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Unseen du Maurier poems discovered hidden behind photo frame in Suffolk

Kristen Baker-Munton, who is selling the Du Maurier archive which belonged to his mother Picture: ROWLEYS

Kristen Baker-Munton, who is selling the Du Maurier archive which belonged to his mother Picture: ROWLEYS

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Two previously unseen poems by Daphne du Maurier have been discovered hidden behind a photo frame in Suffolk.

Auctioneer Roddy Lloyd, from Rowleys auction house, with the photo of Du Marurier and and the unseen poems Picture: ROWLEYSAuctioneer Roddy Lloyd, from Rowleys auction house, with the photo of Du Marurier and and the unseen poems Picture: ROWLEYS

The poems are part of collection of letters and pictures being sold by Kristen Baker Munton, whose mother and father, who lived in Bildeston, were close friends of the renowned writer and her husband Lieutenant General 'Boy' Browning.

Auctioneer Roddy Lloyd had been cataloguing the archive when he stumbled across a small photograph of du Maurier in a swimming costume which was mounted in a blue leather frame.

On closer inspection he discovered a carefully-folded sheet of A4 paper with a poem written on each side.

Mr Baker Munton said his mother had become Lt Gen Browning's PA during the war, later becoming close friends with him and his wife.

The poems were written on a neatly folded A14 piece of paper tucked behind the photo frame  Picture: ROWLEYSThe poems were written on a neatly folded A14 piece of paper tucked behind the photo frame Picture: ROWLEYS

“My parents became good friends with them,” he said.
“We used to go down there to see them for holidays. The photo has been pushed into the back of a photo frame.
“It was just serendipity that the auctioneers found it and recovered it from its frame.
“The collection is part of my DNA so it is quite hard selling it, bit it was becoming a burden.

“I hope everyone is able to pick up their own little memento of Daphne.”

Auctioneer Roddy Lloyd added said it was a shock to find the poem.

He said: “It was by pure luck that I looked in the back of the frame and I am still not quite sure what made me do it.

The poems were found inside the frame of a picture of Du Maurier in a swimsuit Picture: ROWLEYSThe poems were found inside the frame of a picture of Du Maurier in a swimsuit Picture: ROWLEYS

“The pose of du Maurier in the photograph reminded me of Rolls-Royce's Spirit of Ecstasy and I opened it up to take the [photo out - and a piece of paper was behind it.

“It's always exciting when you come across something like this - it's an auctioneer's dream”.
“This archive has thrown up many surprises and this latest discovery I'm sure will interest du Maurier fans.
“We think it dates from the 1920s when du Maurier was around 20.
“The poems are not juvenile ones of a child, nor the polished products of her later years.”

The photo and poems are being sold in the same lot are expected to reach between £400 and £600.

The auction takes place at Rowleys auctioneers in Ely on Saturday, April 27

Daphne Du MaurierDaphne Du Maurier

For more information see www.rowleyfineart.com

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