1956-1974. 80 daily menus from Cafe Au Pere de Nico in Chelsea, London, signed by visiting luminaries from world leaders to icons of the entertainment world, displayed in the cafe for two decades between 1956 and 1974. Together with a sketch by Paul Winner of the restaurant's interior, inscribed by Winner and dated August 18th, 1973.
At the end of the 1960's and the beginning of the 1970's, Au Pere de Nico was the Chelsea restaurant to see and be seen by London society and the "Court Crowd" from The Royal Court Theatre. Menus were hand made on a daily basis, each with the given day's date printed at the top, making for an interesting time-stamp for each autographed menu. In Many instances the date of a signature corresponds to a known production in which a given celebrity appeared at the Royal Court Theatre. A snapshot of celebrity culture during one of London's most vibrant periods as a nexus in the world of the art.
Autographs include political dignitaries, rock stars, stars of the London Stage, and over two dozen Academy Award winners and nomineees: Winston and Arabella Churchill, John Gielgud, Mick Jagger, Laurence Olivier, Rex Harrison, Alec Guiness, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Marlene Dietrich, Dirk Bogarde, Andre Previn, Omar Sharif, Louis Armstrong, Rudolf Rureyev, Harold Pinter, Vivien Leigh, Richard Widmar, Susannah York, Sidney Poitier, George Sanders, Donald Pleasance, Diana Rigg, Vincent Price, Peter Cook, Claire Bloom and Rod Steiger, Richard Harris, Glenda Jackson, Margaret Court, Janet Suzman, Joan Bakewell, Wolf Mankowitz, Millicent Martin, Micheal Mac Liammoir, Bernard Levin, Celia Johnson, Dave Allen, Robert Morley, Lance Percival, Virginia Mckenna and Bill Travers, Beatrice Lillie (Lady Peel), Malcolm Sargent, Michael Rennie, Maggie Smith, Brian Rix, Bill Simpson, Peter Wyngarde, Huw Wheldon, Anthony Quayle, Anthony Steel, Mai Zetterling, Emlyn Williams, John Betjeman, Francis Chichester, Jack Hawkins, Stanley Holloway, Paul Scofield, Hermoine Badeley, Peggy Ashcroft, Max Adrian, Alan Badel, Alan Patrick Herbert, Peter Bull, Barbara Kelly, Sylvia Syms, Osbert Lancaster, Davy Kaye, Corbet Woodall, Trevor Howard, Googie Withers, Eric Portman, Michael Bentine (with drawing), David Anthony Quayle, Joyce Grenfell, Andrew Cruickshank, Cicily Countneidge, Fenella Feiding, Richard Briers, Clement Freud, and Kate Boyle.
Condition of the Menus varies, Very Good to Very Good plus overall, with cropping to some of the menus, pinholes at the corners, and general wear from daily exposure. Housed in a lovely solander box with a design illustrating the restaurant in a Parisian style. Item #1416