ARTS & COLLECTIONS
WWW.ARTSANDCOLLECTIONS.COM VOLUME 1 2019
WINE • ART • INVESTMENT • LUXURY PROPERTY • COLLECTABLES • PHOTOGRAPHY Collections Cover 1.19 C.indd 1
CHAUMET IN MAJESTY Jewels of Sovereigns Since 1780
EXHIBITION FROM 12 JULY TO 28 AUGUST 2019 AT THE GRIMALDI FORUM, MONACO
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Contents FEATURES 22
TAKING TO THE AIR
44 46 48
IMAGES © SHUTTERSTOCK, WEDGWOOD, SOTHEBY’S HARRINGTONS, MARLOE WATCH CO.
AUDREY HEPBURN BY BOB WILLOUGHBY
RARE BOOK COLLECTING
Is private aviation no longer the preserve of the ultra-rich? We look at the best ways to take to the air in luxurious comfort
THE WORLD’S MOST EXPENSIVE WINES
As an investment or an indulgence, fine wine can be a tricky market to negotiate. We pop our corks over some excellent vintages
THE QUEEN OF GEMS
THE ART OF THE LUTHIER
WEDGWOOD’S FIRST DAY VASES
How the legendary ceramicist came to make these uniquely evocative vases, and why they still resonate with history
QUENTIN WILLSON ON CLASSIC CARS
The expert dealer gives us tips on the state of the market, and we pick some beautiful examples coming up for auction
PERSONALITY ON YOUR WRIST
The most accomplished violinists require the most beautiful instruments from the most talented craftsmen
WINE • ART • INVESTMENT • LUXURY PROPERTY • COLLECTABLES • PHOTOGRAPHY Collections Cover 1.19 C.indd 1
With Marie Antoinette’s pearl pendant achieving a stunning price at auction, is the natural beauty of the pearl back in fashion?
LEONARDO DA VINCI
Cover: © BOB WILLOUGHBY and F11 Foto Museum.
Marking its 50th year in business, we speak to Pom Harrington of Peter Harrington Rare Books about the titles to watch in the future
As we celebrate the 90th annniversary of the iconic actresses birth, Foto11 in Hong Kong exhibits some of her finest portraits
We mark the 500th anniversary of the death of the Renaissance Man with a look at his spectacular artistic and scientific achievements How the most distinctive and original wristwatches can mark you out as a collector of taste and discernment
THE FINE ART OF MOVEMENT
Once you acquire a precious item, you have to take care how you move it—we talk to Momentous, the experts in fine art logistics
GOLD - THE ENDURING ALLURE
Gold retains its attraction throughout the ages, but does it remain a good investment prospect?
Money never sleeps, but neither does a good wealth manager. We look at ways to protect and grow your most precious assets
HENRI MATISSE: A LEGACY SURVEYED
The influence of Henri Matisse on the 150th anniversary of his birth
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THE WORLD’S MOST BEAUTIFUL BUILDINGS
We live in them, worship in them, admire then, enjoy them—but what do the world’s most beautiful buildings really mean to us?
COCO DÁVEZ: THE FACE OF CELEBRITY
THE LURE OF CAVIAR
THE HOUSE OF MESSIKA
PUT IT INTO PROPERTY
New materials, new markets and new requirements mean that the luxury furniture market is developing in surprising ways One taste and you’re hooked—what is the unique appeal of this most exotic of delicacies? Uniquely beautiful jewellery, from a storied family house of creativity built on an appreciation of the finest materials and gemstones
Our insights into the shifting market suggest reliable investment plans
As the Spanish artist mounts her first solo exhibition we look at the inspiration behind her giant pop-art canvasses
This issue’s arts and collections facts and figures in bite-sized snippets
Our new Editor presents this issue’s most exciting topics and looks ahead to the rest of the year in arts and collections
A roundup of the landmark artistic and cultural events due in 2019
Some of the most beautiful, exciting and valuable items to have come under the auctioneer’s hammer in the last few months.
WHERE TO SPEND IT
A glorious collectable tied to an icon of world entertainment—in this issue, a magnificent gem forever associated with Marilyn Monroe You’ve worked for it, and you deserve it—now we show you where to find the most luxurious and indulgent objects for your collection
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IMAGES © CHRISTIE’S; SHUTTERSTOCK; LABORATORIOROSSO, VITERBO/ITALY; SAABLE & OX; SOTHEBY’S
The Art of Distinction
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The unique 5* Grand Luxury Experience in Ibiza
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DamsonMedia Publisher & CEO Kevin J. Harrington Editors Chris Jenkins Annalisa d’Alessio Sub Editor Elika Roohi Design Jason Craig Features Writer Phoebe Ollerearnshaw Editorial Assistants Anetha Sivananthan Hannah Foskett Production Director Joanna Harrington Production Coordinator Ava Keane
Arts & Collections has partnered with over 120 of the world’s finest luxury and boutique hotels to provide the highest quality coverage of global art and cultural events, as well as auctions of interest and the latest developments in the global art market. It is this blend of interesting and informative editorial that is most appealing to guests at these premier hotels, who have a great interest in admiring and purchasing fine art and collectables.
Arts & Collections’ dedicated website, artsandcollections.com, features detailed information on each of the 120 luxury hotels promoting the publication in their exclusive rooms and suites.
Office Coordinator Adam Linard-Stevens
images: © christie’s; atelier wen; wedgwood; sotheby’s; house of messika
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All of the exclusive previews, reviews and expert commentary pieces that appear in the pages of Arts & Collections are also available to view on artsandcollections.com. In addition, the website provides a directory of upcoming auctions by Sotheby’s and other top auction houses, plus exhibitions and popular cultural events, keeping visitors fully informed, as well as providing a comprehensive resource area for collectors and connoisseurs.
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It Figures... 60 years 1,400
The age of the Macallan Valerio Adami whisky sold by Bonham’s for £848,750, smashing the previous world record. Page 19
The temperature in degrees centigrade to which the porcelain faces of Atelier Wen’s Ji and Hao watches are heated during manufacture.
The carats in the Moon of Baroda, the fancy yellow diamond worn as a necklace by Marilyn Monroe to publicise Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
The number of vases cast by Josiah Wedgwood in the Etruria Works on 13th June 1769. Only four survived, one now in the Potteries Gallery in Stoke-on-Trent.
The record-breaking millions of dollars achieved at auction by Marie Antionette’s diamond and pearl pendant necklace.
The number of brilliant cut diamonds in the necklace designed by Valérie Messika for the Sun Tribe collection from Paris maison House of Messika.
eauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but we are always being told what we should appreciate and enjoy by the experts. Certainly no-one would argue with the merits of the greats, and exhibitions such as Joaquin Sorolla at the National Gallery and Pierre Bonnard at the Tate have rightly drawn admiring crowds. In modern art, a retrospective of Jeff Koons’ ‘anti-modernist’ art brought controversy to the Ashmolean, and in the world of fashion, the V&A’s exhibition of Christian Dior and Mary Quant have seen sell-out runs. In film, too, the Stanley Kubrick exhibition at the Design Museum showed that the master moviemaker’s collaborations with the greatest designers of sets and costumes bore strange and amazing fruit. So is there space left between any of these big names for the new, the quirky, the innovative, the avante-garde? The democratisation of art and collectables through the world of the internet suggests that there is. Projects such as Marine Tanguy’s MTArt, which aims to put the work of young artists in front of a switched-on, worldwide audience and corporate sponsors, is a disruptive influence on the gallery system, which means that no longer will artists have to conform to a dealer’s idea of the popular in order to gain exposure and sales. At the same time, auction houses worldwide are embracing the internet as their auctions go online. Though this doesn’t necessarily make art or collectables any more affordable—in fact it probably raises prices as
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international bidders gain greater access—it does at least allow everyone a peek into this highvalue world. But if any evidence is needed that the world of art can bring together a divided world, look no further than the reaction to the destructive fire at Notre-Dame de Paris. In minutes, a monument of civilisation was damaged to a horrifying degree, and the world watched in horror and sympathy with the desolation of the French people. Thankfully, many of the major works of arts and devotion housed in the building were saved—but the damage to the structure itself was immense, and will take many years to rebuild. Though the money to restore the building will surely be forthcoming, much of it from the billionaire owners of luxury goods empires, arguments about the right way to proceed soon started. An authentic restoration seems impossible—yet would it be right to use modern building techniques to do the job? The argument will no doubt rage a hotly as the fire itself. But whatever the rest of the year holds, Arts & Collections will be here to introduce you to the finest art, the most innovative and exciting artists, the most desirable collectables and the most luxurious experiences. It will be our honour and privilege to lead you on this exciting journey through international art and culture. Chris Jenkins
Images: © Shutterstock
On 15 April 2019, a structural fire broke out beneath the roof of the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris. By the time the flames were extinguished, extensive damage had been done to the iconic 800-year-old building.
collections // events
Happenings Bringing you a mix of artistic, cultural, historical and essential events as we look ahead through 2019
A MASTER’S HAND In 2019, the Royal Collection Trust will mark the 500th anniversary of the death of Renaissance master Leonardo da Vinci. With the last da Vinci to grace the open market fetching an impressive $450 million and brewing a worldwide media storm, the renowned polymath will receive his biggest exhibition in 65 years, Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing. The RCT is partnering with 12 institutions around the UK to showcase 144 drawings by the expert hand. Twelve drawings chosen to reflect the full range of da Vinci’s interests—from architecture, engineering and cartography, to geology and botany—are being shown at each venue from 1st February to 6th May. From 24th May, the drawings will join a selection of works on paper from the Queen’s personal collection for a once in a lifetime exhibition at the Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace. The drawings entered the collection during the reign of Charles II and will see two seemingly completely blank sheets of paper on public display for the first time. In ultraviolet light, these sheets reveal studies of hands for the Adoration of the Magi (c.1481) and are among da Vinci’s most beautiful drawings. Read more on page 50. A selection of the drawings will then travel to The Queen’s Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse in November—the largest group of da Vinci’s works ever to be shown in Scotland.
Images © ROYAL COLLECTION TRUST
Right: Leonardo Da Vinci The Head of Leda, c.1505-8 Black chalk, pen and ink on paper 17.7 x 14.7 cm Royal Collection
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Events // collections
EGYPTIAN TREASURES “Wonderful things.” With these words, Howard Carter described what is arguably the most extraordinary archaeological discovery ever made: the tomb of Tutankhamun, pharaoh of the eighteenth Egyptian dynasty. Discovered by the British archeologist in 1922, the long-forgotten relic was found intact in the Valley of the Kings, along with various treasures. From 23 March to 15 September 2019, the Grande Halle at La Villette in Paris will be celebrating the magnificence of the discovery, welcoming Tutankhamun, the Treasures of the Pharaoh. The immersive exhibition will reveal more than 150 fascinating original objects, 50 of which have never-before left Egypt. This rare opportunity to intimately discover the mysterious sovereign includes a chance to see the statue of the Amun god protecting Tutankhamun. Sourced from the Louvre’s collections, the large diorite statue is one of several sculpted works discovered in Thebes that illustrate Tutankhamun’s devotion to the god Amun. After touring the world, the exhibition will eventually settle at the Grand Egyptian Museum—due to open in 2022 and set to be one of the most important museums dedicated to Egyptian antiquity in the world. Left: Guardian Statue, 18th dynasty Reign of Tutankhamun, 1336 - 1327 BC Wood, bitumen, gesso, gilding, copper, alloy 190 x 56 cm Luxor, Valley of the Kings, Antechamber
Right: Miniature Canopic Coffin, 18th dynasty Reign of Tutankhamun, 1336 - 1327 BC Gold, colored glass, carnelian 39.5 x 11 cm Luxor, Valley of the Kings, Treasury
Images © Laboratoriorosso, Viterbo/Italy/ www.rijksmuseum.nl
THE YEAR OF REMBRANDT This year may mark an anniversary for Leonardo da Vinci, but he won’t get the year all to himself. In the Netherlands, 2019 is officially the Year of Rembrandt, marking the 350th anniversary of the Dutch master’s death. From 15th February to 10th June, All the Rembrandts will kick off the year-long celebrations at Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum. The collection is the world’s largest of Rembrandt paintings and includes The Night Watch (1642), the portraits of Marten Soolans and Oopjen Coppit (1634) and The Jewish Bride (1665). Totaling 22 works, the exhibition will encompass all of Rembrandt’s periods and styles, showcasing the finest prints and notable early works. The Rijksmuseum’s plans for later on in the year include detailed guided tours and a live restoration of Rembrandt’s most celebrated masterpiece, The Night Watch (1642), which will begin in July. Right: Rembrandt van Rijn The Night Watch, 1642 Oil on canvas 363 × 437 cm Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
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collections // events
INSPIRATION TO US ALL Tate Britain has announced a major exhibition concerning the most conflicted artist of all, Vincent van Gogh. From 27th March to 11th August 2019, The EY Exhibition: Van Gogh and Britain will present the largest collection of Van Gogh’s paintings in the UK for nearly a decade. Over 45 works will be brought together from around the world—including Shoes (1886), Starry Night on the Rhône (1888), and two works he completed while a patient at the Saint-Paul Asylum. They will be joined by the rarely-loaned Sunflowers (1888) from London’s National Gallery. Van Gogh spent crucial years in London between 1873 and 1876, besotted with British culture—particularly, the novels of Charles Dickens. L’Arlésienne (1890), a portrait created in the last year of Van Gogh’s life, will feature in the exhibition and depicts a favourite book by Dickens. The display will tell a story from Van Gogh walking the streets in a vast city to how he influenced British artists, including Francis Bacon, David Bomberg and the young Camden Town painters. Considering celebrated works through the eyes of the artists they inspired will be sure to show just how much the outsider set Britain on the path to modern art. Left: Vincent Van Gogh L’Arlesienne, 1890 Oil on canvas 65 x 54 cm Museu de Arte de São Paulo
THAT’S SO CAMP
Images © Museu de Arte de São Paulo/Johnny Dufort
In an effort to top last year’s show, Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination— its most-visited exhibition ever—New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute’s Spring 2019 exhibition theme is Camp: Notes on Fashion. Running from 9th May to 8th September, 2019, the exhibition is framed around Susan Sontag’s seminal 1964 essay Notes on ‘Camp’—a text that identifies 58 ways to define the concept. Covering everything from the origins of camp in the 17th century to how camp’s disruptive nature has become a tool for political change and an influence on mainstream culture, the show will include 175 objects including fashion, sculptures, paintings, and drawings. Its opening section explores the concept of se camper—‘to posture boldly’ in the royal courts of Louis XIV and Louis XV at Versailles, a ‘camp Eden’. Gucci and scenographer Jan Versweyveld are underwriting the exhibition, marked its opening with the iconic Met Gala on 6 May. Co-chaired by Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, the event saw Serena Williams, Harry Styles, Gucci’s Allesandro Michele and the queen of camp herself, Lady Gaga, as hosts. Right: Marc Jacobs Ensembles, 2016 Image courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art Photo © Johnny Dufort, 2018
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Safety in Wonders MALTA’S STRONG LEGAL SYSTEM ALLOWS ARTISTIC PROPERTY TO BE SAFEGUARDED ACROSS GENERATIONS. By Mr Steve Muscat Azzopardi
he value of a work of art is as debatable as defining art itself. With diverse artistic movements, the boundaries of what characterises art are constantly changing. The value of art itself may be even harder to comprehend. A piece might sell for a given price at auction, but its value may be very different if the artwork holds sentimental significance. When owning works of art, issues may arise ranging from the pragmatic such as insurance or tax, to the subjective, such as ensuring that collections do not end up on public display. While many individuals consider their financial property as part of their estate planning, art collections should not be excluded. Generational planning permits people to arrange for the management of art during and even after their life. Without succession planning, legal disputes between heirs have seen pieces auctioned for far less than their fair value and escalate disharmony within the family.
