A Bookseller Visiting Christie's and London
Although the Princess Margaret collection consists mainly of furniture, silver, and artwork, there are some items of interest to individual book and ephemera collectors, including early children's illustrated books signed and inscribed by authors. These include Do you Believe in Fairies and The Boat to Fairyland, by Margaret W. Tarrant, and Spindlewood Fairies by Daphne Allen, in frame. Other books include Mani, Travels in the Southern Pelopennese, A Time of Gifts, and Three Letters from the Andes, signed by Patrick Leigh Fermor. There is an inscribed Royal Engagements 'roll-down' map which covers the period from 1936 - 1951. One of the rarest items includes a painted brise fan made of ivory that dates to 1780, with an image of Cupid. One interesting watercolor artwork signed by the artist Boris Chaliapin was used for the June 13, 1949 cover of Time magazine.
My wife and I also toured Kensington Palace where Princess Margaret (as well as Princess Diana) lived and several pieces from her collection are housed for display. Although the exhibits were fascinating, we were disappointed that photographs were not allowed. The most impressive part of the tour was the King's staircase which was built by Sir Christopher Wren in the late 1600s, and recently opened to the public for the first time. George II was the last king that resided at Kensington Palace. He reigned from 1727 - 1760.
I will be writing a series of articles about some of my London experiences, which will include a visit to museums, and the world's oldest book shop, with interviews that focus on London for the collector.