Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Grace Kelly's Mark Cross Overnight Case in Rear Window Mystery Solved

Mark Cross, the famous 152 year old leather goods maker was bought by Sara Lee in the nineties. Then in 2005 the company was dissolved due to increased competition from Coach products which stole the limelight in leather goods from the long-established firm.  The most famous instance of early product placement in films occurred in Rear Window (1954) where Grace Kelly brought a black leather Mark Cross overnight case to James Stewart's apartment clearly intending to stay the night to stake out his neighbor's rear window. They have a seductive conversation about the case and its contents while she unpacks a sheer negligee from the case.  My partner was obsessed with the case after seeing its appearance in the film and I did some detective work to learn that the actual case was given away in a contest after the film's release and the owner's sold it at Christie's in NYC on 20 Dec. 2002 for $5019.
Mark Cross Overnight Case 1954
Sold at Christie's NYC Dec. 2002

The Mark Cross overnight case

The negligee she never gets to wear onscreen

At last, a mystery solved. Also note that recently there is a revival of the Mark Cross label at SAKS with some stylish leather bags available for sale, though no copy of this famous original as yet. 

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