Tag Archives: Christopher Forbes

Excerpts from “We’ll Always Have Paris.” – Preface

Proudly presented from the www.writerssecrets.com E-Book Series

Excerpts from forth coming book:

“We’ll Always Have Paris.”  A story of wealth, obsessions, and the emperor’s ransom collected and dispersed by Christopher Forbes, connoisseur.

Preface

Do you remember the first auction you ever attended
and what happened that memorable day? I do. It took place
in Stronghurst, Illinois, a piddling River town you’ve lived
a comfortable life knowing nothing about until this moment;
unlikely to hear about it any time after.

But here on a sweltering summer day in 1957 or as near as
doesn’t matter, a day made intolerable by the near proximity
of Old Man River, the worldly effects of my paternal grandmother
were being auctioned. Great Grannie was rich by local standards
(Illinois farmland, the best on Earth and Oklahoma oil that ensured
a lifetime of beautiful mornings), and so the whole picayune
population turned out to see what they could get for a buck.

I bought a beautiful walnut side table usefully employed as a
rogue’s gallery for photos of Lant and Marshall worthies. I was
only 10 or 12 and had limited funds to acquire maximum goods.
My paper route (weekly pay of $4) provided most of the funds.

I might have had as much as $10 to conjure with. However with so
many items selling for two bits it was adequate. Adequate.

That’s pretty much how I described my available funds, never
excessive, never hopeless either. If I’d had more, I may have been
careless; while less might have killed my ambition and motivation.
But “adequate” was just right, my father urging me on in all ways
except for cash infusions. Being the rock-ribbed WASP that he
was; that was unthinkable.

I don’t have to guess about what I purchased that exciting day. The
walnut table, still proud when polished, is in my bedroom where the
flair is Empire. But I just cannot dispose of it. It would be like
smothering an old and dear friend.

Storage, an act of love.

When I left for Harvard, he packed my youthful purchases, along with so
many items I just couldn’t give to Good Will. And so for over 30 years the
items slept, until just the other day when I opened the boxes and snuffled
just a little, the contents of each meticulously noted in his perfect copper
plate hand.

Opening the boxes here in Cambridge was the tonic that brought Dad
back to immediate and vital life. There were, for instance, the ladies hats,
one chic cloche number in brown velour that ensured Great Grammie would
be the bee’s knees while staying cool with Coolidge, their kind of President.

Then there was the box of hatpins, up to a foot of thin, dangerous steel
topped off by vibrant glass baubles ingeniously applied. My father
asked why I wanted these beautiful objets d’art. Quick as boiled
asparagus, I returned my own question .Why had he purchased an
ancient blue bottle of Bromoseltzer for a dime? People inhabiting
auctions are odd and lovable. Hug me and find out. I’m a keeper.

St Tropez, L’Empereur, Love at first sight.

Do you believe in the greatest of romantic illusions, love at first
sight? I do… every connoisseur does… and very much to the point of
our story Kip Forbes does. Consider…

He was just 16, and en route to adventure in his father’s latest yacht,
“Highlander III”. St Tropez and la dolce far niente were the objective…
It was a Jerry Mungo moment, “In the summer time when the weather’s
hot….” (1970)  Love was in the air, or if not love at least an acute
indiscretion and memories for a lifetime.

Kismet.

He entered a small antiques shop the way we all do, with sore feet and
the possibility rather than the hope that there would be a certain something
you would know at once. In 1957 chanteuse Jane Morgan set this feeling
to music “It was fascination I know, and it may have ended there at the
start., just a passing glance, just a brief romance, and I might have gone
on my way empty hearted…” and so Kip experienced the gnawing feeling
of desire, of an object so tempting him, he had to save it, and to get it had
to persuade his father what a good investment the picture of Napoleon III
would be.

Connoisseurs are prone to use such arguments, saying whatever
needs to be said to acquire the object in question. What does strict truth
and precise morality have to do with beauty, history, and the thrill of
possession? And so Jean-Hippolyte Flandin’s imperial portrait came
to live chez Forbes for a half century, sold just the other day at the
Fontainebleau sale.

