The late David Gainsborough-Roberts (1943-2017) was well-known as one of the world’s most distinguished collectors. Born in Buxton, Derbyshire, Gainsborough-Roberts was the son of a Jersey investment banker. He purchased unique historical artifacts as a private passion. Hailing from a family of collectors, he was destined to gather treasures, and caught the bug as a young boy himself when his grandmother gave him a wooden fragment from Nelson's HMS Victory.
Upon purchase of his first Marilyn Monroe dress at a 1991 Christie’s sale, David’s life changed forever, eventually transforming into the world’s premier Marilyn dress collection, auctioned in November 2016 for £1.5 million. Never acquiring with the intention to sell, though, he once said, "the point is they all have a story attached to them,” and David amassed approximately 3,000 items, eventually building a wing onto his home to accommodate the volumes of history.
Gainsborough-Roberts collected an eclectic variety of 19th and 20th Century popular culture history including many items from the Titanic, Queen Victoria’s knickers, Oscar Wilde’s cigarette case, and a collection of guns from infamous Wild West characters. A fascination of David’s, as evidenced in these impeccable offerings, was crime artifacts such as Bonnie & Clyde and the mafia. He befriended Marie Barrow and purchased supremely rare artifacts once belonging to her brother, Clyde. Over his 73 years, David curated a remarkable collection of museum-worthy pieces and RR is honored to offer a small sampling of his impeccable taste in the preservation of popular culture.