The relics of Saint Oscar
As reported in Yareah Magazine, display cabinet doors that may have been taken from Oscar Wilde’s Tite Street Chelsea home are up for auction (dreweatts.com, Rogers de Rin Collection, Chelsea, Lot 218). There is no single location where a Wildean can see Oscar’s belongings brought together; a fireplace from the Tite Street house is at 31 Fournier Street, Spitalfields, having been acquired by Rodney Archer. Wilde scholars and admirers share the fate of Antigone, doomed to spend their lives gathering the scattered limbs of their lost brother.
As is evident from the real estate brochure I posted in 2012, Wilde’s life at 16 Tite Street (now number 34) has been erased from the building. Wildeans would give their proverbial eye teeth for the return of Charles Ricketts’ ‘forged’ Portrait of Mr W.H., commissioned by Wilde for his critical essay/short story of the same name, and other missing objects that are part of the Wilde legend. (The Wilde family’s collection of artworks, manuscripts, books, china and furniture were auctioned off or stolen in 1895.) Whether or not cabinet doors from a Chelsea shop will be deemed holy relics worth re-mortgaging the house for remains to be seen!