STAGE

[Louis-Arsène Delaunay, French actor with the Comédie Française.] Autograph Letter Signed, in French, to Tom Taylor, playwright and editor of Punch, in enveloped addressed by him to 'Sir Tom Taylor'.

Author: 
Louis-Arsène Delaunay (1826-1903), French actor who over four decades created almost two hundred parts with the Comédie Française [Tom Taylor (1817-1880), playwright and editor of Punch]
Publication details: 
'London July 4 1879 / Upper Montagu st. W'.
£50.00

See his entry in Encyclopaedia Britannica, and Taylor's in the Oxford DNB. 1p, 12mo. In good condition, lightly aged, and folded once. In worn envelope with Penny Red stamp and postmark, and slight loss around flap. The envelope was no doubt retained because it was addressed by Delaunay to 'Sir Tom Taylor / Lavender Sweet [sic] / Wandsworth'. A neatly laid written and laid out communication, addressed to ‘Cher Monsieur Taylor’ and signed ‘Yours truly / L Delaunay / de la Comedie française’.

[Earl Grey [Henry George Grey, 3rd Earl Grey], Liberal politician.] Autograph Letter Signed to Tom Taylor, editor of Punch, praising a performance of his play ‘The Ticket-of-Leave Man’.

Author: 
Earl Grey [Henry George Grey, 3rd Earl Grey], Secretary of State for War in two Liberal administrations [Tom Taylor (1817-1880), playwright and editor of Punch]
Publication details: 
2 June [no year, but 1863, and on paper watermarked with that date]; on letterhead of 13 Carlton House Terrace.
£65.00

See the entry for Grey and Taylor in the Oxford DNB. 2pp, 12mo. On first leaf of bifolium. In good condition, lightly aged. Folded twice. Begins: ‘Dear Mr Taylor - / I am just come home from seeing “the ticket of leave man,” & before I go to bed I must thank you for an evening of very great enjoyment.’ It pleased him ‘to see so good a play, not taken from the French, but really English, [the play was in fact adapted from the French] & teaching the public what is true instead of encouraging a popular delusion of the day’.

[Laurence Olivier, distinguished English actor, star of stage and screen.] Autograph Signature on publicity photograph.

Author: 
Laurence Olivier [Laurence Kerr Olivier, Lord Olivier] (1907-1989), distinguished English actor, star of stage and screen, one of the greatest actors of the twentieth century
Olivier
Publication details: 
No date or place (1930s). Stamp on reverse of The Photo Repro Co., Photo House, 10 St Martin’s Court, London WC2.
£35.00
Olivier

Olivier’s luminous achievements are well described in his entry in the Oxford DNB. An 8 x 11 cm photographic image, printed in black and white on an 8.5t x 13.5 cm card, with the actor's autograph signature mostly on the blank area beneath the image: ‘L Olivier’. In fair condition, lightly aged and worn. An attractive image of the head of the young thespian, staring moodily to his right, hair slicked back, with part of white shirt and smart dark jacket just visible. Not present among the 114 portraits of Olivier in the National Portrait Gallery inventory.

[Hartley Power, American stage and screen actor who settled in England.] Signed publicity photograph of him with trilby and pipe in mouth.

Author: 
Hartley Power (1894-1966), American stage and screen actor who settled in England
Publication details: 
No date (1930s). No place.
£35.00

Power made his Broadway debut in 1922. The film role for which he is perhaps best remembered is as Gregory Peck's boss in 'Roman Holiday' (1953). A 15 x 12 cm black and white image, printed on 17 x 14 cm matt card. In good condition, lightly aged. A head and shoulders shot of a pensive Power, pipe in mouth, trilby on head, in pin stripe suit jacket with white shirt and tie. At top right, against the plain background, in green ink, Power has written: ‘Best Wishes / Hartley Power.’

[W. G. Wills [William Gorman Wills], Irish playwright and painter.] Autograph Letter Signed to Tom Taylor, fellow-playwright and ‘Punch’ editor, recommending Walter John Knewstub, Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s assistant.

