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. 

Throwback Thursday: Lauren Bacall's Tiffany & Co. Chain

This week’s gift of yesteryear is probably the most generous gift a boss has given an employee.

Although, on reflection, I’m not sure you can call the relationship between actor and director a boss and employee relationship, more like sports coach and athlete.

This 14k yellow gold chain by Tiffany & Co. was given to the actress Lauren Bacall by Ron Field, who directed her in the musical Applause.

Each heart is engraved with a letter which spell out: ‘To my own beautiful star from her proud director Ron’

New Yorker Bacall was born Betty Perskein in 1924. She worked as a model and was soon encouraged to try her hand at acting in Hollywood.

She went on to star in To Have and Have Not and How to Marry a Millionaire. She also voiced the part of Evelyn in Family Guy.

The necklace certainly reflects the success of her performance. In 1970, Bacall won the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical, and the show won Best Musical.

Last year the chain was sold at auction in New York for $52,500. 

Gift of the week: Friendship Bracelets

Aged ten, I came back from holiday in the Bahamas with six friendship bracelets made by a lady on the beach. 

I gave them all to one dinner lady, Mrs. H. 

Read into that what you will.

Here are the loveliest friendship bracelets I can find.



Throwback Thursday: The Rose Ring

Rose Ring | Laughing Heart

This gold ring was found by archaeologists during the excavation of site of the Rose Theatre on London’s Bankside in 1989, some 400 years after it was lost.

Shakespeare’s plays were performed at the Rose during his lifetime. The Museum of London estimates that the ring was made in 1592 and might be French in origin. The Rose was torn down in around 1606.

The owner of this ring will never be known, but I think it’s safe to say that it was a gift.

It is engraved with the French inscription  'PENCES POVR MOYE DV'. The letters ‘DV’ stand for the Latin ‘Deo Volente’ and the inscription translates as ‘Think of me God willing’. It’s unlikely you’d give yourself a ring with that inscription.

It also features a heart with two arrows through it, symbolic of lovesickness. I'm beginning to think that the giver was extremely romantic verging on desperate.

I wonder how it came to be lost. Perhaps it was thrown away in a fit of pique by a wronged lover or maybe a nervous audience member fiddled with the ring throughout a performance and it fell off their lap and through the wooden slats. I wonder if it's owner was a woman or a man. 

The engraving seems crudely done, the inscription has been punched with such force that there are holes in the ring. It makes me feel like it’s the kind of thing a young lover would give. 

You can buy a replica of the ring here. 

Throwback Thursday: Wallis Simpson's Cartier bracelet

This bracelet was a gift from Edward VIII to Wallis Simpson, the woman for whom he gave up the throne.

Made by Cartier, it has nine gem-set crosses, each signifying (and engraved with) important moments in their lives between 1933 to 1934.

It was put up for auction in 2010 and sold for £601,250.

Their marriage is commemorated on one of the crosses.

One cross is engraved with the message: "God save the King For Wallis". This refers to an assassination attempt on Edward (known as David to Wallis).

I’m not sure I’d want a permanent reminder of the time someone tried to kill my husband, but as he survived it, I suppose that makes him seem invincible. But apparently his would-be assassin had a tendency to throw the guns at his targets rather than pulling the trigger.

Another cross bears the message "The Kings Cross". This marks the time in 1936 that, after an argument between the couple, Simpson flagged down a taxi and said "King's Cross" to the driver. "I'm sorry lady," he replied. 

I like this bracelet. I mean, it’s not exactly my taste, but I like what it represents: real people with real feelings wanting to remember.

Wallis Simpson gift | Laughing Heart