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    Description

    Sir Nöel Coward Archive. Comprised of over twenty-five letters, telegrams, photographs, postcards, Christmas cards (two of which are signed by Coward), and other related ephemera spanning the years 1955 through 1973. The majority of letters and postcards within are written by Coward (1899-1973), the noted English playwright, composer, and occasional actor, to his friend, Dr. Edward Bigg, an American endocrinologist and associate professor at Northwestern University. In an early letter to Dr. Bigg, dated October 10, 1958, Coward notes that he has received some eye drops and discusses his health, saying, "I went and had my Metabolism Test and the Blood Count etc. and here is the result - as I can't read Russian I will leave it to you to translate. Apparently there is a fifty-fifty chance of my survival. Actually I am feeling very well indeed and in full creative spate. My Ballet score is half done and a good deal of the musical also, so I am feeling very pleased with myself." The ballet to which he makes reference is likely the score to London Morning, commissioned by Anton Dolin and completed in 1959, and the musical, Sail Away, which opened in 1961.

    The collection also contains several telegrams containing very short messages to Ed. In one, dated March 8, 1959, just five days after his newest play, Look after Lulu!, opened to mixed reviews on Broadway at Henry Miller's Theatre, he says: "Thank you for your telegram . . . play got tiresome notices but is struggling along all right."

    Coward received a knighthood in 1969 and the event is referenced in a letter from Lesley Cole, Coward's close friend and secretary affectionately known as "Coley," circa December 1969, transmitting a program from "A Talent to Amuse (also the name of Coward's first biography which was published earlier that year)," an event held at the Phoenix Theatre in London, "To honour Mr Nöel Coward on the occasion of his Seventieth Birthday and to aid the Combined Theatrical Charities," and signed on the front cover by Coward. The letter reads, in full: "I am sending the next best to you being there on Dec 16th -- & oh how I wish you could have been! And now the Knighthood - we are submerged, very happily, in a sea of cables, letters telegrams etc."

    Nöel Coward passed away on March 26, 1973. Dr. Bigg and his wife, Jinny, were informed of his passing in a telegram from Graham Payne, Coward's longtime partner, and Cole Lesley, included in this collection and reading, in full: "Deeply grieved tell you Noel died peacefully this morning Beg you have no regrets dear Ed We had a lovely happy last evening at Firefly [Coward's home in Jamaica] which he loved so much as you know Dear love to you both."

    All items in this collection are in very good or better condition and are a must have for any fan of the theatre or the arts in general.


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    Auction Dates
    April, 2015
    9th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
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