Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Monday, 26 April 2010

M/M Aventures parisiennes

All images shown are the copyright property of Olivier Coste d'Espagnac and are published with exclusive permission. All rights reserved.

A very special thanks to Olivier Coste d'Espagnac..

Friday, 23 April 2010

Kraftwerk - The Robots

M/M Photography: Ecart, Paris 1991

Interior of Andrée Putman's Ecart, Paris. 1991 photographed by Nicola Linza exclusive to Manner of Man Magazine and may not be reproduced under any means wtihout written authorisation. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

M/M Interview with Zaremba & Kamiński

All images shown here provided by Zaremba & Kamiński. All rights reserved.

This exclusive interview with Zaremba & Kamiński Bespoke Tailors by Nicola Linza and Cristoffer Neljesjö in Warsaw 2010.

Tell us a bit about Zaremba & Kamiński and your history

Our History

Zaremba & Kamiński has over 100 years of history which also happens to be the history of Warsaw and its finest residents. Always at the heart of the capital, the atelier and the city together experienced large receptions and balls and faced repressions and destruction.

Our history starts in 1894 when Edward Zaremba opened his atelier in the building of the Grand Theatre – a prime location gathering the noble of the era. Extraordinary skills of the tailor became famous not only in Warsaw, but in the entire Europe. He was often described by the foreign papers and was frequently invited to open shops abroad. He decided to stay in Warsaw and establish a family company that would be later run by his sons and relatives.

One of them was Adolf Zaremba who inherited the uncle’s talent and the famous ‘Zaremba eye’ – Adolf could perfectly match the style with the most unusual figures. A family legend has it that he tailored a suit for a duel-obsessed Tsarist officer to hide his armor.

1920s was a great time for tailors with the capital city booming and new clubs, galleries and theatres popping up. Parties at embassies and official premieres were the everyday life of the Warsaw’s finest. Orders for dinner jackets and coat tails were going in their hundreds; plus fours and breeches were very popular as men tended to practice aristocratic sports. Adolf's younger brother, Tadeusz, was introduced to the family business at that time.

In 1933, Tadeusz decided to open his own atelier. Master Tadeusz was a true VIP in Warsaw in between the world wars – his tailoring skills came together with a reputation for being a man of great class and charisma. He quickly exceeded the fame of his brother and became the number one choice for actors and almost all the diplomats, professors, artists and businessmen. He often commented on trends in men’s fashion.

Adolf’s and Tadeusz’s businesses developed until the World War 2. In 1940, Adolf Zaremba was arrested and transported to the prison. Thanks to the several-month long efforts of the entire family he was finally released from the prison just to find the atelier ransacked by the Gestapo. At the end of the war, fire destroyed the entire atelier and everything inside it.

War did not spare Tadeusz – like his brother he witnessed regular searches and confiscations. Eventually, the new atelier was completely destroyed during the Warsaw Uprising in 1944.

After the war, Tadeusz Zaremba kept developing the business and provided tailoring services for the Warsaw’s crème de la crème and diplomats. The master rarely mentioned names of his famous clients; he preferred to talk about the would-be ones like famous singer Jan Kiepura who was declined when he had wished a bespoke suit ready ‘for the next day’. Former employees were the first to boast with their experience in the Zaremba atelier. ‘Former cutter with the Zaremba’ or ‘previously with the Zaremba’ were among the most successful catchphrases for wannabe tailors. The brand stands for quality tailoring and a suit by Zaremba is one of the greatest luxuries.

In 1956 the company’s premises were to be demolished, so Tadeusz Zaremba moved the studio to Nowogrodzka 15 Street i.e. the current location. The new communist government did not like the bourgeois elegance. Materials were rationed, a good fabric was purchased on the black market or smuggled from abroad. Although Tadeusz Zaremba frequently appeared in the TV, his company was at least once a month visited by the communist Secret Police. Influential customers (like cabaret stars, the poet Zbigniew Herbert, the National Philharmonic musicians, major movie stars and PM Józef Cyrankiewicz) were unable to help. There are still special hiding places in the atelier where the prohibited English wool was kept. Bespoke tailoring gradually became very rare.

Adam Zaremba took over the family tradition. In the late 1970s he accepted an unusual order to prepare costumes for a famous Polish-British television series about Sherlock Holmes. He did the job brilliantly. Yet, soon afterwards was the martial law – no one thought about elegance, many tailors and other artisans went bankrupt. Even more joined them after 1989 when the communist regime fell, following the inflow of foreign labels. Tadeusz Zaremba died in 1998 and was buried in the Alley of the Notable at the Warsaw Powązki Cemetery. The company was run by Adam Zaremba and his wife. The name was still recognized, but there were not many customers.

