To The Point: The Swords Of Falcon Lair
I thought I’d throw you all a curve ball by featuring the masculine interiors of Bedouin camps and Arab tents — or at least the Hollywood fantasy version.
But I came up short with images, even after watching the archetypal Tinseltown flick “The Sheik” with Rudolph Valentino. (Fear not, taking a fresh look at “Lawrence Of Arabia” is on my to-do list.)
But then I thought of Falcon Lair, Valentino’s estate in Beverly Hills:
Given Valentino’s swashbuckling roles and fencing prowess, it’s no surprise the rags-to-riches actor filled his home with swords — along with a lot of big furniture meant to evoke centuries of family lineage. Donna Hill, who runs the longstanding Rudy appreciation site Rudolph-Valentino.com, provided me with some images of the recurring sword motif.
These are from the auction catalog following Valentino’s untimely death:
And speaking of the auction, it’s worth letting all you clotheshorses know just what Valentino had stashed away in multiple armoires. According to his biographer, his wardrobe consisted of:
30 business suits
7 riding coats
7 Palm Beach suits
60 pairs of gloves
7 dressing robes
10 dress suits
4 lounging suits
6 colored Japanese pajamas
111 ties 6 high silk dress hats
9 gray and 8 white felt hats
26 white full-dress ties
146 pairs of sock
28 pairs of spats
22 white vests
13 walking sticks
17 white silk drawers
59 pairs of shoes
110 silk initialed handkerchiefs
1 black velvet English riding habit
1 gray corduroy hunting suit
10 pairs of suspenders
6 pairs of tasseled garters
15 gold or platinum rings set with precious or semi-precious stones
Assorted scarf pins, cuff links and shirt studs set with precious stones
Platinum and gold bracelet wristwatch
Onyx pocket watch inlaid with diamonds
White gold with diamond inlay cigarette case with matching cigarette holder and match case
Hey, if you were that rich, you might have 146 socks and six Japanese pajamas, too.
As a collector of antique swords, I highly approve of this post. My collection is displayed in my bedroom where I feel it is safest (and kids won’t be tempted to touch).
I love your new site, Christian. I enjoy Ivy Style but I am more of an observer rather than a participant. My father was an art teacher and antique dealer, so I grew up surrounded by decorative arts and well designed spaces. Have you ever read “British Campaign Furniture: Elegance Under Canvas 1740-1914”? It is an excellent book and illustrates some very masculine interiors and furnishings.