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Kerry Taylor Auctions sold the 'wet shirt' worn by Colin Firth in the BBC's Pride and Prejudice television adaptation (1996) for a hammer price of £20,000. 

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When Colin Firth as the brooding Mr Darcy of the BBC’s 1996 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice emerged from a lake clad in a clinging wet white shirt it captured the imagination of more than just Jane Austen fans. The moment became a part of television history and transformed the reputation of Firth.

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The lot sold at Kerry Taylor included a full costume, a pair of associated boots, and a signed photograph. Together they fetched £20,000. 

On Wednesday the same shirt went under the hammer as part of a complete costume at Kerry Taylor Auctions’ Lights Camera Auction – Live Cosprop sale. Estimated at £7000-10,000, it was knocked down for £20,000. It was offered with a pair of associated boots and a signed photograph of Firth in the role.

According to the auctioneer it went to an unnamed UK museum. More information is believed to be coming shortly.

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Label to the 'wet shirt', one of three created for filming, which sold for £20,000 at Kerry Taylor Auctions. 

In the catalogue, designer Dinah Collin says that the moment was unscripted and was a workaround for the prohibition on onscreen male nudity. Devised between Collin and Christopher Prins of Cosprop, she says: “The scene caused something of a sensation at the time and transformed Colin Firth from a respected classical actor to something of a sex symbol overnight."

The sale of the theatrical costume provider went to benefit The Bright Foundation, an arts education charity in Hastings. The top lot of the sale was a Christian Dior silk taffeta ball gown c.1953 worn by Madonna in Evita.