Author: 
W. G. Wills [William Gorman Wills (1828-1891)], Irish playwright and painter [Tom Taylor (1817-1880), playwright, Punch editor; Walter John Knewstub (1831-1906), assistant to Dante Gabriel Rossetti]
Publication details: 
‘76 Fulham Rd / Brompton [London] / May 4 - 77 [1877]’.
£56.00

See his entry and Taylor’s in the Oxford DNB. 1p, 12mo. Sixteen lines of closely-written text. In good condition, lightly aged. Folded once. Begins: ‘My dear Mr. Taylor / Would you allow me to introduce a friend of mine Mr. Knewstube to you.

[Tom Taylor and Sadler’s Wells.] Autograph Letter Signed to Taylor from Kate Crowe ('Miss Kate Bateman'), regarding the address he has written for her to recite at the reopening of Sadler's Wells, with pencil notes on Lord Burleigh by Taylor.

Author: 
Tom Taylor (1817-1880), playwright, editor of Punch, Times art critic; Kate Josephine Crowe (1842-1917), actress, daughter of American-born actress Sidney Bateman (1823-1881), lessee of Sadler's Wells
Publication details: 
Addressed by Kate Crowe: ‘7 Taviton St. Gordon Sqr. [London] W.1 / Oct. 1st. [1879]’ Taylor's notes without date or place.
£180.00

The present item is on a 12mo bifolium of light gray paper, with Kate Crowe’s letter on the two outer pages, and Tom Taylor’s unrelated pencil notes on the two inner pages. In good condition, lightly aged and worn. There is an engraved portrait of ‘Miss Kate Bateman’, with a long biographical footnote, on pp.160-161 of ‘The Reminiscences of J. L. Toole’, ed. Hatton (1889). That footnote states, with regard to the subject of this letter: ‘Miss Bateman appeared on the first night of the reopening of Sadler’s Wells under the management of [her mother] Mrs.

[St John Ervine [pseudonym of John Greer Irvine], Ulster playwright and novelist.] Typed Letter Signed to Miss Esther Boyer, declining to respond to a 'cub reporter'.

Author: 
St John Ervine [pseudonym of John Greer Irvine (1883-1971)], Ulster playwright and novelist
Publication details: 
21 December 1938. On letterhead of Honey Ditches, Seaton, Devon.
£56.00

See his entry in the Oxford DNB. 1p, 12mo. On worn and aged paper, with L-shaped closed tear at left-hand edge. Folded for postage. Addressed to her at Bebington in the Wirral. Loose, smudged signature ‘St John Ervine’. He thanks her for her ‘letter and its enclosure, which I return. If I were to rebuke every cub reporter who wrote so stupidly as the young man to whom you refer, I should fill The Observer with my reproofs, apart altogether from the fact, that I should be giving the young man an exaggerated sense of his importance.

['We weren't very angry either': Arnold Wesker, radical English Jewish playwright.] Autograph Letter Signed to Paul Furness, about the part played by the pub and drinking for Jews, the ‘angry young men’, David Mercer, and in his own life.

Author: 
Arnold Wesker (1932-2016), radical English Jewish playwright, one of the 1950s ‘angry young men’
Publication details: 
9 October 1982. On his letterhead, 27 Bishop’s Road, London.
£120.00

See his entry in the Oxford DNB. 2pp, 4to. In good condition, lightly aged. Folded for postage and in stamped and postmarked envelope (with Wesker’s address printed on it), addressed to Furness in Battersea. One of a number of letters from British poets in response to enquiries from Paul Furness with regard to their pub memories. Addressed to ‘Dear Mr Furness’ and signed ‘Arnold Wesker’.

St John Hankin [St. John Emile Clavering Hankin, Edwardian ?New Drama? playwright.] Two Autograph Letter Signed to actor-manager Otho Stuart, one asking to read him a ?new play?, the other asking for the return of a script.

Author: 
St John Hankin [St. John Emile Clavering Hankin (1869-1909)], Edwardian playwright and essayist, follower of Bernard Shaw and exponent of the ?New Drama? [Otho Stuart (1863-1930), actor-manage]
Publication details: 
ONE: 2 November 1906; on letterhead of the Savile Club, 107 Piccadilly, W. [London] TWO: 2 February 1908; 30 Brechin Place, S.W. [London]
£80.00

See his entry in the Oxford DNB. Stuart was at the time actor-manager of the Adelphi Theatre, London. Both items in good condition, lightly aged, and folded for postage. ONE: 3pp, 12mo (the third page carrying a postscript written lengthwise). Bifolium. Begins: ?Dear Sir / I have a new play which I should like to read to you if you would care to hear it.

