Sometimes it's hard to say goodbye

By beatrice behlen on 18 Jan 2011

I wrote my first entry about Mena Hamon and her husband only a few months ago, but they seem to have been part of my life for much longer (in a good way). Before I drag myself away, I wanted to put down a few, possibly entirely superfluous, musings. It is only fitting to begin with another item from the Countess’s wardrobe (apologies for the not particularly good photo). This day dress is probably from the early 1930s and quite unlike the showstoppers we have come to expect. The dress, or rather the fact that I have not shown it […]

Countess Hamon – The Last Chapter

By beatrice behlen on 10 Jan 2011

We are finally getting to the end of this story and as per usual I want to begin with some more objects from the Countess’s collection. The dress below, like the tomato-red number from the last entry, is also from the late 1920s and probably the most spectacular item from the Countess’s wardrobe. The top part is very Paco Rabanne and made of some chainmail-like mesh of blue thread and folded strips of metal. It must have looked spectacular and I like to think the Countess wore it with her very beautiful F Pinet shoes, possibly bought in the shop […]

The Countess, Chemistry and Bananas

By beatrice behlen on 30 Dec 2010

Now that we have established that Countess Hamon collected beautiful shoes, it is about time that we start looking at some of her other clothes. Judging from the items we have at the museum, the Countess had a penchant for strong colours. Below is one of her dresses (we have three), probably from the late 1920s. The object is very fragile, that’s why I had to photograph it in its box, and why I could not really rummage around inside to look for a label, but I suspect there isn’t one anyway. I wonder whether she wore the dress with […]

The Champagne Years

By beatrice behlen on 13 Dec 2010

As we have seen, by 1898 William Warner had well and truly installed himself as “Cheiro, the Palmist” in New Bond Street in London. He read, or so he later recounted, the palms of many celebrities, politicians and even royalty, including King Edward VII, Lord Kitchener, Lillie Langtry, Mark Twain and Oscar Wilde. But palm reading was not enough for our William and soon he began to engage in a whole host of other potentially money-making activities. Sadly, I do not have the time to properly disentangle all the different bits of information that I have gathered. I have also […]

The Palmist as a Young Man

By beatrice behlen on 29 Nov 2010

Since my first blog on Cheiro, quite a lot has happened and I had to rethink my approach somewhat. As you might have gathered from my tone, I was, and I guess still am, quite sceptical about Count Hamon’s own version of his life story. Now that I have exchanged quite a few emails with Judy, whose father knew Hamon’s wife, and who has told me more about the Countess’s later years, I have realised that while this might still be the tale of a con artist of sorts, it has a sad ending, which casts a shadow over the […]

Shoes and Palmistry

By beatrice behlen on 9 Nov 2010

I often seem to be more interested in the former wearers of objects in our collection than the objects themselves. That is even more true in the case of former owners who seem to resist revealing themselves. The following (and I’m afraid there will be more than one instalment) could be the script of a silent movie, complete with over-made-up villain, deceivingly pretty villainess and impressively shocked bystanders, although the writer of the title cards for this one would have their work cut out. Where to start? Well, it’s always good to begin with some lovely shoes. The image below […]