That picture seized the boy’s imagination far more than the usual
aspects of St. Tropez and launched a quest that, in the final analysis,
revived the Emperor’s reputation and that of la belle France.. Where
there had been a black hole in the center of French history, Kip Forbes
did what was necessary to revive and resurrect. When he shouted “Vive
la France” he meant it, and he had done everything to make it happen.

“Heureux qui comme Ulysse, a fait un beau voyage.”

Joachim du Bellay, 1558

Now it’s time to take the voyage and see the treasures built up for over
fifty years, now dispersed. Do this.

Click here  https://www.dropbox.com/s/x2hy57hl45xd8nm/Dr.%20Lant%27s%20interview%20with%20Christopher%20Forbes.mp4?dl=0

and listen to the spirited, fast, intelligent conversation between
Dr. Lant and Christopher Forbes. It is said of our benighted era that people
no longer talk to each other. These erudite gentlemen will deliver wit, wisdom,
good humor and information available nowhere else.

Christopher Forbes and Dr. Jeffrey Lant. Two connoisseurs in ebullient conversation

about life, money, collecting, and the joy of MORE!

http://writerssecrets.com/fresh-off-his-paris-auction-triumphs-christopher-forbes-opens-up-with-dr-lant-on-life-wealth-and-the-joys-of-being-one-of-the-greatest-art-collectors-on-earth/

Dr._Lant_and_Kip_small_textNote: For additional information, consult Kip’s smooth essay on his collection.
entitled “Catague Preface”, and you’ll gain more insight into the man and what
he was able to achieve, reminding a great nation just how valuable and
necessary saving objects and artifacts is. For this essay, go to osenat.com

Make sure and get a copy of Dr. Lant’s gloriously written memoir:

A Connoisseur’s Journey: Being the artful memoirs of a man of wit, discernment, pluck, and joy”

 

 

To see a Connoisseur, Dr. Jeffrey Lant in action

Go to: http://writerssecrets.com/a-connoisseurs-display/

Get a FREE Copy of “How to Be a Writer Who Makes Money, Flies High and Dazzles the Folks Back Home. Oh Yeah!” by Dr.Jeffrey Lant Get Your FREE Copy CLICK HERE

Copyright 2016

Jeffrey Lant Associates

All Rights Reserved

Chapter 2 continues… Excerpts from – “We’ll always have Paris.” A story of wealth, obsessions, and the emperor’s ransom collected and dispersed by Christopher Forbes, connoisseur.

Proudly presented from www.writerssecrets.com eBook Series

Excerpts from the forth coming E-Book – “We’ll always have Paris.”

A story of wealth, obsessions, and the emperor’s ransom collected
and dispersed by Christopher Forbes, connoisseur.

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

Chapter 2 continues.

First part at: http://writerssecrets.com/excerpts-from-well-always-have-paris-a-story-of-wealth-obsessions-and-the-emperors-ransom-collected-and-dispersed-by-christopher-forbes-connoisseur/

Selling such documents is an Osenat specialty, and hence just right for Kip
whose intense interest in autograph documents mirrors that of father, brother,
grandfather, world without end, amen, amen.

These discerning people have assembled (and in due course dispersed) major
collections of American and British history, such as their stunning collection of
items pertaining to Sir Winston Churchill. As such one Forbes or another
has acquired, cherished, and sold more valuable documents than anyone.

Kip told me his favorite was the letter sent by Albert Einstein to President
Franklin Roosevelt advising about the imminent availability of the first atomic
bomb and its impact upon our planet; an important letter indeed.

To give you an idea of what this means to Kip, here are a few selections
from what he sold the first day his treasures on paper went on the block.

Item: The signed marriage certificate of Josephine de Beauharnais and
Napoleon (1804) witnessed by Napoleon’s uncle Cardinal Fesch. Given
the importance of this marriage, the importance of this document can
hardly be overstated. It was wily Josephine’s gambit to stay the wife,
the queen, the empress. It failed, but it made clear the lady was a
fighter.

Item: Intimate correspondence from Napoleon’s mother Letizia (the “veuve
Bonaparte”) upon the death of her husband (1786)

Item: A letter of April 1808 from Napoleon’s brother Louis, King of Holland,
upon the birth of the child who became Napoleon III. And a later letter
(1809) in which he announces his separation from Hortense, Napoleon’s
step daughter.

