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A Signed Presentation Portrait Photograph of The Duke of Edinburgh, 1954
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A Signed Presentation Portrait Photograph of The Duke of Edinburgh, 1954

Measurements: Overall: 53.5cm (21in) x 42cm (16.5in)

£1100

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Black and white three quarter length portrait by ‘Baron’ of Prince Philip in the uniform of a Field Marshal of the British Army. Signed ‘Philip’ and dated ‘1954’ in ink in the lower mount in the Duke’s hand.

It was Baron (aka Stirling Henry Nahum, 1906-1956) who introduced Prince Philip to the singer Pat Kirkwood, bringing him to her dressing room at the London Hippodrome, where she was headlining in the 1948 musical revue ‘Starlight Roof’, with Winston Churchill’s former son-in-law, Vic Oliver, and a 12-year-old Julie Andrews. ‘Later,’ according to the Daily Telegraph, ‘the spectacle of the blond, Viking-like royal consort dining in public at Les Ambassadeurs in Mayfair with the West End’s highest-paid sex symbol, and then dancing with her until dawn in a London nightclub, created headlines around the world.’

Baron first made a name for himself in the 1930’s photographing ballet dancers. After the war he concentrated on society and celebrity portraits. As a friend of Prince Philip’s he was appointed as Court Photographer to the British Royal Family, and took the official photographs for many occasions such as the wedding of Philip to Princess Elizabeth in 1947, the christenings of their children Charles and Anne and other occasions. Put forward in 1953 by Prince Philip to provide the official photographs of the Coronation, he was to be disappointed. The appointment of Cecil Beaton was preferred by the Queen Mother.

In 1954, the year the present portrait was made, Baron founded Baron Studios on Park Lane, and photographed Marilyn Monroe in an outdoor shoot in California. One of his assistants at the time was Anthony Armstrong-Jones, and it was on one of Baron's many assignments to Buckingham Palace and Clarence House, that he first met Princess Margaret. Two years after founding his new venture, however, Baron died at the age of 50. Baron Studios continued in business before being sold off in 1974. The Studio's photograph collection was donated to the National portrait Gallery in 1999.
 

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