In Art we Trust Malta’s trust law provides a security that aids succession planning for collectors. A trust may hold any asset, including private works of art. A licensed trustee would administer the trust, with any assets clearly ring-fenced. As part of the settlement, the owner would establish who the beneficiaries will be, the extent to which they should benefit, and any additional conditions. In this manner, the trust would safeguard the collection and cater for distribution between beneficiaries thus avoiding legal disputes. A Solid Foundation A Malta private foundation is often more popular with those used to jurisdictions based on a civil code, and a distinct advantage is that the founder may reserve a greater range of powers than some types
of trusts. Through a foundation, a protector may be appointed to ensure that the founder’s wishes are carried out in practice. With a strong regulatory framework surrounding asset management, Malta provides a range of tools to be used in estate and succession planning. Chetcuti Cauchi is an international firm that can help advise on the multifaceted issues surrounding the safeguarding of cultural property, so that the value of a work of art can remain in safe hands and maintain its appreciation across family members and span generations. Mr Steve Muscat Azzopardi Head of Corporate & Financial Services email@example.com +356 2205 6608 cclex.com
Individuals are becoming more aware of the importance of safeguarding the holistic value of their collections, and are not only commissioning artwork but also seeking advice on the fate of their property.
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collections // news
HIGHLIGHTS By Hannah Foskett
The record-breaking, the eclectic and the unique; we bring you the latest from the world’s most renowned auction houses
Once Upon a Time…
IMAGES: © bonham’s
The Bonhams Photographs auction in New York in April featured works by Ansel Adams, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Alfred Stieglitz, Helmut Newton, Ormond Gigli (the famous Girls in the Windows), and Steve McCurry (the equally famous Sharbat Gula, Afghan Girl, a dye bleach print of which sold for £13,413). The standout item was Le Chanteur de Mexico by Pierre et Gilles, a unique chromogenic print with handwork, flush-mounted, signed, titled in ink and credit label affixed on the flush-mount verso; in an elaborately hand-painted artist’s frame, measuring 43x34-1/2in (109.2 x 87.6cm), currently with the Galerie Jerome de Noirmont, Paris. It sold for US$31,325 (£23,907) including premium.
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Paul Paternoss, Master Craftsman of Rifles In one of the most scenic areas of Austria lives a craftsman who devotes his life to creating the most beautiful hunting rifles, each one a covetable heirloom. His name is Paul Paternoss. With many years of experience already under his belt, in 2012 he established a company to pursue his passion for creating the finest quality handmade rifles. Meticulous attention is paid to the smallest of details, with every rifle uniquely created to embody the wishes of the owner. The results of these efforts are veritable jewels in the world of hunting weapons. Paul Paternoss acquired his skill and craftmanship over a 15-year apprenticeship in the world centre of excellence of hunting weapons, Ferlach. Accredited as a Master Craftsman, to create his unique rifles he uses only “state of the art” materials, from steel to walnut from the very core of the burl. Designed exclusively for its owner, each rifle can be intricately engraved or gold-plated to make it truly one of a kind. The attention to every single detail guarantees the highest precision possible in shooting, and therefore these masterpieces can last for generations. Each rifle is delivered with a specially made guncase conforming to the owner’s exact requirements, and Paternoss uses LEICA Scopes exclusively to match the high quality of his creations. To see for yourself the beauty of a bespoke rifle designed by a master craftsman, which will bring a lifetime of pleasure, please visit our website.
www.paternoss-arms.at Paul Paternoss Guns and Rifles vA r2.indd 1
collections // news
TIARA fit for a PRINCESS A 1904 Fabergé aquamarine and diamond tiara offered by Christie’s in Geneva has both rarity value and royal provenance. Commissioned in 1904 by Frederick Francis IV, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, as a wedding gift for his bride-to-be, Princess Alexandra of Hanover and Cumberland, this historic headpiece remained in the same royal family for more than a century. The tiara is composed of nine graduated pear-shaped aquamarines and old, cushion- and rosecut diamonds. ‘With its forget-me-not flowers tied with ribbon bows pierced by arrows representing cupid, the design signifies affection, attraction and true, eternal love,’ says Max Fawcett, Christie’s jewellery specialist in Geneva. ‘That it was a wedding gift makes it even more romantic and symbolic.’ Estimate for this well-documented piece, offered in the Magnificent Jewels auction was CHF/USD 230,000-340,000.
Pricey in pink
An iconic image Celebrated British artist David Hockney set a new auction record for a living artist after his famed Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) (1972) fetched $90.3 million (£70.5 million) at Christie’s Post War and Contemporary Evening Sale in New York on 15 November. Measuring seven by 10 feet, the oil painting was sold to an anonymous telephone bidder for considerably more than its pre-sale estimate of $80 million. One of the 81-year-old artist’s most revered works, the iconic composition was created in just two weeks using poolside photographs alongside images of Hockney’s former lover, Peter Schlesinger. Christie’s called the Hockney ‘one of the greatest masterpieces of the modern era’.
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IMAGES: © christie’s
The largest pink diamond Christie’s auction house has ever put under the hammer sold for CHF 50,375,000 (£38.5 million) on 13 November at the Magnificent Jewels sale in Geneva. The ‘Pink Legacy’ weighs in at just under 19 carats and has set a new world-record price for a pink diamond at around $2.6 million per carat. Once owned by the Oppenheimer family, the treasure was referred to as ‘one of the world’s greatest diamonds’ by Christie’s and was graded as ‘fancy vivid’—the highest level of colour intensity. In the sales room, fancy vivid pink diamonds over 10 carats are virtually unheard of, said the auction house.
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collections // news
Bagged and tagged Sotheby’s April auction of Hermès handbags offered for sale 25 extraordinary examples of the finest craftsmanship from the luxury retailer, led by a stunning 2008 amethyst porosus crocodile Birkin with palladium hardware, clochette, lock, keys, felt protector, leather card, rain cover, dustbag, box and Cities certificate. The sale featured a hand-picked selection of the brand’s iconic Birkin and Kelly bags in a variety of sizes and colours. The handbags were on view in the London gallery in March and April, with the live auction taking place at Sotheby’s New Bond Street on 10 April. The amethyst Birkin fetched £30,000, considerably over estimate, while other highlights included a 2010 Birkin 40 Blue Jean Togo Leather bag estimated at £4,000-£6,000, which sold for £15,000.
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IMAGES: © Christie’s; Sotheby’s
One of the most important pieces of Ottoman Iznik pottery remaining in private hands—a rare Iznick charger (c.1480) was sold during Sotheby’s Islamic Week in October for a recordbreaking £5.35 million. Originally estimated to fetch up to £500,000, the newly discovered 18-inch shallow dish is considered a lost sibling to four similar and large pieces produced during the reign of Mehmet II ‘the Conqueror’. After 20 minutes of fierce bidding from nine collectors, the charger established one of the highest prices for an Islamic work of art. Opportunities to acquire early works of Iznik pottery are rare, with no similar items having surfaced for over a generation.
news // collections
Our series highlights a single item of artistry or craftsmanship that is both rare and exquisite
IMAGES: © Sotheby’s; Christie’s
Liquid gold An extremely rare bottle of The Macallan Valerio Adami 1926 set a new world record when it was sold at Bonhams Whisky Sale in Edinburgh on 3rd October. The limited-edition 60-year-old bottle and cabinet fetched £848,750. The previous world record was set in May 2018 when Bonhams auctioneers sold another bottle of The Macallan Valerio Adami 1926 for £814,081. Macallan commissioned two iconic pop artists—Valerio Adami and Peter Blake—to design 24 labels for 24 limited-edition bottles. It is not currently known whether the remaining 11 bottles still exist. One was supposedly destroyed in a 2011 earthquake in Japan, and at least one is believed to have been opened and drunk.
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mong an attractive selection of vintage and modern timepieces, the Watches Online auction from Sotheby’s of New York in April sold a rare Patek Philippe Nautilus 5990/1A stainless steel automatic dual time zone chronograph bracelet watch with local and home indicators, circa 2018, for an astonishing US$87,500. The watch features a black gradated ribbed dial, with a 28520 automatic movement, 34 jewels, sapphire crystal display back and stainless steel Patek Philippe Nautilus bracelet with folding clasp. Case, dial and movement are signed, and accessories include a Patek Philippe presentation box with outer packaging and a Certificate of Origin. Patek Philippe introduced the first Nautilus with a chronograph function at Basel in 2006, to such acclaim that in 2014, reference 5990 was introduced to the market, featuring a chronograph and travel time function. Initially selling at $57,300, the sporty, yet elegant watch, with its subtle black gradient dial, can easily be worn both in a casual or dressy setting.
collections // Jewellery
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Jewellery // Collections
A GIRL’S BEST FRIEND BY CHRIS JENKINS
Movie icon Marilyn Monroe will always be associated with the glamour of diamonds, and now one of the stones linked most closely with the actress’ life and career has been sold at auction
eautiful and tragic, actress Marilyn Monroe will always be associated with the allure of gems—if nothing else, her signature song Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend will ensure that. The Hollywood diva, whose glittering career ended with her controversial death in 1962, appeared draped in jewellery for her show-stopping song in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes in 1953. But though her character, showgirl Lorelei Lee, had been caught in compromising photos with a diamond mine owner, the gems in the musical number were fake—merely paste replicas supplied by MGM’s costume department. However, Monroe’s association with real jewels went much deeper. In a promotional tour for the movie, she was often photographed wearing spectacular pieces, and now one of the most well-known has been sold at auction, bringing to light its clouded history. The 24.04-carat Moon of Baroda is a fancy yellow pear modified brilliant-cut diamond that has been coveted by both the Indian and Hollywood elites, particularly since it became associated with the actress in her 1953 hit.
IMAGES © Christie’s
Clouded History The Moon of Baroda has a long history, not all of it clear. The Gemological Institute of America pinpointed the stone’s initial sighting in Golconda, where it was excavated between the 15th and 17th centuries. This region of India, known today as Hyderabad, yielded some of the world’s most soughtafter diamonds including the Koh-i-Noor and the Grand Mazarin.
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was later exhibited in Los Angeles during the Easter Fashion Festival in 1943.
In the Public Eye The Moon of Baroda was acquired by the Meyer Jewellery Company of Michigan in the 1950s, and it was during Meyer Rosenbaum’s ownership that it received most public exposure, when it was worn by Marilyn during the promotional run of Howard Hawks’ film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Offered at auction along with the gem was an autographed photo of Marilyn wearing the diamond, inscribed “To Meyer, thanks for the chance to wear the Moon of Baroda.” Above: The Moon of Baroda 24.04 carats Fancy Yellow VS2 Diamond Necklace US$500,000 – 750,000 Facing Page: Autographed “Marilyn Monroe wearing the Moon of Baroda” Photograph by Frank Powolny US$10,000 – 15,000
In the 18th century the stone came into the hands of the wealthy Gaekwad family of Baroda, and then vanished for some time. It’s said that it was sent by the Gaekwad family to Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, the only female monarch of the Habsburg dynasty. This was the origin of the legend of the diamond’s curse—Maria Theresa, perhaps believing that the stone brought bad luck to anyone who took it out of its country of origin, returned it to the Gaekwad family. The gem re-emerged in 1926 when it was brought to America by Prince Ramachandra, and it
Magnificent Jewels At the Magnificent Jewels sale at Christie’s in Hong Kong in May 2018, lots included diamond and gold jewellery by Piaget, Cartier, Bulgari, Van Cleef & Arpels, Tiffany and Chopard, raising a total of HK$563m (around £56m). But for Marilyn fans, the star of the show was undoubtedly the Moon of Baroda, described as a ‘historical coloured diamond pendant necklace’, which almost doubled its presale estimate of HK$4-6m, realising HK$10.3m, (around £1.03m), while the autographed photo of Marilyn wearing the stone went for $35,000 (around £27,000). Five bidders fought over the Moon of Baroda, but the winning buyer remaining anonymous; whoever it is, now owns one of the most beautiful and storied gems in history, along with its reputation for mystery and mixed fortunes.
collections // AUDREY HEPBURN
A Hollywood Icon Audrey Hepburn and the Photography of Bob Willoughby
This year marks the 90th anniversary of the birth of Hollywood icon Audrey Hepburn, as well as the 10th anniversary of the passing of renowned photographer Bob Willoughby. Chris Jenkins looks at an exhibition celebrating the work of both artists
only way to get the better of them was by adopting a forceful, concentrated drive.” In 1989, she said “my look is attainable ... Women can look like Audrey Hepburn by flipping out their hair, buying the large glasses and the little sleeveless dresses.”
How shall I sum up my life? I think I’ve been particularly lucky. — Audrey Hepburn
Hepburn’s influence as a style icon continues decades after her death in 1993. In 2004, she was named the “most beautiful woman of all time” and “most beautiful woman of the 20th century” in polls by Evian and QVC. Her film costumes fetch large sums of money in auctions, with one of the “little black dresses” designed by Givenchy for Breakfast at Tiffany’s being sold by Christie’s for a record sum of £467,200 in 2006. Hepburn was in particular associated with French fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy, who was first hired to design her onscreen wardrobe for her second Hollywood film, Sabrina. In My Fair Lady, she was sumptuously costumed by Cecil Beaton. The American Film Institute named Hepburn third among the Greatest Female Stars of all Time, and she is one of the few performers to have won Oscar, Emmy, Grammy and Tony awards, as well as a record three BAFTA awards for Best British Actress in a Leading Role.
IMAGES © BOBWILLOUGHBY and F11 Foto Museum
udrey Hepburn, who was at the peak of her fame in the 1950s and ‘60s, is remembered for movies as diverse as Roman Holiday, Sabrina, The Nun’s Tale, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and My Fair Lady. She became not only a world-celebrated actress, but also a style icon, her images reproduced thousands of times. Added to the International Best Dressed List in 1961, Hepburn was associated with a minimalistic style, usually wearing clothes with simple silhouettes which emphasised her slim figure, monochromatic colours and occasional statement accessories. In the late 1950s, she popularised plain black leggings, and academic Rachel Moseley describes the combination of “slim black trousers, flat ballet-style pumps and a fine black jersey” as one of her signature looks alongside little black dresses, a new style at a time when women still wore skirts and heels more often than trousers and flats. Despite being admired for her beauty, Hepburn never considered herself attractive, stating in a 1959 interview that “you can even say that I hated myself at certain periods. I was too fat, or maybe too tall, or maybe just plain too ugly... you can say my definiteness stems from underlying feelings of insecurity and inferiority. I couldn’t conquer these feelings by acting indecisive. I found the
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IMAGES © BOBWILLOUGHBY and F11 Foto Museum
AUDREY HEPBURN // collections
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collections // AUDREY HEPBURN
Previous page: Audrey Hepburn dressed by Cecil Beaton for My Fair Lady, 1964, photograph by Bob Willoughby
Sometimes a filmmaker gets a look at a photograph taken on his own set and sees the ‘soul’ of his film in one still photograph
— Sydney Pollack
In her later years she devoted herself to ambassadorial work for UNICEF and to the occasional project such as the critically acclaimed documentary Gardens of the World.
As we celebrate the 90th anniversary of her birth, F11 Foto Museum of Hong Kong has secured an outstanding selection of some of photographer Bob Willoughby’s most memorable photos of Audrey. The 90 photographs—one for each year since Audrey’s birth—have been carefully curated by Douglas So, Founder and Director of F11 Foto Museum, with the help of Bob’s son, Christopher. They cover the 1950s and ‘60s period when she was at the peak of her fame. The photographs include stills from the sets of Green Mansions, The Children’s Hour, Paris When It Sizzles, My Fair Lady and Two For The Road, and among them rare candid shots captured behind the scenes which highlight her roles as actress, style icon and mother. Bob Willoughby was the first photographer retained by a Hollywood studio to take on-set promotional stills for sale to magazines. He met Audrey when Paramount Studios signed her to a contract in 1953, following the acclaim generated by her first starring role in Roman Holiday. Over the next few years they became close family friends, giving Bob the chance to capture hundreds of informal candid shots of Audrey in both her public and private lives—a unique pictorial record of this timeless star’s career. Bob’s work has been exhibited in more
IMAGES © BOBWILLOUGHBY and F11 Foto Museum
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AUDREY HEPBURN // collections
than 50 countries and is on permanent display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Portrait Gallery in London and the Bibliotheque National in Paris, among others. The exhibition features images of Audrey in her role as flower-girl Eliza in My Fair Lady, for which she had to be in for makeup at 6:30 or 7 a.m. each morning to be ‘made-down’. Also featured are images of Audrey with her pets including Famous and Assam, her Yorkshire Terriers who shared a place with her on many magazine covers. For Green Mansions, Willoughby shot Hepburn in the gorgeous and exotic Venezuelan jungle, while Audrey’s son Sean and Bob’s son Christopher celebrated their first birthdays.
