Sunday, December 9, 2012

Brunch at Christie's (As You Do)

I know, I've brunched two days in a row - how rude.

Today's was rather special, as it happened to be at the private view of Important Jewels (their title, not mine) at Christie's auction house in Piccadilly.

Ever since John made a rather Important Purchase for me at Christie's, I have a sneaking suspicion that they seem to think he's a regular there. Oh yes, I'll have that tiara, please.

Anyway, when an invitation to the Important Jewels private view arrived last week printed on thick, creamy cardstock, John suggested we attend and I fretted about what to wear.

When the catalogue came in the mail a couple days after he accepted the invitation, we curled up on the couch and picked out which diamond-encrusted Cartier rings we wanted (though the tiaras were also very tempting).

But in all seriousness, Christie's is amazing. John had been trying to convince me to visit for ages (since it's open to the public most weekends for viewings), but I expected stuffiness, noses-in-the-air, and general awkwardness on my part. Why didn't I listen to him sooner? It's like a museum, but with less people and in a beautiful setting, to boot.

Upon our arrival, we were greeted with virgin Bloody Marys and orange juices, plus brunchy canapes, before being ushered into the Modern British and Irish art showrooms, plus the Important Jewels showroom as well.

This was my favorite room:

That family portrait is badass. You can't tell from my photo, but there's some serious bitchface going on there  with the daughters. Amazing.

I might have been joking when I said "I'll have the tiara" above, but the serious buyers of the showroom most certainly were not. Today was the opportunity for them to try on the actual jewels before bidding and some of the conversations I overheard were rather ... interesting. Like the lady who was on the outlook for, "pearls for everyday wear - you know what I mean?" as she waved her hand airily at the sales assistant. Oh what, John Lewis isn't good enough for you? Or the other lady on the arm of her partner, who dismissed the beautiful diamonds in the private sales collection with, "Come on, let's go. You know which one you're buying. We've already decided. My ring's VS1 [referring to the clarity of her diamond] and better than this, so let's just go." Incredible.

In the Important Jewels showroom, I was particularly taken by a men's vintage Cartier watch with a simple, tan leather strap and an 4.97 carat emerald-cut diamond ring that started at £30,000. No big deal. Just more than a year's worth of my college tuition, that's all. A member of staff caught me admiring some sapphires and assured me I could try any of the pieces on, should I so desire. Um, yes. I desired, very much so.

Anyway, I left without crowning myself with any tiaras (which were, btw, listed in the catalogue as "property of a lady of title"), though feeling entirely convinced that I'll be making many return visits to Christie's. Probably not to bid on any £30,000 jewels, but, you know. Just to look.

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