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Silver and Gold.

Availability: In stock

Published: London Evans Brothers Limited, 1955

Stock Code: 130515

OR On display in 100 Fulham Road


First edition, first impression, presentation copy inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper to Princess Mary, "To Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal. With respect, gratitude and humble best wishes at Christmastime. Norman Hartnell, Christmas 1955." Hartnell (1901-1979) was the Dressmaker by Appointment to both Queen Elizabeth II and the Queen Mother In this work he details his rise to the role and provides behind-the-scenes details for a number of key royal appearances; the title of the work a reference to his 1953 Silver and Gold Collection, which featured 150 dresses designed for those at Queen Elizabeth II's coronation.
While at Cambridge Hartnell "joined the Footlights dramatic club where he acted and designed the costumes and sets. His creations were acclaimed, and on leaving Cambridge he sought a job in London's high fashion industry" (ODNB). The theatricality of his style made him popular with many of the leading ladies of the day, but it was his Royal commissions that were to be the making of him when, in 1938, "he was asked to design the clothes for the Queen's state visit to Paris. At the request of the King he based his designs on the crinoline gowns depicted in the 1860s portraits by F. X. Winterhalter at Buckingham Palace. The court was in mourning and it was Hartnell's suggestion that the clothes, which became the subject of worldwide admiration, be in white, a lesser-used colour of summer mourning. In spring 1938 Hartnell presented crinoline gowns in his own collection and this style was to become his signature. In 1940 he received his first royal warrant of appointment to the queen" (ibid.). Hartnell was then a perennial favourite of the Royal family and designed both Queen Elizabeth II's wedding (1947) and coronation (1953) gowns; sketches for both of which are featured in this work. Hartnell was regularly patronised by Princess Mary, the paternal aunt of Queen Elizabeth and the recipient of this copy, and she is mentioned in this work (p. 133). Mary was consistently at the forefront of royal fashion, and her wedding in 1922 was the first royal wedding to be covered in Vogue. "Hartnell was a talented and versatile designer whose work was disseminated to a broad market... In 1977, the year of the queen's silver jubilee, Hartnell was appointed KCVO, the first knighthood conferred for services to fashion" (ODNB).

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Octavo. Presentation binding, full red calf, titles to white calf labels in gilt to spine, Princess Mary's monogram to front cover in gilt, triple rule frames to covers in gilt, edges gilt.


Illustrated frontispiece, 23 plates, printed on glossy, yellow, and blue paper.


A couple of faint scuffs to covers, touch of wear to spine ends and tips; a near-fine copy.


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