IMAGES © BOBWILLOUGHBY and F11 Foto Museum
INNOVATIONS Willougby’s on-set photographs show actors and directors both working and relaxing, forceful and vulnerable, beautiful in their costumes and make-up and exhausted after long hours on set. He was able to capture these images because they felt he was on their side and not looking to exploit them. Audrey’s candid shots captured by this trusted friend behind the scenes is the best proof of this faith. Sydney Pollack said in the introduction to Willoughby’s autobiography: “Sometimes a filmmaker gets a look at a photograph taken on his own set and sees the ‘soul’ of his film in one still photograph. It’s rare, but it
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happens. It happened to me in 1969, the first time I looked at the work of Bob Willoughby during the filming of They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?” Willoughby was responsible for a number of technical innovations, including a silent blimp for 35mm still cameras, which became common on film sets. He was the only photographer working on films at the time to use radio-controlled cameras, allowing him unprecedented coverage in otherwise impossible situations, and he had special brackets built to hold his still cameras on or over the Panavision cameras. The F11 Foto Museum occupies a fully-restored three-storey building from the 1930s. While retaining many of the building’s Art Deco architectural features, the restoration has blended in various elements of photography. While the ground and first floors of F11 are dedicated to photography exhibitions, the second floor showcases rare camera equipment. The Museum is also home to over 1,500 photography books, including many rare signed editions and maquettes, and the rooftop is a green oasis in the midst of tall buildings. Find out more about Audrey By Bob Willoughby on the website at www.f11.com. This tribute to the work and legend of both actress and photographer, including talks, guided tours, VIP events and an exhibition book, can be seen at the F11 Foto Museum in Happy Valley, Hong Kong, until the end of July 2019.
Above: The exhibition Audrey by Bob Willoughby and the restored 1930s art deco building of the F11 Foto Museum in Hong Kong
Facing page: Audrey Hepburn photographed by Bob Willoughby on the set of My Fair Lady, 1964
Below: F11 Foto Museum book for the exhibition Audrey by Bob Willougby
collections // Books
World of Rare Book Investment By Phoebe Ollerearnshaw
Peter Harrington Rare Books, a leading dealership in the rare and antique books market, is celebrating its 50th year of business. With a stock of fine books from 15th to 20thcentury literature, the firm has sourced outstanding items including one of 100 copies of James Joyce’s Ulysses (1922) and Shakespeare’s first folio (1623). Pom Harrington, son of the founder, runs operations from the company’s flagship store in Chelsea. In his 25th year with the company, he provides Arts & Collections with exclusive insights into the world of rare book collecting and investment
the book has definitely come down. As an investment, it has been quite flat. Really, what you are looking for is where you think people will still be interested in this book in ten years’ time. We have seen tremendous uplift in J.K. Rowling. It’s a classic. The fact is: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (1997) came out 20 years ago. And within two years of coming out, it was collectable—prices were going up. I know someone who purchased a copy of a Harry Potter book in the ‘90s and paid about £5,000 for it; they sold it at auction recently and it made £45,000. So these are the big rises. But why do we see a rise? Purely interest: the whole world loves Harry Potter, and the interest just keeps on going with every movie that comes out. But here is the key thing—and this is where I think you can make a prediction— there is a trend that people tend to buy in later adulthood. So, let’s say in your 40s, when you have a bit more disposable income, people tend to buy books that they resonate with—books they’ve studied or read as a
child. So, my generation, what do we have? We have Roald Dahl. And Roald Dahl has been going up. For people in their 30s, it’s Harry Potter. So when that generation gets older, into their 40s and 50s and 60s, they are going to continue to buy what they grew up and what resonates with them. So, you can look at trends at what people were studying and reading in the ‘80s and ‘90s and go from there. In the same way, we saw a huge rise in The Catcher in the Rye (1951), To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) and The Lord of the Rings (1954). The people who grew up maybe at university in the late ‘50s and ‘60s, these are what they read. Q. So it’s about trying to pre-empt what a given generation was inspired by growing up? PH: Yes, absolutely. And that is primarily where people start to collect: not because of an investment—that is usually secondary; people tend to buy a book because they really like it. So, if you buy something you really love as an investment, that’s fine, but
IMAGES: © peter harrington rare books
Q: What makes a blue-chip investment, in terms of rare and antique books? Pom Harrington: If you look at the last decade or two, certain things have just taken off. Economic books, for example, and also popular science works like Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species, these things really have flown. They have transcended mere rare book collecting. Twenty years ago, you could have bought a pretty lovely copy of Origin of Species for about £25,000-30,000. Now, that’s going to cost you more than £200,000. So that book really has taken off in terms of its value. I could also point to things that have gone out of fashion. David Roberts, for example, who was an English artist of the Victorian era went to Egypt and did these amazing watercolours from his travels. And they were, essentially, the first pictorial images of the Arabic world. People would go out to these countries and think how fantastic it was and then want to own a copy of Roberts’ book. But in the last 15 years, no one is really going to Egypt and looking at the pyramids, so interest in
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collections // Books
buy the best you can afford. You want good condition; you want first edition; you want rarity and you want it inscribed. Q. If someone thinks they have a valuable book at home, what is the best thing to do with it? PH: When we look at condition, particularly with 20th and 21st-century books, the biggest damage is normally reading it—God forbid. You want unread copies, ideally. The colours on the cover are very sensitive to sunlight. So you should keep it away from direct sunlight and away from direct heat. In the shop, we have UV filters on our windows, for example. Light is definitely a destroyer of books. Everyone talks about fire—but the bigger damage is actually water. Water causes more damage to books than anything else. Q. How do people know when is the right time to sell their books? PH: It’s a fashion thing. Again, one thing that can definitely bring interest is when there is a movie coming out. We see it typically with James Bond. So every time a James Bond movie comes out, there tends to be an increase in interest leading up to the movie, rather than during the movie. And we saw it with the Narnia films. But beware: the movie better be good. If the movie’s not so good we can see the market soften. We saw that with [Philip] Pullman. Everyone was really jumping on the bandwagon. But actually the movie didn’t do very well, and as a result, the book interest dropped off too. Like any market, there can be little ups and downs. Q. So, based on that, is the rare and antique book market subject to the same ebb and flow as the art and financial markets? PH: I think it is different. It’s definitely a slower market. But I think that is changing. Traditionally, it has always been a steady growth. From that point of view, it is different. It is a smaller market. And it’s not quite as liquid as, say, coins or stamps. Literally, they act as monetary tools. You can’t do that with books. Q. It is unique, perhaps? PH: It is a little bit. It is a very niche thing. And the best advice I could give about buying books as an investment would be buy something you really, really love—that you think is utterly amazing, then the chances
are someone else will think it is amazing, too, and you will be able to sell it. That is the key: just buy something really great, without faults. But it is also very important that you buy something that you really ‘get’. Q. What is the most exciting book you have ever handled? PH: We chase ‘Holy Grails’ of certain things. One of the best things we had was a first edition Frankenstein (1818) inscribed to Lord Byron from Mary Shelley—if one was looking for fantasy inscriptions of 19th-century literature, you would make that up and laugh. It was very funny because it was offered to us through email. I’ve also handled first edition Shakespeares and we’ve even done 13thcentury manuscripts.
Above: A copy of Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species today costs more than £200,000. Twenty years ago, it would have been £25,000.
PH: We are part of the ABA trade body and there is a certain standard there. So, yes, we do have high standards.
Q. How strict are you with what you accept from people to sell in your shops? PH: Every book you see in this shop has been handpicked. We tend not to buy collections. Everything in the shop is handpicked and inspected and checked by one of our experts—usually me—and is then catalogued and photographed; it’s quite a rigorous process.
Q. Is there a certain irony to the fact that you are selling copies of Das Kapital (Karl Marx, 1867) for hundreds of thousands, if not millions, or pounds? PH: There is a fantastic irony; it’s wonderful. The reason Das Kapital has leapt up in value recently is because of the market in China. The Chinese are buying this book as a sort of trophy piece. There is a huge exhibition in Beijing this year on Karl Marx—it’s not that common a book either. You don’t need many wealthy Chinese people to want to have that book as a trophy piece to really move the market. The historic market for collecting Karl Marx rests with American and western economic collectors. But there is no question about it over the last ten or 15 years, China and Hong Kong have been buying that book. And they study it. It is part of the history of China.
Q. And is this process part of what sets you apart from other dealerships?
Q. Can we put the likes of J.K. Rowling in the same category as James Joyce and
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BOOKS // Collections
the book world, we have very little problems, relatively, with forgeries. It is very hard to fake a printed book. I wouldn’t say it’s impossible. But, if you know what you are doing, you can see the difference. Autographs, obviously, there are forgeries of autographs. We like to see a nice presentation inscription. Provenance can make a real difference. But it’s not like a painting. It’s not quite the same thing. The fact is: a book is not unique unless there are distinctive markings to it.
Above: There was a huge rise in the value of The Catcher in the Rye as the generation who read it in youth reached a more comfortable point in their lives, said Pom Harrington.
Shakespeare, in terms of collectability? PH: Yes, completely, she fills the criteria. James Joyce’s Ulysses was collected in his lifetime; the value of first editions of that novel went up within a year of publication. Ulysses was collected and moved on in price almost immediately, so it’s no different. And, if I wanted to make a bet: we like anniversaries. So we know 2022 will be the 100th anniversary of Ulysses and I think you will see an awful lot of exhibitions and interest in it. Q. And how about The Great Gatsby? PH: The Great Gatsby is the greatest ever American novel to some people. Again, it is like a trophy book to have a first edition. It is the most valuable of the American 20thcentury literature books. And, as it goes, it also has the most striking dust jacket. Q. Does provenance play a role in this market in the same way it does in other art and collectables markets? PH: It does. And it’s probably a little bit more important than it used to be. Fortunately, in
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Q. So inscriptions are important drivers of value? PH: It makes a massive difference. There are four different kinds of autographs. So, to give you an example, For Whom the Bell Tolls (Ernest Hemingway, 1940): a nice, first edition copy with a dust jacket is worth £1,000. If it was autographed by the author, then you would be looking at about £7,000. If it was inscribed to somebody, ‘To Fred, best wishes, Ernest Hemingway’, then you would be looking at probably £10,000-12,000. If it was inscribed to somebody you can relate to, let’s say his editor, then that is really quite good and you could get it up to £20,000-25,000. Then you have your real special ones: the best example of that is probably a dedication copy. A dedication copy of For Whom the Bell Tolls would be about £250,000. So the same book can command different values depending on these things. If you could find me a copy of For Whom the Bell Tolls inscribed to F. Scott Fitzgerald from Ernest Hemingway, I would probably give you half a million pounds for it. The big extremes we are seeing in pricing are with the great, the good and the ordinary. For something that really is magnificent, you get a much bigger leap in price. That differentiator would have been a lot smaller 20 years ago. Q. Have you ever come across books that claim to be what they are not? PH: Yeah, sure, there was a well-documented story about 13 years back. The great thing about printing books is that it uses movable type. And it is very difficult to reset moveable type. It’s like trying to get a thousand needles all in the same position at the same time. So people try to photocopy, but you don’t get the impression of printing. So you need that press. But someone very cleverly worked out that if you scanned a book, you could 3D print it to press. And they managed to do some
early printed books and there were a few forgeries that went around. Because no one had seen it before, no one knew what to look for. And it took a couple of years for people to actually work out why there were a few too many copies of the same book going around. But now, people know what to look for and it’s fine. And actually, once you spot it, it is very easy to tell. So that was the first time there has been any kind of credible forgery. And that was with very sophisticated 15th-century books. It is almost a non-issue. Q. Do you find your customers are often buying for investment pieces, or just for personal collections? PH: I think it is a mixture of both. You can’t deny it: if someone is spending £20,000 on a book, it is an investment. I won’t be responsible for fashions, but I can stop somebody buying a bad copy of a book because, frankly, a bad copy of a book will always be a problem. Q. So do you think people actually keep these books on display or do they put them away in storage? PH: At the end of the day, they are there to be looked at. If you think about books like Charles Dickens novels, they have lived through the last 200 years in damp houses and they are here today and they have survived just fine. The biggest danger would be a burst water pipe that leaks into the library. Other than that—and direct sunlight—there should be no problems. We use acetate covers to protect the book from being torn. And we use custom-made book covers for our more expensive books. Q. What are the main signs that a rare book is valuable? PH: It has to have something about it; it has to be first edition. If it is autographed by the author or has a drawing in it by the illustrator, a first edition is not crucial but it would be nice. And then the condition—particularly if the book is common. Winnie-the-Pooh (A.A. Milne, 1926) is a good example. They printed 25,000 copies of that book. As adorable and lovely as it is, that adored copy that has been read and drawn in by a child is just not going to be that valuable. The idea of collecting a rare book is that you are trying to collect it in the same condition as it would have initially been bought in. That means it has to be looking like new.
luxury // AVIATION LUxury
IMAGES: © PILATUS-aircraft.com
Flights of Fancy
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Aviation // LUxury
By Chris Jenkins
Private aviation may not be beyond your means, with the latest generation of economical aircraft and the wide range of charter options available. Arts & Collections takes to the air
ew of us could afford to buy and operate a private jet. Despite the obvious conveniences of having an aircraft at our beck and call and experiencing luxury beyond even that of the airlines’ firstclass services, you would have to have exceptional requirements to justify spending upwards of $3m on a jet aircraft. An aircraft vendor will probably tell you that if you spend 200 hours a year in flight, it’s worth buying your own aircraft. A broker offering part-ownership would probably quote a figure more like 400 to 600 hours. But even if you meet those requirements, the cost of buying the aircraft is only part of the story—there are hangar costs, maintenance, insurance, training, crew and fuel costs to consider. Aircraft purchase also limits your options; a smaller aircraft might be limited to flights within Europe without refuelling, while
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a larger one might be unable to land at smaller airports such as St Tropez, Cannes and London City. Plus, what do you do if your business trip coincides with the family holiday, and you need two aircraft? Of course, there are other more affordable and flexible ways of experiencing private flying. You could go for fractional ownership, taking a share of maybe 1/16th of the cost of an aircraft including purchasing, leasing and operating the aircraft. Fractional owners then have guaranteed access for a certain number of hours annually, or a certain number of days of the year, to that plane or a similar plane in the operator’s fleet, with short notice. Fractional owners pay a monthly maintenance fee plus an “occupied” hourly operating fee, usually charged only when an owner or guest is on board, not when the plane is flying to a pick up point, or returning to its home base after completing a flight.
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luxury // AVIATION
The Pilatus PC-24 Super Versatile Jet is described as being like a penthouse on the 5,000th floor.
destination and returns home “empty”, or when it flies “empty” to pick up passengers at another airport. Obviously, the operators would rather not lose money on this empty flight, so they’re keen to fill the seats. Some operators offer their own app, so you can quickly check what flights and aircraft are available at short notice, and there are even ‘jet sharing’ schemes, like car sharing, so the seven or eight passenger seats on a small jet can be shared by more than one party, reducing individual flight costs. Some of the reasons for booking a private flight may not be immediately obvious but make sense in certain circumstances. For
instance, many families like to take their pets on holiday, but don’t want to take them on commercial flights where they are frequently required to be stored in a cage with cargo. This sort of treatment may be traumatic, and the cramped conditions and temperature changes can be dangerous. On a private flight, your pet has a comfortable, relaxing and, most importantly, safe environment in the cabin with you.
