Offered by: Shapero Gallery
94 New Bond Street London W1S 1SJ , England Call Seller 44.207.493.0876

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Clock by Ian FLEMING

$ 20,733
  • Description
    FLEMING, Ian (inscribed by).

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    Clock.
    Stock Code 105106
    Jamaica, [1958].

    Current price$20,733.00
    Festival of Britain influence mid-1950's oak mantle clock, customised by Fleming to incorporate the regimental badge of the Intelligence Corps and given by Ian and Ann Fleming to the Coward household at Blue Harbour, Jamaica. Inscription reads:
    'From London with love'
    [Stencilled in white gouache, then signed in autograph]
    'Ian - Ann
    Blue Harbour
    For
    Noel
    Coley
    Graham'
    The recipients being Noel Coward, Cole Lesley and Graham Payn.
    Lesley was Coward's secretary and Payn his long time partner.
    The three of them had been instrumental in trying to cover up the increasingly intense relationship between Fleming and the then Ann Rothermere, and the clock would have been given by the now married Flemings as a joke to recognise their role in this subterfuge,
    Coward documented these sometimes farcical episodes in his diary:
    'There have been great carryings on about Lady R and Commander F. She arrived in a blaze of Jamaican publicity and announced that she was staying with me. So when a Life photographer arrived here we had to send Little Lad [to Goldeneye] chaud pied to fetch her.There then began a very natty high comedy scene in which she kept forget-ting she was a house guest and asking us what we had been doing all the morning etc. We then all traipsed over tto Montego Bay for a night and Elle et Lui discreetly (i.e. indiscreetly) had breakfast together on the balcony of his room! After this I descended upon them both and gave them a very stern lecture indeed. I must say they are very sweet but …but I have grave fears for the avenir.'

    Lesley Cole was known familiarly to Fleming as Coley and in a letter to Coward from 9th April 1963 he writes:
    'Anyway it was a most sweet and kindly thought and in appreciation I shall send you a copy of the London Magazine for April in which your best friend Cyril Connolly, has gone to town on James Bond in a scandalously hilarious fashion.
    Even Coley's grim visage will contort into one of those rare smiles of his as he reads it and I fancy tears will pour down those raddled cheeks of yours.'
    '
    Fleming has pierced the regimental badge of the Intelligence Corps and fixed it beneath the hands of the clock and placed the scrolled name plate beneath the clock face. There was a degree of inter-departmental rivalry between Fleming's own Naval Intelligence regiment and the land based Intelligence Corps so it is unsurprising that he has chosen that regiment rather than his own for this treatment. Given the inscription 'From London with Love' it most likely dates from 1957.
    As well as being one of Fleming's closest neighbours Noel Coward was also one of his closest friends and was given the Bond novels in pre-publication proof form for his editorial input.

    Mahogany veneer clock, plaque to dial, Intelligence Club.
  • More Information
    In the Style of: Ian Fleming
    Period: 1950-1979
    Condition: Good.
    Styles / Movements: Modern
    Dealer Reference #: 105106
    Incollect Reference #: 723574
Message from Seller:

Based in the heart of Mayfair in London, we specialise in prints and original works on paper across a broad range of subjects, from antique prints to modern pochoir plates, as well as photographs from vintage photography to modern art photography.

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