The desk set presented to King George VI by his brother, the Duke of Windsor, shortly before his abdication is due to be auctioned on May 10, 2012 in Berkshire, UK with a £5,000-8,000 estimate.
The beautiful set includes an ink well, letter rack, roller blotter, pen tray, paper knife, stamp box and blotter and is emblazoned with the King's nickname "Bertie". It is believed to be the desk set which the King used to write Britain's declaration of war on Germany in 1939.
It was given to King George VI by his brother Edward shortly before he abdicated his throne to marry divorcee Wallis Simpson and is inscribed with the initials D and W. The message "There, but for the grace of God…" is beautifully engraved underneath.
"It has a rich and colourful history, spanning a rather poignant period of war-time in our nation's history," said the auction house's director, Neil Shuttleworth. "We are expecting international interest, and undoubtedly wealthy Royal enthusiasts both sides of the Atlantic will be looking to get their hands on this unique piece."
The item was given to a "titled lady" by the Queen Mother, who hated the set after relations deteriorated between the King and his brother.
Here at Paul Fraser Collectibles, we strongly believe this piece could beat its estimate by a considerable sum. Given the success of the 2010 film, The Kings Speech, which focused on the life of King George VI, and with this being the year of Queen Elizabeth II's jubilee, interest in this item should be very strong.
We are pleased to offer this delightful handwritten autographed letter by Wallis Simpson to those who want to broaden the diversity of their portfolio and own a unique piece of Britain's history.