CHURCHILL and BEALE & INMAN

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Lot 10
CHURCHILL and BEALE & INMAN

£ 3,000 - 6,000
US$ 3,800 - 7,500
CHURCHILL and BEALE & INMAN
The archive of Beale & Inman, Tailors of New Bond Street, including ledgers for Winston Churchill, both credit references for him as a young subaltern, and accounts for providing him with suits during the Second World War, the archive comprising fourteen volumes of credit ledgers (see note below) running from 1880 until 1961 (with lacunae for 1890-94, 1914-17 and 1929-31), register of members of share register, dissecting book (A-K 30), accounts ledgers (including Churchill for 1936 and 1941, Laurence Olivier and others, a few volumes only), some index volumes (including Ian Fleming), private ledgers (still locked), large sample books (strips of silk etc.), bank books, turnover and sales accounts, transfer books, James Beale's private cash accounts, and much else, in nearly 100 volumes, dust-staining, covers loose and other signs of wear, mostly folio and 4to, c.1880-1980

Footnotes

  • A REVEALING PICTURE OF BRITAIN IN HER IMPERIAL HEYDAY, AND YEARS OF DECLINE, seen from an unusual perspective; that of one of society's leading tailors. In this context, the credit ledgers - the most complete part of the archive - make especially interesting reading; providing an alternative commentary on the period, being compiled with co-operation from fellow society suppliers and credit agencies. Their commentaries are often unsparing.

    The earliest appearance Churchill makes is in the credit ledger for 1895, where he is described thus: "Churchill WLS/ 4th Hus/ Aldershot/ Chapman & M - son of late Lord Randolph (C.) who used to pay his a/c - do./ Cox's - all right for reasonable amount". His mother, Jenny Jerome, Lady Randolph Churchill, puts in an appearance in the ledger for 1881: "Swears & Wells & Hook & Knowles say - 'Good but long winded 12/14/81" ('long winded' appears to be something of a euphemism, thus Lady Elizabeth St Aubyn of St Michael's Mount is described: "'Mother to our St Aubyn's' Mr Box has summoned her & Mr Moykoff of Burlington Arcade reports her very long winded Soc. 23/9/81". In 1909, these stern monitors feel able to give Mrs Winston Churchill, then resident at 33 Eccleston Square, grudging acceptance: "Reville & Rossiter: quite good/ Int Fur store: [ditto]/ Louise & Coy small a/c pays".

    Other entries are less restrained. A random sample throws up some of the following: for Lieut Thomas Kynnersley Gardner of Lonsdale's Light Horse, a veteran of the Zulu War of 1879: "Son of TK Gardner Meyer & Mortimer say thorough duffer swindled government of £2000 in Commissariat dept in Zulu War... 5/11/80"; for the distinguished American diplomat, Spencer Eddy, then staying at Claridge's: "J. Grant & Sons says owes a/c for the last 7 years - is on the American Embassy in St Petersburg, well connected & believe has plenty of money but is a very shifty customer/ Barretts got their a/c through WysMuller after much trouble - WysMullers say he has a bad name in St Petersburg/ Webster can't get paid - owes a/c 6 years/ Boardman, Harrow - perfectly safe" (ledger for 1902-5); or for S.L. Dacres in 1881: "Whitelocke & co Charing X say Son of Admiral Sir Sydney [sic] Dacres [former first Naval (Sea) Lord] & has an appointment in the Admiralty, has no means & should advise A/C to be kept small, great trouble to get their money. 14/7/81". Even when not acerbic, the entries in these ledgers are full of local colour, as for example the entry for "J. Levy, c/o Miss Levy" of 25 Bedford Place: "Just come home from Diamond Fields Mr D looks all right 14/9/81".
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