St John Hankin [St. John Emile Clavering Hankin, Edwardian ?New Drama? playwright.] Autograph Letter Signed to Alexander Louis Teixeira de Mattos

Author: 
St John Hankin [St. John Emile Clavering Hankin (1869-1909)], Edwardian playwright, follower of Bernard Shaw and exponent of ?New Drama? [Alexander Louis Teixeira de Mattos (1865-1921). See Wikipedia]
Publication details: 
10 June [1897]; from Stratford-on-Avon, on cancelled letterhead of 11 Addison Road, Bedford Park [London].
£75.00

See his entry in the Oxford DNB. 2pp, 12mo. Bifolium. In fair condition, on aged and worn paper, with rusting from a paperclip to both leaves. Addressed to 'Mr Texeira [sic] de Mattos' and signed 'S John E. C. Hankin'. He thanks him for the cheque and is sorry to hear that the recipient's 'great project has come to nought - at least for the moment'. He expects that de Mattos saw 'the Bankruptcy of the New Saturday duly chronicled? You were a true prophet. I gather it will pay nothing in the ?'. The New Saturday was a short-lived newspaper, going to the wall after a few issues in 1897.

[Joseph Knight, drama critic and theatre historian.] Autograph Letter Signed to a bookseller, discussing purchases from a catalogue.

Author: 
Joseph Knight (1829-1907), English theatre historian and drama critic with the Literary Gazette, Athenaeum, Sunday Times, Globe and Daily Graphic
Publication details: 
23 April 1884; on letterhead of 27 Camden Square, N.W.
£50.00

See his entry in the Oxford DNB. In good condition, lightly aged. Folded for postage. Recipient not named (addressed to 'Dear Sir'). Signed 'Joseph Knight' and neatly written. He is sending the 'cheque as promised', and asks whether a book was 'a very nice copy', since he was 'disposed to order it'. One of his purchases is 'a disappointing work. Its title presumes what is not found. If you can get any thing extra for it out of your customers you can have it back.'

[Clement Scott [Clement William Scott], theatre critic of the Daily Telegraph.] Autograph Letter Signed concerning London's Gaiety Theatre, burlesque and music.

Author: 
Clement Scott [Clement William Scott] (1841-1904), highly influential theatre critic, mainly working for the Daily Telegraph, who feuded with Shaw [Gaiety Theatre, London]
Publication details: 
'Sunday' [no date or place].
£45.00

See his entry in the Oxford DNB. 2pp, 12mo. Bifolium. Twenty-two lines of text. In good condition, lightly discoloured and worn. Folded for postatge. The addressee’s name is unclear. Signed ‘Clement Scott’.

[G. R. Sims, journalist and bon vivant.] Autograph Note Signed to 'Miss Thompson', regarding 'the acting rights, if any'.

Author: 
G. R. Sims [George Robert Sims] (1847-1922), journalist, author and bon vivant
Publication details: 
20 May 1902. On letterhead of 12 Clarence Terrace, Regent's Park, N.W. [London] ('Registered Telegraphic Address, Hybiscus, London ')
£45.00

See his entry in the Oxford DNB. 1p, landscape 8vo. In good condition, lightly aged, with four small gummed squared as mounts adhering to the four corners. Folded for postage. Large firm signature and handwriting. Reads: 'Dear Miss Thompson / The piece is not mine and I am sorry I cannot inform you to whom the acting rights, if any, belong. / Your sincerely / Geo R Sims'.

[Ellen Terry, distinguished Shakespearian actress of the Victorian and Edwardian period, famed for her partnership with Henry Irving.] Autograph Card Signed, agreeing to sign a protest against a 'wicked deed'.

