Ten Typed Letters Signed and eight Autograph Letters Signed (four 'Guy S Wellby' and the rest 'Guy') from Wellby to Franklin, with an inventory and valuation, schedule, accounts and correspondence relating to Rogers' collection of snuff boxes.

Guy Wellby, Prime Warden of the Goldsmiths' Company, adviser to Ian Fleming [D. and J. Wellby Ltd, Jewellers and Silversmiths, Garrick Street, London; Franklyn Rogers; snuff boxes]
Publication details: 
Wellby's letters between 1948 and 1967; on letterheads of D. and J. Wellby Ltd.
SKU: 9183

The collection, consisting of 31 items in a variety of formats, is in very good condition, on lightly-aged paper, with all texts clear and complete. Wellby's correspondence with Rogers (an affluent Kent businessman and farmer, collector and dabbler in the jewellery business) reflects a relationship at once businesslike and friendly, with items being offered by Wellby on behalf of his firm, and news of items consigned to the firm by Rogers. The personal element is apparent from the first. On 15 February 1949 Wellby, in need of 'a month on the land', wonders 'whether there is any farmer down your way requiring an inexperienced townsman to do odd jobs, plough, milk cows, stack hay, sow corn or even collect eggs in exchange for board and a roof'. On 21 September 1953 he informs him that the following January he will be staying in the Middle East with the Prime Minister, when he hopes to 'introduce him to this new road making tractor' (developed by a Swiss associate of Wellby's). On 8 January 1967 he describes a trip to China, commenting that 'To me - it is the beginning of utter annihilation - and the world topsy turvy - famine - and Harold Wilson.' Two years later, on 7 March 1969, he boasts that he has 'access to £100,000. So if you can buy up a house anywhere - I can supply all the dough'. The main subject of business is the firm's handling of Roger's collection of '41 snuff boxes and 23 vinaigrettes'. Present are two copies (4to, 3 pp) of a typed 'Inventory and Valuation', and a manuscript (8vo, 5 pp) by Rogers of 39 of his items. Also a letter, on behalf of the firm, by Janet Drummond Johns, enclosing a typed 'Schedule of Snuff Boxes and Vinaigrettes'. Also an Autograph Letter Signed (12mo, 2 pp, 20 November 1950, signed 'M. C.') on behalf of the firm by M. W. Couldrey, with a Typed Letter Signed (4to, 1 p, 5 February 1947) to Couldrey from Arthur Westwood of the Birmingham Assay Office, on the subject of the box maker Nathaniel Mills. Also two receipts, one for items totaling £1079 5s 6d. Also letters from Asprey's of Bond Street and Sotheby & Co. Also two letters to Rogers from Wellby's wife Molly (née McClean). The final item is a set (8vo, 5 pp) of typed 'NOTES taken at Informal Meeting held at 13 Eaton Place on Friday, 1st July, 1955', between eight individuals including Rogers and the Wellbys, the purpose of which 'was to see whether F[ranklin] R[ogers] and T v[an] K[empen] and the others [...] liked each other and were likely to get on well together because FR had shown interest in the Dutch jewellery and had had the idea of one superb shop in London to sell it, and this was also TvK's wish, to open such an establishment'. The firm of D. and J. Wellby was a respected one, founded by John Wellby in 1820. Ian Fleming met Guy Wellby (whom Pearson describes as 'an urbane, forthcoming man in his middle fifties') in 1956, and Wellby was his principal source of information on gold while he was writing the novel 'Goldfinger'.