Adam Zaremba died suddenly in 2005 and the business was led by his wife and their son Maciej. With two first-class master tailors and cutters on board the company was still the best in town and the first choice for diplomats, politicians, millionaires and celebrities.

Maciej, leveraging the family expertise and being up to date with the trends in the fashion and textiles, advises customers in choosing the style and material. He also develops the company as bespoke tailoring is once again popular. One of the strategic moves is a partnership with Piotr Kamiński, one of the very few bespoke tailors and cutters in Poland.

Piotr Kamiński made his first steps in the tailoring business as a twelve year old. Right after high school he joined the master Adam Zaremba’s atelier where he learnt the profession for the next 9 years. In 1999 he launched his own business and for several years was the special jobs man for Ermenegildo Zegna (dealing with the most demanding customers and the toughest orders). During 20 years in the profession he has tailored over 1,200 suits, not counting dinner jackets, tailcoats and coats.

In 2009, Kamiński decided to join forces with Maciej Zaremba and contributed his valuable skills and recognized name to the partnership. In July 2009, the famous tailors’ atelier becomes Zaremba & Kamiński.

Our Offer

We provide bespoke tailoring in the full range of men's apparel from suits, dinner jackets and tailcoats to coats and shirts. We are working using methods that for over 100 years have built our reputation and inspired trust of the people on the front pages of newspapers – recognized artists, influential politicians, skilful diplomats, successful businessmen and top lawyers.

Our atelier is pleased to offer clothes of the highest quality that last longer. Machine stitching accounts for only 20 percent of all seams in a jacket. Sleeves are hand pitched and buttonholes are hand finished with a silk thread. Unlike many manufacturers and tailors, we never use gluelam – only canvas stiffeners, Camela-manufactured stiffeners and haircloth. The sewing technique we use allows widening or narrowing suits in future.

Who would be your favorite client, living or dead, and why?

We have a lot of "favorite" clients. However, we usually avoid talking about our current and living clients, our company and family politics is to be discreet when it comes to our clients' names.

Of course we prefer clients who have certain class, because one can have all the money in the world and have none. We often work for politics, like Radek Sikorski, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, who, like all politics, is seen rather as a controversial person, but he's always presented himself to us as a man of courtesy and charm.

We would like to mention also Mr. Janusz Kochanowski, Civil Rights Ombudsman, who died two weeks ago in the plane crash travelling to Russia with our President, he was our client during many years, so we are still really sadden and shocked by the tragedy.

What do you think is going to happen with bespoke tailoring in the future?

Every quality handmade cloth is a piece of art, there is a lot of hidden labor involved in handmade, that's why it's so expensive. Made to measure tailoring is becoming more popular every day, as it's cheaper both for the tailor and, as a result, for the client, so I think bespoke tailoring someday may become a luxury good available only for the richest and most demanding customers. Anyway, I think that there will always be a demand for bespoke tailoring, as there will always be very exigent clients, with high quality expectations, looking for individual products. A bespoke suit requires no label flashing – a man wearing it, even if together with a plain shirt and tie, always looks better than that wearing a regular ‘of the peg’ suit and carefully selected shirt and accessories. A tailor-made suit is always perfect, regardless of your body shape – it highlights the strengths and hides any imperfections.

Where is the source for your fabrics?

You can chose from all textiles offered by the world's leading manufacturers, mostly Italian (like Loro Piana, Vitale Barberis Canonico, Ermenegildo Zegna, Bonino, Drapers) and British (Holland and Sherry, Scabal, Fox Flannels, Wainshiell) and others (Dormeuil, etc.). Each of them is available in about sixty designs and colours, which gives our customers hundreds of choices. You can also order a pattern meeting your individual needs (e.g. a name incorporated almost invisibly in the structure of a fabric).

As for the linings, we work with German and Italian suppliers, but all of them are 100% cupro Bemberg.

We also import from Italy natural-horn buttons made on our individual order.

What do you find is great inspiration for what you do?

Definitely it's my family's over 100-year tradition in tailoring and my grandfather's fame. Before World War 2 our company was really famous across the Europe, then it suffered changes, as whole Poland did. Now my aim is to restore the company to its former prosperity and fame.

