Sir James Gow Mann - Papers - Letters - C.R. Beard [2]

Object Title

Sir James Gow Mann - Papers - Letters - C.R. Beard [2]

Sir James Gow Mann - Papers - Letters - C.R. Beard [2]




MANN 18/4 2



Scope and Content

1930/8: Letter from C. R. Beard to 'My dear Mann', dated Jan 15th '30, from 9 Smith St. Chelsea, apologising for not thanking for photographs and discussing the reconditioning of Pevensey Castle and a'fine lance head which Andrade has',
1931/9: Letter from C. R. Beard to 'My dear Mann', dated June 8th'31, from No. 1 Duke St. St. James', discussing 'your spear-head': 'I was in Berlin three years ago and asked Kahlert where he got it, and he then told me it came from Thill. I told Andrade but when he found that that fact was not likely to add anything to its cash value he lost interest... By the bye Andrade's business is in the hands of a liquidator. so if you covet anything of his now is the time.',
1931/9a: Draft letter from JGM to 'My dear Beard', dated 9-vi-31 thanking for letter: 'I am glad to have your confirmation that the lance-head is that from the Thill collection. Like you I had guesse it must have come from a Cathedral Treasury and from the lettering one in Central Europe...',
? 1931/10: Letter from C.R. Beard to 'My dear Mann', undated except 'Saturday', from No. 1 Duke St. St. James', accepting an invitation to Dinner,
? 1931/11: Letter from C.R. Beard to 'My dear Mann', undated, from C/o The Connoisseur,. 1 Duke St., St. James', thanking for letter: I am in entire agreement with you about the 'slab' at the V&A [? Connoisseur, July, 1931, pp. 21, 49-50, 'A Knight of the Frangipani'] 'There is so far as I can find only one spear-head like yours... The more I think of it the more I envy you. It is a gem!,
? 1933/12: Letter from C.R. Beard to 'My dear Mann', undated, from 13A Oakley St., Chelsea, discussing a candlestick which had appeared in three guises, each one an 'improvement' on the last and vouched for as original. 'By the bye, I have at last found the sketch of Henry VI's tomb with Crips-Day's helm over it. The drawing was made sometime between 1586 and 1603, and was obviuously considerably edited by Knight for his Old England.',
1933/13: Letter from C.R. Beard to 'My dear Mann', dated May 25th 1933, thanking for letter, discussing and 'enriched' breast. 'The only man I know capable of doing such work is old Schurer of Vienna. It was he who faked the horse armour the Bashford Dean bought. Moreover he is peculiarly facile in the etching of ribbon designs on a scrolled ground. He could have done them and stuck them into an 'Austrian nobleman'. But I cannot see him being guilty of mixing styles to that extent.' Goes on to discuss the Dillon picture sale catalogue: 'But I do think Sotheby's might be a little more careful in the descriptions.',
1934/14: Letter from C.R. Beard to 'My dear Mann', dated May 15th '34, thanking for offprint from Archaeologia [ ? 'Armour worn in Spain', 1933],
1934/15: Letter from C.R. Beard to 'My dear Mann', dated 24th July, describing his activities while on a visit to Worthing, including a portrait in Worthing Museum of 'old Buckhurst as he appeared in some pageant before Elizabeth with a fine gem-set sword, steel collar with bands of gold, ruff, his body encased in some tight-fitting brown garment to make him look like an indian... ending as the waist in 'Roman' lambrequins. His shield is of the fanciful Italian type, all spikes.',
1935/17: Letter from C.R. Beard to 'My dear Mann', dated Sunday 13th Jan. 1935, discussing his work at Elstree: 'I hope you will not be disappointed with 'Drake'. I've done my best. Mycroft talked glibly in the Star the other night about six months preparation. As a matter of fact six days only were occupied in that way apart from three days spent by the architect at Plymouth! I did over 120 drawings of 'props', armour, costumes, swords, daggers, stirrups, bits, saddles, coats of arms, chests, boxes and documents, seals, jewels, collars, etc. in the first four days and then I started work. The script was only half done and the writer knew so little that she made Elizabeth in 1573 speak to Christopher Hatton as 'my Prime Minister'... However we have done our best... In fact it is certainly the most Elizabethan film I have yet seen.',
1935/18: Letter from C.R. Beard to 'My dear Mann', dated 'Sunday June 1935' discussing work on Dubarry and the Invitation to the Waltz: This game means getting up at 6 am and bed when you are lucky usually about 1 am, with a sandwich at uncertain intervals. .., I'm not satisfied with Drake by a long way. The cutting was abominable - many of the best pictures were cut altogether - tempo was too quick, and the retakes of the Armada sequences were never used, only the rough tests. However most of the armour was right, all the heraldry was correct, the camp was based on the Cowdray paintings, and all my infantry wore Gascony coats as in Lant. Even the greater part of my silver was of the period of earlier...',
1935/19: Letter from C. R. Beard to 'My dear Mann', dated June 30th 1935, apolgising for not replying to letter of invittion: Unfortunately I have to leave home each morning about 7 am before the post arrives,... Napoleon was on the march all yesterday so I should in any case have been unable to accept you invitation to Ockwells. The march I regret was a bit ragged, despite my best efforts to make it real. However I built guns and limbers of the correct Gribeauval size and type and with six horses apiece they looked well at the entry into Stuttgart.... my wretched director insisted on arming my light dragoons with lances like Uhlans for the advance guard, and the firm would not run to the expense of shabraques for my staff or chasseurs. I am now begining to mount the Escalier de Roi in 1770 and a state appearance of Louis XV. I cant get the correct uniforms for the Cent Suisses or the Musketeer so I shall have to be content with the Garde du Roi to line the staircase...,
1935/20: Letter from C.R. Beard to 'My dear Mann', dated July 28th 1935, from Chelwood Vachery, Nutley, Sussex, accepting an invitation to dine and offering more details of his film work: My assistant had a nervous breakdown and had to be packed off to his ancestrl home in Warwickshire... you will be horrified to see Madame DuB in 1765 in undress wearing elactic garters and black net cammy-nickers! The Montgolfiers flying their baloon - an accurate copy by the way - in the reign of Louis XV instead of 1783, and a background of Victorias, gigs and Brohams in 1770. Thank heaven I managed to hid most of these - all but a gilt example which had faked into a carrose du jardin - so it came out all right, but the management was not pleased when they found they had paid L500 for the hire of carriages which were not seen!... The tragedy is that so much is so good tht the bad bits make one rave.,
1937/[21]: Draft letter from JGM to 'My dear Beard' dated 25th Sept. 1937, inviting him to dine on the 29th and discussing a forthcoming article on Brescian pistols. 'We had down the Grazie armour & gave it a preliminary clean & found many excellent Milanese marks...',
1938/22: Letter from C.R. Beard to 'My dear Mann', dated Wednesday [11-v-38 in JGM's hand] refusing an invitation to dinner: I'm on the wardrobe of Rob Roy at the moment - 1000 dresses for clansmen only and hundreds of others - and at the same time I am doing set dressing for a Napoleon film from 9 pm 'till after midnight...'

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  MANN 18/4 2 - Sir James Gow Mann - Papers - Letters - C.R. Beard [2]