QUEEN MARY and GEORGE V Papers of Jean Marie Claude Barlerin MVO, Comptroller of Supply at the Treasurer's Office of the Household of the King, residing at Engine Court, St James's Palace,  St James's, Windsor, Balmoral and elsewhere, c.1910-1934
Lot 213
QUEEN MARY and GEORGE V
Papers of Jean Marie Claude Barlerin MVO, Comptroller of Supply at the Treasurer's Office of the Household of the King, residing at Engine Court, St James's Palace, St James's, Windsor, Balmoral and elsewhere, c.1910-1934
Sold for £1,062 (US$ 1,659) inc. premium

Lot Details
QUEEN MARY and GEORGE V Papers of Jean Marie Claude Barlerin MVO, Comptroller of Supply at the Treasurer's Office of the Household of the King, residing at Engine Court, St James's Palace,  St James's, Windsor, Balmoral and elsewhere, c.1910-1934
Other Properties
QUEEN MARY and GEORGE V
Papers of Jean Marie Claude Barlerin MVO, Comptroller of Supply at the Treasurer's Office of the Household of the King, residing at Engine Court, St James's Palace, comprising about sixty notes to him by Queen Mary, most of which concern the supply and quantity of food, the remainder being thank-you notes for contributions to royal charities; together with a like quantity of letters from other member of the royal household, a fine run of ornate menu cards, memoranda, seating plans and programmes (including dinner for the King and Queen of Afghanistan and for President and Mrs Wilson), photographs, his leather gilt pass for the royal tour of India, 1911-12, etc., in several bundles and loose, generally in fine condition, St James's, Windsor, Balmoral and elsewhere, c.1910-1934

Footnotes

  • 'WHEN THE KING IS NOT AT HOME THE QUEEN DOES NOT WANT POTTED MEAT FOR TEA' – an intimate glimpse of the royal household, during the heyday of the British Empire, and during the years of austerity of the First World War and Great Depression.

    Unlike most manuscripts, where the issue at stake is their historical importance, this group is unashamedly ephemeral – written, often, on small scraps of paper that should have been thrown away; but they have an immediacy that more august historical records so often lack. Take for example, the taste in marmalade of Field Marshal Arthur, Duke of Connaught, third son of Queen Victoria and sometime Governor-General of Canada, anent which Queen Mary has pencilled Barlerin the note: "The Duke of Connaught would like to have the address of the place from which the Orange Marmalade comes", upon which the dutiful reply has been typed: "'Golden Shred' Marmalade/ J. Robertson & Sons,/ Paisley./ is supplied here by Chivers Brothers, 13 King Street, Aberdeen".

    The archival allure lies in the – very British – detail: "The plain rolls on board Britannia yesterday for tea were very tough"; "For Mr Barberin/ The King & Queen do not want any more of these biscuits ordered as they do not like them"; "Memo from the Queen July 6th/ The Bacon a little too much cooked & rather hard/ The cakes bought locally were not especially good, we really do not want any & can manage with egg or tomato sandwiches & oatmeal bis-cuits – / We are not quite certain whether the King & Queen of the Belgians are coming tomorrow"; "Dinner for Princes Henry & George 7.15 in schoolroom/ Consommé Cold Meat Compote Fruit"; "No coloured Easter eggs"; "Only chicken & rice for us for luncheon in the train – no cold meat/ no plum pudding"; "I should like 2 large plum puddings to be sent to/ The Matron/ Queen Mary's Naval Hospital/ Southend on Sea"; "Tea for 7 – in the cricket pavilion for those playing at tennis – Tea – not coffee – Loaf of Bread – butter – Jam – Cake – Biscuits"; "The Bath buns were very good when sent to Windsor last Friday but yesterday they were again not good – they tasted too much of brioche not bread – When the King is not at home the Queen does not want potted meat for tea"; and (to strike a modern note): "Motor box Monday for Queen & Ly Eva/ Mutton pies Small rolls stuffed with mince meat. Ginger fingers (like we have for tea) no wine – only Malvern water. Hot coffee. hot milk Thermos bottles".

    One note is in the hand of George V, reflecting wartime austerity: "Saturday. Minced Chicken for lunch, / Sunday Boiled Chicken for lunch. A small piece off the breast. Don't send up a whole bird"; another in the hand of the future George VI: "In future I do not require the fingers of bread for lunch or dinner. For breakfast I only require 2 pieces./ Albert". Not quite conforming to this pattern, but still of striking immediacy, are three letters dating from June to September 1915 to Barlerin from Frederick Finch, who was serving as batman to the future Edward VIII on the Western Front: "We have left the farm yard, & now reside in what was once a beautiful Chateau but ever since the war began it has been a French hospital... We are not far from Béthune, on a line taken up from the French. We can hear them systematically shelling Béthume every day, but thank goodness they have not found us here yet – As I came into The Prince's room to write this note two more frames of glass ʻwent' by the concussion of our own heavy guns. Plenty of fresh air in the room now... We are now with the Guards Div – a long way from the firing line, but can hear the large calibre guns heavily bombarding, & are expecting to go any moment. It is very rough here, but will be worse, when we move. The only piece of furniture in The Prince's room is a bare bedstead so you can guess how I am faring...".
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Wine, Coins & Medals and Motor Cars and Motorcycles:

Buyer's Premium Rates
25% on the first £50,000 of the Hammer Price
20% from £50,001 to £1,000,000 the Hammer Price
12% from £1,000,001 of the Hammer Price

VAT at the current rate of 20% will be added to the Buyer's Premium and charges excluding Artists Resale Right.

Payment Notices

Payment in advance: by cash, check with banker's card, credit card, bank draft or traveler's cheque.

Payment at collection: by credit or debit card.

Credit card charges: a surcharge of 2% is applicable when using Mastercard, Visa and overseas debit cards.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licenses please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Contacts
  1. Simon Roberts
    Specialist - Books, Maps, Manuscripts and Historical Photographs
    Bonhams
    Work
    Montpelier Street
    London, United Kingdom SW7 1HH
    Work +44 20 7393 3828
    FaxFax: +44 20 7393 3879
Similar Items