There are hundreds and hundreds of these documents from the associated
imperial princes, highnesses, serene princesses, crown princes, empresses,
grand dukes, imperial cousins, imperial aunts and uncles, marshals of the
empire, victorious and bumbling; archdukes, dukes of the old regime and dukes
of the imperial regime who replaced them for a spell, only to be replaced
themselves in short order. As these voluminous papers make clear, it was
the preeminent age of titles and decorations, and woe upon you if you made
any error, any error at all.

What Kip Forbes has collected (as the government of France came to
see by their own thorough scrutiny of these and all the other documents)
is formidable, brilliant, splendid. The most cursory of readings gives us
profound insights into the project called Empire.

First of all, whether you were pro Napoleon or not (and many played both
ends of that field) you were kept busy scribbling. All governments, all regimes
are full of people who scheme with grit and determination. That is the nature of
all those who want a piece of the pie, then another, justifying each step by
renewed and interminable scribbling.

Every person in the Napoleonic regimes, seeing how far others just like them
had risen through dint of truth at one moment and denial the next, spent every
waking moment in intrigues. Kip’s fifty years of assiduity, collection and
research make it clear just how much chicanery was going on at all times,
how shamelessly, motives changing as partners changed and then, more
shamelessly still, changed yet again, each move chronicled by quill, by a
splash of ink carried on horseback to its own personal destiny, exalted or
ignominious.

Oh, Kip, how I envy you all those years alone in a favorite place, ensconced
of an evening with a cast of characters, unsavory, unmatched in any work
of fiction anywhere; yours, all yours for so very many happy hours.

It is easy to see, my friend, why you selected the bombastic Bonapartes and
their gimcrack regimes. They never stopped conniving and so never stopped
writing about their audacious plans to remake the world; lead by a rogue,
a thief, an untrammeled visionary leader who did not admit impossibilities,
much less give in to them.

Yes, they were rogues, nary a person of principle or honor among the lot of
them, every nation, every dynasty to be milked and discarded for the benefit
of a single family, every single one a scoundrel, for all the silk, satin, perfume
and swagger they used to disguise what they were about.

“Those were the days my friend. We thought they’d never end.
We’d sing and dance forever and a day/ We’d live the life we’d choose
We’d fight and never lose/ For we were young and sure to have our way.”
(Mary Hopkins,1968)

“Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair.”

But of course, these agile, prevaricating, determined makers of
empire, fell victim to just four words my own father wielded with a
skill challenging Excalibur’s. “This too shall pass”. And so it did,
whether it was bounteous and awesome… or whether it was
painful and mournful heartbreak.

It all passed. Some went into the fires of holocaust… some was
swept away by the contrary winds of destiny. Some was eaten by
rats and other fastidious menaces. Some were damaged beyond
repair by waters or deliberately destroyed by those who thought their
prejudices a better future; truth being the last of their objectives.

“My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my works, ye mighty and despair.
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

(Percy Bysse Shelley, 1818).

This, however, is not yet the fate of the documents and
artifacts which punctilious Kip devoted far more than half
his life gathering, tending and always remembering, a
monument to his considerable energies, resources and what
is so evident throughout the stylish catalogs, and his own insightful
preface. It is all there, his respect, his concern, and his love.

Yes, it is this love, in all its works, for which we must thank you.
For this love has kept the lone and level sands far away though
that will, his stewardship laid down, now be the job of others for
their time. Chevalier Forbes, sans peur et sans reproche, has
set them the highest possible standard; his rise to Officier of
the Legion of Honor recognizing and thanking him for that, and
rightly so.

The Great Chain

Now let us take this man of resolution, his critical “eye”, and a tenacity
that never flagged and link him in the Great Chain of Americans who did
not just like, respect and esteem Paris and toute la France, but who were,
and this is much more difficult to achieve, esteemed and venerated by Paris
and toute la France. It is an honor greater than any red rosette and far,
far more difficult to achieve.

It starts with Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), signer of the Declaration
of Independence, whose utilitarian brain and its useful manifestations
inspired the admiration of the Court of Louis XVI, and particularly its ladies,
who made his crotchets, yes even turkeys and coon skin caps, their crotchets.