Author: 
Ellen Terry [Dame Alice Ellen Terry] (1847-1928), distinguished Shakespearian actress of the late-Victorian and Edwardian periods, acted opposite Henry Irving
Ellen Terry
Publication details: 
10 January [no year, but between 1904 and 1920 when she lived at this address]. On two plain cards, both with letterheads of '215, King's Road, / Chelsea.' [London]
£60.00
Ellen Terry

See her entry in the Oxford DNB. On two 11 x 9 cm cards, plain but for the letterhead. Both in good condition, lightly aged. The recipient is not named. The card is signed 'E. T:' and is written in her forceful hand. Begins: 'I have no time - nor words - to tell you what I think - The boys health indeed! - if there's any use in talking, if signing petitions will do any good one would talk & sign all day! but in spite' - here the reverse of the first card begins, and the side is entirely deleted, except for the last line'.

[‘must one glue the British public to its seat’?: Jeannette Sherwin [née Görlitz and latterley Jolley], English actress.] Autograph Letter Signed to ‘Mr Rubinstein’, regarding a performance of Wagner’s ‘Tristan und Isolde’.

Author: 
Jeannette Sherwin [née Görlitz and latterley Jolley] (1894-1936), English actress, daughter of Australian soprano Amy Sherwin
Publication details: 
4 February 1913. 51 Nether Hall Gardens, N.W. [London]
£60.00

She was the daughter of the impressario Hugo Görlitz and the Australian soprano Amy Sherwin; and goddaughter of Paderewski. She married the actor James Thomas Jolley in New York (where the couple were based) in 1923, dying of consumption in England several years later. The present item is 2pp, small 4to, in bifolium, with the valediction written lengthwise and downwards on a third page. In fair condition, lightly aged and worn. Printed on the first page is the name ‘Jeannette’ within a small bow. The letter is addressed to ‘Dear Mr. Rubinstein’, and signed ‘Jeannette Sherwin Gorlitz’.

[John Wood, distinguished English actor, associated with Tom Stoppard.] His copy of the script of ?The Fantasticks / A Parable about Love / Words by Tom Jones / Music by Harvey L. Schmidt?, with autograph note by him and stage plans.

Author: 
John Wood (1930-2011), English actor associated with Tom Stoppard [?The Fantasticks?, musical by Tom Jones and Harvey L. Schmidt]
Publication details: 
Title page: ?Copyright 1959 by Tom Jones and Harvey L. Schmidt / Property of: Music Theatre Inc. / 119 West 57th Street/ New York 19, New York?. By ?the studio duplicating service / 434 west 43rd street, n.y.c. / LO 3-1225? [New York City, USA.]
£400.00

See Michael Coveney?s obituary in the Guardian, 10 August 2011, which states that Wood was ?one of the greatest stage actors of the past century?, and that he ?returned to the West End in 1961 as Henry Albertson in the whimsical off-Broadway musical The Fantasticks, at the Apollo?. 86pp, 4to. Each act separately paginated. Duplicated and bound with metal studs into black waxed-card wraps, with each page on the recto of a separate leaf. Title ?THE FANTASTICKS? printed on front cover, with details of the Studio Duplicating Service. In good condition, lightly aged, in lightly creased wraps.

[Richard Cumberland, dramatist.] Autograph Letter Signed to George IV’s mistress the Countess of Jersey, expressing pleasure that she is pleased with his composition, and thanking her for her regret at his loss.

Author: 
Richard Cumberland (1732-1811), dramatist [Frances Villiers [née Twysden], Countess of Jersey (1753-1821), mistress of King George IV]
Publication details: 
No date or place.
£320.00

See his entry, and hers, in the Oxford DNB. From the papers of her relation Lady Theresa Lewis. 2pp, 8vo. On the first leaf of a bifolium, the recto of the second leaf being addressed by him to ‘Countess of Jersey / &c &c &c’. In good condition, lightly aged and worn. Folded for postage. Written in high eighteenth-century style.

[Sir Thomas Noon Talfourd, author, judge and Radical politician.] Autograph Letter Signed to ‘T Davis Esq’ regarding the acting of Henry Thomas Betty, son of 'the young Roscius'.

