Charles Dickens’ only surviving clothing is to be put on display at his namesake museum in London
A teal woollen court suit with golden buttons and trims that the Oliver Twist author wore when he met Edward, Prince of Wales at St. James’s Palace on April 6, 1870 was given to the museum on Doughty Street, and will be on permanent display from tomorrow.
The museum received the suit in 2015. It was previously owned by the Hungarian Countess Wenckheim, Jeanne-Marie Dickens, the widow of Dickens’ great-great-grandson Christopher.
The clothing is a teal woollen court suit with golden buttons and trims
The curator at the Charles Dickens museum,Frankie Kubicki, said: “This is the only known suit that survives in the world”
This is the only known suit that survives in the world
Frankie Kubicki, curator at the Charles Dickens museum
“It’s quite an important suit because he wore it to a royal levee, which is a particularly intimate royal gathering where he was introduced to Prince Edward.
“He was in good shape for a 58-year-old – he had a 34-inch waist and was about 5’9."
Dickens died on 8 June 1870 after a stroke, two months after the engagement at which he wore the suit.
The suit was previously owned by Hungarian Countess Wenckheim, Jeanne-Marie Dickens
In 2008, Countess Wenckheim donated the writing desk at which the novelist is thought to have written Great Expectations to Great Ormond Street hospital.
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It was expected to fetch between £50,000 and £80,000 at auction, but ended up selling for over £430,000.