Item #115564 A portrait photograph signed by Marshal Pétain ('Mal Pétain'). Marshal Philippe PETAIN, French Marshal and politician, Henri.
A portrait photograph signed by Marshal Pétain ('Mal Pétain')
PETAIN, Marshal (Henri) Philippe (1856-1951, French Marshal and politician)

A portrait photograph signed by Marshal Pétain ('Mal Pétain')

A gelatin silver photograph (image size 213 × 143 mm, printed on much larger paper, 350 x 237 mm), signed and dated (15 April 1935) in ink in the wide margin below the image (and in pencil immediately under the image by the photographer, 'Melcy | Paris').

Light creases and slight curling to the right-hand margin, well clear of the image and signature; image lightly silvered; in excellent condition, tipped in (with a tissue-guard) on the rear cover of the photographer's original printed manilla folder (a little creased, rubbed and marked).

In 1934, during a period of political unrest, Pétain reluctantly allowed himself to be appointed minister of war, becoming secretary of state in 1935, petitioning the government for more funding for the army, and to increase the period of compulsory conscription from two to three years. After the Nazi invasion of France in 1940, he became head of the collaborationist Vichy government. After a trial for treason in 1945, his sentence of death was commuted to life imprisonment.

Provenance: Collection of The Hon Barry Jones AC.

Item #115564