Life at № 42 by E.M. Coutinho
“This June, discover the refined taste of Kenneth Neame, one of London’s most respected antique dealers. Ahead of his forthcoming relocation, Neame is offering a curated selection of pieces from his Mount Street shop, where he has traded since 1990 – including fine English furniture, colourful chinoiserie, exquisite porcelain and richly gilded objets d’art.”
This is a spectacular sale. Kenneth has the most refined taste In The World. I met him and his partner, the Spanish artist Jaime Manrique, when I was just 21. They were absolutely divine to me – attending the first exhibitions I organised and helping me get my footing in the world at large. I was fantastically insecure then and it was a giant ego boost to have them on my side. Kenneth was the author of the fabulous line: “Darling, don’t be selfish, someone as beautiful as you has to share themselves around.” I nearly spit out my wine laughing.
At the time they had the house on the hill on the Carretera de Istán outside Marbella. There are two hills on that first section of road, the first belonged to King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, and the second was Jaime and Kenneth’s magnificent country house. A sort of Mexican colonial farmhouse with central courtyard. Complete with two massive Canaletto’s in the living room. It was a very important time for me because it was at that point I realised I wasn’t cut out for a super-busy social and business life like they were. And what was really going to suit me was living in relative obscurity – in the middle of nowhere, cut off from the world. I met Mike soon afterwards, and the rest is history. Sort of crazy to see how time has flown by.
One of my favourite pieces in the sale is the Queen Anne secretaire, Estimate GBP 80,000 – GBP 120,000