Of course we would like to develop our company in a new, modern way: we have already have in offer a new bespoke clothing line, that includes weekend and business casual clothes, such as weekend shirts, sports jackets and denim pants. I hope my grandfather would be proud and happy of that new business direction.

How appreciated is bespoke in Poland, do you have a lot of clients outside the country?

Unfortunately many people in Poland are still under a charm of the most popular ready-to-wear trademarks such as Armani, Eremegildo Zegna, Canalli, Prada, etc. As I said, Made to Measure tailoring has become quite popular in the last years, as it's cheaper and thus more available. However, people are becoming more aware of what bespoke tailoring is and what are the benefits of bespoke clothing. A good sign of this may be the fact, that the huge part of our clients are former customers of Eremengildo Zegna Made to Measure Service.

Lamentably the purchasing power of many of Poles is still insufficient to to convert need into demand and to bespoke clothes or shoes.

The majority clients are Polish, but about 10%-15% of my customers are foreigners, mainly Poland-based diplomats, but I remember an English man who visited us about twice a year to bespoke suits, our price was lower than in London's Savile Row where he used to bespoke suits, and, as he said, he was given the same value for money.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

M/M Flesh and Blood – The photography of Sam Scott Schiavo

Image shown above was supplied to Manner of Man Magazine by Sam Scott Schiavo and is the copyrighted material of Sam Scott Schiavo. Photography may not be reproduced without written consent. All rights reserved.

This excluisve interview with photographer Sam Scott Schiavo was conducted by Nicola Linza April 2010 in Vienna.

Flesh and Blood – The photography of Sam Scott Schiavo

The great Luchino Visconti created a tension and sensuality that is at once sexual, and at the same time raw, brutal and unresolved in his 1960 film Rocco e i suoi fratelli. This duality and complexity is exemplified by the star Rocco played by Alain Delon. What this film shows is that in life there are many sides to a story. These aspects especially pertain to male experiences of desire as well as growth, expansion, fight, flight, ruination and disintegration, and yes rebirth. These many aspects lead to seeing, and in such visionary moments, we often examine ourselves.

Visconti’s oeuvre is an example of a body of work that seeks perfection, as a highly controlled device in a continual search for a new realism, which is at once fresh yet leads to a déjà vu recognisability. In photography the imagery creates a psychological moment, it tells a story of a situation one that is often highly suggestive and often amplifies the realities of the mind of the viewer. The hidden aspects of sexuality and the often-masked complexities of the psyche become relevant.

A prime example of how photography handles these complexities of expansion, disintegration and exposure to me is displayed in the work of my friend fashion photographer Sam Scott Schiavo. His portfolio is refined, controlled and sensual …completely free from constraint while handling beauty and brutality in its handling of the moment …its true flesh and blood.

In the essence of Visconti’s masterpiece Rocco e i suoi fratelli, its primary focus on men and the male condition and masculine psyche, for Manner of Man I met up with Schiavo in Vienna. I wanted to open up an abstract dialogue and voyeuristically view the mind behind his lens, and while putting this piece together I could not get the picture of Rocco (Alain Delon) out of my mind, because his intensity and emotion in the film is the flesh and blood that remains with one ...long after the film is over.

Image shown above was supplied to Manner of Man Magazine by Sam Scott Schiavo and is the copyrighted material of Sam Scott Schiavo. Photography may not be reproduced without written consent. All rights reserved.

1.What is the ultimate visual essence sought when photographing a man?

Ideally capturing in a fragment of a second, in a frame, the essence of the man, real, true, his soul exposed, his beauty both outwardly and within, his flesh and blood, a stolen moment ... which in turn gives the viewer an emotion ...

Image shown above was supplied to Manner of Man Magazine by Sam Scott Schiavo and is the copyrighted material of Sam Scott Schiavo. Photography may not be reproduced without written consent. All rights reserved.

2. What is it about black and white photography that creates intensity and sexuality?

Color is distracting, detracts from the core, too many colors and so many saturations. There is nothing like black and white in analog, there have been advances in digital but ... I still find good black and white photography and cinema mystifying, the play of light, the strength in the tones all create depth and emotion, just look at the sweat and blood on Delon's Rocco character during his ferocious bouts with his brother and in the ring, the light reflecting in his eyes, in black and white the imagery is so intense, and again, the viewer feels the tension and also the maleness, the carnality, the crude sexuality. These same scenes in color would not be as intense if not for some ridiculous added Hollywood effects. Black and white photography is pure, basic and raw as our own sexuality should be.