TAKEOFF One of the most exciting aspects of executive aviation hire is that the selection of flexible, economical modern aircraft now available is opening up new horizons. Manufacturers such as Pilatus (Switzerland’s only aircraft manufacturer) are producing models capable of fast, economical travel, allowing you to travel quickly to a huge range of European destinations, including those unserved by traditional business jets where no long, paved runway is available, such as the grass field at Goodwood and even the
IMAGES: © PILATUS-aircraft.com
Rental options include ‘jet cards’ which work like fractional ownership, in the sense that you’ll be allotted a designated number of flight hours on a specific kind of plane. When you use your card, it will be debited for the number of hours you fly. Jet cards are a good option for people who fly by private jet less than 50 hours per year. Another option is to go to charter brokers, who have thousands of aircraft available at any time, ideal when you need only the occasional flight, and with the added advantage that you get to choose the most suitable type of aircraft for your needs. Charter brokers can be very flexible, arranging regular flights, but also responding quickly to short notice requirement—and of course, you never have to worry about your jet being out of service for maintenance. Increasingly popular is the ‘empty leg’ booking. An empty leg, also called a ferry flight or an empty flight, is a private jet flying without passengers. This happens when an aircraft drops off passengers at their
Aviation // LUxury
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luxury // AVIATION
challenging alpine strip at Courchevel. The Pilatus PC-24 Super Versatile Jet described as being like ‘a penthouse on the 5,000th floor’, with a cabin volume topping that of business jets costing almost twice as much. A unique single-pilot jet aircraft that can land on unpaved runways, offering the short-field performance of a turboprop and the speed of a light jet, the Pilatus PC-24 has a maximum passenger complement of 11, cruise speed of 440 knots, and range of 2,000 nautical miles. The interior of the PC-24 Super Versatile Jet is reconfigurable, with a moveable aft partition so you can enlarge the passenger cabin or increase the baggage compartment. It has a standard full-size cargo door opening on a space large enough to take a motorbike, a luxurious interior and facilities including device charging points and a separate lavatory compartment. The PC-24 has state-of-the-art,
integrated avionics and has been built to operate from paved and even unpaved runways as short as 2,930 feet (893 m), giving it access to almost 20,000 additional airports worldwide.
LANDING Equally exciting for the possibilities it offers is the Pilatus PC-12 NG, a class-leading turbo-prop aircraft. Offering all the interior luxury of the PC-24 jet, the PC-12 NG has a maximum cruise speed of 285 knots, and a range of 1,845 nautical miles. The singlepilot aircraft can take up to 10 passengers and has some of the lowest operating costs and environmental impact in the business. The Pilatus PC-12 can utilise dirt, gravel and grass runways as short as 2,600 feet at its maximum weight. That extra performance opens up your world of options to more than 21,300 runways—almost double the number of locations accessible to aircraft
costing millions more. A recently introduced five-bladed propeller and the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A powerplant promise a smooth and quiet flight, while elegant interiors, partnering with BMW Designworks, craft each aircraft individually to meet the requirements of its customers, with custom leather work, rarewood cabinetry and fine upholstery. This ‘Swiss Army knife of aircraft’ is operated by among others Australia’s Flying Doctor service, the US Air Force, Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Irish Air Corps, features such as its pallet-sized cargo door (still the largest in the market for an aircraft of comparable size) making it ideal for a range of applications. With aircrafts like these available and the wide variety of affordable usage options, maybe private aviation isn’t beyond our means, but actually a touch of executive luxury to which we can all aspire.
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Where will the PC-12 take you?
TIME IS THE MOST VALUABLE ASSET OF ANY PERSON
GET MORE OUT OF LIFE
ne way to buy back time is to remove hours lost at airport hubs with lengthy baggage handling and customs queues. Imagine being able to fly privately directly into your destination, be that a business location, an estancia or a private club, exit your aircraft and make better use of your schedule with new found hours at your disposal.
Tough, versatile and reliable, the PC-12 has many unique attributes, not just its ability to land on a variety of surfaces including short field and not requiring tarmac. It also offers a cargo door wide enough to load all manner of outdoor activity equipment whilst also taking you far closer to your destination than any other aircraft of this size.
Is it prohibitively expensive to own your own aircraft? It doesn’t need to be. With top-line avionics featuring on its advanced flight deck, class-leading interior space affords a variety of seat configurations carrying up to 10 passengers in a luxurious cabin created by BMW Designworks and requiring only 1 pilot.
Exploring the most popular turbo-prop in its class worldwide, the Pilatus PC-12NG. We call it the Swiss Army Knife of the skies.
Unmatched operating costs alongside impressive range and fuel usage with the strongest residual values commanded by any aircraft in the industry – 80% of its original value retained after 10 years - reaffirms why the choice to buy aviation’s answer to the Swiss Army Knife makes complete sense.
When you’re next mapping out how you’re going to get the family from points A to B this year, why not contact the UK agents for Pilatus for an exploratory chat. Oriens Aviation, based at London’s Biggin Hill airport, handle all sales for Pilatus aircraft in the British Isles with a team offering full customer service, maintenance, operations, handling and aircraft management.
The PC-12 is the consummate transport tool for business and pleasure, an asset that makes sound, economic sense. Owning an aircraft is a luxury but when it’s facilitating a lifestyle, it’s a justified luxury. Where will the PC-12 take you? Discover the PC-12 at oriensaviation.com for inspiration and further information. Advertorial by Oriens Aviation
Oriens Aviation is the Authorised Pilatus Sales and Service Centre for the British Isles. Contact us to learn more or discuss your new dream aircraft. Call: +44 (0) 1959 573106
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IMAGES: © shutterstock
collections // wine
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wine // Collections
The Real Value of a Good Wine An excellent bottle of wine can be a pleasure in itself, or a top performing investment. How do you choose which bottles to open and which to lay down?
hile investment in stocks, shares and bonds remains an uncertain option, alternative investments, such as art, cars, coins and stamps, have become increasingly attractive. The rate of return can be spectacular, and this is true nowhere more than in the world of wine. Between 2012 and 2017, for instance, the Petit Mouton 2011 vintage appreciated from £690 per case to £1,831, an increase of 165 percent. Last year, two of just 600 surviving bottles of 1945 Romanee-Conti Burgundy were sold for a total of just over $1 million at Sotheby’s in New York. At the same auction, three bottles from the 1937 vintage sold for a total of $930,000. In 2017, a bottle of 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon was sold for $350,000 at an annual charity auction for the Emeril Lagasse Foundation’s Carnivale du Vin, making it the most expensive bottle of wine sold at an auction in the world— though as the sale was for charity, the record would not normally count. Clearly, wine is now being treated as an attractive investment—in fact Bloomberg says it “Can yield tremendous profits”.
IMAGES: © shutterstock; sotheby’s
BEWARE OF CORKAGE Valued at around £2.5bn annually, the global fine wine market has its risks and drawbacks. One is that it tends to be a long-term investment; you may not see a good return for up to 10 years. Another is that it requires a good deal of expertise; few have enough knowledge to buy and sell for themselves, so the wise take on a specialist portfolio manager. Though you will pay management and storage fees, as well as commission to a
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wine // Collections
But Jamie Ritchie, Worldwide Head of Sotheby’s Wine, reports that diversification has begun, as it’s now difficult to profit from premier crus unless you get in very early. “We’ve seen a huge, growing demand in Burgundy,” he says. “Great Bordeaux is selling well, but there’s actually too much of it.” A riskier investment option is the en primeur, or wine futures market. Here you invest in unbottled wines still in the barrel—the catch being that there is no guarantee how well it will be received when bottled. Wines are purchased by the case exclusive of duty and VAT, and usually shipped two to three years after the vintage. A popular vintage may yield a 20 to 40 percent profit. But the market for rare and mature wines continues to be the most fascinating and unpredictable. In March 2019, Sotheby’s in Hong Kong presented TRAN•SCEND•ENT/Wines, the highest-estimated wine auction in history. Expected to bring in $19-26 million, the three-day sale offered 2,704 lots (16,889 bottles of wines) from private cellars. Jamie Ritchie said: “With Sotheby’s Wine’s annual worldwide sales surpassing $100 million in 2018, we continue to focus on offering outstanding singleowner wine collections, and it is with great anticipation that we presented TRAN•SCEND•ENT/Wines, the highestestimated wine collection ever to be seen
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“…Of all the ways of saving, to run any risk of buying inferior Wine, is the most ridiculously unwise Economy.” —The Art of Invigorating and Prolonging Life, William Kitchiner (1775–1827)
IMAGES: © sotheby’s
SAVOUR THE BOUQUET
at auction, anywhere in the world.” The sale offered a broad range of the greatest Burgundies, featuring over 250 lots of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti encompassing five decades; as well as over 80 lots of Maison and Domaine Leroy, over 90 lots of Meursault from 1989 to 2015, and a strong collection of the greatest Rhônes, featuring over 140 lots of Guigal including the legendary 1985 vintage and the debut 1978 vintage from La Landonne. A further highlight was a vast collection of mature Champagnes, led by the entire range of Dom Pérignon, focusing on the outstanding vintages from the 1960s and 1970s. But the burning question of whether to open a bottle of wine or lay it down perhaps still remains unresolved. The oenophile’s heart may call for immediate enjoyment, while the head may recommend patience, and potential profit.
specialist, it’s worth it, as they buy from only trusted sources and can confirm authenticity, protecting you from the many frauds and ‘boiler-room’ scams which can plague the wine industry. Another source of advice and guidance is Liv-Ex, the London International Vintners Exchange, which has been offering a fine wine index and price tracking service since 1999. Market activity centres on the top 25 châteaux in Bordeaux—the Left Bank premier cru (first growth) such as HautBrion, Lafite-Rothschild, Latour, Margaux and Mouton Rothschild, and the ‘super second’ growths, along with premier Right Bank wines such as Pomerol and St Emilion, generate as much as 75 percent of the secondary market trading in fine wine.
Discover the new and exclusive 18kt gold collector’s editions by Michael Michaud Jewellery. HAND MADE IN NEW YORK.
For enquiries, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org www.michael-michaud.com
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Michael Michaud Jewellery is a world-renowned collection of botanical jewellery and is featured in the finest museums, galleries and speciality retailers internationally. Many collections are commissioned by leading museums such as The Victoria & Albert Museum, The Art Institute of Chicago, The National Gallery of Art and the Château de Versailles. Our unique and strictly limited collector’s pieces capture the beauty and exquisite detail of nature using 18kt gold accented with pearls and diamonds.
LUXURY JEWELLERY // Collections
The Queen of
GEMs By Hannah Foskett
The luminescent pearl may be Man’s oldest treasured object, and there are plenty of reasons why one of nature’s finest creations has been coveted throughout history
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collections // LUXURY JEWELLERY
FIT FOR A QUEEN Until recently, ownership of pearls was reserved exclusively for the rich and powerful. The oldest-known gem to be worn as jewellery was a fragment of pearl dating back to around 520 BC. The exquisite artefact was discovered in the sarcophagus of a Persian princess and is on display in the Louvre. Many ancient Egyptian rulers were buried along with their pearl collection.
Above: Marie Antoinette’s diamond pendant supports an exceptional natural pearl
Allegedly, Cleopatra once crushed a pearl and dissolved it in vinegar to prove to Marc Anthony that she could host the most lavish dinner party in history. Ancient Greek and Roman leaders held pearls in similar regard, as did Chinese royalty and the indigenous Americans. The Greek word for ‘pearl’ actually means
IMAGES © shutterstock; sotheby’s; michael michaud
he unparalleled beauty of the pearl has become a metaphor for perfection, rarity and passion. Efectively the first discovered ‘gem’, though it’s organic rather than mineral, no accounts exist of the earliest human use of the pearl. Presumably, man first discovered it while hunting for food along the coasts, beginning a long-standing appreciation for one of humanity’s most coveted precious objects.
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LUXURY JEWELLERY // Collections
‘unique’—a testament to the fact that no two pearls are alike. By the time of the Renaissance, pearls had evolved into a symbol of wealth and status, and laws were passed to declare that only nobles could wear the gem in public.
NATURAL OR CULTURED Justifiably, wild pearls are worth more than cultured pearls. A large, naturally occurring round pearl of good quality is a formidable gem and, under gemological X-ray, would prove to consist of concentric rings of nacre layers. The growth process is initiated when an irritant such as a grain of sand gets trapped within a mollusc. To protect itself, the mollusc coats the foreign object in a layer of nacre, building up layers over time to produce a pearl. It may take over 100,000 oysters to harvest enough pearls to create a pearl necklace, explaining why a well-matched natural pearl strand is extremely rare. In 1916, one of the most renowned jewelers Jacques Cartier was able to purchase his 5th Avenue store by trading only two pearl necklaces in exchange for the plot. Now, sources for natural pearls are depleted—it’s thought that 90 percent of genuine saltwater pearls were harvested more than 90 years ago. Cultured pearles are created by inserting a foreign object (often a bead) into the mollusc’s tissue to create the pearl. These are still highly valued for their appearance and uniformity. While a string of natural pearls can sell for over £1m, all pearls bought and sold on the retail market are cultured pearls.
durability can assist in a suitable investment. For example, since the nacre layer of freshwater pearls is thicker, they are more durable to wear. Saltwater pearls are more prone to chipping, but hold a higher value. Freshwater pearls can match the lustre and shape of their saltwater counterparts, but at a more reasonable price. On the other end of the scale, ranging from smooth silver to dark, golden tones, South Sea pearls are considered the most valuable cultured pearl and are often called ‘the Queen of gems’.
AT AUCTION According to Sotheby’s, ‘natural pearls are having their moment’. Most notably, in a Sotheby’s auction in Geneva on 15 November 2018, 10 treasures from Marie Antoinette’s famous diamond and pearl collection went under the hammer. The Queen’s dazzling diamond pendant supporting an exceptional natural pearl (26mm x 18mm), achieved nearly US$37m, establishing a new auction record for a natural pearl and contributing to a total of US$42.7 million for the tragic Queen’s exquisite pieces.
The Unique Jewellery of Michael Michaud For more than two decades Michael Michaud has perfected the craft of creating botanical jewellery by achieving the seemingly impossible: creating a mould of the most delicate, unique botanical elements, capturing infinitesimally fine and lifelike details then reproducing them as stunning, wearable jewellery using soft patinas on bronze, silver or gold accented with pearls, beads and precious stones. He has quietly honed this unique expression of his creativity, inspired by nature. His singular ability to do this combined with an unequivocal vision for the jewellery he would create, has stood the test of time and authenticity. Michael Michaud’s current incarnation has been as wearable art that can be purchased in the most prestigious museums in the world, including the Victoria & Albert Museum, the National Gallery of Art, the Van Gogh Museum and the Château de Versailles.
ORIGINS The origins of a cultured pearl can affect its quality and value. Freshwater pearls grown in mussels living in rivers and lakes tend to be smaller, with a thicker nacre coating, and are less lustrous. Saltwater pearls with better lustre and shape are created in oysters farmed in oceans. When choosing between pearl varieties, weighing appearance against
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COLLECTIONS // MUSIC
The Art of the
LUTHIER BY ELIKA ROOHI
Once a violinist reaches a certain level of expertise, the next step in their career is to seek out an instrument made specifically to suit their requirements. We round up places to find elegant and excellent handcrafted instruments around the world
PERUGIA, ITALY Accomplished violin maker Federico Cesarini’s exquisite instruments are made from Italian red spruce, flamed maple and ebony. He works entirely by hand, following the rules of instrument making that led Italian instruments to become so highly regarded. liuteriacesarini.com
PARIS, FRANCE Polish-born Jan Bartos studied instrument-making for many years in
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Cremona, Italy, the home of Antioni Stradivari. He now owns a workshop in Paris, where he makes instruments that are exact copies of Stradivarius and Guarneri violins. Bartos’ violins have regularly won awards at violin-making competitions. janbartos.eu
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM Renowned French instrument maker Yann Besson studied at the National Violin Making School of Mirecourt, where he graduated with distinction. He apprenticed with respected companies in both France and Hong Kong, before setting up a studio in London where he makes violins and violas. violin-viola-maker.com
LIMOGES, FRANCE Highly regarded violin maker Paul Noulet studied the precise art of instrument craftsmanship at the Chicago School of Violin Making. Today, he owns a workshop in the Limousin region of France, where he makes instruments in the classical Cremonese style. paulnoulet.com
CREMONA, ITALY Russian-born Adriano Spadoni studied at the prestigious school of violin making in Cremona, the capital of instrument craftsmanship in the world. Today, he has a workshop there, where he sells instruments that combine the mastery of the great Russian musical tradition with the artistry of Italian violins. adrianospadoni.com
IMAGES © SHUTTERSTOCK
s there anything more exciting than a concert violinist standing in front of a full symphony orchestra, ready to share with the world the beauty of Tchaikovsky? Perhaps a soloist playing on their own beautifully hand-crafted instrument.