Thomas Jefferson, minister to France (1784), was next. He was young,
elegant, not just the purveyor of beautiful language but able to make that
language the beacon for all people and all time, and to do so without hatred,
rancor or murderous intent. He was the High Priest of Freedom and Liberty
and the ancien regime looked to him for a way out of their tangled affairs.

There was a gap after Jefferson, unfilled for over a century until “Fighting Jack”
Pershing immortalized himself in just 4 words, “Lafayette, we are here”, thus
succinctly informing the beleaguered French nation that it now had, first in the
American Expeditionary Force, a great and generous friend, a friend who would
fight and bleed and die for them,without barriers, without surcease, without
regret, without cavil. Vive la France!

Lindbergh and Baker

The ‘twenties were apples and cream for the so-called “Lost Generation”‘;
Americans who claimed Paris as their own, making sure everyone who was
anyone knew not only they were not lost, but had found everything they needed
to scandalize any Americans within media distance while affronting
every Frenchman near or far. They needed no more notoriety. A spanking
was much more called for.

The French tolerated them, then lost patience with the braggarts.
No love-in for the likes of Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest
Hemingway et al. In due course they got rich, they got famous, but they
were never loved, least of all in the France they gobbled and devoured
whilst complaining the while, crocodile tears de rigueur and abundant.

Then a boy named Lindbergh, Charles A. Lindbergh and a girl named
Baker, Josephine Baker captured the jaundiced eye and affection of
post Great War France.

Lindbergh was a strapping, movie star handsome Midwestern boy who
in 1927 hopped the Atlantic in a one-seat monoplane named  “The Spirit
of St Louis”, its sole cargo the highest octane American pride, and just one
passenger, a no longer common house fly, iridescent stowaway, showing
millions what was possible beyond the blue horizon.  .

Then there was the divine Josephine whose lithe ebony flesh provided the
perfect back drop for gyrations no good woman could ever know, much less
do. She, like Lindbergh, was the Spirit of St. Louis, too, but hers stemmed
from the filth and stench of the midden from whence she emerged clean
enough and driven enough to capture the imagination of the gratin of Paris,
who wanted to dissipate each moment in impossible dance steps and
behaviors supposedly from the Dark Continent, actually derived from
segregated St. Louis. Her fruit of choice was bananas, for wearing,
not eating. She needed a spanking, too, got it and smiled. Ou la la.

They both rose to being media icons, both (some times) as rich as Croesus,
a factor which every Frenchman knows is tres bien, such a relief for the most
mercenary nation on Earth. The French knew the value of a franc They wanted
their demigods to know, too.

“I am the man who…”

Then there was Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (1929-1994), not merely a
First Lady but an international fashion plate, perfectly coiffed, perfectly
scented, a shimmering vision who charmed the crusty Cross of Lorraine,
M. le General De Gaulle in French, no less; admittedly it was of the
school girl variety, but it was better than in Quebec. She was a francophone,
and that was enough. Her sex appeal and “Noli me tangere” chic made
old man De Gaulle gasp. Madame de Pompadour might have tutored her.
She was that good.

John F. Kennedy knew a good political thing when he saw it. And so upon
returning home from the vast crowds, he turned the incident into smooth history
by saying,” I am the man who accompanied Jacqueline Kennedy to Paris.” A
frisson of bliss went through Camelot that moment. Not since Lafayette had
kissed Martha Washington’s hand when they both lived in Cambridge, right down
the street from me….

The Penultimate. Jerry Lewis (born 1926).

The announcement of the latest honoree in the Great Chain is coming
up in just a minute or two, but first I must attempt to explain the penultimate
winner and why he has been tapped for eternity.

This person, I admit, is a puzzle to me, just as his vast film repertoire
has been a puzzle. However, I am a commentator, and so I must comment.

Here’s the long and the short of it; I find Jerry Lewis’ oeuvre painful to watch
and funny only by accident. But here’s the biggest puzzle of all: why do the
French admire his unrelenting slapstick so, right up to and including making
him Chevalier of the Legion of Honor? It is, remember, their highest award.

