Late four-time ACADEMY AWARD winner Katharine Hepburn's possessions raised an extraordinary $1.8 million (GBP1 million) on the first day of the controversial auction (10JUN04) - surpassing the $1 million (GBP555,000) prediction total.

More than 400 fans and collectors furiously fought for items from the iconic star's estate at New York auction house SOTHEBY'S, which saw a brooch given to her by mogul Howard Hughes fetching an unprecedented $120,000 (GBP65,400) - six times its estimated price.

Sotheby's spokeswoman LEILA DUNBAR exclaims, "We are absolutely thrilled with the results from the first session, but it is completely understandable given Miss Hepburn's worldwide celebrity and stature."

The 222 lots included the late actress' wedding dress from her marriage to LUDLOW OGDEN SMITH - which fetched $27,000 (GBP14,800) - paintings, clothing, studio photographs furniture, credit cards and film contracts.

Money raised from the sale will go into a trust for Hepburn's family.

11/06/2004 16:53