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culture // ceramics
IMAGES: © Wedgwood Museum/ WWRD
A Story of Four Masterpieces
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CERAMICS // CULTURE
On 13 June 1769, the ‘Father of English pottery’ himself threw six so-called First Day’s Vases, and the rest is ceramic history By Hannah Foskett
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…sho’d be finished as high as you please, but not sold, they being the first fruits of Etruria —Josiah Wedgwood in a letter to Thomas Bentley, 1769
ertainly the most significant potter of 18th Century Britain, and arguably the most revered to this day, Josiah Wedgwood (173095) mastered his trade early. Hailing from a large family of established potters in Staffordshire, the young Wedgwood learned how to throw in the workshop of his older brother, Thomas. Years later, Wedgwood became renowned for his experiments, technical innovations and more specifically, for his creamware body and glaze—renamed ‘Queen’s Ware’ after he became ‘potter to Her Majesty’ in 1766. It was during a visit to Liverpool in 1762 that Wedgwood met the welltravelled and cultivated merchant Thomas Bentley (1730-80). So began a business partnership destined to produce creative and commercial harmony. In partnership with Bentley, Wedgwood developed his plans for a purposebuilt factory, which stretched along 150 yards of the Trent and Mersey Canal and became known as Etruria, after the Greco-Roman origins of the ceramics he was so influenced by. On the opening day of the Etruria works on 13th June 1769, Wedgwood threw six ‘First Day’s Vases’ using his newly-perfected black basalt stoneware clay ‘body’, while Bentley turned the great hand-cranked potters’ wheel. The near-identical vases were sent to the pair’s decorating workshop in Chelsea to be painted in encaustic enamel colours that were to imitate ancient ‘red-figure’ examples. Only four survived the firing process however, and these four first day vases are the only known ceramics to have been thrown by Wedgwood himself. The Etruria factory building was destroyed in the 1960s.
Etruria Reborn While the details differ slightly, both the decoration and shape of the four vases derive from engravings in Sir William Hamilton’s catalogue, ‘Antiquitiés, Etrusques, Grecques et Romaines’, of the most important collection of Greek vases at the time. The neo-classical decoration on all four vases is based on a vase illustrated in this publication, decorated with six figures representing Hercules in the garden of Hesperides. The ceramic body and the enamelling technique were developed specifically by Wedgwood, marking him as one of the most influential industrialists of 18th Century Britain. These detailed figures were almost certainly painted by William Hopkins Craft (1735-1811), the most skilled decorator working for Wedgwood and Bentley at the time. The decorative borders are presumed to have been executed by David Rhodes, the manager of the workshop. Below the classical decoration, Wedgwood had the inscription ‘Artes Etruriae Renascuntur’, which means ‘The Arts of Etruria are Reborn’.
Certainly, his first day’s vases seem to offer an effortless relationship between contemporary innovation and classical influence—symbols of Wedgwood’s ambition to match, if not surpass, the monumental ceramics of the past. In what was arguably the world’s first global brand and birth of one of the nation’s most important industries, Wedgwood went on to modernise his production and promote his wares to an expanding cliental.
Made for Stoke Of the four existing first day vases, two are part of the Wedgwood Collection, owned by the Victoria and Albert museum (V&A) and on long-term loan to the Wedgwood Museum. The third is owned by the Wedgwood family, and the fourth has recently been acquired by the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery in Stoke-on-Trent. This particular vase had been on loan to the museum for 35 years until it was withdrawn by its owner and sold at Christie’s ‘Exceptional Sale’ in London, July 2016. On applying for an export license, the new owner—who bought the piece for £482,500—was issued a temporary export bar, giving UK buyers the chance to purchase the vase and keep it in the UK. A fundraising appeal was launched and donations flooded in from the public, local business, the Art Fund and the Arts Council/V&A Purchase Grant Fund. The National Heritage Memorial Fund issued a grant of up to £267,500 to help make up the shortfall, and the target was reached during the week of the 248th anniversary of the vase being made by Wedgwood. Returned to its home, the iconic vase now serves to remind all of both the legacy of Wedgwood and the historical importance of the area’s industrial past.
collections // CARS
Speed and Power
Whether for driving or as an investment, there’s no purchase more exciting than a classic car. We found some of the most desirable models on the block and asked expert Quentin Willson for some advice at the London Classic Car Show
Aston Martin DB4 Series II On sale in May from www.historics.co.uk (as were most of the other vehicles here), this 1960 Aston Martin DB4 Series II had an odometer reading of 31,432 miles and an estimate of £380,000 - £410,000. Over £38,000 of work had been done to bring the car to its marvellous condition, which includes red leather interior, upgraded electrical system and paintwork in iconic Aston Martin Metallic Green. The original colour was Snow Shadow white when it was first sold for £2,310, plus purchase tax of £1,167.15s.10d.
Ferrari 330 P4 Evocation A 1967 Ferrari 330 P4 Evocation with an estimate of £48,000 - £56,000 was also on the blocks in May. This hand-built tribute to the P4—of which only four remain—uses a P4 style shell on a 1960s race car chassis, with a handbuilt, all aluminium, Dino V6 engine. The interior was also made as close to the original P4 as possible and features Rosso leather seats, Sabelt race harnesses and Ferrari clocks.
Ferrari 308 GTS With an estimate of £42,000 - £48,000, this lefthand drive 1979 Ferrari 308 GTS is the desirable carburettor model, with a recent gearbox overhaul and original colour of Rosso Corsa with black leather with red inserts and new red carpets. The 308GTB was launched at the Paris Motor Show in 1975 and was built alongside the 308GT4, conceived as a replacement for the 246 Dino. A rakish and attractive combination of the classic and modern, it was designed by Leonardo Fiorvanti, who styled some iconic Ferraris including the Daytona.
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CARS // Collections
Ford Model T Roadster
Quentin Willson Says:
Showtime Auction Services of Michigan (www. showtimeauctions.com) offered this 1913 Ford Model T Roadster in May. Though built from Model T Ford components that may or may not be original to the vehicle, it looks the part and is in full running order. Estimate was $20,000.
There aren’t any other commodities that have the tax-free status of classic cars.”
For something with classic British style, a 1973 Jaguar E-Type Series III Fixedhead Coupé had an estimate of £59,000 - £65,000. In totally original condition with two owners in 46 years, its original paintwork is described as “still glass-like to the touch”, and the mileage of 22,439 is supported by documentation. The car comes with a Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust Certificate.
Ford Mustang Fastback GT
Images: showtimeauctions.com/historics.co.uk/QUENTIN WILSON
For something with a more muscular demeanour, a 1967 Ford Mustang Supercharged Fastback GT was offered with an estimate of £50,000 - £60,000. This restored Fastback was based on a standard Mustang GT but includes some 1967 details such as a factory ribbed back panel and a tilt option for the steering wheel. Almost every single mechanical element has been upgraded at a cost of more than £90,000.
MG TD Offered with excellent green coachwork and contrasting red interior, a charming example of a 1952 MG TD recalls images of wartime airfields and Spitfire pilots relaxing before the next sortie. The TC superseded the ‘A’ and ‘B’ in 1945 followed by the TD in 1950. This example, with an estimate of £14,000-£17,000, benefitted from a chassis-up re-build in 2002 and a replacement interior in 2004. Best of all, since a 2012 rebuild it has only 1,375 miles on the clock.
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“There are classic cars that will lose value if you get it wrong.” “There’s uncertainty and a lack of confidence, but a bedrock of enthusiasm.” “You can now buy a classic car that won’t appreciate dramatically, but you can run it for free for a couple of years on the notional increase in value.” “The days of buying cars for investment have broadly gone.” “It’s a generalisation to say that millennials won’t be interested in these cars, but there will be a generational shift.
Jaguar E-Type Series III
“We should never forget—do your due diligence. This is one of the few purchases that is completely unregulated apart from the Sales of Goods Act.”
COLLECTIONS // Leonardo da Vinci
By Chris Jenkins
Florence in 1452, Leonardo was educated in the studio of Florentine painter Andrea del Verrocchio and much of his earlier working life was spent in the service of Ludovico il Moro in Milan. Taking an early interest in metallurgy and music—he made himself a silver lyre in the shape of a horse’s skull—by the 1490s he was compiling notebooks full of artistic, anatomical, architectural and scientific studies. Though hundreds of pages are lost, in what survives of the notebooks we find da Vinci’s flights of fancy, such as ideas for the parachute, the glider, the armoured tank, the multi-barrel gun, the diving suit, the collapsible bridge and a clockwork-powered cart. None of these would have been practical using the technology and materials of the time, but da Vinci’s genius was that he foresaw all these becoming reality.
rguably, the world’s two most famous paintings are da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and The Last Supper. Certainly these images, and those of the Vitruvian Man, are indelibly etched in the collective consciousness of anyone with an interest in art, science or culture. Though born into an age of great possibilities, da Vinci remained, as Sigmund Freud described him, “Like a man who awoke too early in the darkness, while the others were all still asleep.” His restless mind, forever hopping from one project to another, meant that many of his works are unfinished or fragmentary, but in every discipline he showed an insight and invention unmatched in his contemporaries, or indeed in his successors for hundreds of years.
Enlightenment Living in a time of massive social and cultural change, da Vinci benefitted from an atmosphere which questioned the norms established by the Catholic church. He saw both art and science as a route to knowledge and enlightenment and pursued both with unique vision. Born out of wedlock in the Vinci region of
CELEBRATIONS Mona Lisa, c. 1503–1506 Oil on poplar panel, 77 cm × 53 cm The Louvre Museum, Paris
As a sculptor, painter and inventor, Leonardo worked for the Duke of Milan until 1490, completing only six major projects, including the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper. The rest
IMAGES © [public domain] Wikimedia Commons
In the year marking the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci—artist, scientist, musician, anatomist, inventor, genius–we examine his enduring legacy
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Leonardo da Vinci // COLLECTIONS
Iron rusts from disuse; stagnant water loses its purity and in cold weather becomes frozen; even so does inaction sap the vigour of the mind.
IMAGES © [PUBLIC DOMAIN] WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
Leonardo da Vinci, Notebook 1
of his projects, such as anatomical studies using organs preserved with wax, remained incomplete. From this period comes the drawing of the Vitruvian Man (named after Roman architect Vitruvius), a male figure with precise anatomical measurements which is still a fascinating image today. Leonardo’s visions extended to plans for an ideal city, inspired by the horrors of the Black Plague, using hydraulic power to supply clean water. When he died in 1519 in Amboise, France, at what would have then been the remarkable age of 67, the world lost one of its greatest artistic and scientific minds. With interest in da Vinci being shown worldwide on the 500th anniversary of his death, one of the most unmissable celebrations of his work is the Royal Collection of over 200 drawings on display at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, until 13 October, when the exhibition moves to The Queen’s Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse for November. The drawings by Leonardo in the Royal Collection have been together as a group since the artist’s death in 1519. Acquired during the reign of Charles II, they provide an unparalleled insight into the workings of Leonardo’s mind and reflect the full range of his interests, including painting, sculpture, architecture, anatomy, engineering, cartography, geology and botany. A highlight of the exhibition is a newly identified sketch of da Vinci himself, which will be on public display for the first time. The drawing is one of only two surviving portraits of Leonardo made during the artist’s lifetime. While undertaking research for The
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Queen’s Gallery exhibition, Martin Clayton, Head of Prints and Drawings, Royal Collection Trust, identified the sketch as a study of Leonardo made by an assistant shortly before the master’s death in 1519. The only other contemporary image of Leonardo is by his pupil, Francesco Melzi, and was produced at around the same time.
RECOVERED Other highlights of The Queen’s Gallery exhibition include Leonardo’s Studies of Hands for the Adoration of the Magi (c.1481), also on public display for the first time. While this appears to be a blank sheet of paper, examination in ultraviolet light has revealed ‘disappeared’ drawings of great beauty, and visitors will be able to see these ‘recovered’ drawings in a full-size ultraviolet image. Other major works on display are studies for The Last Supper and many of Leonardo’s groundbreaking anatomical studies, such as The Fetus in the Womb (c.1511). Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing at The Queen’s Gallery, London, is one of a nationwide series of exhibitions of the artist’s drawings from the Royal Collection throughout 2019. It follows 12 simultaneous exhibitions at museums and
galleries across the UK (until 6 May 2019). Later in the year, a selection of 80 drawings will travel to The Queen’s Gallery, Edinburgh, to form the largest exhibition of Leonardo’s works ever shown in Scotland (22 November 2019–15 March 2020). Collectively, these 14 exhibitions offer the widest-ever UK audience the opportunity to see the work of this extraordinary artist.
LEONARDO DA VINCI (1452-1519) Previous page, above: The Last Supper, 1490s (Julian) Tempera, Gesso 460 cm × 880 cm Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan Above left: Vitruvian Man, c. 1490 Pen and ink with wash over metalpoint on paper 34.6 cm × 25.5 cm Gallerie dell’Accademia, Venice Above right: (attributed to an apprentice) Detail from a sketch of Leonardo, the head of a youth, and a horse’s legs (around 1517-18) Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2019 Left: Studies of hands for the Adoration of the Magi, sheet 1, under ultraviolet light, c.1481, metalpoint (faded) on pink prepared paper Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2019
collections // WATCHES
is timeless By Chris jenkins
More than ever, your watch can be a statement of your style and individuality. Arts & Collections looks at some of the most individual and innovative timepieces around
espite the rise of the mobile phone and smartwatch, the traditional wristwatch is by no means obsolete. In fact, driven by the passion of many small, individual designers, there’s a powerful movement to bring back the wristwatch as a statement of style, personality and individuality. One of the most striking stories is that of Atelier Wen, a young brand formed by a team of French and Chinese designers with the aims of taking high-quality Chinese mechanical watches into the mainstream. It’s an open secret that even in a world
dominated by the ‘Swiss made’ label, most big Western watch brands outsource their production to China. Atelier Wen argues that Chinese watchmaking should be celebrated and not hidden, and it plans to make high-quality mechanical watches with a Chinese soul that wear the ‘Made in China’ label as a badge of pride. Atelier Wen’s first series, Porcelain Odyssey, features porcelain dials and top-of-the-line materials, and at around US$500, is claimed to be one of the most affordable porcelain-dial watches ever made.
