Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers

The Old Cinema,
Chatsworth Street,
Co. Killkenny,
R95 XV05,

PSRA Registration No: 001687

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Tel: +353 (0)56 4441229
Fax: +353 (0)56 4441627

Lot 577/0237

Estimate: €350-500

The King offers Comfort to
The ‘Jersey Lily’

DE BATHE, Lillie [nee Le Breton, better known as Lillie Langtry].
An original manuscript signed letter, 4 pp (single folded sheet), on mourning paper, from her home in Monaco, dated July 18 (no year), to Mrs Rumley, responding to condolences about the death of her husband, Gerald de Bathe, the letter signed Lillie de Bathe. ‘Indeed the loss to me is very great – We were always such pals & as you say he was a really good & fine man. He did not suffer thank God & had never any idea that he was so ill .. Everyone was very kind. The King sent for me to Buckingham Palace & had a long talk privately with me ..’

Lillie Langtry, the ‘Jersey Lily’, made her entrance to high society through the painter Frank Miles and his friends including Oscar Wilde. At a society dinner, she caught the eye of the Prince of Wales, with whom she had a long affair. A spectacular beauty in her youth, she was painted by many artists including Millet. Hugo de Bathe, a well-to-do baronet, was her second husband, though in later years she lived mainly on her own. (1)

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