​Award winning UK jewellery designer’s dedicated sale of his personal archive fetches $2.6m (£1.94m) at Sotheby’s auction in New York last night (Nov 4).

Entitled Couture Fashion Jewellery: The Personal Archive of Shaun Leane, the dedicated auction of over 40 works created by the British designer offered collectors and enthusiasts a unique opportunity to acquire pieces of fashion history- many of which debuted in Alexander McQueen’s runway collections from 1996 through 2008, and appeared in The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Victoria & Albert Museum’s retrospective of his work in 2011 and 2015, respectively.

The auction was led by the Coiled Corset, which more than doubled its high estimate when it sold for $807,000 (£601,121) after a bidding battle lasting more than five minutes. The Corset, created for McQueen’s Autumn/Winter 1999-2000 ‘The Overlook’ collection, is the only piece from Shaun Leane’s near-20-year collaboration with the late designer that is signed by both visionaries.

The Skeleton Corset was among the evening’s top lots, originally estimated to $350,000 (£260,779) high estimate to achieve $711,000 £529,754. Created for McQueen’s Spring/Summer 1998 ‘Untitled’ collection, it was inspired by McQueen’s idea of taking the beauty of the human body’s internal structure, and turning it into an external adornment.

Kerry Taylor, head of sale in collaboration with Sotheby’s commented: “The prices achieved tonight reflect the brilliance of Shaun Leane in combination with the great Alexander McQueen, working together throughout the 1990s and 2000s when London was at its creative height. These impressive, unique showpieces are truly iconic, and deserved to reach these record results. They will join both private and institutional collections who will appreciate, preserve and display them for generations to come. Bidders competed tonight to own an important part of 20th- and 21st-century fashion history, with top prices achieved for runway pieces made from base metals – proving that the value in those works was for their superb design, rather than for fine materials.”

Shaun Leane's coiled corset
Shaun Leane's coiled corset


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