We love a bit of historical provenance when it comes to period furniture pieces, and the latest auction offering is no exception.
Humbert & Ellis Auctioneers of Towcester, Northants, have revealed that they are putting a sofa under the hammer that has links to both royalty and romance.
Originally owned by Lady Thelma, Edward Prince of Wales’ former mistress – it was stationed at her Leicestershire home Burrough Court near Melton Mowbray – many happy evenings were probably spent on it as the pair got to know each other a little better.
All was going well, until a year later in January 1931, when Lady Thelma’s sister, Consuelo Thaw, introduced Thelma to her American friend Mrs Wallis Simpson and invited her to a house party at the above residence.
Wallis joined Edward and Thelma on the pink velvet three-seater settee, and a firm friendship among the trio was soon formed.
In 1934 Lady Thelma, took a trip to New York with her family and on her return Edward had ‘transferred his affections’ to Wallis.
Unbeknownst to Lady Thelma Edward and Wallis had been in regular contact over the three years since the house party.
Wallis Simpson Edward Prince of Wales Sofa
Fast-word three years and Wallis had parted ways with her husband Ernest while Edward Prince of Wales’ had abdicated the throne – becoming the Duke of Windsor – to marry the women he loved and the couple tied the knot in France in 3 June 1937.
So enraged was Lady Thelma that she had the three-seater sofa – where it had all began – ‘cut down’ to a two-seater in revenge.
Measuring 60″ in width the same two-seater sofa goes under auction today (May 9th) with an estimate of £4000-6000. Sympathetically restored from the frame up, the sofa has been re-upholstered in a period blush pink velvet.
It comes complete with a DVD with images of the restoration – including showing the ‘cut down’ nature of the frame to give added strength to the provenance – as well as a former auction catalogue with ‘Borough Court’ provenance.
The auction catalogue and online bidding is available at The Sale Room.
Would the sofa marry with your interiors scheme?