DESIGN AND CRAFT Exclusively made in China and combining elements of Chinese design and craft, Porcelain Odyssey is composed of two models set apart by their dials - Ji for blue, and Hao for white. The dials are made of a porcelain of zirconium oxide that is heated to over 1400°C and combine traditional aesthetics with high durability. Both models are 39mm automatic mechanical watches using the Peacock 3006 movement and feature a small seconds hand and subdial at 6 o’clock. Combined with a structure similar to 1950s
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WATCHES // Collections
IMAGES © Breitling; MAM; Marloe Watch Co; optik instruments
Previous page: Breitling’s Premier B01 Chronograph honours the brand’s motorsport associations with its British Racing Green finish Left: MAM’s environmentally friendly wristwatches use recycled wood and metal in functional urban designs Top: Marloe’s Derwent Nautical is inspired by speed records, while Above: Optik Instruments Horizon is designed to be a beautful experience
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The new MODALO MV4 Watch Winders
• Unique Designs
• Innovative Technology
• Highest Usability
• Precise Workmanship
• Exquisite Materials
• Intelligent Characteristics
WATCHES // Collections
TIME FOR THE PAST
People increasingly demand transparency in what they buy, and that’s something the watch industry hasn’t been delivering. — Wilfried Buiron, co-founder, Atelier Wen
French and Swiss chronometer dials, the resulting piece is sleek and unassuming, yet subtly eye-catching. The Japanese steel caseback is deeply engraved with a representation of the Chinese animal of legend, Kunpeng, and is individually numbered. Atelier Wen co-founder Wilfried Buiron explains “People increasingly demand transparency in what they buy, and that’s something the watch industry hasn’t been delivering. With Atelier Wen, we have taken the opposite approach and created a brand that takes pride in its origins”.
Even the larger manufacturers are embracing the idea of a return to traditional, distinctive aesthetics. Breitling’s latest range, the Premier Collection, reintroduces a name with particular significance for the prestige brand, dating back to the 1940s. The collection includes chronographs, day-and-date models, and understated three-hand watches with a discreet, small second sub-dial. The flagship model is the Premier B01 Chronograph 42, a self-winder equipped with the Breitling Manufacture Caliber 01 movement. Each model has a white tachymeter scale on a black inner bezel around the dial. Also notable in the range is the Premier B01 Chronograph 42 Bentley British Racing Green, celebrating Breitling’s long-standing partnership with Bentley Motors.
FREEING UP TIME Finally, if you want to embrace style and
individuality without being tied down to a schedule, there’s the Optik Instruments range. The Horizon is a watch without hands; it has numbers around a rotating dial, and time is marked by a red line on the bezel. The only other indication is a division between day and night on the dial. Designed to resemble an ocean-rolled pebble, with the thick domed sapphire crystal flowing smoothly into the stainless steel unibody case, the cylindrical crown punches perfectly into the pebble’s radius. The straps nestle cleanly within the case for minimal impact on the smooth sleek form. Though it has a reliable Swiss mechanism, Horizon, the manufacturers say, “isn’t about accuracy”, more a “beautiful experience to wear, touch and observe”. As a statement piece, Horizon could be ultimate expression of style and individuality on your wrist. Below: Atelier Wen’s Ji and Hao feature porcelain dials and a design approach which takes pride in its Chinese origins
PROWESS AND LOOKS Equally innovative is MAM, a group of young entrepreneurs from Barcelona. Devoted to environmentally-friendly fashion, MAM has created a sustainable watch brand using wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, recycled stainless steel, recycled leather, natural hypoallergenic vegetable dyes and recycled, biodegradable packaging. The range includes functional, urban designs for men and women, with ultra-thin interchangeable straps in 14, 18 and 20mm, and watchbacks can be engraved to order. Taking a more traditional approach to hand-wound wristwatches, Marloe Watch Company is an independent designer and producer based in Henley-on-Thames. Its Coniston range is inspired by Coniston Waters, scene of the Campbell family’s speed record attempts, and uses a colour blue similar to the shade found on Bluebird K7, paired with a dark cognac leather strap. Designed to evoke a bygone era of engineering prowess and looks, the Coniston collection features the Japanese Miyota 8N33 hand-wound mechanism, flaunting its oscillating balance wheel with a large glass aperture.
COLLECTIONS // FINE ART LOGISTICS
The art of
movement by Chris Jenkins
fine work of art should enrich our lives, but we also have to remember our duty to cherish and protect what can be an extremely valuable item. Artworks can be at risk as they are being installed, in the environment in which they are displayed, in the way they are stored, and when they are moved–each situation calls for the use of best practice as developed
by internationally renowned galleries and museums. We asked Giles Bristow, General Manager of Momentous Fine Art, what private collectors can do to guarantee their art is kept in the best condition. London-based Momentous Fine Art is a specialised fine art installation and logistics provider which has been working with
curators and private collectors in the United Kingdom and across Europe for over 40 years, leading a wide range of installation projects within private residences from townhouses to countryside estates. Giles Bristow explained, “I have worked in fine art and interior design for over 25 years and have project managed many types of installations and de-installations at stately
IMAGES © SHUTERSTOCK
Moving and installing valuable works of art is a job best left to experts. We ask a professional about the delicate issues involved
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FINE ART LOGISTICs // COLLECTIONS
Phases Each project will have a team of technicians working closely to ensure professionalism and discretion through several project phases. Typically, the first phase will be a client consultation. Here the client’s aspirations for their collection is mapped out, and potential technical challenges identified and solved. For instance, timings and availability, whether they will be bringing in works from other residences, storage or overseas will all be taken into consideration. The next step will be a professional site survey to understand access points, light, architectural barriers and the overall breadth of the spaces where the works will be installed. Once the survey is completed, a plan is drafted to systematically install the works in a proactive, safe and efficient manner. As Giles Bristow says, “We utilise the information we have gathered from the consultation, the site survey and the experience of our technicians to create a bespoke plan so that it meets the client’s needs. Even if it is a single piece, we would still follow this basic best practice. In some cases the number of works in a private collection could easily rival some galleries.”
from relatively simple issues such as size, weight and content restrictions, to export invoices, trade tariff commodity codes, customs charges, taxes, import duty, VAT, reimporting and export licences for cultural goods. An art consignment specialist will help you to deal with these, as well as with the EORI (Economic Operators Registration and Identification) number used by customs and other authorities to monitor and track shipments coming into and out of the European Union. Transport vehicles for art logistics are often custom-built with a climate-controlled, insulated body and air ride suspension, security and tracking systems, and drivers trained to drive carrying fine art pieces. At airports, some shippers will offer a ‘witness loading’ service, so in addition to GPS tracking, clients can get visual confirmation that their items have been safely placed onboard.
Over the years the one thing that I have learnt that matters the most to our clients is empathy – Giles Bristow, Momentous Fine Art
homes and luxury private residences. There are several key factors within the fine art industry that can be employed to ensure a successful installation or de-installation. Top of the list is empathy and time. Understanding both the client’s requirements and the works to be installed are critical.”
SECURITY Installation of the artwork at its destination may require construction of display units or hanging facilities, and here Momentous Fine Art can supply fabricators and technicians from crane operators to conservators. The final step is to advise on security, as well as maintaining the look and feel of each room. Just as important as the logistics of moving fine art are the requirements for storing it, and again, whether for a private collector, a gallery or museum, experts such as Momentous Fine Art can provide the right facilities and expertise to protect the most delicate masterwork for you and the future. The art logistics world is bound to become more complex and demanding of specialists as the online art market encourages international shipping. As Giles Bristow says, “Over the years the one thing that I have learnt that matters the most to our clients is empathy. We always think about the project as what would we do if it was our investment, our money, our time?” Visit: https://momentousltd.com Tel. +44 (0) 20 3780 4545 Email: email@example.com Art logistics—an artform in itself, from packing, to inventory, to installation
IMAGES © SHUTTERSTOCK; momentous
INVENTORY An inventory is of course an essential aspect both in any moving process and for purposes such as insurance valuations, and can also be used to record where in a new location each work is to be installed. Once the logistical process has started, the team of technicians will pack items, an art in itself; custom-made crating will incorporate shock and climate protection to ensure the artwork is preserved during transport by land, sea or air, and in storage. In some cases bespoke shipping cases will have to be constructed. One of the most complicated aspects of art logistics is international shipping; the range of issues to deal with here stretches
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collections // PRECIOUS METALS
Gold An Investment to Treasure? By Chris Jenkins
IMAGES © shutterstock
Investing in gold can be a roller-coaster of risk and reward. So does the world’s oldest currency still make a sensible hedge against future uncertainty?
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PRECIOUS METALS // Collections
HARD ASSETS The opposing idea is that gold retains a function in the global economy—or else why would the International Monetary Fund and many major banks still hold onto gold as a hedge against economic uncertainty? While paper currencies can lose their value, gold rarely does, and its value typically appreciates in a time of inflation, as investors choose hard assets rather than currency. Remarkably, there are now more way to invest in gold than ever before. Apart from buying the raw metal, in the form of coins, bullion or jewellery, one can now invest in gold exchange-traded funds (ETFs), mutual funds or gold stocks, where relatively small increases in the price of gold can lead to significant gains in dividends. Investing in gold in the form of jewellery is common in the Middle East and Asia; popular pieces are plain and of high caratage (21-24 carat). The problem investing in this way is that jewellery may be subject to
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Buy gold and sit on it. That is the key to success. —Dr. Franz Pick, 1898-1985, international currency analyst
he lure of gold is legendary, but are we fooling ourselves if we treat it as a sensible choice for the modern investor? It pays to understand why gold was, for hundreds of years, the foundation of all wealth, and why it’s perhaps a different type of investment today. The use of gold in the form of coins probably dates back to Egypt in 500BC, at a time when the intrinsic value of the metal had long been established through its use in jewellery. From the Roman and Greek empires, through to the British and American, precious metals, particularly gold and silver, were regarded as intrinsically valuable, with coins representing a specific amount of precious metal locked away in a bank vault. All this changed when, in the 20th Century, the ‘promissory note’ took the place of coins, and actual gold was gradually removed from circulation. By the 1930s, leading nations were abandoning the gold standard, and today, ‘fiat’ currency, backed only by the issuing government, is the norm. So what is the remaining value or investment potential of gold? One school of thought argues that it is now worth no more than its intrinsic value, in uses such as jewellery or electronics.
fashion trends, and if melted down, you lose the value of the craftsmanship. Gold in the shape of coins is available in many forms, such as the Krugerrand, American Buffalo or Canadian Maple Leaf— currently about £1,000 for a 1 oz. coin held in a Swiss vault. These are a popular but costly way of investing and are expensive to insure if kept at home. A rather better option is the gold bar, available from 1-gram novelty sizes, which are poor value, to the 400 oz. (12.4kg) ‘Good Delivery’ gold bars held by central banks and traded by professional bullion dealers. Produced by 63 actively monitored gold refineries around the world, there are more than 30 types of gold bar in circulation, ranging from the 117g ‘ten tola’ bar popular in the Middle East, to the one-ounce bar, the Chinese ‘five tael biscuit’ and the 1000g kilobar, more than a million of which are manufactured each year, mainly in Switzerland.
BAR CHARTS Gold bars almost always work out better value than coins and often offer
VAT savings, as they are classed as investments. However, they can be costly to deliver, insure or store. On the whole, the larger the bar, the better the value. Specialist gold-bar storage programs— such as gold pool accounts and certificate schemes—reduce the inconvenience of taking physical possession and reduce the premiums you pay to buy gold and sell. But their storage fees still run up to 1.5 percent per year, a significant cost for a passive investment that is paying you no interest. An alternative is to buy a share in a 400-oz ‘Good Delivery’ bar, which is held for you in a market-approved storage vault. If you would rather not invest in physical assets, an alternative is to invest in a gold mining company, though this sector can be volatile. Attention to a company’s dividend history, debt levels and cash flow will indicate whether it is a good long-term investment. So, gold can be seen as a diversifying investment, a guard against inflation or falling share prices. But it is not always a certain investment. In fact, BullionVault shows that in the UK, gold underperformed shares, bonds, cash, housing and inflation for 16 of the years between 1978 and 2017. Yet it remains the best-performing asset for UK investors in the 21st Century, gaining 416 percent in value, compared to 201 percent for bonds, 179 percent for housing and 132 percent for shares. Gold may not be a good investment at all times, but it can be if you pick the right time; almost certainly when it’s inexpensive and experiencing negative market sentiment. Invest then, and there’s substantial potential for profit when it returns to favour.
FINANCIAL // INVESTMENT
The Keys to Wealth Management By Chris Jenkins
What is wealth management, why do you need it and where do you look for it? Three questions which could fundamentally affect your future finances so much more, from banking services to advice on philanthropic projects.
CHOICE In choosing a wealth manager, there are certain basic rules. Firstly, never believe claims for guaranteed returns—no reputable wealth manager would make them. Investment advice website Guidevine says “Returns should only be guaranteed by governments, agencies or corporations, and even then, their guarantee is only as good as their financial soundness at that time.” The same applies to promises of steady returns—they may be guaranteed in the bonds market, but certainly not in the stock market—or to any suggestions that past performance can guarantee future results. The most essential point is that your wealth manager should always be able to explain clearly how your investment will produce returns. Of course, you aren’t obliged to take your wealth manager’s advice—for instance
one working in a banking arena may be expert in trust, credit and insurance options, while another in an investment market may specialise in market strategy. In either case the function of the wealth manager is of a consultant rather than a decision maker.
PLANNING Whether they work in a small or a large team, and under the title Wealth Manager, Financial Consultant or Financial Adviser, a wealth manager starts by developing a plan that will maintain and increase a client’s wealth based on the current financial situation. End goals and the client’s comfort level with risk should be discussed in developing a plan, and regular meetings to update the goals, balance the financial portfolio and discuss additional services are to be expected. Properly executed, wealth management should be a lifetime commitment, its aim to enhance the income, growth and tax-favoured treatment of longterm investors.
IMAGES © shutterstock
f you would describe yourself as ‘affluent’, or in modern parlance as an HNWI (High Net Worth Individual), wealth management could be vital to your future finances. Unless you are a financial professional, you can’t be expected to have a grasp of all the investment, accounting, tax, legal, inheritance and residence laws which might affect you and your family’s wealth. The advisory service of a wealth manager is a consultative process, designed to explore the client’s assets and needs, to tailor a strategy using appropriate financial products and services and to manage assets for a fee. But wealth management is more than just investment advice—it covers all aspects of financial life, integrating the advice of many different professionals into one single management service. This doesn’t mean that wealth managers operate alone—they will certainly still need to work with your lawyers, accountants and so on. But a wealth manager can offer
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Grow your investments At Oakmount and Partners, we’re taking our customers to a “higher financial altitude, delivering success through partnership”. Our aim is simple, we seek to optimise investment performance over the medium to long term without exposing our customers to unnecessary risk. With opportunities leading out to 2021 and beyond, we believe we are suitably placed to make a difference to the many clients we serve, by yielding a greater rate of return on investment for them, whilst maintaining the personal & professional level of service we have given since our inception some 10’years ago. As such, we focus our attention on ‘premium quality’ asset-backed & secured investment opportunities for our customers, where annual yields range from 7-12%.
Our main target areas for investment are Commercial & Residential Property, Land Acquisition & Development, Commodities, Energy & IPO’s giving Oakmount and Partners a broad range of high-yield investments for our customers. Investment Opportunity Highlights: Asset-backed & secured Established businesses Proven track records of performance over many years Very experienced teams of professionals Highly-proficient corporate platform 100% track record in making investor payments Investments with defined exits upon maturity So for further information regarding our services why not call our team today, it may just be the start of something very special.
Oakmount & Partners
Sculpted from experience, built for success.
www.oakmountpartners.com +44 (0)20 3455 2700 Investments opportunities are subject to status and T&C’s apply. The value of investments and the income from them may go up as well as down and past performance is not necessarily a guarantee of future results.
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CULTURE // ART
The Master Colourist
150 Years of Matisse By Elika Roohi
IMAGES © Shutterstock, Wikimedia Commons
This year marks 150 years since the birth of celebrated French impressionist artist Henri Matisse, the perfect time to celebrate the work of a master painter and sculptor
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ART // CULTURE
enri Matisse is widely thought of as one of the great artists of the 20th century. His mastery of colour as expression, displayed through a body of work spanning half a century, has won him extensive recognition and respect among art critics and more casual art enthusiasts alike. He is regarded, along with his contemporary and friend Pablo Picasso, as responsible for revolutionary developments in both visual art and sculpture in modern art. This year, marking the sesquicentennial of Matisse’s birth, provides an opportunity to reflect on his significant contributions.
