A letter from Elizabeth, Duchess of York enclosing as ‘poor’ drawing by Princess Elizabeth, $3500 (£2900) at Everard Auctions.

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The collection came for sale from the estate of William H Rasch.

Much pre-sale attention focused on an autograph letter penned by Elizabeth, Duchess of York (the future Queen Mother) to the Peter Pan author Sir James Barrie (1860- 1937).

Writing from the London address of 145 Piccadilly (site of the townhouse overlooking Green Park, where the Yorks lived until 1936), her letter included a red crayon drawing of a house done by a young Princess Elizabeth together with instructions on how it may be used in a forthcoming charity appeal.

She was less than complimentary about the future Queen Elizabeth II’s artistic talents. She finishes: “I hope that this very poor drawing may be of little use. I am yours sincerely, Elizabeth.” She then added the marginal note: “If you can manage it - will you not let the Press photograph this.”

The letter and drawing were offered together with a guide of $3000-5000 and sold at $3500 (£2900).

Estimated at $800-1200 but sold at $4250 was an autograph letter written in German by Alexandra Feodorovna, Princess Alix of Hesse and the wife of Tsar Nicholas II. She was murdered along with other members of the imperial family at Ekaterinburg in 1918.

This letter, dated March 27, 1911 and signed Alix was written to Princess Maria Saxe-Altenburg on her leaving St Petersburg to marry Heinrich of Reuss-Schleiz-Kostritz.

Savannah emerges

As expected, a copy of the first printed view of Savannah topped the sale.

The ‘Peter Gordon’ View of Savanah as it Stood the 29th of March 1734 illustrates Georgia colony founder General James E Oglethorpe’s original plan of the city. Known from almost every reference book on Georgian history, the bird’s-eye view differs from other colonial map in its detailed interpretation of the American wilderness that surrounds the settlement.

Five men were involved in its production including Oglethorpe, the surveyor Noble Jones and Peter Gordon (1697-1740) who was chosen to deliver it to George Jones in London where it was engraved by Paul Fourdrinier.

Only 11 such maps are known to exist in public museums, with a few others in private hands. It was offered with a starting bid of $50,000 from the estate of local collector Elizabeth Oxnard (1955- 2022). It sold just below estimate at $62,500 (£52,650).

Among the best-known mid- 19th century views of the city of Savannah is the 1855 lithograph printed by Endicott & Co after a drawing by John William Hill. The view shows Robert Launitz’s Pulaski monument in Monterey Square and the surrounding area and carries the inscription To the Citizens of Savannah This Picture is Most Respectfully Dedicated by the Publisher. A copy, with an original sales receipt for $500 dated 1969, was guided at $15,000-25,000 and took $27,500 (£22,700).


One of 50 copies of a 1937 ‘test drive manuscript’ for a Volkswagen prototype, $5000 (£4150) at Everard Auctions.

Of special interest to motoring enthusiasts was a rare 1937 ‘test drive manuscript’ produced for the original Volkswagen. This report regarding one of the first prototypes of Ferdinand Porshe’s ‘Beetle’ includes 31 mounted photographs and numerous illustrations and diagrams. From a run of only 50 numbered copies, it doubled the mid estimate at $5000 (£4150).