Auction Date: 26/11/2014 at 01pm
Medical – Edward VII, Prince Victor Duleep Singh, Emma Albani, Jerome K Jerome and others the working files and appointment diary of Dr William Towers-Smith, a Harley Street obesity specialist – the diary dated 1893, and the files dated 1892/3. The files cover approx 59 clients at the pinnacle of British society, including The Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII), Prince Victor Duleep Singh, the Duke of Wellington [the descendent of the victor at Waterloo], the Earl of Warwick, the Duchess of Marlborough, Earl of Lonsdale, Sir Bache Cunard, Lady Rothschild, the Duchess of Devonshire, Lord Allington, The Duchess of Teck, Emma Albani (the most famous operatic diva of her age), Lord Brownlow, the Duke of Portland, Jerome K Jerome, the Duchess of Bedford and many others. The files are written on individual folio sized cards, with Towers-Smith’s manuscript additions, recording age, height, weight and various dimensions of the patient, together with illness history, and details of diet. Edward VII’s file, for example, records him at the age of 52, having had typhoid between November 1871 and September 1872, and also suffering from influenza. It also records that he has to be careful ‘as attacks come occasionally’. The file also records what he was having for breakfast, lunch and dinner and also records that he was very fond of champagne, whisky and selzer. The opera diva Emma Albani indicates, at the age of 41, that she had suffered heart problems, rheumatism and had also suffered from typhoid. Prince Victor Duleep Singh, aged 27, is recorded as being 14 stone when he was 12, and also enjoyed both champagne and beer. The appointment diary records all the various patients seen by Towers-Smith during 1893, with the Prince of Wales recorded on several appointments. Towers-Smith also records his charges – with most being charged just over ?13 per visit (?800 in today’s money) – though on one occasion he charges both the Duke of Wellington and the Duchess of Marlborough ?53 each (?3,200).