Costumes worn by Norman Wisdom and Vera Lynn to be sold at auction

Ellie Iorizzo, PA Senior Entertainment Reporter

Wed, 23 November 2022 at 10:28 pm

Costumes and collectors’ items belonging to comedian Sir Norman Wisdom and Forces Sweetheart Dame Vera Lynn are set to go under the hammer.

Among the items being sold at West Sussex auction house Toovey’s on December 1 is Sir Norman’s Gump Suit made by W Snape and Son in Wolverhampton in June 1956.

Sir Norman wore the suit, complete with its original cap, shirt and tie, in his first five films for the Rank Organisation, including Up In The World in 1956 and Just My Luck a year later.

The comedian, actor and singer was best known for starring in a string of comedy films during the 1950s and 1960s in which he usually played a version of his luckless Norman Pitkin stage persona.

Sir Norman Wisdom and Dame Vera Lynn
Costumes belonging to Sir Norman Wisdom and Dame Vera Lynn (Toovey’s/PA)

The suit, which is estimated to fetch up to £5000 at auction, was also used during his many performances in the theatre from the 1950s to the 1980s.

Also included in the sale is his leather-bound This Is Your Life book which was presented to him in 1957, containing approximately 39 mounted black and white photographs from the show and carries an estimate of up to £500.

Sir Norman, who moved away from comedy acting later in his career, died in October 2010, aged 95.

Sir Norman Wisdom
Sir Norman Wisdom, right, is presented with a leather-bound This is Your Life book in 1957 (Toovey’s/PA)

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

Among them is a blue dress and matching gown, designed by Fortuny, which has a blue silk trim and beautiful beaded and sequin applique worn by the late singer on TV.

Dame Vera’s daughter Virginia 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.”

Dame Vera died at her home in East Sussex in June 2020, aged 103.

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