Author: 
Sir Thomas Noon Talfourd (1795-1854), author, judge and Radical politician, friend of Charles Dickens and framer of modern British copyright law
Talfourd
Publication details: 
‘Serjeants’ Inn [London], 20 May, 1841’.
£180.00
Talfourd

Talfourd’s entry in the Oxford DNB notes that he was ‘particularly loved’ by Dickens, and that he ‘provided the archetype of the idealistic Tommy Traddles in David Copperfield; his children Frank and Kate gave their names to two youngsters in Dickens's Nicholas Nickleby.’ The subject of the letter is the actor Henry Thomas Betty (1819-1897), son of ‘the young Roscius’ Henry Betty (1791-1874), whose entry in the ODNB also see. 1p, 4to. In good condition, lightly aged, and with slight traces of mount on reverse. Folded for postage. Begins: ‘My dear Sir, / Mr.

[‘the greatest theatrical comic of his age’: Ken Dodd, Liverpool comedian and singer.] Typed Letter Signed with biographical details, and signed publicity postcard with photographic portrait.

Author: 
Ken Dodd [Sir Kenneth Arthur Dodd] (1927-2018), Liverpool comedian and singer, ‘the greatest theatrical comic of his age’
Ken Dodd
Publication details: 
Letter dated ‘C/o B.B.C. Manchester. / October 9th 1957.’
£100.00
Ken Dodd

Dodd’s entry in the Oxford DNB by Michael Billington concludes with the assessment that he was ‘the greatest theatrical comic of his age and the last link with the hallowed days of music hall’. The two items are in good condition, lightly aged. ONE: TLS, 9 October 1957. 1p, 4to. Good large signature ‘Ken Dodd’. The male recipient is not named. He apologises for the late reply to the recipient’s letter. ‘May I also thank you for the compliments paid to my performance on Television. / I am a Liverpudlian, residing in Knotty Ash Liverpool.

[Stephen Kemble [George Stephen Kemble], Shakespearian actor-manager, uncle of Fanny Kemble.] Informative Autograph Letter Signed to solicitors ‘Messrs. Dowson, Capron and Rowley’, regarding whereabouts of actor William Shakespear Kendrick of Whitby.

Author: 
Stephen Kemble [George Stephen Kemble] (1758-1822), celebrated Shakespearian actor-manager noted for his Falstaff, husband of Elizabeth Satchell and uncle of Fanny Kemble [William Shakespear Kendrick]
Publication details: 
‘Grove. Durham / August the 11th. / 1821.’
£95.00

An interesting letter, providing a mass of interesting incormation relating to the stage in Georgian England, while responding to a request from London solicitors for information about the whereabouts of a provincial actor. See his entry in the Oxford DNB. 3pp, 4to. Forty lines of text, on bifolium addressed on reverse of second leaf ‘For / Messrs. Dowson, Capron and Rowley / Savile Place / near / Burlington Street / London’, and signed ‘S. Kemble.’ In fair condition, on discoloured and worn paper with minor damage at head, but text clear and entire.

[Ruth Draper, American actress and dramatist, whose monologues influence Joyce Grenfell and others.] Autograph Letter Signed to ?Sir David [Ross]?, going into great detail about her eating arrangements while performing at Oxford.

Author: 
Ruth Draper (1884-1956), American actress and dramatist, whose monologues influenced many including Joyce Grenfell [Sir David Ross [W. D. Ross], Provost of Oriel, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University]
Publication details: 
5 April [no year but presumably between 1941 and 1944]. Cambridge.
£56.00

Draper inspired characters in two of Agatha Christie?s books. Among others impressed by her work were Bernard Shaw, Thornton Wilder, John Gielgud, Katharine Hepburn, Maurice Chevalier, Laurence Olivier, Henry James, Henry Adams, Edith Wharton, Joyce Grenfell, Emma Thompson, David Mamet and Maureen Lipman. See Ross?s entry in the Oxford DNB. 3pp, 12mo, on bifolium of light-grey paper. In good condition, lightly aged. Folded once for postage. Addressed to ?Dear Sir David? and signed ?Ruth Draper.? Presumably written during Ross?s Vice-Chancellorship, 1941-1944.

[Gladys Cooper, star of stage and screen.] Gelatin silver print of Foulsham & Banfield photograph of Gladys Cooper in the play ‘My Lady’s Dress’, with a second photograph of her embracing Dennis Eadie in the same production.