IMAGES © Shutterstock, Wikimedia Commons
Artist as a young man Born in northern France in December 1869, as the son of a prosperous grain merchant, young Matisse was initially set on a path to become a lawyer, studying law in Paris and working for a brief time as a court administrator. It wasn’t until after an attack of appendicitis at age 20 that he began to paint. While he was recovering from his illness, his mother brought him some art supplies to keep him busy as he regained his health. These early ventures into painting were “a kind of paradise”, Matisse remarked later in life. Indeed, following this period, he decided to give up law and pursue art, a choice that disappointed his father. His early paintings were still lifes and landscapes in the traditional style, something at which he quickly became proficient. However, everything changed in 1896 when Matisse was
introduced to impressionism through the work of Vincent Van Gogh. His style transformed completely, and he left behind his earth-toned palette in favour of bright colour.
Fauvism Matisse’s bright and explosive use of colour brought him into Fauvism (French for “wild beasts”), a movement of which he is recognised as one of the leaders. Fauvism only lasted for a brief period at the start of the 1900s, yet it became one of the defining elements of Matisse’s career. While Fauvist painters thought of themselves as pioneers of colour—using them in a wild and dissonant way to express emotion, rather than reality—the reception of their new style was varied. One critic commented about an exhibition of Fauvist paintings in 1905, “A pot of paint has been the face of the public.” Although he turned away from the style in later years, the influence of Fauvist colour theory is seen through Matisse’s distinctive use of emotive colours and brushstrokes throughout the rest of his career.
A famous friendship Matisse is often compared to Pablo Picasso, his friend and rival. The two met in 1906, a meeting arranged by American writer and art collector Gertrude Stein. Initially Matisse and Picasso disliked the other’s paintings; however, they sensed in each other’s work something
Facing Page: Unable to paint in later years, Matisse pioneered decoupage using paper cut-outs Above [l-r]: Henri Matisse Striped Robe, Fruit, and Anemones, c. 1940 Oil on canvas 55 x 65 cm Henri Matisse, Festival of Flowers, c. 1922 Oil on canvas 66 x 93 cm
that could not be disregarded. From that point on, Matisse and Picasso kept close tabs on each other. “No one has ever looked at Matisse’s painting more carefully than I, and no one has looked at mine more carefully that he,” Picasso once remarked. An artist with a fairly healthy ego, Picasso considered his own artistic brilliance to have few equals, yet he made an exception for Matisse, from whom he drew much inspiration throughout his career. Matisse’s painting Le Bonheur de Vivre (c. 1906) directly led to Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (c. 1907). This back-and-forth happened on more than one occasion during their illustrious careers. Following Picasso’s foray into cubism, Matisse responded by painting the abstract portrait Madame Matisse (c. 1913), which was countered by Picasso’s Portrait of a Young Girl (c. 1914).
collections // Travel
The world’s most
Beautiful Buildings By Elika Roohi
Architecture stands at the cross-section of art, technology and humanity. At the most basic level, it shelters us, and on the grandest level, it seeks to inspire and awe
hether to honour religious beliefs, house the pursuit of knowledge or pay tribute to the grandeur of monarchs, mankind has since time immemorial created beautiful buildings. We encounter many of these structures throughout our life’s travels, seeing rich culture reflected back to us in landmarks
that serve both to teach us about the past and the future. Above is the stunning Tiger’s Nest Monastery in Bhutan, built in 1692 and accessible only by a four-mile trek on foot or horseback, and on the following pages we present more of the most beautiful buildings to add to your world travel ‘bucket list’.
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Travel // Collections
Imam Mosque in Isfahan, Iran This masterpiece of Persian architecture was constructed in the 1600s during the Safavid dynasty at the orders of Abbas I of Persia with the goal of centring political, economic, religious and cultural activities in Isfahan. The seven-coloured mosaic tiles and ornate calligraphic inscriptions give the site its grand beauty and splendour. Today when visiting the mosque, it is not unusual to see visitors lying down to contemplate the beauty of the mosaicdomed ceilings without straining their necks.
The Imam Mosque is pictured on the reverse of the 20,000 rial banknote in Iran.
Taj Mahal in New Delhi, India
IMAGES © shutterstock
No list of beautiful architecture can afford to skip the Taj Mahal, a title which literally translates to “Crown of the Palaces”. This ivory-white marble mausoleum, situated on the south bank of the Yamuna River in the city of Agra, India, was built by some 20,000 artisans at the order of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the 1600s as a fitting tomb for his wife. Many regard the Taj Mahal as the best example of the architecture of its period and see it as a symbol of India’s rich history. Annually, the universally admired site receives between seven and eight million visitors.
One legend has it that the emperor was so pleased with the grandeur of the tomb constructed for his wife that he had the hands of the architect cut off after the Taj Mahal was completed, ensuring that they would never build another of its kind.
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collections // Travel
Pena Palace in Sintra, Portugal This 19th century castle stands on the top of a hill in the Sintra Mountains. Its bright colours make the site easily visible from the neighbouring city of Lisbon on a clear day. The castle was completed in the mid-1800s, built out of the remains of a monastery that had been severely damaged by several natural disasters. Initially painted in bright red and yellow, over time the castle faded until it was entirely grey. At the end of the 20th century, it was repainted and the original colours restored.
This two-and-a-half acre botanical garden and artist’s landscape in Marrakech, Morocco, was created by French Orientalist artist Jacques Majorelle in 1923. The development of the gardens spanned over 40 years, as the artist slowly acquired more land and was able to commission an architect to design parts of the property. In 1947, Majorelle opened the garden to the public with an admission fee to offset the costly maintenance needed to run the property. However, following his divorce in the 1950s, Majorelle was forced to sell the house and the land. After this, the garden was neglected and fell into disrepair, until the 1980s when fashion designers Yves SaintLaurent and Pierre Bergé rediscovered it and set about restoring and saving it. Today, the gardens are a major tourist attraction in Marrakech and draw more than 700,000 visitors annually.
IMAGES © shutterstock
Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech, Morocco
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Travel // Collections
Chrysler Building in New York City, New York Anyone visiting the city that never sleeps will have a laundry list of sites to visit, but they must make sure that the Chrysler Building is on their itinerary. The Art Deco masterpiece, located in the heart of Manhattan, is considered to be one of New York’s most iconic and beloved skyscrapers. The structure was built in 1930, and held the honour of being the world’s tallest building for a full 11 months, before it was surpassed by the completed Empire State Building. Yet even without this distinction, the structure is a sight to behold and a symbol of the remarkable growth of New York City during the roaring ‘20s. Today, the Chrysler building stands as recognizable feature of the NYC skyline, remaining one of its most appealing and awe-inspiring skyscrapers.
The Lotus Temple in New Delhi, India This architectural marvel was opened in 1986 as a continental House of Worship for the Baha’i community, a worldwide religion that believes in the unity of mankind and equality of all its people. It is one of eight edifices of its kind throughout the world, all of which strive to embody the concepts of harmony and oneness in their design. The spectacular place of worship is composed of free-standing marble “petals”, which are arranged in clusters of three to form nine sides. Because its inspiration from the Lotus flower is apparent in the design, it is often referred to as the Lotus Temple. Today, the site has been the recipient of numerous architecture awards and is one of the most visited buildings in the world.
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Owing to the astonishing number of visitors to the Temple, a new metro line with a stop in close proximity was opened last year.
IMAGES: © Wedgwood Museum/ WWRD
ART // CREATORS
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CREATORS // ART
Coco Dávez -
the Face of Celebrity By Chris Jenkins
Pop art tributes to iconic entertainers aren’t new, but we meet a Spanish artist putting a new spin on celebrity portraits.
Images © coco dávez/maddox gallery
FACELESS Coco’s exhibition at the Maddox Gallery showcased her collection of work called Faceless, influenced by iconic celebrities and the era of digital art. Using acrylics on giant canvasses, Coco depicts the likes of Amy Winehouse, David Bowie, Picasso, Andy Warhol, David Hockney, The Beatles and Frida Kahlo among many others, but leaving out the facial features in a way which challenges the viewer to identify the subject from their most recognisable characteristics or costumes.
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Primarily experimenting with colour and shape, Dávez’s subjects are a diverse blend of cultural and historical influences ranging from celebrities, musicians and artists, to film characters and cartoons. In an interview, Coco explained “The idea for the collection actually came about by accident. I was painting a portrait of Patti Smith and I was unhappy with how her face looked so I painted over it in red. That was when I had an epiphany. I painted a portrait of Picasso and deliberately left him without facial features, which set the precedent for the entire collection.
People see different things or take away different meanings—that’s what I love about art. – Coco Dávez
oco Dávez is a rising star in the arts world. Recently listed in the ‘30 Under 30’ list of most influential artists by Forbes—and tipped this year by GQ Magazine as one of the ‘10 Best Artists Working Today’—Coco was the only Spanish artist included. But who is Coco? Recently showcased by the influential Maddox Gallery in London, the Madrid-based artist brings a combination of pop art and realism to the themes of celebrity and influence—subjects Coco is well placed to interpret. For ‘Coco Dávez’ is actually the alterego of Valeria Palmeiro, born in Madrid in 1989, who started working as an illustrator in London in 2010. Self-taught and interested in all fields of art, she has worked as photographer, art director and painter with many diverse clients including Chanel, Kenzo, Prada, Desigual, Puma, Bombay Sapphire and Nespresso, among other leading brands. Her work includes both painting and photography and has been exhibited in Paris, Queensland, Brussels, Lisbon, Barcelona Madrid, Valencia and San Sebastian.
“The paintings are totally open to interpretation. People see different things or take away different meanings—that’s what I love about art. The paintings aren’t warnings as such, but I hope that they encourage people to think about popular culture and the icons who have played an integral part in shaping it. The subjects of Faceless are my most loved icons. For me, the collection is simply a celebration.”
SIMPLICITY Coco’s artistic approach has been applauded for her pure lines, use of colour and the simplicity of painting faceless portraits. She has also completed a book
Coco Dávez, Amy, acrylic on canvas, 162x130cm
based on the project, launched in English for the first time to coincide with the unveiling of her first UK solo show at Maddox Gallery, Westbourne Grove, London in May. But is this style of artwork better suited to the internet than as a canvas hanging on your wall? Coco sees both sides of the argument—she says “When an idea is born, I embark on sketching, experimenting with colours, materials and create collages to shape the idea visually before I start on the actual piece. My artwork visually translates well on digital platforms, particularly with the pure lines, use of colour and the simplicity of painting faceless portraits. I fully embrace the digital era we live in.”
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LUXURY FURNITURE // Collections
Plundering the Past to
furnish the future By Chris jenkins
Advances in manufacturing technology, developments in consumer tastes and the demands of the hospitality market are driving growth in the luxury furniture market. We identify some of the top trends
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recent report by Mordor Intelligence estimated that the world’s luxury furniture market is likely to grow by 4.7 percent between 2018 and 2023. The report says that innovations in manufacturing technology, as well as a growing appreciation for the potential of local design, are helping global market leaders to meet the needs of an increasingly demanding luxury furniture market. As major manufacturers expand their offering by acquiring local designers and manufacturers, premium materials such as leather, glass, metal and woods— including mahogany and alder—are all being pressed into service. In the European region, tropical timber recorded the highest market share in the furniture market. But the role of tropical timber may decline significantly as more versatile materials become widely available.
Material world As reservations about the aesthetic and recycling potential of plastics increase, wood and metal furniture solutions become more attractive. In woods, hardwoods remain the popular choice for their quality and durability, while in metals, a wide range of finishing techniques such as powder coating, anodizing and chrome finishing are opening up novel aesthetic options. Bespoke concealment solutions, by which technology products or storage
systems are hidden inside luxury furniture pieces, are increasingly popular. Other notable trends are on the move towards online retailing, which makes it more possible to offer product personalisation, and the development of the outdoor luxury furniture market. Part of the growth of the market is driven by the hospitality industry, as hotels and restaurants demand more luxurious bespoke furniture solutions. But by far the largest growth area is the domestic one, where the increase in urban populations and the demands of developing economies are both supporting the global luxury furniture market. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Italy is one of the prominent countries in the global luxury furniture market—it has 29 of the top 100 global luxury furniture companies and a market share of approximately 27 percent in 2017. Notable fashion brand names such as Versace are expanding into the luxury furniture area, with a particular eye on developing markets. Though Europe remains the largest market for designer furniture, China and India are the fastest growing countries in the luxury goods market generally and there’s a particular demand from themebased and garden/pool-side restaurants.
Soft options In soft furnishings, the pendulum is swinging away from the softly textural
Scandinavian look, back towards highcontrast patterns and big statement mixings of materials and scale. Designer Emilie Munroe of San Francisco merges lively prints and cheeky accessories in carefully-measured designs and goes for daring designs such as chunky Lancaster armchairs and retro ceiling trims. Demand for handcrafted authenticity, rather than mass-produced pieces, will rise, according to furniture and accessories guru Andria Mitsakos. Interior designer Joy Moyler says that the use of metals in interesting ways will trend, though colours will turn away from rose gold towards gold, brass or blackened metals, used in sculptural or massed ways, in what she describes as “a strong push towards art as function.” Moyler also sees a trend in the bedroom towards womb-like, cozy beds with upholstered headboards and footboards sheathed in comfortable textiles. But perhaps an unexpected furniture trend is back towards the antique, with interior designer CeCe Barfield Thompson claiming that “Ubiquitous design is now a thing of the past, while antiques are an exciting nod to the design future.” CeCe, whose interiors combine old, new, inherited and designed pieces, says that “People want their rooms to have soul, a personality, and tell a story”, and that with auction and shopping sites picking up on the trend, “antiques are having a major comeback.”
IMAGES © shutterstock
collections // LUXURY FURNITURE
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collections // FOOD
Crazy about Caviar By Elika Roohi
Caviar can cost up to $35,000 per kilo. What is it about this expensive delicacy that makes it so highly prized?
Labour of love Harvesting caviar is by no means a getrich-quick scheme, despite its high price. The sturgeon fish can only be harvested
for its roe once it has reached maturity, which is when an adult fish weighs 4,000 pounds. It can take Beluga sturgeon up to two decades to reach this weight. Complicating matters for fisherman even further, the enormous fish lives naturally only in the rough waters of the Caspian and Black Seas. And once the sturgeon is caught, harvesting the roe is no simple feat. It requires ample time and special care, even when done by machine.
Farmed fish During the Soviet era, the harvest and production of wild caviar was a tightly controlled, highly lucrative industry. But this all changed with the dissolution of the USSR—suddenly, everybody wanted to be in the caviar business. This led to over-fishing of sturgeon, which was devastating to the ecosystem and industry. These days, to meet the need of the world’s rising demand for the fishy delicacy, caviar is now farm-raised in many parts of the world with the United
States, China, Israel and Iran as the largest producers. The UK has a major caviar farm based outside Leeds with an unusual nokill policy.
Start here If you’re new to the world of caviar, here are a few tips before you jump in head first. Alexandre Petrossian of the famed Paris caviar house recommends that you buy at least 30 grams of caviar for two people. Caviar novices are often tempted by the low price and cute size of the 10gram tins, but to really taste the nuanced flavours, it’s better to start with more. Eat it quickly, as the oils and flavours change rapidly once the tin is opened. Be careful where you’re buying your caviar from, particularly if online, and if you’re just starting out, begin your journey at the low end of the price scale. Caviar can be an acquired taste, and you might not want to acquire that taste at the high end, around $300 for an ounce.
IMAGES © shutterstock
aviar is the undisputable jewel of the luxury food scene, conjuring up images of expensive hors d’oeuvres served at the finest social functions. But how did these tiny black edible pearls become so prized? The fine delicacy consists of fish eggs, also called roe, harvested from the sturgeon. There are 27 different species of sturgeon, giving us different types, textures, colours and flavours of caviar— although ironically, the flesh of the sturgeon itself is not particularly prized. The most expensive and desirable caviar comes from the Beluga, or Huso Huso sturgeon, known for having the largest and softest eggs. Fishing for wild Beluga sturgeon is restricted due to the fish’s status as an endangered species, so most Beluga caviar is from farmed fish.
