Norman Hartnell Silver & Gold
Norman Hartnell Silver & Gold

We’ve had this book in our family for years – it’s a first edition from 1955, given to my dad by the author, Norman Hartnell, dressmaker to the Queen.

Norman Hartnell Illustration Designs For The Robe And Cap Of State for the Coronation
Norman Hartnell Illustration Designs For The Robe And Cap Of State for the Coronation

The illustrations are just beautiful.

Norman Hartnell Dresses For Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret Rose
Norman Hartnell Dresses For Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret Rose

These are his first creations for the then Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret Rose.. for a wedding. I love the way that he actually draws the Princesses and very accurately, too, rather than just putting on any old face.

Norman Hartnell Illustration for The Queen's Visit to Australasia
Norman Hartnell Illustration for The Queen’s Visit to Australasia

He designed for many of the young Queen’s foreign visits – and she is always smiling in his drawings.

Norman Hartnell Illustration Mimosa Tulle Dress Worn By The Queen
Norman Hartnell Illustration Mimosa Tulle Dress Worn By The Queen

An arrangement of tulle that the Queen wore on a visit to Australia. I expect that was a whole trunk filled right there!

Norman Hartnell Book Autograph
Norman Hartnell Book Autograph

All these little snippets are leading me to say that vintage fashion books are such a worthwhile thing to collect… our copy of Silver and Gold is rather battered; I can actually remember as a child trying to copy some of the pencil illustrations.. but while it’s not an accessory as such, it’s well worth looking into the vintage fashion book market.

 

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