A born collector, Bowles has been hunting for treasure at antique stores since he was a boy. It started with costumey trinkets such as Jazz age dancing shoes and a Balanciaga suit found at a jumble sale for 50 pence, and grew until he found himself decorating a "grand Haussmannian establishment in the Seventh" with a perfect jumble of his fantastic finds.
With the financial crash of 2008, Hamish learned that his lease on the apartment would not be renewed. But what to do with the Paris treasures? He started by letting friends acquire pieces that couldn't be blended into his place in New York and watched with pleasure as many favorites found happy homes. And after years of letting the rest linger in deep storage, he realized it was time to let it all go.
"The objects, once hunted and gathered with such passion, just languished there, unseen and unloved," he writes.
And so off to the block at Bonhams tomorrow they go. A dream Parisian life in 348 gorgeous lots.
I can certainly relate to the phrase "I am simply possessed by the idea of possessing possessions," which Bowles says trips all too easily off his tongue. My own collecting tendencies surfaced early on, beginning with normal things like dolls and model horses, but soon morphing to fine china - I had amassed a complete set of my first pattern before I reached 13. My husband, who wasn't allowed to see the overflowing contents of my basement until we were engaged, rolls his eyes whenever yet another piece of blue and white, a chair, a stack of old books, a vintage Hermes scarf finds it's way home with me.
I wonder, if like Hamish, I could ever let go of these little things, which somehow are more than just possessions, but little bits of memory, scraps of my many adventures and lives up until today.
What about you? Are you a collector? And have you at some point let it all go?
Imagess: 1) My Illustration; 2) Vogue, 3) Vogue,4) Vogue, 5) World of Interiors via Top Celebrity Homes, 6) Bonhams, 7)World of Interiors via Top Celebrity Homes 8) Vogue, 9) Bonhams, 10) Bonhams, 11) World of Interiors via Top Celebrity Homes, 12) Bonhams, 13) World of Interiors via Top Celebrity Homes, 14) Vogue, 15) World of Interiors via Top Celebrity Homes