Nassau, The Bahamas: n.p., 1941. Soft cover. Very Good. Item #SHEL1306
Original photograph & letter framed in gilt wood under glass. Photo & letter custom mounted side by side. The two documents: an original association letter (TLS - typed letter signed, 3 5/8" x 5 1/4" showing) and an original b/w - tending to slightly sepia - photograph 3" x 5 1/4" showing). The letter, typed on light blue paper, is from the Secretary of the Duchess of Windsor, Jean D_____ (can't quite decipher) to Mrs. Clay Harrell, addressed to the U. S. Consulate in Bermuda and dated 17th July, 1941. This is an imprinted letterhead: Government House / Nassau / Bahamas. In the upper left hand corner a small crown is imprinted. Following the salutation and above the signature lines are two paragraph with 10 lines total. The subject is an acknowledgment, with delight on behalf of Wallis Simpson, the reception of "two little books showing the horoscopes of His Royal Highness and herself. The Duchess is glad to have your views on the subject which has always been of interest to her." Immediately under the content of the letter, the sheet has been carefully cut, separating the content from the signature information. In between is carefully inserted, on slightly darker blue paper, the typed address, presumably from the envelope. Under that is carefully re-laid the signature information. The three pieces are skillfully joined. The photograph shows Edward and Wallis standing formally under the British Flag with a portion of a military and civilian crowd in the background. At the bottom are two original signatures in ink, "Edward" and "Wallis Windsor." Edward's signature is dark and Wallis' is more transparent, but both are strong and clear. Edward is wearing white ceremonial dress of some sort that an expert on royal/military dress will be able to identify, and a pith helmet. He is saluting. His left hand holds a ceremonial staff of some sort which extends from waist-level to the platform. Wallis is holding in her left arm and hand her handbag/purse and also what appears to be a folder of some sort. She is wearing a white suit with dark piping at the lapels and hem, and dark and white heels. She is also wearing a dark head adornment/small hat of some sort. The condition of both pieces is very good, but we will point out that the right side of the photo has a dark shadow about an inch wide from top to bottom. It does not obscure the figures on that side. The reason for the shadow is that the photo was obviously placed partially against the paper letter as the latter sports an opposite side shadow or "burn." It darkens the paper but does not obscure the text. There may be a slight darkening to the whole photo due to some contact with the letter, but the area we point out is more obvious. Rather good information may be found on the internet about the recipient, Mrs. Merrill. Her husband, Mr. Edwin Clay Merrell, "served as US Vice Consul and Consul to Bermuda from July 1920 until January 1947." In the June 1941 issue of The American Foreign Service Journal, reported is that the Merrells were moving. "Clay Merrell of Oklahoma, American Vice Consul at Hamilton, Bermuda, has been appointed American Vice Consul at Hamilton, Ontario, Canada." Mrs. Merrell married Clay in 1938. There is some sort of symmetry to the fact that Mrs. Merrell (Jane Benson Smith Weadock Merrell) had been married twice before she met Mr. Merrell, and Wallis Simpson had also been married twice before she married Edward, who abdicated the throne to marry her! Obviously this a desirable and rare item for collectors of more than one interest field. Framed size: 10 1/2" x 12/1/2"