It remains inexplicable to me, the award for losing control of your body and
causing the world to explode in hilarity at your expense. It leaves me cold,
but not the French, thereby proving not only that the very rich are different
from you and me, but that Jerry Lewis’ French fans are, too.

I remind you of this pertinent observation: given world enough and time, a
cadre of monkeys with typewriters can and will produce the works of
Shakespeare. By the same token, given enough of Jerry Lewis’ sophomoric
pratfalls at least one is certain to make even the most fastidious and
censorious laugh, maybe even me.

But why decorate Mr. Lewis for his ability to fall down stairs, walk into
swinging doors the wrong way, or take a cream pie in the puss at any hour,
at any place. He deserved nothing but groans for such nonsense. But for his
many years as chairman of the Labor Day Telethon for the  Muscular
Dystropy Association (1950-2011) raising billions, he deserved the highest
recognition from every nation.

“Le jour de gloire est arrive.”

Now it is time to add a new honoree to the short and worthy list of
those who have gone before. It is time to add Christopher “Kip”
Forbes.

He is not being honored for his wit, his charm, or his intellect, though
each of these items in such abundance has its place in achieving
the final result.

Instead he has been elevated because he has helped save a major
period in the history of France, the period of Louis Napoleon Bonaparte
(1808-1873) Prince, Prince-President, Emperor, now exhumed by Kip.

No one needed to tell Kip what to do or how to do it. He went on as he
began, promising nothing, saying little, getting on with his important work.
without bombast or fanfare. For half a century, he has used his informed
judgement to help strengthen not just his magnificent collection but the
nation, not least by giving that nation and its people over 40 lots, lots
given which he might so easily have sold. He gave them to France.
Lafayette, we are indeed here yet again. Let the revels begin…

I have selected Offenbach’s 1867 frothy masterpiece “La Duchesse de
Gerolstein” to dance us to our conclusion. Find it in any search engine,
and let its unexampled overture break over us in joy and happiness. Here
we are in the company of civilized people , their civilized emperor
Napoleon III, and the civilized gentleman who rediscovered them for the
benefit of all, Kip Forbes.
Get a FREE Copy of “How to Be a Writer Who Makes Money, Flies High and Dazzles the Folks Back Home. Oh Yeah!” by Dr.Jeffrey Lant Get Your FREE Copy CLICK HERE

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Excerpts from “We’ll always have Paris.” A story of wealth, obsessions, and the emperor’s ransom collected and dispersed by Christopher Forbes, Connoisseur.

Proudly presented from www.writerssecrets.com E-Book Series

“We’ll always have Paris.”

A story of wealth, obsessions, and the emperor’s ransom collected
and dispersed by Christopher Forbes, connoisseur.

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

Excerpts from Chapter 2

I didn’t know that Kip Forbes was selling the work of a lifetime
until the hefty plum colored catalogs (2) arrived and, in an instant,
maybe less, left me to ogle night and day, you are the one; in
the roaring traffic’s boom; in the silence of my lonely room, with
apologies to Cole Porter. I lugged them everywhere.

As soon as I dug in, I knew all my worthy and well-meant promises
to “go slow, there wlll be other auctions” went out the window, as they had gone out so often before. This is what happens with connoisseurs.
We mean well but we are putty in the hands of the particular objects
of our affection. We mean well, but that, when decisions must be
made, means nothing. Don’t scold us for our acquisitive dispositions. It could happen to you.

We can’t help ourselves. In for a penny, in for a pound, or a whole lot
more. We ought to have a help group entitled “,
Anonymous,” but it wouldn’t do any good. Even if we were shackled
by Houdini, we’d find a way out. Others may like a thing, but we connoisseurs are obsessed, a feeling we try to disguise, never to admit upon pain of death.

My heart sinks.

I noticed right away that Christopher’s trove was being auctioned off
by Osenat, the Peck’s Bad Boy (1907) of auction houses. They often
snag the best Empire artifacts, from important documents and autographs to over-the-top fauteuils and hard-to-find encoignures; reasonably estimated and so close the deal that justifies exceeding your limit. Oh, if only the story ended there. But it doesn’t.

For example, try asking them for a condition report, as I do with
despair because Osenat seems incapable of providing this necessary and timely intelligence, absolutely necessary in the determination to  proceed, or not.

