwork will help in providing those tools in a way that most empowers them to succeed.”

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