The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Thursday, July 24, 2014


Duke and Duchess of Windsor's 1941 Cadillac to be auctioned in New York City
1941 Cadillac Custom Limousine “The Duchess” to be offered at RM Auctions and Sotheby’s Art of the Automobile sale, November 21. Photo: Courtesy of the owner.
NEW YORK, NY.- One of the most famous and iconic cars of both American and English society, a 1941 Cadillac Custom Limousine that was designed for the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, will be offered at RM Auctions and Sotheby’s exclusive Art of the Automobile sale, November 21, in New York City. Affectionately known as “The Duchess,” the Cadillac was a bespoke order to provide the Duke and Duchess of Windsor with luxury transportation during their periods of residence in New York, and it is a car that became a regular feature in press images and newsreels of the time.

This stunning automobile is one of the most famous Cadillacs ever produced, and it exudes an air of luxury and exclusivity, befitting of its original owners and their tastes. The Cadillac is understated and decidedly European in its elegance, from the limited use of chrome to the Windsor “W.E.” monogram and crown on the door. This streamlined styling by the designers at General Motors, then under the purview of the legendary Harley Earl and on a direct order from GM Chairman and CEO Alfred P. Sloan, would foreshadow American and English designs of years to come.

The story of King Edward Vlll and his abdication from the British throne is one of the most fascinating and enduring of all love stories, and it was an episode that rocked the British constitution and society at the time. The King publicly announced, “You must believe me when I tell you, that I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility, and to discharge my duties as King, as I would wish to do, without the help and support of the woman I love.” The King’s love for American socialite Wallis Simpson would become one of the most famous romances of all time, and the abdication heralded the beginning of what was to become nearly a 40 year international jet-set existence for the newly named Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

The couple spent much of their time in New York, living in a suite at the Waldorf Towers on Park Avenue, and for 11 years, their beloved Cadillac, “The Duchess,” was with them. According to records, the Duke of Windsor paid an astonishing $14,000 for the masterwork of Art Deco design, an extravagant sum in 1941.

No single body panel on the Windsors’ car matched any other 1941 Cadillac. The hood, trunk, fenders, fender skirts, roof, and doors were all crafted by hand, and all of the interior appointments were hand-fitted. Inside, the car was upholstered entirely in rose-colored custom broadcloth, extending even to the headlining and sun visors. The floors were covered in Wilton wool carpet, custom-dyed to match and set against custom walnut finishes for the doors, cabinetry, and divider window. It was one of the first two Cadillacs to be equipped with power windows (the other being Alfred P. Sloan's personal car). They were fitted with satin privacy curtains that would roll away when not in use.

Additional special fixtures included four brushed stainless-steel jewelry cases, each lined in velvet, to carry the Duchess’ famous jewelry purchases and, for the Duke, no fewer than three cigar lighters and two ashtrays, along with a humidor and custom rack for his favored Sasieni pipes. As the Duke was a well-known enthusiast of automobiles, it was expected that he would take the wheel of the car on occasion. As a result, unusually for a limousine at the time, the front compartment was detailed to be as elegant and opulent as the rear, including its own radio, with a manually controlled roof-mounted antennae and buttons preset to New York City AM stations of the era.

Alain Squindo, Vice President, RM Auctions, says, “This Cadillac is an exceptionally important part of both automotive and social history, and it is particularly appropriate that the car should be offered for sale in New York, the city to which it was delivered new and in which it has not been seen in many years. From front to back and throughout the entire interior, it is a design statement unlike any other to come from Detroit in those years.”

Leslie Keno, Senior International Specialist from Sotheby’s, adds, “Much like the record-setting emerald-eyed panther bracelet sold at the final Sotheby’s auction of the Duke and Duchess’ collections, this Cadillac is the pinnacle of design. It is emblematic not only of the grace and elegance that characterized the couple, but it is a truly bespoke piece, befitting its regal owners.”

“The Duchess” comes to auction in outstanding, restored condition, and it is accompanied by copies of original historic photography from General Motors, press clippings, and newsreels of the era featuring the Windsors’ with their beloved Cadillac. Further confirming the car’s royal provenance is a copy of the 1952 New York State title, bearing the Duke’s signature, address at the Waldorf, and the car’s serial number. It is estimated to fetch between $500,000 and $800,000 when it goes under the gavel next month.



Today's News

October 25, 2013

Sir Anthony Caro, whose abstract metal sculptures were shown around the world, has died

Two masterpieces from the Cleveland Museum of Art lead Christie's Evening Sale of Latin American Art

Romanian who admitted Dutch art heist to get reduced sentence because he acknowledged his guilt

Sotheby's brings Pablo Picasso and Joan Miro paintings to Moscow for 'priciest ever' show

Emir of Qatar's sister named biggest player in art world by Britain's ArtReview magazine

Christie's Valuable Manuscripts & Printed Books Sale will be led by a previously unrecorded Book of Hours

Duke and Duchess of Windsor's 1941 Cadillac to be auctioned in New York City

New lease amendment signed by Met and City of New York, confirming longstanding admissions policy

Metamatic reloaded: New art projects in dialogue with Tinguely's drawing machines

Merribell Parsons named Curator of European Art at the San Antonio Museum of Art

Unique Andy Warhol color screenprint on canvas featured in Swann Galleries' Auction of Contemporary Art

First solo exhibition in the UK for UBERMORGEN on view at Carroll / Fletcher

Nassau County Museum of Art offers first in-depth look at Peter Max's original drawings

Belgian artist David Claerbout presents 3 new videos at Yvon Lambert

Marge Monko, winner of the 2012 Henkel Art.Award, opens exhibition at mumok

Phillips Collection exhibition questions modern definition of portraiture

Warhol's Sandro Botticelli, Birth of Venus leads $2.1 million auction at Bonhams San Francisco

Exhibition of new paintings by the Spanish artist Antonio Murado opens at Von Lintel Gallery

Masterpieces heading home in Heritage's Texas Art Auction

Gardner Museum presents a project on absence and memory following the museum's 1990 art theft

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Archaeologists discover Roman 'free choice' cemetery in the 2,700-year-old ancient port of Rome

2.- Romanians must pay 18 million euros over Kunsthal Museum Rotterdam art heist

3.- Hello Kitty designer Yuko Yamaguchi defends cute character as cat turns 40 years old

4.- eBay and Sotheby's partner to bring world class art and collectibles to a global community

5.- Exhibition on Screen returns with new series of films bringing great art to big screens across the globe

6.- Marina Abramović reaches half way point of her '512 Hours' performance at the Serpentine Gallery

7.- The Phillips Collection in Washington introduces a uCurate app for curating on-the-go

8.- United States comic icon Archie Andrews dies saving openly gay character

9.- New feathered predatory fossil, unearthed in China, sheds light on dinosaur flight

10.- Exhibition at Thyssen Bornemisza Museum presents an analysis of the concept of the 'unfinished'



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Rmz. - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site