Image shown above was supplied to Manner of Man Magazine by Sam Scott Schiavo and is the copyrighted material of Sam Scott Schiavo. Photography may not be reproduced without written consent. All rights reserved.

3.Where is the line between the sensual and brutal in still photography?

Sensual is just that ...using all our senses, our imagination, using man's largest organ, the brain. It becomes brutal when it becomes false; today's false imagery created by over zealous Photoshop causes a twisted imagery of self worth and ideals, damaging brutally ourselves and especially the young with false improbable images.

Image shown above was supplied to Manner of Man Magazine by Sam Scott Schiavo and is the copyrighted material of Sam Scott Schiavo. Photography may not be reproduced without written consent. All rights reserved.

4. When are you satisfied with an image?

When I am doing a one on one portrait, I feel it in my gut that my subject has let go and has shown his inner self but more than that, if the image continually returns in my thoughts or to the viewers I have accomplished my goal. A recent example, I showed a preview of two images from my forthcoming book to a English journalist, a few days later he contacted me stating how he could not get one of the images out of his mind... This is exactly what I wish my photography to achieve and this is my ultimate satisfaction for an image!

Image shown above was supplied to Manner of Man Magazine by Sam Scott Schiavo and is the copyrighted material of Sam Scott Schiavo. Photography may not be reproduced without written consent. All rights reserved.

5. Why do men often find the need to hide behind a façade, whatever form that façade takes?

Men are conditioned to the ideals of `power/potere', a male child plays as a general, not a meager private. Men had past Hollywood images as The Duke, Eastwood, and Bronson, no one purposely wanted to be that skinny weakling that gets sand kicked in his face and Charles Atlas had to help! The 'Power' equation ... success, sex, money and influence and is an international malady.

Thus men are willing to hide behind a facade to attain at any cost or internal suffering, maybe this past generation, with some new role models, a few things are changing. Mediterranean men may be more 'emotional' but the 'facade' is still strong.

Image shown above was supplied to Manner of Man Magazine by Sam Scott Schiavo and is the copyrighted material of Sam Scott Schiavo. Photography may not be reproduced without written consent. All rights reserved.

sam scott schiavo

All images shown are copyrighted material of Sam Scott Schiavo and may not be reproduced without his specific written consent. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010


Image of Althorp and all related images below have been supplied to Manner of Man Magazine by Christies, London and may not be reproduced without prior authorisation.
© Christie’s Images Limited 2010
All rights reserved.

Old Masters and 19th Century Art Evening Sale 6 July 2010
Works of Art from the Spencer Collections: The Spencer House Sale 8 July 2010
Works of Art from the Spencer Collections: The Spencer Carriages and Attic Sale Summer 2010

London – Christie’s, the world’s leading art business, announce that a selection of works of art from Althorp – the ancestral home of the Spencer Family and currently undergoing a £10 million re-roofing and restoration project - and Spencer House, their London town house until 1924 – which is still owned by the family, but is leased to tenants - will be offered in Summer 2010. In order to allow for reinvestment which will underpin the long term future of Althorp and its Estate, the Trustees of Althorp Estate have carefully selected a number of pieces of exceptional English and French furniture, porcelain and works of art from the Spencer Collections, two highly collectable and important Old Master pictures, and treasures from the attics at Althorp to be sold at Christie’s this summer, in addition to the Spencer Carriage Collection, an exceptional group of 19th Century horse-drawn carriages. The Spencer Carriages and Attic sale, Spencer House sale and the sale of two Old Master pictures are estimated to raise approximately £20 million.

A statement from the Trustees outlines that “For eighteen years, the Trustees at Althorp have significantly built up the Estate through the acquisition, development and retention of commercial and residential property. The Trustees believe now is the time to prepare for further, positive diversification and have therefore elected to sell a selection of works of art that are not core to the Althorp Collection. Their aim is to help the Althorp Estate to thrive for generations to come."

Orlando Rock, Director of Christie’s Collections Department, commented: “The sale of Works of Art from the Spencer Collections offers international collectors an unprecedented opportunity to acquire works of art from one of the most historic English collections. Like so many of the great aristocratic treasure houses, Althorp in Northamptonshire has, over the centuries, become the repository for works of art and furniture from numerous family houses, many of which have long disappeared or been sold. The rich and varied sales this Summer have therefore been carefully curated to ensure that the historic integrity of the 18th Century collections at Althorp remain intact – focusing instead upon later additions by both inheritance and purchase.” He added: “This magnificent group embraces two sublime Old Master pictures, exceptional works of art originally supplied to Spencer House - the most important Neo-Classical interior in Britain which the Spencer family lived in until the 1920s - and an array of treasures that have been stored in the attics and stables at Althorp, unseen for many years.”

