Page last updated at 14:04 GMT, Saturday, 26 September 2009 15:04 UK

'Wallis Simpson' settee auctioned

Sofa sold at auction
It is believed the owner altered the sofa after the affair began

A settee thought to be where Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson were seated on the weekend they met has sold for £2,150 in Northamptonshire.

The velvet upholstered two-seater sofa fetched the sum, plus a 15% buyer's premium, at an auction in Towcester.

It used to be at Burrough Court in Leicestershire, where the then prince met Wallis Simpson in January 1931.

It is rumoured that the pair spent all weekend chatting on a "luxurious" three-seater pink velvet settee.

This is quite possibly where one of the most famous 20th Century love affairs ever began
Auctioneer Jonathan Humbert

Auctioneer Jonathan Humbert said the sofa was once the property of Lady Thelma Furness, who first met the Prince of Wales in the 1920s.

They went on safari together in East Africa in 1930 and developed a close relationship.

She introduced the prince to her close friend Wallis Simpson, who beat her to his affections.

It was rumoured Lady Thelma was so enraged she had the sofa reduced to two seats in revenge.

Edward VIII and Mrs Simpson
Mrs Simpson's relationship with Edward led to his abdication

Mr Humbert said the story behind the sofa had led to the price it fetched, which far exceeded the catalogue tag of £300 to £400.

"It just goes to show, it may be in a not very nice condition but it's the story behind it.

"This is quite possibly where one of the most famous 20th Century love affairs ever began.

"It may not look much, but the story attached to it makes it something people will pay for."

In July, the auction house sold a 19th Century Chesterfield settee, believed to have once belonged to Winston Churchill, for £7,500.



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