Cigarette case given by George VI to Lionel Logue
A royal presentation silver cigarette case and accompanying letter from George VI to Lionel Logue that sold for £61,000 at Woolley & Wallis.

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Estimated at £4000-6000, the case had an accompanying letter from George VI to Logue, who had successfully treated the king for a pronounced stammer.

Logue was an Australian speech and language therapist and amateur stage actor who was engaged to treat George VI for his stammer in 1926. In the 2010 film, he was played by Geoffrey Rush and the king by Colin Firth.

Numerous bidders competed for the lot at the July 22-23 auction and it was eventually knocked down to a private UK buyer who saw off bidding from dealer Wartski. Among the other underbidders was Prince Alfred College in Adelaide, where Logue was educated.

Dating from 1936, the 5in (13cm) long cigarette case was made by The Goldsmiths and Silversmiths Company in London and carries the royal cipher of George VI in gold.

The letter was dated May 17, 1937, and was sent five days after the coronation. Written from Windsor Castle, it begins: “The Queen and I have just viewed the film of our Coronation, and I could not wait to send you a few lines to thank you again for your hard work in helping me prepare for the great day.”

Both the case and letter had provenance to Logue (1880-1953), his brother Herbert (1883- 1954), Charles McGowan and Sons in 1953, and then they had descended through the family of the vendor at the Salisbury auction.

Rothschild bottle

In the same sale, a 17th century Dutch silver-mounted green glass shaft and globe bottle took £36,000 against an estimate of £1000-2000.

Probably made by Hans C. Brechtel in The Hague in 1664, the 30cm high bottle was part of a large consignment of paintings, objects and works of art from the Rothschild family of Exbury House in Hampshire, which the auctioneers are dispersing across several sales this summer and autumn.

The silver-mounted cork stopper was embossed with a reclining cherub.

Acquired by Alfred de Rothschild (1842-1918), it appeared in a 1918 valuation schedule at Exbury, catalogued simply as ’a green glass decanter with silver mounts’. A similar piece can be found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York while two very similar bottles, carrying marks for The Hague and Adriaen Van Hoecke, c.1665, were sold at Hannam’s in Hampshire in January 2019.

Prices quoted are hammer prices, subject to a 25% buyer’s premium.