Important Old Master Pictures

Two highly important Old Master paintings will be offered at Christie’s sale of Old Masters and 19th Century Art at King Street on 6 July: A Commander being armed for Battle, painted circa 1613-14, by Sir Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) (estimate: £8,000,000 -£12,000,000) and King David, by Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, Il Guercino (1591-1666) (estimate: £5,000,000-£8,000,000) datable to 1651.

Depicting a powerful moment of implacable moral determination, A Commander being armed for battle, by Sir Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) is masterfully presented by the artist in the most forthright and technically accomplished manner; particularly notable in the facial expressions and the handling of the light. The sitter has traditionally been identified by some scholars as Emperor Charles V. Rubens has chosen, with his Baroque sense of drama and movement, the moment of arming the Commander. In contrast to the central figure, the youths have an attractive demeanour which contrasts deliberately and sharply with the proud manliness of the warrior.

A Commander being armed for Battle by Rubens was a comparatively late arrival to the collection, having only been at Althorp since 1802 when it hung as an overdoor. Although originally described as the ‘School of Rubens’ in the 1802 inventory of the Althorp collection, this superbly preserved picture is now justly recognised as the prime version of this composition by leading Rubens scholars, including those connected to the Corpus Rubenianum in Antwerp.

Richard Knight, Co-International Head of Old Masters and 19th Century Art at Christie’s said: “This magnificent work by Rubens is one of the most important works by the artist to remain in private hands in the UK. It is a museum quality masterpiece and will have wide international appeal.”

King David by Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, Il Guercino was acquired in Rome through the Scottish painter and dealer Gavin Hamilton by John, 1st Earl Spencer in 1768. Originally commissioned in 1651 by Giuseppe Locatelli for the Palazzo Locatelli in Cesena and depicting the Old Testament Hebrew prophet, King David, the work was bought specifically to hang in the Great Room at Spencer House. The quiet classicism of King David would have been in keeping with the opulent yet restrained decoration of the London house overseen between 1759 and 1765 by James ‘Athenian’ Stuart and it was placed in a carved and gilded frame specifically designed by the great classical architect himself. There the painting remained until the 1920s, when the 7th Earl Spencer, faced with declining agricultural rents and rising costs, took the difficult decision to give up Spencer House and take the works of art northwards to Althorp.

Works of Art from the Spencer Collections: The Spencer House Sale

Spencer House in St. James’s is one of only a handful of London’s great eighteenth century private palaces to remain intact today. Built by John, 1st Earl Spencer between 1759-65, it is arguably the earliest and most important Neo-Classical revival interior. The ‘Spencer House’ sale includes a variety of exceptional pieces of English and French furniture, porcelain and objets d’art that were originally supplied for Spencer House between 1755 and 1791. Subsequently moved to Althorp in the late 19th and early 20th Century, many are recorded in a series of evocative photographs of both Spencer House and, subsequently, Althorp taken between 1874 and 1912.

The Spencer House sale is particularly rich in exceptional examples of English seatfurniture designed by the architects John Vardy and James ‘Athenian’ Stuart. Originally from extensive suites, sometimes in excess of over 60 pieces, the sale includes specimen pairs from these long sets, of which the majority will remain in the collection at Althorp.

Highlights include a rich array of pieces designed byJames ‘Athenian’ Stuart and supplied by Gordon and Taitt: a set of four George III giltwood open armchairs, illustrated left (estimate: £300,000-£500,000) originally supplied for the Great Room, with four matching side chairs (£100,000-£150,000); a George II mahogany sofa (estimate: £120,000 to £180,000) and a set of four George II mahogany open armchairs en suite (estimate: £300,000-£500,000); and a pair of George II giltwood stools commissioned either for Lord Spencer’s Room or the Palm Room (estimate: £200,000-£300,000).
There is also a pair of George III ormolu candelabra supplied by Diedrich Nicholaus Anderson for the Painted Room, estimated at £150,000 to £250,000, illustrated right, and a set of twelve George II mahogany dining chairs, from an original suite of at least 23. Almost certainly by Chippendale’s great  rivals, Messrs. Mayhew and Ince and supreme masterpieces of the carver’s art, these chairs were designed by Vardy for the Great Eating Room (estimate: £600,000-£1,000,000. Perhaps intended for the very same room was a spectacular George II ormolu-mounted mahogany wine cooler attributed to Benjamin Goodison, circa 1755 (estimate: £120,000-£180,000).

