A Classic London Day when You’re at the Top

Saturday 17th March 2018

Just before we resume with what happened when Genevieve Suzy returned….

On Wednesday afternoon, such a classic London day…   Rocky Rock and I to a small gallery near Tottenham Court Road. An exhibition of the Male Form. Rocky in a fashion hiking outfit for gallery visiting including M&S Harris Tweed jacket and he’s a designer with a home in Palm Beach . At his dinner last Saturday he was tartan slacks from Zara. One of the guests left early to enjoy night-time excitements.  This was a young man who works 16 hours a day doing calculations, followed by two hours in the gym before bed. Otherwise, Landsdowne, Rocky’s other half, hosts a dinner in the old-fashioned way with actual conversation.

But that was Saturday. Wednesday was the Male Form in a small gallery near Tottenham Court Road. We were the only people there apart from the person presiding who said, ‘You’ll find more penises in the other room.’ After that Rocky wanted to see what Heals had to offer – and also Habitat. For Rocky, it turned out, cushions in blue velvet just right for Palm Beach, which is a blue scheme, as well as a tooth-glass and a plate with indigo brush strokes on which could be served a salad for one.

I was intensely interested in some of the Habitat cushions for the Gay Mother’s drawing room as well as a chopping board for my own home. I can’t tell you the trouble I’m having finding a small rectangular wooden chopping board. No, I don’t want fancy curves, or silly lettering carved into the side of it. I’ve been to six shops so far.

Shattered, we had coffee in the Heals Cafe and looked ahead. Rocky was due at Christie’s that evening. Something must have been beginning to whirr in my social head. The American Friends of British Art… I knew about them…. the last time I went to Christie’s in the evening… the Duchess of Rutland… By the time I got home, I was blazing. Raynham Hall! The founder of the American Friends of British Art (based in Palm Beach, hence Rocky and Landsdowne connected) was launching his book about Raynham Hall at Christie’s that evening. The last time it had been the Duchess of Rutland launching a book and he was there. My invitation came via Dainty Lady TV. Now I was in my bedroom, hurling hangers. There were two challenges. I was expected at the Antiques Fayre in King’s Road, the PV there. How to fit in Christie’s … or perhaps more urgent, how to get an invitation to Christie’s at one hour’s notice? I texted Genevieve Suzy, head of Dainty. I texted Joshua Baring, who has entree at Christie’s. And then Raynham Hall itself! I don’t recall if I’d yet seen pictures. But a gem, not open to the public, being restored. Oh the delicious creamy deliciousness of renovation! Experts, tiny artist’s brushes, paint charts… bringing back the past, not all shiny and new and Raine Spencer. The delicate work of revival and conservation.

I was in the Uber. I’d put on the Topman frock coat in honey biscuit (100% wool), the Paul Smith slim-line grey slacks … footwear. I don’t remember my footwear. I hope I had it. Joshua messaged to say he’d messaged Christie’s Head of Invitations but it was probably too late. Genevieve Suzy was not mentioning whether she had a card or not. I was alone, in the Uber, directed for Christie’s. There was to be a lecture at 7 and it was 10 to. It could all go terribly wrong. I swept in to Christie’s lobby. The right clothes.. and presumption. All I was left with.. ‘I’m so sorry,’ I said to the lady with the ipad guest list, ‘… Dainty Lady TV, Adrian Edge from Dainty Lady TV, I’m afraid we forgot to RSVP.’ Guest-list lady scrolled absolutely minimally. ‘That’s all right. I’m just putting you on the list…’

I was on the list! I was in! Up those stairs at Christie’s I bounded as have heaved many before selling their things in desperation or dead or winding down a dynasty. There was Rocky Rock in Valentino (a blue Henley blazer with bold white edging and red tabs in unlikely places) and Landsdowne in tailored office wear. With them a Greatness of Palm Beach and New York as it turned out in a semi-evening coat – cream of course. One glass of Tatt, then the lecture.

Well, Raynham Hall. I’ll leave it to speak for itself. We must have it. Dainty Lady TV must have it. The Marquis and Marchioness conduct tours. 400 came last time. But it’s not open to the public. The Marquis told me that was very important. They’re not open to the public but the public can get in. So clever. And they’d like coverage… which will mean me, Adrian Edge, visiting, just me, Adrian Edge, the Marquis and Marchioness, discussing paint finishes, floor renovation, fabric choice, brushwork…. Utter heaven.

Raynham Hall! 17th Century Dutch-style on the outside

Raynham Hall! 17th Century Dutch-style on the outside

Raynham Hall: 17th Century Dutch style without: a Masterpiece of Facade

Raynham Hall: 17th Century Dutch style without: a Masterpiece of Facade

Raynham Hall: Its Hall. William Kent! Oh Yes!

Raynham Hall: Its Hall. William Kent! Oh Yes! And John Julius 

Raynham Hall: William Kent made this Arched Screen in the Dining Room

Raynham Hall: William Kent made this Arched Screen in the Dining Room

Raynham Hall: the Non-Stone Stairs

Raynham Hall: the Non-Stone Stairs

Raynham Hall: a Drawing Room

Raynham Hall: a Drawing Room

Raynham Hall: the Red Saloon: Note the Decorative Plasterwork  Scrolls Designed to have Pictures Hanging below Them. But the Pictures Got Sold in 1904

Raynham Hall: the Red Saloon: Note the Decorative Plasterwork Scrolls Designed to have Pictures Hanging below Them. But the Pictures Got Sold in 1904

Raynham Hall: the Redundant Scrolls in the Red Saloon

Raynham Hall: the Redundant Scrolls in the Red Saloon: All by William Kent 

Raynham Hall: William Kent!

Raynham Hall: William Kent!

Raynham Hall: the Belisarius Room on the 1st Floor

Raynham Hall: the Belisarius Room on the 1st Floor

Raynham Hall: the Belisarius Room on the 1st Floor

Raynham Hall: the Belisarius Room on the 1st Floor

 

 

 

Posted Sunday, March 18, 2018 under Adrian Edge day by day.

Leave a Reply