JAMES'S

[Sir John Gilbert, RA, painter and illustrator.] Autograph Letter Signed to the composer and antiquary Doyne Courtenay Bell, providing information regarding a painting of 'the Queen holding a drawing Room at St James's Palace'.

Author: 
Sir John Gilbert (1817-1897), RA, painter and illustrator [Doyne Courtenay Bell (c.1830-1888), court official, omposer and antiquary]
Sir John Gilbert
Publication details: 
'Blackheath 4th April' [no year].
£85.00
Sir John Gilbert

See his entry in the Oxford DNB. A protege of Prince Albert, Bell worked for the Privy Purse from the time of the Great Exhibition, and served as Permanent Secretary to the Keeper of the Privy Purse from 1876 to his death. Signed ‘John Gilbert’ and addressed to ‘Doyne C. Bell Esquire / &c &c.’ 1p, 12mo. In good condition, lightly aged. Folded once for postage. Reads: ‘Dear Sir, / I remember the small picture painted in 1851. H M The Queen holding a drawing Room at St James’s Palace. / I did not intend to paint a larger picture and never did’. See Image.

[Margaret Leighton, English actress.] Autograph Letter Signed, thanking Kenneth Sephton for his letter concerning ‘Separate Tables’ and other work.

Author: 
Margaret Leighton (1922-1976), English actress
Publication details: 
29 March [1956]. St James’s Theatre [London].
£50.00

Leighton’s entry in the Oxford DNB explains that ‘In 1954 she began a long run (nearly four years in London and New York) as Anne Shankland and Sybil Railton-Bell in the double bill of Terence Rattigan's Separate Tables, co-starring with Eric Portman and winning a Tony award as best actress.’ 2pp, 4to. Addressed to ‘Dear Mr Sephton’, with good bold signature, ‘Margaret Leighton.’ In good condition, lightly aged, folded for postage.

[Victorian London Theatres: Adelphi, Drury Lane, Gaiety, Her Majesty’s, Lyceum, Princess’s, St James’s.] Seven large printed handbill notices, with illustration giving seating plan, details of proprietors and prices, ticket agents, advertisements.

Author: 
[Victorian London Theatres: Adelphi, Drury Lane, Gaiety, Her Majesty’s, Lyceum,Princess’s, St James’s.] [Benjamin Webster; Samuel Hayes; Keith, Prowse, and Co.; James Bromwich, florist]
Publication details: 
Circa 1878? Publication details not given.
£350.00

Each of the seven plans is on a 27 x 35.5 cm piece of paper.The source has not been established, and each carries the pencil date 1878 in a modern hand. They are uniform in layout, each with heading of the name of the theatre followed by a plan in the form of a 22 x 15 cm lithographic illustration of the respective theatre, as viewed from the stage, with the seating numbered. Beneath each plan are names of proprietors, lessees and managers, prices of admission, and in every case the details of the two ticket agents ‘Mr.

[‘The Last of Mrs Cheney’, Frederick Lonsdale play made into three Hollywood films.] Material relating to first stage production, at St James’s Theatre, London, including playscript, manuscript cast rolls, furniture and upholstery lists and invoice.

Author: 
Frederick Lonsdale (1881-1954), English playwright, author of ‘The Last of Mrs Cheney’, produced at St James’s Theatre, London, made into three Hollywood films; Gladys Cooper; Sir Gerald Du Maurier
Publication details: 
Material from 1925 and 1926, relating to production at the St James's Theatre, London, including items from Ernest Williams Ltd, 27 Davies Street, Berkeley Square, W1.
£420.00

Lonsdale’s entry in the Oxford DNB has the following to say: ‘In 1925 The Last of Mrs Cheyney was produced at the St James's Theatre, with the leading roles played by Gladys Cooper, Ellis Jeffreys, Ronald Squire, and Sir Gerald Du Maurier. This, Lonsdale's most famous play, ran for 514 performances [from 22 September 1925] in London, and enjoyed comparable popularity in New York, Berlin, and Paris.

[St James’s Theatre, London: 1936 centenary production of ‘Pride and Prejudice’, designed by Rex Whistler, and starring Celia Johnson and Hugh Williams.] Manuscript ‘Treasury Sheets’ of itemized accounts for 9 weeks of performances.

Author: 
St James’s Theatre, London: 1936 centenary production of ‘Pride and Prejudice’, designed by Rex Whistler (1905-1944) and starring Celia Johnson (1908-1982) and Hugh Williams (1904-1969) [Jane Austen]
Publication details: 
On nine weekly sheets, each with eight performances. Weeks ending 12 September 1936, and 26 September to 14 November 1936. St James's Theatre, London.
£650.00

The Gilbert Miller production of ‘Pride and Prejudice’, designed by Rex Whistler, and starring Celia Johnson as Elizabeth Bennet and Hugh Williams as Mr Darcy, was a great success. It opened at the St James's Theatre, London, on 27 February 1936, and closed on 21 November 1936; with a Christmas revival between 26 December 1936 and 16 January 1937. There was a royal performance before Queen Mary on 15 February 1937, and the production went on tour for the rest of the year.

[‘What a play!’: Percy Merriman, musician and songwriter, mainstay of the Roosters troupe of entertainers.] Autograph Letter Signed to theatre historian W. J. Macqueen-Pope, recalling Sir George Alexander’s 1896 production of ‘The Prisoner of Zenda’.

