Lot 1339 - 29 Nov 2016
December Antiques & Interiors Sale
DUKE & DUCHESS OF WINDSOR - The Marriage of Edward, Duke of Windsor to Mrs. Wallis Simpson, 3 June 1937, at the Chateau de Cande, Near Tours. "Group of 17 original photographs at the Wedding showing the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and their guests, together with scenes of the chapel (sic), the wedding breakfast and arrangements in the Chateau. All those present were presented with sets of photographs taken by Lady Alexandra Metcalfe, wife of the Duke's friend Fruity Metcalfe. This set was presented to Mr. W. Cunningham Graham, the British Consul at Nantes, who was present at the marriage. He is photographed alone on the steps of the Chateau." - this being the text of the original typed label when the collection was framed; the photos., now loose in cellophane sleeves, are with their original presentation box; each 9 x 14cms., b/w., & presumably taken immediately after the ceremony, include the library and music room (for the civil & religious ceremonies), several of the couple with their guests assembled on the Chateau's upper terrace, two of the wedding breakfast table (one with seated guests), and some showing the floral arrangements (by Constance Spry - her wedding gift to Wallis). Apart from a total boycott by the British Monarchy, very few of the other invited guests attended, those who did included - Charles & Fern Bedaux (hosts & the Chateau owners, the former later arrested for alleged Nazi collaboration, & committed suicide); Major ('Fruity') Metcalfe - the best man, & Lady Alexandra his wife - the unofficial photographer of the day & filmed in action by British Pathe Newsreel; Herman Rogers - who gave away the bride & his wife Katherine; the redoubtable 'Aunt Bessie' (Mrs. D. Buchanan Merryman, Wallis's aunt); as well as Walter Monckton - the Duke's confidant & close adviser; the Baron Eugene Rothschild with his wife, & Randolph Churchill. There were two ceremonies -the French civil one (in the library) followed by a 'marriage service' of the Church of England; for this a makeshift altar had been set up in the music room, the unauthorised ceremony being conducted by a C.of E. clergyman (Rev. Anderson Jardine). Five reporters were assigned to cover the event, almost outnumbering the guests; the official photographer being Cecil Beaton. This set is of the greatest rarity - not least because of the use of a 'rogue' camera at such an event; indeed until quite recent years, guests at most social events would have been happy with the pictures provided by an 'official' photographer. Lady Alexandra Metcalfe, who died in 1995, being the last survivor of the occasion. Illustrated
excellent condition, (no pencilled captions on verso); contained in the origiina small, cream flappedd thick paper box with white fabric ties, the cover printed in green 'W E' monogram under a ducal coronet.