Author: 
Gladys Cooper [Dame Gladys Constance Cooper] (1888-1971), English actress, over seven decades a star of stage and screen; Dennis Eadie (1869-1928), actor; Foulsham & Banfield, London photographers
Cooper
Publication details: 
Label on reverse dates the solo photograph to 27 February 1914, with the stamp of Foulsham & Banfield, 49 Old Bond Street, W. [London]. The photograph of Cooper & Eadie without date or place, but from the same production.
£100.00
Cooper

Edward Knobloch’s play ‘My Lady’s Dress’ (‘in which’, as one newspaper wrote at the time, ‘the heroine’s dream takes her to the foreign [and London] scenes surrounding the manufacture of a costly gown’) premiered at the Royalty Theatre in London in 1914 and was revived several times through the 1920s.

[Robert Morley, English actor, star of stage and screen.] Autograph Note Signed, with 'most abject apologies'.

Author: 
Robert Morley [Robert Adolph Wilton Morley] (1908-1992), quintessentially-English actor, star of stage and screen
Morley
Publication details: 
Undated; on letterhead of 25 Burton Court S.W.3 [London].
£35.00
Morley

1p, 12mo. On grey paper. In fair condition, lightly aged and with slight creasing. Large firm signature. Presumably responding to a request for an autograph. Reads: ‘With my most abject apologies - but I have been away for three months / Robert Morley. See Image.

[Lilian Baylis, manager of the Old Vic and Sadler’s Wells theatres in London.] Three Typed Letters Signed, to different recipients, on a topics including her health and need to ‘appear ruthless’. With Autograph Signature to publicity portrait (Photo)

Author: 
Lilian Baylis [Lilian Mary Baylis] (1874-1937), lessee and manager of the Old Vic and Sadler’s Wells theatres in London
Baylis
Publication details: 
TLsS from 1921, 1932 and 1936; the first on letterhead of ‘Royal Victoria Hall (“The Old Vic.”)’, the other two on letterhead of The Old Vic (‘The People’s Theatre’ and ‘The Home of Shakespeare and Opera’), London. Post Card dated 14 March 1934.
£180.00
Baylis

See her entry in the Oxford DNB. The three TLsS (Items One to Three), each signed ‘Lilian Baylis’, are all 1p, 4to. They are in fair condition, creased and lightly aged, with Item Three having two punch holes for a binder. The portrait postcard is in good condition, lightly aged. ONE: TLS, 15 November 1921. Addressed to ‘Miss Ingham’. ‘I do hope you will have a big success with the enclosed card.

[Juvenile ephemera: Punch and Judy, Conjuring, Ventriloquism, Shadow Pictures.] Attractive illustrated handbill advertisement for ‘One Hour of Laughter’, ‘Entertainments for Children arranged by James Portland, The Childrens’ Entertainment Expert’.

Author: 
Juvenile ephemera: Punch and Judy, Conjuring, Ventriloquism, Shadow Pictures; James Portland (fl. 1919), The Childrens' [sic] Entertainment Expert, London
children
Publication details: 
No date, but from around the time of the First World War. James Portland, The Childrens' [sic] Entertainment Expert, 39, Sinclair Road, Kensington, W 14. [London]
£220.00
children

An attractive piece of juvenile ephemera, printed in black on one side of a piece of 23.5 x 36.5 cm wove paper. In good condition, folded twice. The document is excessively scarce, no other copy having been traced, and little has been learnt about the advertiser. In 1919 Punch carried an advertisement for ‘Punch and Judy, Conjuring, Ventriloquism, &c.’ from ‘James Portland, the Conjuror and Children’s Entertainer’. Four years later the ‘Model Engineer’ carried several advertisements from Portland as a supplier of ebonite.

[Sir Arthur Wing Pinero, leading late-Victorian and Edwardian playwright.] Autograph Letter Signed ('Arthur W. Pinero') to the daughter of the writer George Meredith, regretting that he cannot visit her and her father at Box Hill.

