Memorabilia from 'the most beautiful store in the world' sells at Bonhams



2015-06-26 12:01:49

Memorabilia from 'the most beautiful store in the world' sells at Bonhams

That's how the Sunday Times described fashion store Biba in 1975, now appearing at auction

An eclectic collection of furniture created by British designer Steven Thomas from the legendary 1960s and 1970s fashion store Biba will be sold at Bonhams, Knightsbridge as part of its Vision 21 sale on June 30.

Many of the pieces were originally sold by Bonhams on October 4, 1975, in the Good-Bye Ken High! sale. The auction followed the closure of Big Biba, the final and most impressive Biba shop, which occupied five floors in the former Derry and Toms department store on High Street Kensington.

Highlights in this sale include a unique display stand entitled Othello (estimated at 5,000 - 7,000), which was designed for the Food Hall; a cellulose mannequin (500 - 700); and a mirrored shop sign (600 - 800).

The sale also features a set of library steps (600 - 800); a pair of double sided cheval mirrors (500 - 700); a massive lighting unit (800 - 1,200); and a mirrored glass till surround (600 - 800).

 Steven Thomas for Biba, 'Othello', an unique display stand, designed circa 1971 for the Derry and Tom Food Hall

Founded by Barbara Hulanicki in 1964 as a mail order company, Biba opened as a shop in the same year in Abingdon Road, Kensington before relocating to a bigger shop on Church Street.

In 1969 Biba moved to High Street Kensington where it remained for four years, before its last move to the site of the Derry and Toms department store, also on High Street Kensington, in 1973.

Designer Steven Thomas, whose other projects include designing Beatles legend Sir Paul McCartney's studio in Scotland, was employed to design the interiors, the graphics and the packaging of this final store.

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