Author: 
Percy Merriman [Percival Harry Merriman] (1882-1966), musician and songwriter with the Roosters troupe of entertainers, who began as a First World War concert party [Walter James Macqueen-Pope]
Publication details: 
14 October [no year, but before 1958]. On letterhead of ‘Percy Merriman / Lecturer and Entertainer / 37 Parliament Hill / London / N.W.3’.
£45.00

From the Macqueen-Pope papers (see his entry in the Oxford DNB). Merriman was accorded the honour of an episode of the BBC’s Desert Island Discs in 1964. 2pp, 12mo. Signed ‘Percy’ and addressed to ‘Dear Popie’. In good condition, lightly aged, with one dog-eared corner and folded twice for postage. Begins: ‘Am not of course seeking any publicity over your book on St. James Theatre [published in 1958] only wish I could help more. / You know of course Allan Ainsworth [sic, for ‘Aynesworth’] is alive the doyen of the Garrick Club! He played often with G[eorge]. A[lexander]. - in Pinero & Wilde.

[Matheson Lang, London-based Canadian Shakespearian actor.] Autograph Letter Signed to W. J. Macqueen-Pope, containing reminiscences of his early London career at the St James’s Theatre, written in response to MP’s book ‘Carriages at Eleven’.

Author: 
Matheson Lang [Alexander Matheson Lang] (1879-1948), Canadian actor-manager based in London [Walter James Macqueen-Pope (1888-1960), theatre historian]
Publication details: 
10 December 1947; ‘c/o Canadian Bank of Commerce / Bridgetown / Barbados / B. West Indies’.
£50.00

From the Macqueen-Pope papers. See the two men’s entries in the Oxford DNB. Air Mail letter, 2pp, 4to, written within a few months of his death. With large signature ‘Matheson Lang’, and addressed to ‘My dear Pope’. Lightly-aged and worn, with slight damage from removal of postage stamp. Thirty-three lines of text, neatly-written and complete.

[Dodie Smith, children's writer, author of 'The Hundred and One Dalamatians'.] Autograph Letter Signed ('Dodie') to 'Popie' [the theatre historian W. J. MacQueen-Pope], praising his writing, theatre work and latest book, discussing Vivien Leigh.

Author: 
Dodie Smith [Dorothy Gladys Smith] (1896-1990), children's writer and playwright, author of 'The Hundred and One Dalmatians' (1956) and 'I Capture the Castle' (1948) [W. J. MacQueen-Pope (1888-1960)]
Publication details: 
5 March 1958. On letterhead of The Barretts, Finchingfield, Essex.
£150.00

2pp, 18mo. In fair condition, lightly aged and creased. Folded once. Written in a close, elegant hand. Written on receipt of a presentation copy of MacQueen-Pope's latest book, the letter begins: 'My dear Popie, | Thank you so very much for St James's, Theatre of Distinction. I think I am enjoying it even more than I usually enjoy your individual-theatre books, because the St James's meant so much to me. It was the first London theatre I ever went to - long before I could read or went to a school.

Autograph Letter Signed by the English genealogist John Bernard Burke, editor of 'Burke's Peerage', to one of his 'Earliest Supporters', regarding his 'St. James's Magazine'.

Author: 
Sir John Bernard Burke (1814-1892), English genealogist, editor of 'Burke's Peerage'
Two Autograph Letters signed from the Sussex antiquary Mark Antony Lower
Publication details: 
17 August 1849; 8 Alfred Place West, Brompton, London.
£65.00
Two Autograph Letters signed from the Sussex antiquary Mark Antony Lower

12mo, 2 pp. Bifolium. Twenty lines. Text clear and complete. Fair, on aged paper. Because of the 'Very great outlay attending the production of the work at the onset', asks for a year's advance subscription of £1 10s 0d. Gives the publication date, adding 'from the distinguished literary aid I have received I am sanguine enough to hope that it will mert your full approval'.

A Catalogue of a Collection of Old and Modern Pictures and Drawings, Engravings, Prints and Books. [...] the late Sir Robert W. Dibdin, [...] the late James Duncan Campbell (Craignish) Esq.. C.M.G., [...] the late S. Morell, Esq. [...].

Author: 
Robinson, Fisher & Harding, London auctioneers [Sir Robert W. Dibdin; James Duncan Campbell; S. Morell]
Publication details: 
22 March 1934. Robinson, Fisher & Harding. L. C. Robinson, R. H. Hurlbatt. At their great galleries, Willis's Rooms, King Street, St. James's Square, S.W.1. [Barnard & Crannis, Ltd., Printers, 11, Baldwin's Place, Holborn, E.C.1.]
£75.00

8vo, 12 pp. Stapled pamphlet. Text clear and complete. On aged, worn and spotted paper. A total of 204 lots. Pencil notes to lots 4, 9 and 11, with slip indicating their purchase prices, totalling £10 12s 0d. Lot 179 ('Another Property') is given prominence: 'FRANCIS COTES, R.A. A PORTRAIT OF A LADY in White Dress with Green Sash and Pink Cloak, her hair dressed high and adorned with pearls, 3.4 length | 50in. x 40in. | Signed and dated 1788.' No copy in the British Library, on COPAC or WorldCat.

Autograph Letter Signed to 'My dear Smith'.

Author: 
Alexander Innes Shand (1832-1907), Scottish journalist, novelist and military historian
Publication details: 
Oakdale - Eden Bridge - Kent - 2 July' [no year]; on cancelled letterhead of the Windham Club, St James's Square, S.W.
£35.00

12mo bifolium: 3 pp. Good, though lightly creased. Tipped in on the blank verso of the second leaf, to a green paper folder on which an eight-line biographical entry of Shand has been laid down. He has left the packet containing the letters which Mrs Smith 'values' so 'highly' at the Reform Club, not wishing, in case it has changed, to send them to Smith's 'address in the Blue Book'. As he cannot 'make a decent excuse' for the delay in returning them, he throws himself on Smith's mercy.

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