Lot 16
  • 16

Thomas Bradbury & Sons Ltd., Sheffield

500 - 700 GBP
2,125 GBP
bidding is closed


  • The Skin of our Teeth Salver
  • maker's mark, Sheffield standard and date letter for 1931
  • silver
  • 15cm., 5⅞in. wide ; 203.7gr., 6oz. 10dwt.
inscribed 'Vivien / November 1946 / with love / "Skin of our Teeth"'


Notley Abbey Inventory, April 1948, p. 39, silver / dining room, 'A modern square salver with moulded border on four feet 5¾ inscribed on back' (The Vivien Leigh Archive, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, THM/433/6/1);
Photographed at Notley Abbey in the dining room circa 1959.

Catalogue Note

The Skin of our Teeth was to give Vivien the chance to prove herself on stage as a comedienne. A complicated allegory on the history of mankind, the play, written by Thornton Wilder, first opened in New Haven in 1942, and Brooks Atkinson, of The Times, called it 'one of the friskiest and liveliest plays written in a long time.' Vivien longed to play the role of Sabina and she wrote in January 1945: 'I don't think I have ever been more excited on the eve of any venture - or more nervous.' (Vickers, op. cit., p. 172). Directed by Larry, the play opened in London on 15 May 1946 at the Phoenix Theatre, then transferred to the Piccadilly Theatre on 11 September 1946. Vivien was widely praised and, looking back, Larry declared, 'In the face of all critical prejudice, she had now established herself as a stage actress and star of the brightest metal.' (ibid., p. 174). Vivien and Larry then toured Australia and New Zealand from 1 November 1948.