Photographs by Sir Cecil Beaton, CBE, the revered British, society, fashion and war photographer, are among a selection of photographs being offered at auction by one of the most famous literary families in England, the Sitwells. One is a photograph of the artist Pavel Tchelitchew (1898-1957), who was a great friend of the family (and a selection of whose works are offered in the sale, including a Pen, brush and ink portrait of Dame Edith Sitwell (Lot 359).

The photograph by the renowned Cecil Beaton (1904-1980), a great friend and frequent visitor to the Sitwell family seat, Weston Hall at the height of the Bright Young Things movement. The photograph (illustrated below) depicts the artist at work and bears a stamp on its’ reverse of the Beaton studio. It is estimated to fetch £1,000-£1,500 at auction.

Beaton took many photographs of the Sitwell family, including the famous portrait of Dame Edith Sitwell in an ostrich feather hat, which resides in the V&A’s permanent collection and of which there is a print in the sale, as well as the original hat featured in the photograph (lot 324) illustrated at the top of the release. Others by Beaton in the sale are lots 268 and 269, which are portraits of Georgia Sitwell (1905-1980), wife of the writer Sacheverell Sitwell (1897-1988), taken in circa 1927, one of which is cut into an art-deco design. Each lot is estimated to fetch £700-£900.

The photographs are part of the sale of the contents of Weston Hall in Northamptonshire, a seat of the illustrious Sitwell family since the early 20th century and their ancestors since the 18th century. The spectacular sale charts the history of an eminent family of esteemed writers, eccentrics, pioneers and creatives through the centuries. The sale, titled Weston Hall and the Sitwells: A Family Legacy, offers a once in a lifetime’s chance to obtain a piece of literary history, the like of which has not been seen on the market for some time. It will take place at Dreweatts on Tuesday, November 16 & 17, 2021.

Three framed photographs of Georgia Sitwell by photographers Hay Wrightson (1874-1949), Maurice Beck and Helen Macgregor (1886-1960) who worked together in a studio in Marylebone where they were the chief photographers for British Vogue magazine. The photographs show Georgia Sitwell in various poses and are estimated to fetch £1,500-£2,000).

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