Throwback Thursday: The (Un)lucky Bracelet

I was reading about George VI the other day and read that before he married Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, he was in love with a woman called Sheila Chisholm.

Sheila was an Australian. Yes, I thought that too, an Australian woman named Sheila, but then I read that she was THE Sheila. The original Sheila!

Sheila was a socialite and model, born in New South Wales in  1895.

Here she is pictured wearing a bracelet given to her by the Italian actor, Rudolph Valentino with whom she allegedly had a fling.

Margaret Sheila Mackellar Chisholm | Laughing Heart

It was Valentino's lucky bracelet.

He died of a ruptured ulcer just six months after giving it to her. He was 31. 

It is said that she thought he'd died because she had taken his luck. 

Rudloph Valentino was born Rodolfo Alfonso Raffaello Pierre Filibert Guglielmi di Valentina d'Antonguella.

Rudloph Valentino was born Rodolfo Alfonso Raffaello Pierre Filibert Guglielmi di Valentina d'Antonguella.

When Valentino died, Hollywood mourned the man who had come to embody the 'Latin Lover'. 

Sheila married three times: Francis St Clair-Erskine, Lord Loughborough; Sir John Milbanke; and Prince Dmitri Alexandrovich of Russia and died in London in 1969. 


On their wedding day

On their wedding day

These six pieces were all gifts from Andrew, 11th Duke of Devonshire to his wife Deborah, Duchess of Devonshire.

The couple married in 1941. He was a serial philanderer but claimed that his wife was 'broadminded'. Sure. 

Bugs are really quite lovely (apart from spiders, flies and moths). Here are some of the loveliest bug-inspired items on the market.

Things I've found which make no sense

On my bricks and clicks travels (in shops and online) I come across things which really make me wonder. Why? Who? How? 

I'm fine with being proved wrong. If these items are things you've purchased and love, do let me know. 

Throwback Thursday: Foxtrotting often

This cigarette case was a gift from Edward VIII (when he was Prince of Wales) to Pinna Nesbit Cruger.

Pinna Nesbit Cruger gift from Edward VIII | Laughing Heart

Pinna was a film actress whom Edward met in 1924 while on a visit to North America. The two danced together frequently during his visit. 

Pinna Nesbit | Laughing Heart

The writer F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote that she was a 'damned attractive woman'. No conclusive evidence exists that they were lovers, but the cigarette case suggests that Edward liked her a lot. 

In a Missouri newspaper, published in 1925, an article on the pair reads:

'[They were] passionate adherents of the foxtrot and the one-step,' and they 'one-stepped and foxtrotted often.'

It sounds as innocent as it does scandalous. I'll leave you to make up your minds. 

The case is gold and the thumb piece set with circular and single-cut diamonds. The inside lid is engraved: 'Pinna 1924 love - EP'. Edward VIII signed off with 'EP' when he was Prince of Wales. 

Eventually the two moved apart and on and as we know from History, Edward found Wallis Simpson ('found' being a gross oversimplification of 'met, loved, abdicated for)  and moved on to other gift-giving successes. 

Joyful Jammies

laughing heart gifts

Until recently, my mum still used the maternity nightdresses she wore when my brother and I were in-utero.

Earlier this year she cleared out of her wardrobe and offered my dad the nightdresses as rags with which to polish his car. He refused.

Shortly after her clear out, I bought this for her when I was on holiday in Tulum, Mexico. This is one of the most spectacular things I have ever seen. I've seen people wear them as day dresses in summer but I think it's a great nightie. 

I love the colours. It’s such a happy dress; I think she won’t be able to feel anything other than joy when she wears it.


The Quest for a new bag: Anya Hindmarch & Lulu Guinness

One of the wisest purchases I ever made was this, my Anya Hindmarch cross-body bag. 

It's a few years old now. It is big enough for my phone, keys, purse and sunglasses and...nothing else which my back and shoulder thank me for.

It can be dressed up or down. It was my bag of choice for the Singapore Grand Prix, a Mexican wedding, my solo adventure in San Francisco and every weekly shop I've done over the past couple of years. It wasn't the cheapest bag in the world, but the price-per-wear has justified the spend. 

But I got bored.

I was going to write, 'I really needed another bag'.  But let's be honest, how many small cross body bags does a person need?

I went back to Anya Hindmarch and discovered the brand had moved in a curious and expensive new direction: 

AH's latest offering didn't quite suit me and so I shopped around.  I only had two prerequisites: no chain straps (painful, they slip off my shoulder and my hair gets tangled) and something structured. 

I found two Lulu Guinness bags which I absolutely, absolutely love.

I showed a picture of them to my mum and she said they looked weird and asked if the eyes fallen off. Sigh. Parents. Sigh. 

ANYWAY, I ended up buying the squarish one, but in a dove grey colour. She's a beauty.  #fineleathergoods  #treatyoself. 

Lulu Guinness Marcie | Laughing Heart