I email and say, “Please send me a condition report for such and
such a lot.” In my early dealings with Osenat I was so naive as to
expect a precise and helpful response. Silly me. So, I ask again
and again and again; all to no avail and much exasperation. Take
the matter of the royal and imperial photographs available in
abundance thanks to Kip’s ardor and persistence.

Now, I happen to have an extensive collection of such photos,
nearly all autographed and as such exceedingly rare. I add to it
whenever such items come up, though I admit the signed photo
of Alexis Romanov (1904-1918), the last Tsarevich of a doomed
and tragic dynasty, was at $50,000 a bit steep.

Despite numerous requests to tell me which photos were autographed by their subjects, yes, despite my dogged efforts I never did get a response. This is the Osenat way, and it is most irritating. However, it gets even worse….

To make telephone bidding work, it is necessary for the bidder, the
Osenat representative transmitting the bids, and the auctioneer
to be in perfect sync. However here, too, Osenat stumbles. In one
famous instance (of several) the auctioneer was simply not paying
attention.

As a result a pair of the most stunning Empire pedestals in verde
mare marble were sold to a lucky Russian lady, not to me. Hell
hath no fury as a connoisseur slighted. It took me over ten years
to get my hands on them. They adorn the Blue Room where I am
writing you now.

I have never seen a pair with such chic and panache, and have still
not forgiven M. Osenat for keeping me from them for an infuriating
decade.

The same thing happened in the Forbes sale. There was an impressive photograph of Prince “Plon-Plon”, otherwise Prince Napoleon Bonaparte,(1822-1891), one of history’s most unattractive characters. He didn’t matter much so long as Napoleon III’s only son “LuLu” was alive. He wasn’t called the Prince Imperial for nothing.

However, once he was killed by Zulus (1879), Plon-Plon stepped forward as the Number I reason why the Bonapartes and their post 1870 chances of restoration ended with the thrust of an assegai.

He was detestable was Plon-Plon. Of course, I had to have him in my
collection where imperial princes of any dynasty trump all. Kip had two Plon-Plons. I “owned” one for a week until I inquired after my bill and was told “my” treasure was sold the next day to a luckier punter than me . This is all too typical of my checkered experience with Osenat.

Just one more finger pointing…

The first two days of the Forbes sale took place March 5 and March 6, 2016.
Instead of numbering all the items sequentially they numbered each catalog from 1 thus creating some serious muddle, especially for collectors like me who always go over each item with our own advisors, the trusted folk who work for me, not the auction house. I never imagined some of them knew such  indigo lingo as I heard because of this needless error. Thus did Osenat make clear they are still not ready for prime time and a worldwide clientele.

So why, then, did Kip Forbes bestow his golden patronage on such a
place? As he told me, it was because the larger and more well known
auction houses would not have taken the whole collection, over 1300 items,  thus declining the hundreds of documents.

Selling such documents is an Osenat specialty, and hence just right for Kip whose intense interest in autograph documents mirrors that of father, brother,  grandfather, world without end, amen, amen.

Christopher (“Kip”) Forbes Opens Up With Dr. Lant On Life, Wealth, and the Joys of Being One of the Greatest Art Collectors on Earth.

Dr._Lant_and_Kip_small_textHere’s one presentation you will never forget!

Christopher Forbes and Dr. Jeffrey Lant. Two connoisseurs in ebullient conversation about life, money, collecting, and the joy of MORE!

F. Scott Fitzgerald said, “The very rich are different from you
and me”… Come see for yourself.

Read about it in Dr. Jeffrey Lant’s latest book “We’ll always have Paris.”: A story of wealth, obsessions, and the emperor’s ransom collected and dispersed by Christopher Forbes, connoisseur at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01E0ZG9SW#nav-subnav

 

Go to:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/x2hy57hl45xd8nm/Dr.%20Lant%27s%20interview%20with%20Christopher%20Forbes.mp4?dl=0
when your host Dr. Jeffrey Lant,  internationally known author
and commentator, goes toe-to-toe with plutocratic, billionaire
Christopher (“Kip”) Forbes, Vice Chairman of Forbes Publishing
company, whose appearance reminds us “living well is the best
revenge.”.

