The following thirty lots were consigned from the personal collection of the late Lady Kathleen Sheila Grade (1921 - 2022)
Born Kathleen Sheila Moody, Lady Grade made her first stage appearance at the age of three and quickly rose as a singing sensation.
Known as Kathy Moody, ‘the Singing Starlet’, her career in acting and singing progressed from provincial tours to the West End and she became well known on wartime radio and for her appearance in the first British TV show broadcast after the war.
Whilst auditioning as a teenager, Kathy met the young talent agent and future impresario Lew Grade, known for his dancing prowess. In 1942 they married on her 21st birthday. Lady Grade largely ‘gave up her promising career to become the busy and steady presence behind her tycoon husband’. She earned a reputation as hostess and cook and frequently drove her husband to his office off Oxford Street when his chauffeur was away and to and from the airport for business trips. She made her final TV appearance as principal boy in Cinderella on Boxing Day night 1950.
Kathy is attributed to introducing Lew to his trademark outsized cigars, buying him a box of Montecristos for him to offer visitors to his theatrical agency, in the hope they would put him at ease. She also encouraged Lew to bid for the new ITV programmes franchise in 1955, which led to the creation of Associated Television (ATV) and the Incorporated Television Company (ITC) with which he was so successful.
Also a force with her charity work, Lady Grade chaired the Alexandra Rose project, raised funds for the YWCA and was an early campaigner for Motability, providing transport for the disabled.
After her mother’s death, Lew bought the Ivy restaurant, where the couple had their first date, as a gift for his wife. Many of the pieces of jewellery detailed in the catalogue were also gifts given between the couple and are tokens of their happy steadfast marriage, such as the 18K gold bracelet inscribed ‘Darling Kathie, Thank you for 50 Wonderful Golden Years, Your Loving Lew’.
Lew Grade was created a life peer in 1965 and predeceased his wife in 1998. Lady Grade went on to live to 100 years old.