Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 12 July 2014

Simpson-owned Dali sketch auctioned

A sketch by Salvador Dali is set to go under the hammer (Hansons Auction House)

A Salvador Dali sketch drawn for Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor, while they lunched together in New York is set to go under the hammer next week.

The pencil sketch, drawn on a correspondence card from The St Regis hotel in New York, was completed by Salvador Dali for the Duchess in 1958.

The 85cm x 135cm sketch depicts a hastily drawn sketch of a man on a charging horse and is signed 'Affectueusement (fondly) Dali'.

It is expected to sell for between £1,200 and £1,500.

The artist and Simpson had a long friendship. They worked together in the 1930s when Dali designed a lobster print for the Elsa Schiaparelli gown that she wore for a famous Vogue photo shoot.

Dali and his wife Gala famously lived at the St Regis every autumn and winter for a decade and regularly entertained high-profile guests at the luxurious hotel.

Charles Hanson, manager of Hansons Auctioneers, said: "Rumour has it, Dali threw wild, lavish parties in the hotel's marbled gallery and second-floor salons; he would hire models in super-low-backed dresses and asked them to walk around his hotel suite as 'living art'."

The sketch was given to the auction house by the family of Alan Fisher, who was butler to the Duke and Duchess of Windsor during the 1950s.

Mr Fisher was given the sketch as a gift from the couple.

Mr Hanson added: "It is wonderful to handle something which held mutual affection between two important figures from history of the 20th century.

"We hope it is competed for by collectors worldwide."

The sketch will go under the hammer at the Autumn Fine Art Sale at Hansons Auction House in Etwall, Derbyshire, on Friday.

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