Tuesday, 30 November 2010

The Duchess of Windsor auction at Sotheby's

"You can never be too rich or too thin"

Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor

That has to be one of my favourite quotes.  It amuses me although I don't agree - you can be too thin and I have very little regard for money.  It should say "... and you can never have too much bling!"  I really can't refer to any of this as bling as it contains some of the most glorious items in the world.

Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor had amazing style and brilliant taste in fine jewellery.  Billed as the most important collection of the 20th century, more of her unique pieces go on sale this evening at Sotheby's.  The last auction of the Duchess of Windsor's collection raised a staggering £43 million more than estimated.

Some of her most iconic pieces, all made for her by the finest jewellers in Paris are included in the sale.  Each piece has a fantastic history, marking many personal events in the Duke and Duchesses lives.

My favourite piece has always been the platinum, diamond and onyx panther bracelet.  All the Cartier panther jewellery she owned was amazing. I'd absolutely love to know who buys it!

Exceptional Jewels and Precious Objects Formerly in the Collection of The Duchess of Windsor
Sotheby's London, 30th November 2010 at 7pm

This bracelet is a stunning feat of engineering, it even moves like a panther

Details from Sotheby's catalogue


The articulated body designed to encircle the wrist and to assume a stalking attitude, pavé-set with brilliant- and single-cut diamonds and calibré-cut onyx, the eyes each set with a marquise-shaped emerald, wearing length approximately 165mm, total length approximately 195mm, signed Cartier, Paris and numbered, French assay and maker's marks; the bracelet divides in two places, under the head and in the centre of the back, the tongue-piece of the latter inscribed, Cartier, Paris; the clasp numbered, several small stones deficient.

Estimate £1,000,000—1,500,000 GBP


Designed as a flamingo in a characteristic pose, the plumage set with calibré-cut emeralds, rubies and sapphires, the beak set with a cabochon citrine and sapphire, the eye set with a similarly cut sapphire, the head, neck, body and hinged legs pavé-set with circular-, brilliant- and single-cut diamonds, measuring approximately 95mm x 65mm x 22mm, signed to the clasp MONTURE Cartier and indistinctly numbered, French assay and maker's marks.

Estimate £1,000,000—1,500,000 GBP


Of heart-shaped design, applied to the centre with a monogram of the initials W and E set with calibré-cut emeralds, above the Roman numeral XX set with calibré-cut rubies, surmounted by a Royal Duke's coronet similarly set, to a background pavé-set with brilliant- and single-cut diamonds, measuring approximately 34mm x 38mm x 10mm, Cartier maker's mark and numbered, French assay marks

Estimate £100,000—150,000 GBP


In the form of an egg with twisted ropework borders, the front engraved with the armorial bearings of His Royal Highness The Duke of Windsor, the reverse with a monogram of the initials WW for Wallis Windsor below a Royal Ducal coronet, the thumbpiece collet-set with a rose diamond, suspended from a pendant ring accented with single-cut diamonds, opening to reveal a single lidded compartment with a mirror and feather powder puff, measurements approximately: overall length 125mm, case length 85mm, width 61mm, depth 55mm, signed Cartier Paris, French assay marks and maker's marks.

Estimate £70,000—90,000 GBP


The cylindrical case, of reeded design, applied with butterfly and flower head motifs the outlines collet-set with single-cut diamonds, the interior inscribed and dated: Wallis from Edward 1947, the single-cut diamond set thumb piece, opening to reveal a mirrored interior with a lidded powder compartment containing a feather powder puff and another compartment, measurements approximately: length 150mm, width 55mm, depth 45mm, signed Cartier, FRANCE, French assay and maker's marks.