The 2nd Earl Spencer – brother of the ‘Duchess’ Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire – and his wife Lavinia were not to be outdone. Leading lights of the increasingly Francophile Whig taste at the Court of the Prince Regent, it was they who purchased the magnificent suite of Louis XVI furniture decorated with Japanese lacquer panels, illustrated below left.

Executed by Claude-Charles Saunier, the commode and matching corner cupboards were acquired from the Parisian luxury merchant or marchand-mercier Dominique Daguerre just after the French Revolution in March 1791. The original bill described them as ‘Une grande commode en laque sterlin 100’ ‘Deux coins diem 52’. This July, they are expected to fetch in the region of £2,500,000 to £4,000,000.

Porcelain has also long-been a passion of the Earls Spencer. Highlights include a Sevres porcelain dinner service presumably ordered by the 2nd Earl Spencer on his first trip to Paris from the marchand M.Perragaux, 12 April 1786 (estimate: £50,000 to £80,000).

Porcelain from Chelsea, Meissen and the Orient are also included – led by the garniture of five Japanese lacquered and mother-of-pearl inlaid Imari vases (estimate: £50,000-£80,000). Dating from the late 17th Century, these may well have formed part of the fabled collections of Oriental and ‘Indian’ porcelains assembled by the redoubtable Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, the builder of Blenheim Palace.

Pertinent to an election year, the sale includes two previously unpublished albums of drawings that shed new light on the most significant political reform of the 19th Century. These two albums of original portrait drawings by Benjamin Robert Haydon (estimate: £60,000 - £80,000) depict detailed sketches of the Members of Parliament who attended the Reform Banquet in 1832 and who affected the reform of Parliament that same year: the resulting Act of Parliament, the Reform Act of 1832 introduced wide-ranging changes to the electoral system of the United Kingdom.

The Spencer Carriages

The Attic and Carriages sale includes The Spencer Carriages, arguably the most important group of aristocratic 19th Century horse-drawn family carriages in existence and certainly the most extensive to survive in the family for whom they were commissioned. Originally housed in the Mews behind Spencer House and numbering over a dozen, they are representative of the needs of a leading English political family throughout the 19th century – and almost all are painted in matching Spencer livery of dark green and black with maroon-striped undercarriages. Several of the carriages will be sold with sets of harness mounted with the Spencer family coat-of-arms. Moved to the Stables at Althorp in the early 20th Century, the collection has been in secure storage since the Princess Diana award-winning exhibition was installed in the Stable Block at Althorp in 1998.

At the core of the group are three carriages by one of the leading London makers of the Regency period - Barker of Chandos Street. These include the state chariot (estimate: £50,000-£80,000) illustrated right, one of the grandest types of carriage and one designed with only two seats. It was intended to be used by Lord and Lady Spencer alone on state occasions.

The interior is lined in sumptuous 'padua' red watered silk, a family colourderived from the hunting field, and the roof is mounted with magnificent silvered coronets. As was customary, the coats-of-arms on the doors were updated over time and those on this chariot almost certainly date from its use for the coronation of King Edward VII in 1902.

The other two carriages by Barker are extremely comfortable barouches, with huge C-springs suspending the body in luxury. One is a 'posting' or travelling barouche (estimate: £20,000-£30,000), with seats for coachman at the back although the actual steering would have been done by postilions mounted on the horses. Two postilions saddles are included with the lot, an exceptional survival. This posting barouche has a painted crest that suggests that it was used when the 5th Earl Spencer was Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in 1868-1874 and 1882-1885.

The third Barker carriage is a park barouche (estimate: £20,000-£30,000) illustrated right, designed for the ritual of driving out on Hyde Park, with a front seat for a driver. The other carriages reflect the complexity of the family's lives between Spencer House and their various houses in the country. An early Victorian private coach or drag by the coachmakers Holland and Holland (estimate: £30,000-£50,000) is of the familiar stagecoach form and would be capable of ransporting at least ten people, many of them in the discomfort of the top. Less chilly is an enclosed private omnibus of a slightly later date by Peters and Sons. Among the smaller carriages is one by Mulliner of Northampton (estimate: £2,000-£3,000), the leading 19th century coachmaker local to Althorp itself. Among the coachmaking branches of the Mulliner family, one went on to become car coach-builders, creating the bodies for some of the most beautiful Rolls Royce cars of the mid-20th century. The name still survives as a special projects division within Bentley Motors.

