Letter from King George VI fetches BIG money at Salisbury auction

Letter from King George VI fetches BIG money at Salisbury auction

Published by Jack Deery at 12:26pm 23rd July 2020. (Updated at 12:56pm 23rd July 2020)

3 minute read

It went up for sale at Woolley and Wallis in the city earlier this morning (Thursday 23rd July).

A letter written by King George VI to his speech therapist has fetched £76,250 at an auction in Salisbury. 

It was sent to Lionel Logue on 17th May 1937, the man who helped the then Duke of York overcome his stammer in 1926. 

Mr Logue's work inspired the 2010 film 'The King's Speech'

Included with the letter was a cigarette case, which King George sent as a token of his appreciation. 

Letter from King George VI to Lionel Logue sold in Salisbury
Letter from King George VI to Lionel Logue sold in Salisbury

The letter says:

My dear Logue,

The Queen and I have just viewed the film of our Coronation, & I could not wait to send you a few lines to thank you again for your hard work in helping me prepare for the great day.

You know how anxious I was to get my responses right in the Abbey, the poor rehearsal adding greatly to my anxiety, but my mind was finally set at ease tonight. Not a moment’s hesitation or mistake! The same cannot be said of the Bishops, of course, nor the pen I used to sign the Oath; the ink got all over my fingers, but fortunately one can hardly make it out.

The success was due to your expert supervision and unfailing patience with me over recent months, & I truly don’t know how I could have done it without you.

I want you to know how grateful I am, not only for your invaluable help with my speech, but for your devoted friendship & encouragement, & I hope you will accept this small gift as a token of my appreciation.

Yours very sincerely

George RI

Ruper Slingsby, Silver Specialist at Woolley and Wallis, said: 

"We believe this letter is the only example written to Logue by George VI which has not been retained by the Logue family.

When Lionel Logue died in April 1953 both the case and the letter were given to his younger brother, Herbert. In August of the same year Herbert gave both to an Australian jeweller in lieu of a payment of £27 (about £1,300 today), which was owed for a graduated pearl necklace with a sapphire and diamond clasp."

The jeweller passed these down to his family, with one his descendants approaching Woolley and Wallis last year about the items. 

Slingsby added: 

"Whilst our vendor realised the historical significance of the items, I don't think he appreciated quite how valuable they could be to British collectors.

Before 'The King's Speech', most people were unaware of the difficulties that George VI encountered with his stammer, but the enduring and endearing friendship between the King and Lionel Logue that emerged from that is especially evident in this new letter."

Prince Alfred College, where Lionel Logue was educated in Adelaide, and Wartski Ltd in London were among the bidders for the item, but it was sold to a private UK buyer

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