Princess Margaret's Onetime Husband Lord Snowdon's Photographs and Possessions Hit the Auction Block

Chloe Foussianes
·2 mins read
Photo credit: Images Press - Getty Images
Photo credit: Images Press - Getty Images

From Town & Country

Christie's is offering royal watchers a rare chance to own a piece of Windsor history. The auction house is holding an online-only sale of photographs and objects from the collection of Lord Snowdon, a celebrated Vogue photographer and husband to Princess Margaret.

Alongside prints of some of Snowdon's most well-known works, furniture, porcelain, silver, and artworks form the Earl's personal collection are hitting the auction block. Many of those objects came into Snowdon's possession by way of his uncle, famed stage designer Oliver Messel, and were once arranged in Snowdon's childhood home, Nymans House in Sussex. "Nymans was a beautiful house, the epitome of the English country house, with eclectic collections of English furniture, Chinese art, and tapestries," Benedict Winter, associate specialist in private collections at Christie’s, told Architectural Digest.

Other objects boast direct ties to royal history, like a pair of the iconic chairs Snowdon designed for Prince Charles's 1969 investiture ceremony, a set of books bound for Princess Margaret, or a sleigh bed (er, "lit en bateau") that once sat in Snowdon and the Princess's Kensington Palace apartment. There are also charming lots from Snowdon's personal life, like pageboy outfit he wore to Linley Messel's 1932 wedding.

Together, the roughly 150 lots paint a compelling picture of an enigmatic royal. "Lord Snowdon is such an important figure," Winter said. "He was constantly progressing and exacting his art. His dynamic photos leave a lasting impact on the viewer: not just in terms of his phenomenal roll-call of sitters, but of a life well-lived."

"Snowdon: A Life in Art and Objects" runs online through September 24.

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