Estimate £50,000—70,000 GBP

This is the most personal piece from the collection


The chain bracelet spectacle-set with circular- and brilliant-cut diamonds, suspending nine gem-set Latin crosses, to a navette-shaped clasp, length approximately 190mm, signed Cartier, French assay and maker's marks.  Comprising - 

• A cross set with calibré-cut sapphires, emeralds, one similarly cut ruby and a baguette diamond, inscribed and dated: Our marriage Cross Wallis 3.VI.37 David, slightly imperfect.
• A cross set with calibré-cut aquamarines, inscribed and dated: God save the King for Wallis. 16.VII.36.
• A cross set with calibré-cut amethyst, inscribed and dated: Appendectomy Cross Wallis 31-VIII-44 David.
• A cross set with calibré-cut emeralds, inscribed and dated: X Ray Cross Wallis – David 10.7.36.
• A cross set with baguette diamonds, inscribed and dated: The Kings (sic) Cross God bless WE 1-3-36.
• A cross set with calibré-cut rubies, inscribed and dated : Wallis – David St Wolfgang 22-9-3.
• A cross set with calibré-cut yellow sapphires, inscribed and dated : "Get Well" Cross Wallis Sept. 1944 David.
• A cross set with calibré-cut sapphires, inscribed and dated : Wallis – David 23-6-35.
• A cross in platinum, inscribed and dated: WE are too (sic) 25-XI-34

Estimate £350,000—450,000 GBP

This is one of my favourite pictures of the Duke and Duchess

This film really gives some fabulous detail about each piece and some lovely details about the couple's four decade romance

The auction is tonight at 7pm

Monday, 29 November 2010

Gorgeous green

Hedy Lamarr looking fabulous in green

This post is dedicated to the lovely Alex who's favourite colour is green.  I'm always looking out for green things for her on Ebay.

I rarely wear anything green although I love it as a colour.  I love brightly coloured make-up and I wear an Urban Decay emerald green glittery eyeliner a lot.

I own one dark green dress which I wore last week.  It's quite prim and proper for me, I think I was going for the secretary look with this one!  Although I did throw on a long belted cream coat, a huge sheepskin stole and stiletto ankle boots with it.  The broderie anglaise shirt dress (above) is by Ghost, from Ebay of course at the bargain price of £12.  I had quite a few comments, possibly because people are so used to seeing me in black, red or cream all the time with only the occasional splash of colour.   

I may not own many green clothes but I seem to have a lot of art which features it.  One of my friends pointed out a while back that nearly every painting I own is of someone nude or topless.  I'd honestly never noticed before!

I'm *rolls eyes* STILL finishing sorting out my wardrobe.  I've put aside today to do it but I've faffed around and haven't done it and now I'm watching I'm a Celeb.  I will have to crack on with it later.  For now here's another collection of pictures, all featuring green from interiors, fashion and art.

Painting by John Atkinson Grimshaw
Spirit of the Night (1879)

I love this painting, I've had it since I was a child

Painting by John William Waterhouse
Hylas and the Nymphs (1896)

I have this printed onto canvas which I must take to the framers

Painting by John Everett Millais
Ophelia (1852)

Painting by John William Waterhouse
The Lady of Shallott (on boat) 1888

Painting by Henri Rousseau
The Dream (1910)

Photography by Michael Comte
Tasha Tilberg

Photography by Steven Meisel
Lara Stone for Louis Vuitton

Alexis Smith - that chaise is quite something

Photography by Steven Meisel
Natalia Vodianova

Photography by Mikael Jansson
Sasha Pivovarova

Photography by Miles Aldridge
Siri Tollerod

Photography by Patrick Demarchelier

Natasha Poly backstage at Balmain SS09 - I love this dress

Anja Rubik

Farah Fawcett - I would definitely wear this jumpsuit

Keira Knightley in Atonement

Painting by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
The Day Dream (1880)

Photography by Mert and Marcus
Edita Vilkevicuite

Photography by Eric Guillemain
Ali Smith

Painting by Tamara de Lempicka
Autoportrait, Tamara in Green Bugatti (1925)

Photography by Craig McDean
Coco Rocha

Photography by Michael Eastman
Green sitting room from World of Interiors

Photography by Michael Eastman
What a great arch - Why put a sofa in front of it?

