Monday, March 9, 2009

Did the Charles letters sell? or did Alicia Carroll pull the Ebay auction

I was watching the Ebay auction of six letters that the Prince of Wales wrote to a former girlfriend, Welsh-born Janet Jenkins. As of this morning, the auction had three days left to go, but the seller, Alicia Carroll of Everything Royal, has apparently removed the items from Ebay. The auction was still going this morning, but by noon, the listing was gone. Did someone make her an offer she could not refuse? Has Jenkins obtained a court order to prevent the sale of the letters? (She claims she did not sell the letters to Carroll, but gave the letters to her because Carroll said she was going to display them in a museum.) Or did Carroll realize that there is an economic crisis here in the USA, and far less people have $30,000 to spare for the Prince of Wales' correspondence.

It should be noted that although the letters were written to Jenkins, and are now in the possession of an American dealer, the copyright for the letters belongs to the Prince of Wales. As these letters were written after 1977, the copyright remains in effect for the Prince of Wales' lifetime, plus 70 years. No one can publish the text of the letters without the expressed permission of HRH The Prince of Wales.

Here is a link to a Globe and Mail article, which quotes Jenkins.

Carroll's website has not been updated to show if the letters have been sold. She has them listed individually on her website, Everything Royal.

She still has a myriad of items with Diana's signature as Sarah Jane Gaselee, one of Diana's bridesmaids, sold personal items that Diana had given to her or written to her to Carroll. Lord Linley also appears to have sold Christmas cards from his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, to Carroll. (The cards are still for sale.)

Even marked down, Carroll's prices are a bit too high, in my not-so-humble opinion.


Anonymous said...

I agree. Ms Carroll is liquidating all of her Royal memorabilia. I question the integrity of a dealer who proclaims a love and passion of all things Royal whose motives do not include exhibiting the items in a museum or public exhibits so the world and those who follow all things Royal can also enjoy and learn from these historical and intimate collections of letters and gifts from the Royal Family. Well….So much for the reverence in preserving history when items are sold to the highest bidder seems a bit self serving and suspicious to me. I believe Ms Jenkins had good intentions while Ms Carroll was a scrupulous opportunist. I also found the Crown copyright issue an interesting one. It would be interesting to see if Ms Carroll has ever been in sued in regards to collecting and selling many of these items she has collected over the years.

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Selling letters does not violate the copyright? The buyer, if there is a buyer, cannot publish the letters. (Nor should Carroll be posting the full letters on her website or Ebay auction.)