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“Caviar needs no occasion, it is one!” A touch of passion and tradition Enjoy one of the most praised sturgeon caviars and treat yourself and friends to this unique caviar experience. The Caviar House “Imperial Heritage “, founded and owned by the Colman family Mr Koenraad Peter Colman, his wife Mrs Kristel Berghmans and their daughter Miss Elisabeth Colman, guarantee you the finest selection of the most praised sturgeon species: caviars offering a luxuriously refined flavour, respecting nature’s balance. This house stands for tradition and origin, holding on to the classic environment for the sturgeon and the old-school way of preparing
and selecting the world’s best caviars. Our principals: Pure source water and a base of rock, pebbles and sand in open nature are the only and essential environment for our sturgeons. PURE ORIGINAL TASTE. Our Great Caviar Masters from Iran and Russia are treating and salting our caviar according to the old traditional recipes (Malossol). The supervision and final selection of these fine caviars is guaranteed by the Colman family. From father to daughter , all inspired by one Passion: “the finest Caviar of the World”.
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collections // FINE JEWELLERY
Dreams Dusted with Jewels
From father to daughter, the House of Messika is guided by a love for precious stones. Chris Jenkins explores a secret, fascinating world
ATELIER MESSIKA Atelier Messika is unique, a space bathed in soft natural light. Jewellers, setters, polishers and virtuoso artisans apply their talent and experience to create exceptional pieces. In this secret fascinating world of the made-to-measure, jewellery is brought to life for the first time, and technique
gradually fades into the background to provide space for beauty. Carefully graded for size, colour and purity, each stone is an immediate stimulus for a new detail, a curve, or a movement. Father and daughter represent two facets of a single passion for the eternal stone. Maison Messika is about imagining, dreaming and creating, to give shape to a unique kind of jewellery. The first gamechanger was the Skinny, slim diamond lines of surprising flexibility that re-drew the jewellery blueprint to highlight the essential, the adaptable. Each item is designed with careful consideration of its structure, as well as the effect it will produce when moving with the body. New and surprising shapes are
IMAGES © HOUSE OF MESSIKA
he House of Messika was born in Paris in 2005 and is run by Valérie Messika, daughter of the famous diamond merchant André Messika. Core values have been passed down from father to daughter: to enhance the diamond, to push the boundaries and to strive continuously for excellence. A prominent figure on the diamond trading scene since he started out in 1972, André Messika brought his daughter up on dreams dusted with jewels, punctuated with trips around the world to source extraordinary stones. Surrounded by legendary gems from a young age, Valérie Messika moved away from diamond trading to concentrate on her passion for design, and guided by a love for precious stones, she has blazed a glittering trail in the very closed world of fine jewellery. Valérie Messika’s philosophy is to imagine, dream and create. Her strengths lie in her fertile imagination, keen eye for detail and the ability to challenge herself every day.
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FINE JEWELLERY // Collections
constantly studied and re-imagined, to enhance female beauty and blend the timeless with the contemporary. Now with the Born to be Wild HighJewellery collection, Valérie Messika says “I like to travel, to get away… I wanted to instill a state of mind that alludes a feeling of escapism. Between fantasy and imagination, the desert acts upon mankind like a great revealer, living up to and surpassing itself. The North American desert, more than any other, leaves one speechless; making you feel like no one and someone at the same time….” The spectacle of the sunrise over the rocks of the American desert is a moment suspended in time. The intensity of the light and the vivid colours in this exceptional place make the spectacle magic and unique.
SUN TRIBE This is the origin of the Sun Tribe necklace, which shines like a rain of 109 marquisecut and pear-cut diamonds. The solar spirit
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of this piece is conveyed in the work on its lines: gradient bars of yellow gold and an incidental rhythm of the marquise-cut diamonds on each ray. With technical prowess produced by the Messika High Jewellery Atelier, this necklace is very flexible: each beam is connected and threaded onto a corded chain which is placed directly around the neck. A 27.5ct unique creation, the Sun Tribe necklace required 500 hours of work from the master jewellers and master setters to sublimate 66 marquise cut diamonds, 43 pear cut diamonds and 1,237 brilliant cut diamonds. From the same line, Valérie Messika has created a very trendy cuff, the body worked with an alternation of yellow gold and white diamond lines concluding with a wave of pear-cuts. Perfectly symmetrical, semi-paved diamonds recall the reflections of the sun. To complete this set, Valérie Messika imagine several pieces of rivalling sensuality.
Above: Model Edita Vilkeviciute wears the Sun Tribe necklace and accessories from The House of Messika Facing page [l-r]: Earrings from the Sun Tribe collection, and the unique Sun Tribe necklace with its 66 marquise cut diamonds, 43 pear cut diamonds and 1,237 brilliant cut diamonds
A ring gracefully wraps around the finger, while earrings of varying proportions frame the face with an added radiance. Worn by international supermodel Edita Vilkeviciute, Messika’s Born to be Wild collection captures the essence of High Jewellery, as aspirational as the designer clothes of the world of Haute Couture. Constantly challenging herself to enhance the spirit of the Maison, juggling tradition and modernity within a special world among the great names of high jewelry, one day Valérie Messika may well overtake the master, as the Messika name shines on in the jewellery firmament.
COLLECTABLES // WHERE TO SPEND IT
From the world’s rarest perfume to a rare, first-edition copy of a beloved classic book, we bring you the most desirable luxury collectables and high-end fashion items BY ELIKA ROOHI
1 WORLD’S RAREST PERFUME Husband-and-wife hoteliers Thomas and Dagmar Smit launched perfume collection Elegantes London in 2012. Together with master ‘nose’ Julien Rasquinet, they scoured the world for the finest ingredients to create a perfume of impeccable quality. Not just an incredibly rare and deliberately prepared scent, the perfume is poured into a distinctive glass bottle, hand-blown by an historic glass factory in Normandy and crafted from a unique four-piece mould. The Black Opera crystal bottle is the most expensive, owing to its painstaking creation process that takes 30 days to complete using an ancient method of heating crystal to 2,200 degrees centigrade. elegantes.co.uk
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This first edition, first printing copy of The Great Gatsby bears a unique inscription, making the book almost invaluable to bibliophiles. “For Harold Goldman, The original ‘Gatsby’ of this story, with thanks for letting me reveal these secrets of his past. Alcatraz, Cell Block 17 (I’ll be out soon, kid. Remember me to the mob. Fitzgerald).” Harold Goldman was a screenwriter at MGM in the 1930s who worked with Fitzgerald on A Yank at Oxford (1938). Keen readers know that Jay Gatsby, of course, was another “Yank at Oxford”, famously claiming to Nick Carraway that “all my ancestors have been educated there.” This connection between storytellers, penned in Fitzgerald’s handwriting at the beginning of the book makes the copy extremely rare. peterharrington.co.uk
WORLDLY PEN Inspired by the fascinating intricacy of Islamic art and design, this exclusive writing instrument by awardwinning British artisan Jack Row echoes the intricate filigree found in ‘Jaali’ latticed screens featuring prominently in Mughal Indian architecture. Exquisitely crafted using time-honoured craft skills and cuttingedge technology, each limited-edition pen is individually made to order in Great Britain from solid precious metals and comes studded with sparkling ‘brilliant cut’ petrol-blue diamonds. sableandox.co.uk
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THE GREAT GATSBY
WHERE TO SPEND IT // COLLECTABLES
IMAGES © ASPINAL OF LONDON; TAPETTO; PICKETT OF LONDON; ASTON MARTIN
Certain to turn heads, Aspinal of London’s Mini Trunk Clutch is striking and sophisticated. It is hand-crafted from smooth peony Italian calf leather and features an exquisite pink beaded grosgrain front panel with intricate gold silk stitching. It has a distinctively boxy silhouette, gold brass-trimmed corners and a signature shield lock. The interior is lined in shimmering grosgrain and provides space to store your small wallet, phone and other small essentials in the main compartment. To make it extra-special, you can have it personalised with up to four initials or eight characters along the cross-body strap. aspinaloflondon.com
Nothing says “luxury” quite like a Persian carpet, and this one— sold through Italian retailer Tappeto—is one of the finest you can find. The Kashan Kork carpet is an antique, hand-knotted rug that has been lovingly restored to its original glory by carpet experts. tappeto.online
FOR THE EXPLORERS This wheeled suitcase from Pickett London is the piece you’re going to want to bring along with you on your next trip. Handmade using luxuriously soft, gently-grained leather in two timeless colours with contrast stitching, the spacious bag is a classic structured suitcase with an easy-to-use pull-out handle. It is carry-on size, but has ample capacity for carrying plenty of baggage, with the addition of two generous and secure zipped pockets, making it perfect for a long weekend or business trip away. pickett.co.uk
HOP IN THIS HYPERCAR Aston Martin’s new £2.5m Valkyrie hypercar, developed with Red Bull Racing and Cosworth, delivers a massive 1160bhp total power output at a heady 10,500rpm from a naturally aspirated 6.5l V12 engine. Limited to 150 road cars and built by F1’s biggest brain from the finest unobtanium, the Valkyrie is for those who want to go fast in maximum style. astonmartin.com
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COLLECTABLES // WHERE TO SPEND IT
WATCH OUT FOR HER Montblac’s Bohème Exo Tourbillon Slim epitomises the Bohème Spirit, combining sophistication, selfconfidence and audaciousness. The Exo Exo Tourbillon Slim is the release of a more delicate version of the watchmaker’s classic Exo Tourbillon, perfectly elevated for a woman who prefers a smaller watch. The timepiece features 58 diamonds (~1.39 ct) set into the bezel and comes in a new 38 mm rose gold case with a slim height of only 9.37 mm. montblanc.com
FINE FELINES The Panthère de Cartier necklace draws its inspiration from Louis Cartier and Jeanne Toussaint’s work crafting the beautiful feline creatures into now-iconic motifs, going back as far as 1914. This 18K rose gold, black lacquer set has a tsavorite garnet and 19 brilliant-cut diamonds, totalling 0.07 carats. It is the perfect piece for those who appreciate classic Cartier, but have a bit of a mischievous side as well. cartier.co.uk
10 FLORALS FOR SPRING Ground-breaking, we know. But these Jimmy Choos in perforated lace are the perfect shoe for all your spring and summer events. The Romy 100 shoe is an elegant example of the designer’s iconic stiletto, updated for the season with a chic lace pattern. Finished with a leather sole, the 85mm heel height will be sure to steal the show. jimmychoo.com
The Lebanese designer Elie Saab, known for his use of lace, chiffon and shimmering beading, has created, once again, a feast for the eyes. The Swarovski crystalembellished round-frame sunglasses are consistent with Saab’s habit of never producing anything less than extraordinary. For all the sun you’re sure to be getting soon, we recommend these to protect your eyes. harveynichols.com
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12 CHARMING CUFFLINKS These gold and pearl square cufflinks from Tom Ford are an understated, yet incredibly chic choice for overall elegance. The classic pair of square cufflinks is crafted from 18kt gold and motherof-pearl and were made in Italy by trained craftsmen. tomford.co.uk
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WHERE TO SPEND IT // COLLECTABLES
MUSIC ON THE GO
WATCH OUT FOR HIM The Seiko Prospex Twilight Blue re-interprets Seiko’s classic 1968 automatic diver’s model and is inspired by the sunset on the Mediterranean Sea. Twilight Blue comes with interchangeable straps, meaning it can be worn with a bracelet or silicone design to suit any style. With limited pieces available at £1,070 from the end of May, the watch features 200m water resistance, 23 jewels, power reserve of 50 hours, a stainless-steel case with super-hard coating, and a sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating. seikowatches.com
Astell&Kern’s new flagship portable music player, the A&ultima SP2000, is the company’s first to support 32-bit/768kHz highresolution PCM and DSD512 native, bit-to-bit playback—and it features separate, independent audio channels with unbalanced and balanced outputs and increased output power. But never mind the technology, you just need to know it sounds great and looks just as good in a choice of stainless steel and copper finishes. Available from July at £2,999/$3,500. astellnkern.com
MUSIC FOR YOUR HEAD Luzli, the Basel-based maker of ultra-high-end, Swiss-made headphones, has introduced its Roller MK02 design. Luzli’s headphones are uncompromising in their approach to quality and detail, delivering levels of craftsmanship more akin to luxury timepieces. The company’s unique headband mimics the bracelet of a high-end Swiss watch in both design as well as quality of materials and finish, while the audio system features custom dynamic drivers, baffles and acoustic chambers. The MK02 comes in silver at £3,840. luzli.com
LIGHT UP THE ROOM
IMAGES: COURTESY SEIKO; LAURA ELIZABETH; ASTELL&KERN; ORBITSOUND; LUZLI
Laura Elizabeth’s hand-blown glass lamp Cascade is layered with patinas of copper oxide and silver. As a part of the Cascade collection, this lamp is inspired by distant storms on the ocean in Laura’s home country of Bermuda. Light reflects off the glass and compliments the silver patinas, making each lamp individual. The 30cm tall lamp has stainless steel fittings and grey silk flex and retails for £650. Five percent of sales from the Cascade collection will be donated to the Blue Marine Foundation. lauraelizabethglass.com
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MUSIC TO YOUR EARS
Orbitsound’s Air D1 is described as the world’s first audiophile one-box speaker. The British-made Air D1 is the ultimate expression of Orbitsound’s unique Airsound technology, which creates a spacious stereo effect at any point in the room, with no dead spots—from only a single speaker. This perfectly crafted audio masterpiece can play music through WiFi, Bluetooth or Ethernet, with analogue connections and an optical input to make it superbly versatile. Apple Airplay and Spotify Connect are both supported. The Air D1 is available exclusively from Harrods for £12,000, with a choice of bamboo or black finishes. orbitsound.com
collections // PROPERTY
Property investment Not Just for Big Hitters BY CHRIS JENKINS
With the property market in confusion, could this still be a good time to invest? We consider some alternative ways to put your money into bricks and mortar
ith average house prices rising 70 percent between 2008 and 2018, at some stage a downturn could well have been predicted, Brexit or not. But growth is continuing in cities such as Oxford, Cambridge, Bristol, Manchester and Liverpool, while flagging or going into reverse in places like Aberdeen and parts of London. The renovation market is pretty much played out, with more potential buyers than there are derelict houses, and the traditionally buoyant buy-to-let sector is looking less than rosy too, with tax and regulatory changes hitting profits and raising the cost of investment. So, what’s a property investor to do? Mixing your portfolio is certainly an option. You could, for instance, use the capital gained from buying and reselling one property, to pay off the mortgage of another, which you retain as a rental. Bear in mind aspects of rental property ownership such as maintenance costs.
Of course, either buy-for-profit or buyto-let requires a large investment in the first place, and the biggest profits are generally reserved for high net worth individuals. There are, though, ways to benefit from these previously exclusive schemes, even if you have a relatively small pot of cash.
CLUB CLASS Alternative property investment allows you to put your relatively small equity, say £20,000, into a scheme which could be worth millions. The rest of the equity is contributed by co-investors, so you become part of a club set to profit from a major property investment. One advantage of this scheme is that you don’t have to liaise with the developer directly—it’s all done through an Investor Relations Manager— and another is that you don’t have to take on costs such as property maintenance.
You choose whether to buy into a redevelopment, or ‘off-plan’—a property which has not yet been built—or to spread your investment across multiple projects. The management team vets the projects, so you can be assured that they meet certain standards, and while it can be worth doing your own research about property prices, development costs, selling trends and timeframes, all this legwork can be done for you. Of course, your capital is at still at some risk, and past performances do not guarantee future results, so you should make sure your investors’ community is FCA regulated and always consult an independent financial advisor before making any decisions. But, if your worries about the scale of investment or the responsibilities of going it alone suggest you would be better off in a ‘club’, alternative property investment may well be the place for you to start.
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