Saturday, 22 September 2012

Everything must go - 2


Another glossy and expensive auction catalogue flopped onto the welcome mat of our compact but adorable city apartment yesterday, this one devoted entirely to the sale of the contents of Aynhoe Park by Christies of London, to be held next month.

The only reason that Christie's go to the expense of sending me these fabulous, gold-embossed coffee-table books free of charge is because - over a couple of years - I have spent abut £300,000 with them, and they probably hope I will continue to do so. Three hundred grand is peanuts to them, however. Significant peanuts, but nuts never the less.

The entire (and bizarre) collection was amassed by James Perkins, who also lent his house out to people like Jade Jagger (for a wedding) and celebrity photographers who had scrumptious and naked young women posing on various items of furniture which have now become lots.

There are two distinct elements to the interior decor of the house: one is highly evocative of Sir John Soane's museum near Lincolns Inn Fields, and that is because Soane did indeed have something to do with the house in the past; and the other is the very English tradition of the 'Grand Tour', where disparate objects from all over the world are juxtaposed in a chaotic and cluttered array, purely in order to impress one's friends. The friends impressed in this case include Kate Moss and Liam Gallagher, who have kindly written a one-liner each for the catalogue, saying 'how impressed' they were with the collection.

Perkins seemed to have an obsession with taxidermy as well, and the stuffed animals include a giraffe drinking from a small bucket as well as a small white pony lying on a vast refectory table. Seated at the table is a crocodile, and a swan is preparing to land on it from a nearby plaster pedestal. I am going to lend this book to a young friend of mine, who has begun learning the art of taxidermy. She might get some inspiration from it, but I hope it doesn't encourage big-game trips to Africa with a gun.

I have never met Jane and Lance Hattatt, but I wouldn't mind betting that they would dearly like to get hold of about 80% of this collection - funds permitting.


10 comments:

  1. I was recently looking at a selection of BAD TAXIDERMY photos. Bad is really bad; good can be wonderful.

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    1. This taxidermy is so bad, that it's good.

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  2. Could we all club together and buy dear Jane and Lance a silver creamer jug or a cast iron boot scraper once those unclothed young ladies have been safely escorted off the premises?

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    1. When you say 'we', I am presuming you mean Scottish husband and pastel children?

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  3. Hello Tom:
    We know it, we love it, we cannot afford it.

    Some years ago when the contents of Stokesay were being auctioned off [we still have the very expensively produced catalogue], and we were in love with it all, we failed to make a single purchase despite having doubled the amount we really wanted to pay for each item upon which we left a bid. A superb post box should, by rights, be ours!!

    However, we do have 'stuff' from The Savoy sale prior to the revamp!!

    How very sweet of Mise. To whom should we email our address?!!

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    Replies
    1. Send it to Miss Bountiful herself, J & L - it was her idea, after all.

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  4. Mystery solved.
    The friend kind enough to monitor our post in France has alerted us to the arrival of a weighty package.
    It has to be this as all the company reports we know of have already arrived so we can tell her to use it for collage work......

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    Replies
    1. That would explain all the crates with air-holes in them that arrived this morning as well. I better open them before all the naked young women get too hungry.

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    2. No let them starve a bit...they'll be all the more grateful....

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    3. Maybe not. You remember that old test to see whether or not a dog really is man's best friend? You take your dog to a secluded spot, get it to climb in the boot of your car, lock it in and leave it alone in the dark for 8 hours.

      When you return and let it out, it is so pleased to see you that it nearly wets itself with affection.

      Then try the same thing with your girlfriend and see if you notice the difference.

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