I love dark green walls

Painting by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Ghirlandata (1873)

Photography by Annie Leibovitz
Husband and wife Jack White and Karen Elson

Photography by Patrick Demarchelier
Frida Gustavsson

Photography by Steven Meisel
Natalia Vodianova

Photography by Steven Meisel
Christy Turlington

Photography by Steven Meisel
Snejana Onopka

Painting by Tamara de Lempicka
The Green Turban (1929)

I have this on my kitchen wall at the moment

Photography by Walter Chinn
Kate Moss

Lara Stone

Painting by Tamara de Lempicka
Young Lady with Gloves (1930)

I would love a pair of these

Antique emerald and diamond ring - gorgeous

And finally, one of my favourite people ever Siouxsie Sioux.  I love this song and I love Siouxsie's green glitter eyeshadow, done by her make-up artist Billy Chainsaw.  For some reason on my copy of the video the colour is much more vivid.  I must track down some eyeshadow like this.

I've had many brilliant and bonkers nights out with Siouxsie, Budgie and Steve Severin which were lots of fun.  Shadowtime is is one of the most beautiful Banshees songs from their thirteenth album, Superstition.

Have a listen and let me know what you think, it's quite different to most Banshees songs and Siouxsie looks fabulous.

Siouxsie and the Banshees - Shadowtime (1991)  Love.

I hope you've had a great evening xxx

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Too cold to be glamorous!

Here's today's outfit.  As ever I've bought everything cheap on Ebay
Cream cashmere cardigan/dressing gown £50 on Ebay, 2008
Cream cashmere v neck £15 on Ebay, 2009
Cream wool and cashmere leggings by Joseph £20 on Ebay, 2000

It is freezing in London and I'm very disappointed we've had no snow yet, I'm like a big kid!  It's too cold to be glamorous today, even for me!  I've dug out my limited collection of knitwear and turned the heating up high.  For once in my life I'm dressing sensibly.  Don't worry it won't last long.

I had another massive lie-in after a lovely evening with my friend Phoebe.  The furthest I've been is to the corner shop and to a little studio opening in my street.

Right opposite my house Sue Whimster was holding an open studio showing her ceramics as part of Hidden Art in Hackney weekend.  Sue has a studio at the end of her garden where she makes all kinds of whimsical (no pun intended) stoneware ceramics which are full of character, most famously the English Bull Terriers.

Here are the garden walls leading to Sue's studio.  I love the shells

Fee - I know you're gonna love these!

English Bull Terrier, stoneware ceramic 30 x 25cm

Winter hare, stoneware ceramic 45 x 30cm

Polar bear money box

Bunny money boxes

Pig money box

A collection of dogs

I rather like these meerkats - the expressions are great

And The Actor and I are very partial to a boiled egg so I always like interesting eggcups

I think these are really cute

Sue sells at lots of shops and galleries

I've seen these in Bordello in Shoreditch.  The Actor will like these

For more info on Sue's work go to

When I got home I realised that I'd forgotten to bring my poor money tree in from my terrace during the cold spell.  I'm not at all green fingered but I do know they don't like frost.  It was the picture of health yesterday, unless I'd just mistaken it for being frozen.  I had it by the radiator until I called my dad and he said that the heat would shock it so I must put it on the kitchen windowsill and keep it dry and see if it recovers.  Fingers crossed the poor thing does.  I hate killing anything.  Does anyone have any tips on reviving my lovely plant?

Here's my TV dinner delivered by my local Japanese restaurant:

Miso soup
Edamame beans
Chicken Gyoza dumplings
King prawn Yakitori

On Friday night I watched almost the whole of The Only Way Is Essex back to back, and loved it... for all the wrong reasons!  Tonight's viewing - Strictly (I'm sorry Patsy's gone), X Factor (so yawn now but I'm delighted that Wagner has finally been voted out).  I'm loving I'm a Celebrity and Any Human Heart.  I've been recording lots of films on Sky recently, I rarely go to the cinema so I always see everything ages after everyone else.  I may watch one of these later, has anyone seen them already?

I love Meryl Streep and anything to do with food so I hope I like this

I grew up very near to Keats house in Hampstead and I've been wanting to see Jane Campion's film about his three year love affair with Fanny Brawne for ages.

I hope you've had a wonderful weekend xxx