Jonathan Fryer

Tessa Codrington’s Tangier

Posted by jonathanfryer on Tuesday, 27th May, 2008

 On my way to a television studio to do a Press Review this evening, I was able to call in at Christie’s South Kensington for the launch of Tessa Codrington’s book of photographs Spirits of Tangier (Arcadia, £25). One of the auction house’s best galleries had been taken over to display the finest prints from the book and the event attracted a motley crew of gliterati and High Society, with an appropriate leavening of the raffish. Tessa Codrington is of course a successful Society photographer, as well as being married to the High Tory spread betting millionaire, Stuart Wheeler, and being the owner of a beautiful house in Tangier, inherited from her grandfather.

She first talked about doing this book in the 1970s with the American writer and composer, Paul Bowles, who features prominently in the finished product, which includes archive material from the 1920s as well as Tessa’s photos from the 1970s. Several of the people I knew in that still relatively wicked North African town at the time are also thereby perserved for posterity. My favourite picture, though, is of the Hon. David Herbert, in full drag, as Lady Bracknell in an amateur production of ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’, put on by the Tangier Players.

www.arcadiabooks.co.uk

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