Author: 
Sir Arthur Wing Pinero (1855-1934), leading English late-Victorian and Edwardian playwright, after beginning as an actor in Sir Henry Irving’s company at the Lyceum Theatre, London [George Meredith]
Publication details: 
25 June 1891; on copperplate letterhead of 64 St John's Wood Road, London N.W.
£56.00

See his appreciative entry in the Oxford DNB, concluding with praise of his ‘undeniable’ achievements.2pp, 12mo. On bifolium. In good condition; folded once for postage, and with the blank reverse of the first leaf laid down on part of a leaf from the autograph album of the novelist George Meredith's daughter Marie Eveleen (‘Mariette’; 1871-1933), wife of Henry Parkman Sturgis (1847-1929), American-born banker and Liberal politician. Addressed to 'Miss Marie E. Meredith' and signed 'Arthur W. Pinero'. Begins: 'It is with a heavy heart that I tell you I am pledged, wit h Mrs.

[Evelyn Laye, English actress and singer, star of stage and screen.] Autograph Signature added at foot of pencil sketch of her by Kenneth Sephton.

Author: 
Evelyn Laye [née Elsie Evelyn Lay] (1900-1996), English actress and singer, star of stage and screen, associated with Noel Coward [Kenneth Sephton]
Laye
Publication details: 
No date or place. [1950s]
£90.00
Laye

See her entry in the Oxford DNB. After a stint as one of George Edwardes’ Gaiety Girls, she made her name in a number of revues, her performance in the lead role of the 1929 Broadway production of ‘Bitter Sweet’ prompting Coward to praise her grace and charm and assurance, which he said provoked one of the most prolonged outbursts of cheering I have ever heard in the theatre. She was less successful in Hollywood, starring in the Romberg/Hammerstein musical ‘One Heavenly Night’ (1931), a failure for Samuel Goldwyn.

[Ellen Terry, distinguished Shakespearian actress of the Victorian and Edwardian period.] Intimate Autograph Letter Signed (‘Nellaline’), sending her ‘very little heart [to George Meredith’s daughter]’.

Author: 
Ellen Terry [Dame Alice Ellen Terry] (1847-1928), distinguished Shakespearian actress of the late-Victorian and Edwardian periods, acted opposite Henry Irving
Publication details: 
17 March 1889; on letterhead of 22 Barkston Gardens, Earls Court, S.W. [London]
£80.00

See her entry in the Oxford DNB. An attractive and unusual item of correspondence, neatly written out in her distinctive handwriting. 1p, 12mo. On leaf of onion paper, carefully laid down on thicker backing. In good condition, slightly discoloured. Folded three times for postage. Reads: ‘A little little heart! So little! but anything “in the way of” a heart should not be flouted, nor scouted, & so I pray you to accept my very little heart - / It’s not worth the thanking for, only don’t send it back to me. / Nellaline. / March 17: 89:’.

[Sir John Gielgud, distinguished English actor.] Autograph Letter Signed to 'Mrs. Doubleday', wife of the publisher.

Author: 
Sir John Gielgud [Arthur John Gielgud] (1904-2000), distinguished English actor [Florence Van Wyck Doubleday, wife of New York publisher Frank Nelson Doubleday]
Publication details: 
27 October [1936]. 59 East 56th Street, New York City.
£80.00

See his entry in the Oxford DNB. 1p, 12mo. On grey paper. In good condition, lightly aged and worn. Folded once for postage. The year is given in pencil, and a note in the same hand identifies the recipient as ‘Mrs Florence Doubleday (wife of publisher) in Oyster Bay’. Ten lines of text, in a close hand, with larger, firm signature ‘John Gielgud.’ A somewhat pompous missive. He thanks her for giving him ‘so delightful an opportunity of meeting you, and to ask me to stay in your charming house and meet your friends, who were all so nice to me’.

[Sir John Gielgud, distinguished English actor.] Autograph Letter Signed to 'Mrs. Bannerman', thanking her for sending the 'enchanting' and costly flowers which she has packed 'so beautifully'.

Author: 
Sir John Gielgud [Arthur John Gielgud] (1904-2000), distinguished English actor
Publication details: 
13 May [no year - 1960s?]. On his letterhead, 16 Cowley Street, London, S.W.1.
£50.00

1p, small 4to. In fair condition, lightly aged and worn. Folded twice for postage. Written in a close hand, with a larger and more forceful signature, with long underlining: ‘John Gielgud.’ Reads: ‘Dear Mrs. Bannerman. / All my best thanks for the lovely lilies, which arrived fresh and safely. They are quite enchanting - and cost a small fortune if one buys them in a florists.

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