The Attic Sale

As this goes to Press, Christie's specialists are still working from room to room in Althorp's labyrinth of attics, cellars and stables discovering a treasure trove of works of art, ceramics, silver, textiles, furniture, pictures and militaria. From Coronation chairs to Coachmen's livery and Butler's trays to giltwood picture frames – not to mention copper batteries de cuisine and several centuries of textiles - the unused contents of the storerooms of this fascinating house are being revealed daily. Numerous historic items were put away in storage by past generations and are now being researched, with over 500 lots destined for the Attic Sale.

The cataloguing and photography of these works of art continues and further details will be released in the near future. In addition to the Carriages, highlights of the Attic Sale revealed to date include: a magnificent set of four Irish glass table display centrepieces, circa 1880 (estimate: £15,000-£25,000) commissioned by John Poyntz, 5th Earl Spencer while serving as Viceroy of Ireland; and an extensive Coalport turquoise bordered dinner service with the Spencer family crest (estimate: £10,000-£15,000).


Althorp is home to the Spencer family, one of Britain’s most celebrated aristocratic dynasties, and its estate covers 14,000 acres of beautiful countryside in Northamptonshire, Warwickshire and Norfolk. The house, with its magnificent interiors, is also home to one of Europe’s finest private collections of furniture, paintings, photographs and ceramics – the result of one family’s uninterrupted occupation for over 500 years. Sir John Spencer acquired a 300 acre estate around Althorp in 1508; and his grandson, another Sir John, had made Althorp the principal Spencer home by the time of his death, in 1586. Previously the family had lived at Wormleighton, in Warwickshire, much of which was to be destroyed in the English Civil War.

The house, which has been in existence since the beginning of the 16th century, is not the product of any one period, but has changed over the years. Like many great country houses, its interior and art collection has benefited from the discriminating and varied collecting of generations of occupants, their marriages and chance provisions. Today, the house, park and gardens at Althorp are open to the public from 1st July to 30th August. For further information, please visit, www.althorp.com.

Spencer House

Spencer House is arguably the most important Neo-Classical commission in England. Built in 1756-65 by the Hon. John, later First Earl Spencer, who wanted a home worthy of his wealth and ambition, it was constructed by John Vardy under the direction, and possibly the design, of Col. John Gray, secretary of the Society of the Dilletanti. From its conception, it was recognised as one of the most ambitious aristocratic town houses ever built in London and is, today, the city's only great eighteenth-century private palace to survive intact.

The furnishings supplied under John Vardy and James ‘Athenian’ Stuart for Spencer House are rightly lauded as being pivotal in the evolution of English decorative arts. Drawing heavily on the buildings he had documented on his travels to Greece and Italy, Stuart constructed the ballroom like a Roman palace; a painted room in the Roman arabesque style, called a ‘phoenix’ by Arthur Young; a music room; the Rubens room; and a dressing-room with fantastic pineapplecapitalled columns. The importance and appeal of their interiors to private collectors and museum curators alike is beyond doubt.

In 1924 Spencer House was leased, and much of the furniture - along with the mahogany doors and chimneypieces - was removed to Althorp. As a result, the state rooms were used as offices from the late 1920s until 1985, when RIT Capital Partners plc acquired the lease.

Interestingly, Spencer House was once occupied by Christie’s. In 1941, Christie’s premises on King Street suffered a direct hit during the Blitz in the Second World War. The firm moved to Derby House, near Oxford Street and then to Spencer House before returning to the re-built King Street premises in 1953.

Under the direction of its current occupants and leaseholders, Lord Rothschild and RIT Capital Partners plc, Spencer House has been the object of one of the most ambitious and celebrated restoration projects to be undertaken this century. The House has now been restored to its original splendour and is used partly as offices and as a place where entertainments can be held in the historic setting of the state rooms.

Spencer House is open to the public for viewing every Sunday (except during January and August) from 10.30 a.m. - 5.45 p.m. Access is by guided tour, which lasts approximately 1 hour.

Tours begin at regular intervals and the last admission is at 4.45 p.m. For further information, please visit, www.spencerhouse.co.uk .

All images are © Christie’s Images Limited 2010. All rights reserved.

French Style – The Handsome Devil

Photo above is from a private French family collection. It is shown on Manner of Man with exclusive permissions. All rights reserved.

