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Millions of viewers around the world swooned over Colin Firth as he strode out of a lake wearing a wet shirt as Mr Darcy in the BBC’s 1995 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.

Colin Firth's wet shirt from Pride and Prejudice sells at auction for £25,000
Colin Firth’s wet shirt from Pride and Prejudice sells at auction for £25,000

Now, that same shirt has been bought for £25,000 in an auction in London.

Before the sale, auctioneers had given it an estimated price of £7,000 to £10,000.

It’s one of more than 60 costumes from film and TV sold on Tuesday, with all of the proceeds going to charity.

Outfits worn by Madonna, Margot Robbie and Johnny Depp were also part of the auction.

Hosted by Kerry Taylor Auctions, the sale contained treasures from the archives of Cosprop, a costume house founded by Oscar-winning designer John Bright.

The wet shirt scene didn’t actually feature in Jane Austen’s book, but that hasn’t stopped it becoming one of the most famous TV moments of all time.

It showed Mr Darcy (Firth) going for an impromptu swim in his private lake, before walking off in his clinging wet white shirt and running into his love interest, Elizabeth Bennet (Jennifer Ehle).

Viewers were glued to their screens, and Firth was instantly transformed into a sex symbol.

Colin Firth's wet shirt from Pride and Prejudice sells at auction for £25,000
Colin Firth’s wet shirt from Pride and Prejudice sells at auction for £25,000

The scene has even been replicated on screen, including in the TV series Bridgerton and Bridget Jones’ Diary.

Almost 30 years later, the shirt – now dry – has been sold.

The hammer price was £20,000, double what was estimated. The buyer’s premium was £5,000, taking the total to £25,000, all of which will go to charity.

It is one of several shirts that were used during filming. Another was already auctioned for charity, and a third remains in the Cosprop archive, auctioneer Taylor told BBC News.

Other outfits in the auction included the Christian Dior ball gown worn by Madonna in Evita, Drew Barrymore’s costume in Ever After, and the dress and cape worn by Meryl Streep in The French Lieutenant’s Woman.

Depp’s costume in Sleepy Hollow, and Heath Ledger’s masquerade ball costume from Casanova, were also up for sale.

Costumes from TV drama series including Poldark, Peaky Blinders and Downton Abbey also went under the hammer.

Colin Firth's wet shirt from Pride and Prejudice sells at auction for £25,000
Colin Firth’s wet shirt from Pride and Prejudice sells at auction for £25,000

The entire collection spans more than 400 years of fashion history, with costumes ranging in style from fantasy Renaissance to mid-20th Century silhouettes.

Taylor described the auction as “a wonderful opportunity to own a piece of screen history,” with the outfits all having been worn by acting legends.

Cosprop donated the costumes in support of The Bright Foundation, a Hastings-based arts education charity, established and funded by Bright to provide creative experiences for children and young people facing disadvantage.

“My life’s work has been committed to costume design for film, TV and theatre,” said Bright. “It is my firmly held belief that the arts and creativity can shape happier and healthier children and enable young people to reach their full potential.”

An online auction, running until 10 March, will also feature film and TV-related experiences and celebrity memorabilia. The list of lots includes the signed script for Love Actually donated by Richard Curtis and Emma Freud.

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