Category Archives: Design

Sotheby’s Auction of the Mario Buatta Estate

Mario Buatta, affectionately known as “The Prince of Chintz”, died in October 2018 at the age of 82. On 23 January 2020, Sotheby’s will host an auction of his personal possessions, under the title Mario Buatta: Prince of Interiors.

Here’s a pdf of the full 236-page catalogue for the auction, suitable for downloading.

If I could pick just one item from that catalogue, it would be this:

The catalogue describes it as a “Louis XV Five-Fold Blue and White Chinoiserie Wallpaper Screen, the Wallpaper 18th Century” The estimate is between $4,000 and $6,000, but auction house estimates for this sort of thing are always absurdly low, so as not to frighten away potential buyers. I’ll post the real price after the auction.


Mario Buatta’s interiors were designed to be reminiscent of the rooms in an English country house. Here are some samples, found on the Web:

 

 


I’ve always thought of Buatta as the Ralph Lauren of interior design.

Ralph Lauren (né Lifshitz) was born in The Bronx in the 1930s, to first-generation Jewish immigrants from Belarus. Lauren has built his empire by styling clothes that reflect a classic old-money WASP sensibility, very different from the world of his youth.

Mario Buatta was born on Staten Island in 1930s, and grew up in a house where the living
room “was off-limits so that the vacuum tracks might not get disturbed.” Buatta became the master of a style that captured the look and feel of the English country house.

Wedding Picture of the Year

I think the word you’re looking for is “Epic”. Or maybe “Fierce”.

When the owner of the @soysaucetime Twitter account posted an image from “the lesbian wedding I went to back in September”, it went viral.

The brides themselves later posted a few more pictures from the wedding.

Added to My “Someday” List: A Stay at L’Hôtel in Paris

Oscar Wilde’s last words, as he lay dying in a shabby Parisian hotel, were “My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or the other of us has to go.”  At least that’s the official story, and who would want to question it.

Oscar Wilde has been dead since 1900, but the hotel, known simply as L’Hôtel, still exists. Wilde wouldn’t recognize it, though. It has been massively upgraded and enhanced, and now rates five stars and boasts a Michelin-starred restaurant (currently closed for renovation).

The wallpaper has been replaced, too.

The Oscar Wilde Suite

The Oscar Wilde Suite

If you’re in Paris in mid-April—which means you’re already living a charmed life—you can spend a night in the 35 sqm (377 sqft) Oscar Wilde Suite, for as little as €766 ($848). I can’t embed the hotel’s video tour of the suite, but you can watch it here.


Exploring L’Hôtel

L’Hôtel

L’Hôtel

Reception

Reception

Chic Room

Chic Room

Mignon Room

Mignon Room

Grand Room

Grand Room

Le Restaurant

Le Restaurant

Le Bar

Le Bar


All images from L’Hôtel.

From the Estate of Jacqueline Kennedy’s Sister

Yesterday, Christie’s New York held an auction of items from “The Collection of Lee Bouvier Radziwill”. The socialite, who became Her Serene Highness Princess Caroline Radziwill on her 1959 marriage to the Polish aristocrat Prince Stanisław Albrecht Radziwill, was best known as the younger sister of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, a circumstance that she didn’t particularly enjoy.

The sale total was $1,266,000.

Here are some of the items from the collection. (Images from Christie’s website.)

A pair of Indian silver-gilt, enamel, and hardstone-mounted censers and covers
20th century
Price realized: $8,125


A Limoges porcelain yellow-ground armorial part dinner service
20th century
Price realized: $10,625


A North European rosewood side chair
Late 19th/early 20th century
Price realized: $2,750


A Victorian ebonized and verre eglomise side table
Circa 1860
Price realized: $4,750


A pair of decalcomania table lamps
Late 19th/20th century
Price realized: $4,750


And the Definitive Bouvier Signature Item

Two pairs of fashion sunglasses, Gucci
Late 20th century
Price realized: $2,750

Gwendoline Christie in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Live from London

Gwendoline Christie as Titiana in A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Gwendoline Christie as Titiana in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”

National Theatre Live, which brings the best of British theatre to movie screens around the world, will broadcast a live performance of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream to cinemas on Thursday, 17 October 2019. The Bridge Theatre’s immersive, gender-bending staging of the play has won near-universal raves.

Playing Titiana is Brienne of Tarth herself, Gwendoline Christie.

Check here to see if this production is playing near you, and to buy tickets. The live version is one night only, but many sites are offering encore screenings.


Bonus

As she tends to do, Christie absolutely rocks a red carpet appearance.