It's a Girl!

It's a Girl!

Royal Baby Fashion

11/06/2021    

As we welcome the birth of Her Majesty the Queen’s 11th great-grandchild Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, our minds turn to the fashionable infant wardrobes of her royal ancestors. Our 'Vintage, Antique Textiles & Passion for Fashion' auction on 15th June includes a rare collection of miniature accessories once worn by the children of Lilibet’s great-great-great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria (lot 347).

The Royal Family in 1846’ by Franz Xaver Winterhalter, copyright The Royal Collection

 

Dating from the 1840s through to the 1850s, the collection of tiny shoes, gloves and socks was lovingly kept in a wooden box by the children’s nanny, Mrs. Mary Thurston, who was employed by the Royal Family for 22 years from 1845 to 1867.

 

Royal Nanny Mrs. Mary Thurston

 

Included are a pair of stylish grey wool and black patent ankle boots, c.1846, the sole inscribed 'Princess Alice’, and a pair of ivory satin slippers by Hook of New Bond St, c.1848, inscribed to the sole 'Princess Royal' - worn by Queen Victoria’s first-born child: Princess Victoria.

 

 

Part of lot 347, a collection of accessories belonging to Queen Victoria's children, estimate £2,000-3,000.

 

The smallest pair of shoes measure just 13cm long: of glacé brown leather and with ankle straps which fasten with tiny buttons. They were probably worn by Queen Victoria’s third son, Prince Arthur. The collection also includes a slightly larger pair of bronze glacé leather shoes with velvet bows, probably for Prince Albert Edward (Bertie), who grew up to become King Edward VII.

 

Part of lot 347, a collection of accessories belonging to Queen Victoria's children, estimate £2,000-3,000.

 

Queen Victoria herself is also represented in our sale, which includes not one but two pairs of silk stockings once belonging to the monarch, each knitted with large imperial crowns and monogrammed ‘VR’.

 

Left: lot 345, a fine pair of Queen Victoria's silk stockings, late 19th century, estimate £400-600
Right: lot 346, a pair of Queen Victoria's silk stockings, late 19th century, estimate £250-400.

 

And travelling forward in time more than 130 years, our sale also includes three British-made bespoke creations for Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York. Dating from 1986-1991, all are brightly coloured and in joyful prints which - in keeping with the protocol of royal fashion - ensured the Duchess would be easily spotted amongst the crowds during official public engagements.

 

Left: lot 342, a Lindka Cierach bespoke silk damask dress, worn by Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, 1986, estimate £200-300
Right: lot 344, a Tomasz Starzewski bespoke printed silk ensemble, worn by Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, 1991,
 estimate £100-150.

 

Two of the ensembles are by British couturier Lindka Ceirach, who also designed her wedding dress. The Duchess selected Lot 342- the teal printed day dress- to wear during a visit to the Berlin Wall in May, 1989, where she was photographed visiting school children and also behind the wheel of a bus. Lot 343, the pink floral silk dress, was worn during an official royal tour of Canada in July 1987, and again during a visit to Mauritius in September of the same year. And lastly, the sun and star printed bright green silk ensemble by Tomasz Starzewski was worn in part to attend Royal Ascot on the 20th May, 1991. The Duchess’s complete ensemble that day included a purple skirt, tailored green jacket, matching clutch, gloves and a wide-brimmed hat with purple ribbon trim - a head-turning look she re-interpreted for the wedding of her daughter, Princess Eugenie, in 2018. 

 

Lot 343, a Lindka Cierach bespoke floral silk damask dress, worn by Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, 1987, estimate £200-300

 

Vintage, Antique Textiles & Passion for Fashion, Tuesday 15th June 2021
Morning session begins 10am: lots 1-265
Afternoon session begins 2.30pm: lots 266-481

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