Three Autographs of Hardy Amies
In Volumes From His Personal Library
With Bookplate and Signature
Germany, 1928-1933. Three (3) original signatures of Hardy Amies, the couturier for Queen Elizabeth for some thirty-nine years, contained in three books from his personal library, and each also containing his bookplate. 8vo. Three volumes each signed and dated by Amies to front endpaper, very slight wear to boards, otherwise in Very Good condition, signed on crisp, clean leafs.
Sir Edwin Hardy Amies, KCVO (1909-2003), was a British fashion designer, best known for being the dress designer for HM Queen Elizabeth II for thirty-nine years. In the 1930s Amies rose to become one of Britain’s leading couturiers and his salon was one of the few to rival the great dress houses of Paris. After a successful pre-war career as a designer in other people’s fashion houses, Amies opened his own establishment at 14 Savile Row in 1946. In 1950 Amies made several outfits for Elizabeth’s royal tour to Canada (then Princess Elizabeth). He received the award of a Royal Warrant as official dressmaker in 1955. One of his best known creations is the gown he designed in 1977 for Queen Elizabeth’s Silver Jubilee portrait. Knighted in 1989, Amies held the warrant until 1990, when he gave it up so that younger designers could create for the Queen. He was also the couturier for Lady Alice Egerton, who was appointed as lady-in-waiting to the young Princess Elizabeth in 1949, and who would go on to become Woman of the Bedchamber when Elizabeth became queen in 1953.
For three years he travelled and worked in France and Germany; becoming fluent in both countries’ languages. Amies worked for a customs agent and then as an English tutor in Antibes, and later in Bendorf, Germany where in 1928 he acquired one of these volumes for his library. Around the same time, another of the volumes was acquired in a village on the Mosel River. He returned to England in 1930. The third volume is signed by him in 1933 and appears to have been gifted to him by famous Austrian writer Karl Heinrich Waggerl.