This figure, along with almost 1100 posts, 100 followers, going on 4000 comments and an eBay record of close to 500 positive feedbacks means my numbers are rounding out quiet nicely.
Some weeks ago German typewriter collector and historian Thomas Fürtig set out to find out as much as he could about the gold-plated Royal Quiet De Luxe. He canvassed known owners, seeking serial numbers and some background on the models that are in collections around the world.
Thomas received responses from 11 owners and was able to put together a list of 24 machines, including the one once owned by James Bond creator Ian Fleming and bought at auction by actor Pierce Brosnan in 1993. The present ownership of five other models is not known, but Thomas has serial numbers for these. The machines were made between 1948 and 1953, so they are not necessarily linked to Royal's Golden Jubilee year, as has long been believed. Instead, they appear to have been made specially to order.
It seems I am now one of four collectors to own more than one of these typewriters. One collector owns four. The serial numbers on mine are A-1780446 (1949, the fourth oldest on Thomas's list) and A-2030229 (1950).
There are doubtless more out there. In 1952, they were being given away as prizes in high school competitions run by Royal:
This is the second, later design on Thomas's list. The first and much more common is the 1945 Henry Dreyfuss design.
And they have been around for a very long time. King Tut had one, as did King Alfonzo of Spain:
Popular Mechanics, November 1914
A jealous critic thought Zane Grey had one, Louella Parsons by given one by the Hearst organisation, in 1959 Chicago Tribune Latin America correspondent Jules Dubois used one, and Ella Fitzgerald sang like one!
This model sold on Etsy 18 months ago. Like my Wedler gold-plated Royal, this one has an individual nameplate on the paper plate: