Tue Mar 28, 2017 London
X

What is Lorem Ipsum?
Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

Why do we use it?
It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout. The point of using Lorem Ipsum is that it has a more-or-less normal distribution of letters, as opposed to using 'Content here, content here', making it look like readable English. Many desktop publishing packages and web page editors now use Lorem Ipsum as their default model text, and a search for 'lorem ipsum' will uncover many web sites still in their infancy. Various versions have evolved over the years, sometimes by accident, sometimes on purpose (injected humour and the like).

Where can I get some?
There are many variations of passages of Lorem Ipsum available, but the majority have suffered alteration in some form, by injected humour, or randomised words which don't look even slightly believable. If you are going to use a passage of Lorem Ipsum, you need to be sure there isn't anything embarrassing hidden in the middle of text. All the Lorem Ipsum generators on the Internet tend to repeat predefined chunks as necessary, making this the first true generator on the Internet. It uses a dictionary of over 200 Latin words, combined with a handful of model sentence structures, to generate Lorem Ipsum which looks reasonable. The generated Lorem Ipsum is therefore always free from repetition, injected humour, or non-characteristic words etc.

OPULENCE & SPLENDOUR

Luxury and the arts From houses to cars and from Hockney to van Dyck, a profile of the best and the worst

Fifty Shades of St John

Christie’s to auction the contents of the homes of the gloriously bonkers late Lord St John of Fawlsey and his late partner this Wednesday

 

The Rt. Hon. The Lord St John-Stevas of Fawsley, PC, FRSL (born plain old Norman St John and also known as Norman St John-Stevas, 1929 – 2012) was a “renowned name dropper” and true eccentric. He wrote only in purple ink, hated the use of modern words and purposely mispronounced them, counted Oxford, Cambridge, the University of London and Yale as his alma mater and nicknamed Margaret Thatcher “TINA” on the basis of her “There Is No Alternative” rhetoric.

 

Self described as “celibate” and “chaste”, St John-Stevas, whose marriage to his male partner of in excess of fifty years came about in 2009 purely to avoid death duties, served in the cabinets of both Heath and Thatcher but believed the latter to “see everything in black and white [whilst the] universe [he inhabited] is made up of many shades of grey”. Of him, one critic joked: “If he cannot have power, he must have the trappings” and as Master of Emmanuel College, Cambridge between 1991 to 1996, he even rewarded Mohammed Fayed with a ‘Harrods Room’ and an honourary membership of the College in exchange for a substantial donation.

 

Fifty Shades of St John – Auction of contents of homes of the late The Rt. Hon. The Lord St John-Stevas of Fawsley, PC, FRSL (1929 – 2012) and his partner Adrian Stanford at Christie’s South Kensington, 22nd February 2017Fifty Shades of St John – Auction of contents of homes of the late The Rt. Hon. The Lord St John-Stevas of Fawsley, PC, FRSL (1929 – 2012) and his partner Adrian Stanford at Christie’s South Kensington, 22nd February 2017

 

His life, later surmised as a “camp performance” in an obituary in The Guardian, was certainly gilded. St John-Stevas had homes in London and Northamptonshire and hobnobbed with royalty, Rupert Murdoch and the religious elite. He owned a cassock that supposedly belonged to the Blessed Pius, liked to quote Pope John XIII and “brought a touch of Oscar Wilde to public life”.

 

In the wake of the death of St John-Stevas’s partner, merchant banker Adrian Stanford, in 2016, Christie’s are to sell several hundred items from the couple’s homes this Wednesday, 22nd February, at their South Kensington auction house.

 

Highlights of the sale include:

 

Fifty Shades of St John – Auction of contents of homes of the late The Rt. Hon. The Lord St John-Stevas of Fawsley, PC, FRSL (1929 – 2012) and his partner Adrian Stanford at Christie’s South Kensington, 22nd February 2017Lot 20 – A collection of eight red leather dispatch boxes inscribed during the time of Lord St John-Stevas of Fawsley’s time as Chairman of the Royal Fine Art Commission and Minister of State for the Arts. He is remembered for “injecting a bit of panache and excitement” into each. Estimate: £1,500 to £2,500 ($1,872 to $3,120).

 

Fifty Shades of St John – Auction of contents of homes of the late The Rt. Hon. The Lord St John-Stevas of Fawsley, PC, FRSL (1929 – 2012) and his partner Adrian Stanford at Christie’s South Kensington, 22nd February 2017Lot 38 – A 19th century polychrome-painted altar for private use in the manner of A. W. N. Pugin depicting St Joseph, The Virgin Mary, St Helena and St Aloysius. Estimated at £2,000 to £4,000 ($2,486 to $4,972), this is where St John-Stevas is said to have spent many hours in quiet reflection. One room in his house, according to The Telegraph, was “virtually a shrine to Pius IX”.

 

Fifty Shades of St John – Auction of contents of homes of the late The Rt. Hon. The Lord St John-Stevas of Fawsley, PC, FRSL (1929 – 2012) and his partner Adrian Stanford at Christie’s South Kensington, 22nd February 2017Lot 283 – A 213cm wide parabolic concave mirror adapted from a WWII German anti-aircraft searchlight. Estimated at £6,000 to £10,000 ($7,458 to $12,430), this was no doubt where St John-Stevas looked at himself in what he termed his “Cardinal crushed” – purple coloured – shirts. It certainly would suit the home of someone with a massive ego.

 

Fifty Shades of St John – Auction of contents of homes of the late The Rt. Hon. The Lord St John-Stevas of Fawsley, PC, FRSL (1929 – 2012) and his partner Adrian Stanford at Christie’s South Kensington, 22nd February 2017Lot 286 – A yellow Perspex and painted metal McDonald’s shop sign, circa 1990 is one of the most unlikely items on offer. Goodness knows why St John Stevas owned it but it comes with an estimate of £2,000 to £3,000 ($2,486 to $3,729).

 

Fifty Shades of St John – Auction of contents of homes of the late The Rt. Hon. The Lord St John-Stevas of Fawsley, PC, FRSL (1929 – 2012) and his partner Adrian Stanford at Christie’s South Kensington, 22nd February 2017Lot 288 – A French brass and tinted glass 1960s metamorphic drinks trolley. Estimated at £1,500 to £2,500 ($1,872 to $3,120), one can imagine this having been the location from which generous measures were regularly poured.

 

Comments

2 comments on “Fifty Shades of St John”

  1. Such a lovely contrast to the Milo story. I learnt something new here having never heard of this character. They don’t make them like Lord St John anymore.

  2. Gosh, what’s it like being so young that one hasn’t heard of Norman St John Stevas? He was from a time where he was CLEARLY homosexual to my generation but not my mother’s, (he just hasn’t met the right woman yet) but it was socially dodgy to admit it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *