George Bryan (Beau) Brummell (1778-1840)
Lot 365
George Bryan (Beau) Brummell (1778-1840)
Sold for £937 (US$ 1,575) inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
George Bryan (Beau) Brummell (1778-1840)
A signed manuscript letter, undated, to Monsieur Thomas Broadwood:
My Dear Broadwood, The snuff is perfect, I have already consumed at least an ounce up my starved nostrils, for I have recently been rather short of such delectable weeds. Accept my very sincere thanks for your kindness and bon soir et bon voyage. Truly yours George Brummell. with black wax seal. Framed together with a black laquer snuff box, in the form of a Coquilla nut. 12x14ins. (31x36cm)


  • George Beau Brummell, Regency Dandy and one-time friend of the Prince Regent.

    Born in London the son of a Politician, he had already established his fashion credentials by the time he had passed through Eton and Oxford. Leaving University, he joined the 10th Royal Hussars commanded by the Prince of Wales an fully engaged with the high-living lifestyle of a Junior Officer. He soon came to the attention of the Prince, resulting in his rapid promotion as his relationship with his commander flourished. However, posting the Regiment to Manchester caused him to promptly resign and embrace the life of a London Gentleman. His style, habits, and innovations in Men's fashion brought him a wide circle of admirers, but at a cost that his income could not sustain.

    In 1813 he famously fell out with the Prince Regent, calling him "your fat friend" to his companion, when the Prince cut him at the Waiters Club, and by 1816 he was forced to flee to Calais to escape his debtors, a route similarly taken by Lady Hamilton a few years earlier.

    He lived the remainder of his life in France, securing briefly the Consulship at Caen for two years, but mostly subsisting on the charity of his loyal friends. He died, penniless and maddened by Syphilis at Caen in 1840.

    The use of French in the address, and the salutation, suggest that this letter was written whilst in exile.
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