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. 

Throwback Thursday: Give the angry man a hat

I've always believed it's bad idea to apologise with a gift. 

A gift is a symbolic, shorthand way of publicly expressing a private feeling. If there is one occasion to avoid shortcuts and symbols it is during an apology. 

Plus, who wants to be reminded of the time they were wronged? Plus, an apology gift has never worked...or has it?

One historical figure proves me wrong: Samuel Pepys. 

Samuel Pepys

Generally speaking, the diary of a civil servant is unlikely to arouse or sustain high levels of interest. The diary of Samuel Pepys is different.

Born during the English Civil  War, Pepys lived through the Great Fire of London, survived both the plague and numerous extramarital encounters and wrote all about it in his diary.

One diary entry contains our historical gift. 

Sunday 1st November 1663

(Lord’s day). This morning my brother’s man […]  brought me as a gift from my brother, a velvet hat, very fine to ride in, and the fashion, which pleases me very well, to which end, I believe, he sent it me, for he knows I had lately been angry with him.

It’s not clear what brother Thomas did to make Samuel angry but the velvet hat was able to placate him. 

It seems like a fitting gift given that both sons took an interest in fashion. Thomas followed his father into the tailoring trade and Samuel placed a number of orders for clothing with Thomas. One such order includes a rather opulent 'gowne of purple shagg, trimmed with gold'. 

Sadly, Thomas followed a less fortunate path than his brother, dying young and in debt. 

I tried to find a picture of a velvet hat from around that time but didn't have much luck. I found this picture on Pinterest which gives an overview of hats between 1600 and 1700. 

1660s fashion Laughing Heart

The National Maritime Museum is holding a major exhibition on Samuel Pepys, his life and times. It runs until the 28th March. Find out more

If you're interested in reading the diary of Samuel Pepys, I'll put a link to it below: