Firth's Darcy portrait fetches $17K

Jan. 22, 2009 at 3:06 PM
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LONDON, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- A portrait of Colin Firth dressed as his iconic Mr. Darcy character that was featured in the U.K. miniseries "Pride and Prejudice" has sold for nearly $17,000.

Bonhams auction house told The Times of London the portrait's sale capped a bidding war Thursday. Proceeds from the auction are to go to the charities Oxfam, and the Southampton and Winchester Visitors Group.

A letter from Firth, the British actor who later played a modern incarnation of his Darcy character in the two "Bridget Jones" movies, accompanied the "Pride and Prejudice" prop to the auction block.

"The painting was basically a bit part player in episode four of the BBC's 1995 production of 'Pride and Prejudice,'" The Times quoted Firth as saying in the letter. "Looking at him now I would say he has weathered better than most of us. In fact, he is the only character you can meet in person who looks precisely as he did the day he was filmed. Whatever you think of him today, you can consider yourselves fortunate to have been spared his earliest incarnation. Mr. Darcy Mark 1 came across as a shabby, insubstantial, derelict-looking actor."

The portrait was hanging on a wall in Darcy's Pemberley mansion in the miniseries.

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