• 2265: A Dimitri Bouchene for Nina Ricci printed silk twill scarf French, c.1955
  • 2265: A Dimitri Bouchene for Nina Ricci printed silk twill scarf French, c.1955 (detail)
  • 2265: A Dimitri Bouchene for Nina Ricci printed silk twill scarf French, c.1955 (detail)
  • 2265: A Dimitri Bouchene for Nina Ricci printed silk twill scarf French, c.1955 (detail)
  • 2875: A pair of brown two-toned suede golfing shoes and assorted golfing accessories. American c.1950-60
  • 2875: A pair of brown two-toned suede golfing shoes and assorted golfing accessories. American c.1950-60 (detail)
  • 2875: A pair of brown two-toned suede golfing shoes and assorted golfing accessories. American c.1950-60 (detail)
  • 2504: Claude Lepape (French, b.1913) A Basket with Green Ribbon and Spools of Thread and Ribbon: Two still life's
  • 2504: Claude Lepape (French, b.1913) A Basket with Green Ribbon and Spools of Thread and Ribbon: Two still life's (detail)
  • 1964: A navy and white embroidered appliquéd linen bed set bearing the cypher of the Duchess of Windsor. c.1960
  • 1964: A navy and white embroidered appliquéd linen bed set bearing the cypher of the Duchess of Windsor. c.1960 (detail)
  • 1964: A navy and white embroidered appliquéd linen bed set bearing the cypher of the Duchess of Windsor. c.1960 (detail)
  • 1960: Two white linen bed sheets. c.1955
  • 1960: Two white linen bed sheets. c.1955 (detail)
  • 1960: Two white linen bed sheets. c.1955 (detail)
  • 1960: Two white linen bed sheets. c.1955 (detail)
  • 1960: Two white linen bed sheets. c.1955 (detail)
  • 1960: Two white linen bed sheets. c.1955 (detail)
  • 2748, 2749: A dramatic pair of simulated pearl ear clips and an unusual gilt-metal and simulated pearl brooch c.1960
  • 2273: A "Christmas present" scarf Christian Dior c.1965
  • 2273: A "Christmas present" scarf Christian Dior c.1965 (detail)
  • 2273: A "Christmas present" scarf Christian Dior c.1965 (detail)
  • 2273: A "Christmas present" scarf Christian Dior c.1965 (detail)
  • 1874: A white work embroidered set of bed linen embroidered with the word "Pugs" below a royal coronet. c.1955
  • 1874: A white work embroidered set of bed linen embroidered with the word "Pugs" below a royal coronet. c.1955 (detail)
  • 1874: A white work embroidered set of bed linen embroidered with the word "Pugs" below a royal coronet. c.1955 (detail)
  • 1962: An appliquéd linen bed set bearing the cipher of the Duchess of Windsor. c.195
  • 1962: An appliquéd linen bed set bearing the cipher of the Duchess of Windsor. c.1955 (detail)
  • 1962: An appliquéd linen bed set bearing the cipher of the Duchess of Windsor. c.1955 (detail)
  • 1962: An appliquéd linen bed set bearing the cipher of the Duchess of Windsor. c.1955 (detail)
  • 2273: A Chanel printed silk chiffon scarf French, c.1960

Duke and Duchess

  • 2006

Duke and Duchess depicts personal items included in the Sotheby estate auction (#700) that took place September 11-19, 1997 for the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Mrs. Wallis Simpson and Edward, Prince of Wales. Mounted in walnut frames with adorning ribbons marked with the Windsor/Wallis family seal, these fourteen gouache’s investigate genre painting, celebrity, and the idea of ownership. Perhaps most significantly, these drawings deal with the gluttony of winning and how the act of gaining a possession is often times more thrilling than the end result. Duke and Duchess suggests that the act of acquiring an item from this family of stature, with a history attached, during such an exciting event can prove to be even more desirable than the object itself. Many of the items depicted from the auction were the result of Wallis Simpson’s own frequent acquisitions.

Back story: Wallis and Edward’s romance was the number one celebrity affair of their time. In order to marry Wallis, an American divorcee, Edward was forced to abdicate his crown and to all practical purposes sent to exile in France. The unprecedented auctioning off of their personal belongings was set in to motion following Wallis’ death in 1986 when the house was leased by the city of Paris to Mohamed Al Fayed, (owner of the famous Harrods department store). Wallis’ will dictated that items from the home (linens, sporting trophies, books, letter openers, cigarette cases, and some paintings) were to be auctioned off for charity. As Calvin Tompkins suggested in a 1997 New Yorker article, it also served as a reminder of the royal life Edward gave up for his life-long love affair.

All are paper walnut gouache and ribbon.