Lot 120
  • 120

Cecil Walter Hardy Beaton

5,000 - 7,000 USD
118,750 USD
bidding is closed


  • Cecil Walter Hardy Beaton
  • Portrait of Mrs. Wallis Simpson
  • Signed Beaton (lower right)
  • Watercolor and gouache on blue paper
  • 19 3/4 by 16 7/8 in.
  • 50.2 by 42.9 cm
  • Executed in November 1936.


The Duke and Duchess of Windsor (and sold: Sotheby's, New York, February 19, 1998, lot 50)
Acquired at the above sale


Cecil Beaton, Scrapbook, London, p. 937, illustrated
Cecil Beaton, The Wandering Years, Diaries: 1922-1939, London, 1961, pp. 299-303
Josephine Ross, Beaton in Vogue, London, 1986, p. 126
Suzy Menkes, The Windsor Style, London, 1987, p. 179, illustrated, also illustrated on the dust jacket

Catalogue Note

In this drawing, Mrs. Simpson wears a Van Cleef & Arpels ruby and diamond necklace which King Edward VIII had given her for her fortieth birthday in June 1936. In December 1936, King Edward VIII signed the Instrument of Abdication.

In 1939, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor ordered Van Cleef & Arpels to rework the necklace and the result was a highlight of the sale The Jewels of the Duchess of Windsor, Sotheby's, Geneva, April 2-3, 1987, lot 88.