M/M Important Watches including A CONNOISSEUR’S VISION PART II ~ Geneva ~ 10 May

Patek Philippe

An extremely fine and possibly unique gold full calendar wristwatch with moon phases at 12 o'clock, made for the Italian market, Calatrava model, Ref. 96, manufactured in 1937. Estimate: SFr.600,000-900,000

Christie's Geneva

Important Watches - Including A Connoisseur's Vision Part II
10 May 2010
Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues
Sale 1372
Christie's is proud to announce a superb auction in Geneva on 10 May 2010; Important Watches including A Connoisseur’s Vision Part II. In November 2009 Christie’s Geneva offered a group of ten Patek Philippe masterworks from one of the most distinguished private collections in the world which sold 100% and realised SFr. 4.9 million, against a pre-sale estimate of SFr. 3-4 million. Following this amazing result, the same European collector has entrusted Christie’s with the sale of a further fourteen impressive wristwatches, forming the core of this May’s auction. This exceptional selection of vintage Patek Philippe watches is highlighted by a true historical rarity: a unique Patek Philippe ref. 1527 with perpetual calendar and chronograph, considered by both scholars and collectors to possibly be one of the most important, beautiful and valuable watches still in private hands. Offered on the market for the first time in over two decades, this lot is estimated at SFr. 1.5-2.5 million (illustrated at bottom.)

Patek Philippe

A unique and historically important gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with moon phases and tonneau-shaped case, Ref. 1527, manufactured in 1943. Estimate: SFr.1,500,000-2,500,000 / US$1,400,000-2,300,000 / €1,000,000-1,600,000

Christies http://www.christies.com/

Thursday, 8 April 2010

M/M Conversation with Bernhard Roetzel

Image ©Franca Wrage has been provided by Bernhard Roeztel for exclusive use. All rights reserved.

This exclusive interview with noted author and style journalist Bernhard Roetzel by Nicola Linza of Manner of Man and Cristoffer Neljesjö of Welldressed was conducted in Germany April 2010.

Q: How often do you follow the different rules in classic style?

A: Today I've followed 23 rules 75 times while yesterday I broke eight rules seven times. I'm only joking. In think the rules of classic are important but I never follow rules if they don't make sense. Most rules make sense or have made sense at a certain time. I don't like the rule about leaving the last button of the waistcoat unbuttoned because 1. It doesn't look good and 2. I wouldn't leave a button of my fly unbuttoned either. It's good to update some rules or adapt them to one's personal circumstances. I don't think that the world stops turning if you wear brown shoes after six in Germany.

Q: What is the biggest mistake you see men making today as regards clothing and/or grooming?

A: It has always been seen as a mistake if a 40-year-old man tries to dress like a twenty something. I notice today that many men of 40 dress like 8 or 12 year olds. When I bring my seven-year-old daughter to school, I'm the only man who doesn't wear sneakers, baseball cap and sweat shirt. I never wear suit and tie at that time of the day but even in a v-neck, corduroy, brogues and a raincoat I look like an alien. I think it is not good for children if their parents and all other grown ups dress like themselves. The worst mistake in grooming is to shave one's eyebrows in the shape of a fine line.

Q: What do you think men should think about when buying a suit?

A: The occasion that they need the suit for. The amount of time that they will spend in it. The way they want to be perceived by others in that suit.

Q: If you could go back to any era, which would it be? Moreover, why would you prefer that particular era?

A: I wouldn't prefer any other era. I am very happy to live today although some people would say that I don't live today but rather in the past. I don't believe in romantic ideas about the 18th century or the 19th century or the 1920s being so much more elegant than today etc. I think it's a waste of time to wish yourself to another time.

Q: What is are your primary concerns when approaching the concept for a new book for men?

A: The more I learn about style and fashion and the more I learn about life and what really counts in this world the more difficult I find it write about style and fashion in a way that respects the reader and my own views. Apart from that, I always try to give a light tone to the subject. This is especially difficult as we Germans are usually rather heavy on every subject.

Q: How would you describe your style?

A: Conservative in the true sense of the word. I like to stick to things that I like without being one-dimensional (hopefully). Others would probably call me old fashioned or even anachronistic and if they think so that's okay. Not because I'm arrogant but because the older I get the more I realize how relative a certain way of dressing is if you look at it from a distance. In other cultures, I would wear something completely different and I would laugh at these guys in their suits and ties. Moreover, one must never forget that we enter this world naked and we will leave it the same way.

The above interview with Bernhard Roetzel 2010 © Manner of Man Magazine/Welldressed. All rights reserved. Reproduction is strictly prohibited without written permission from the publisher.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010