Louis Mountbatten Cigar Case & Letters
My father gave this to me. He was a sergeant in the Southeast Asian command. He was a U.S. official photographer, and he was also a professional artist. And he did several portraits of Louis Mountbatten, five in total. He was not allowed to accept monetary compensation, so as a token of Mountbatten's appreciation and likeness of his portraits, he gave my father this cigarette box.
What's interesting about this is your father was a sergeant in the United States Army, not in the British Royal Navy, as Mountbatten was. Here we have a letter from Southeast Asia Command Headquarters, which Mountbatten ran, and he talks about your father in it. And like you said, because of the fact he couldn't take any money, there's a line in here that says, "I gratefully accept the portrait, and since I understand that it is against regulations to offer you an honorarium, I hope that you will accept instead a small engraved cigarette box and framed photograph as a token of my gratitude." Is this the photograph?
That's the photograph of the painting.
It's a really interesting set. Do you have any idea of its value?
I have no idea. It's just been a family heirloom.
I would put an auction estimate of $1,000 to $1,500 on it.
Yeah, it's a great grouping of stuff, it really is, really is.
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