Kip is the Maecenas of our drab, mediocre, second rate days.
(In case your Roman history is rusty, the good Maecenas has come
down from the time of Octavius Caesar as a byword for a wealthy,
generous and enlightened patron of the arts… and so say all of us
of Kip.

Motor cycle hot shot.

I first became aware of Kip’s joyful family when I was a student at
Harvard. Father Malcolm (1919-1990) was a motorcycle fanatic. He was
indeed the leader of the pack as they gathered at the end of Holyoke
Street where I resided in what were credited as the apartment of
Franklin D. Roosevelt’s valet. With this splashy opening le tout
Harvard Square knew when this impresario, this imp of the unpredictable
was in town. Here was a man who knew how to generate buzz, lots
of buzz, and keep ’em smiling, sugar.

Like father…

I advise my students that if they want a guarantee they’ll be rich
and comfy they should carefully select just the right parents,
and here Malcolm’s two sons (Steve, born 1947 and Christopher,
born 1950) showed  they got the message.

Daddy was rich, granddaddy (a Scottish emigrant with a slew of relations
in the noble Clan Forbes) was rich… get the picture? The key
wasn’t just making money, it was having fun while keeping what
they got and getting more.

Neither for the father nor the sons was wealth a matter of grim drudgery
and punishing responsibilities. They knew that wealth must mean
happiness or its cost is too high. Wealth was never their master; always
their servant. To be around a Forbes is to feel joy and experience their
kindness in sharing. They resurrect in themselves the penetrating phrase
“Noblesse oblige”, an aspect of wealth no wealthy person can afford to
forget or postpone, even if what can be given is no more than the widow’s
mite.

“Ars longa. Vita brevis.” Kip, the Emperor, and high collecting adventure.

My challenge now is to get you to attend my very special tete a tete
with Kip. Knowing him as I do I can promise you it will deliver some of
the most enlightening moments of your life, during which you will see
how Kip salvaged the tarnished reputation of the “forgotten” emperor
Napoleon the Third (reigned 1852-1870) by ordering four days of
non-stop auctioneering at the highest and most ostentatious level’; in
other words pure Forbes and as such followed with breathless interest
by connoisseurs worldwide. Come to the program and add yourself to their
informed ranks!

Useful facts.

Christopher Forbes spills the beans on life, lore, love and lavish living in
conversation with Dr. Jeffrey Lant.

Go to: https://www.dropbox.com/s/x2hy57hl45xd8nm/Dr.%20Lant%27s%20interview%20with%20Christopher%20Forbes.mp4?dl=0

then check out the Forbes auction March 5, 6 & April 9. For catalogs of the over 1,300 items featured
go to www.osenat.com Each of the four catalogs commences with
fascinating details about  the Forbes, Kip, and his stupendous
imperial collection, now available to you.

For general information go to www.writerssecrets.com where you
can find the video of this program after it is recorded. While
there, check out Dr. Lant’s new memoirs, “The Connoisseur’s Journey,
Being the artful memoirs of a man of wit discernment, pluck and joy.”



George J. Quaker Production

Div.Jeffrey Lant Associates

All Rights Reserved

 

How to read an auction catalog and intelligently participate in auctions worldwide.

Excerpt from the upcoming book

“We’ll always have Paris.” A story of wealth, obsessions, and the emperor’s ransom collected and dispersed by Christopher Forbes, connoisseur.

What inspired Dr. Lant to write this book is his upcoming meeting with Christopher (“Kip”) Forbes.

Two connoisseurs in ebullient conversation about life, money, collecting, and the joy of MORE!

F. Scott Fitzgerald said, “The very rich are different from you
and me”… Come see for yourself on Thursday, March 24, 2pm ET

http://www.TheLiveBusinessCenter.com/?id=27538
when your host Dr. Jeffrey Lant,  internationally known author
and commentator, goes toe-to-toe with plutocratic, billionaire
Christopher (“Kip”) Forbes, Vice Chairman of Forbes Publishing
company, whose appearance reminds us “living well is the best
revenge.”.

Kip is the Maecenas of our drab, mediocre, second rate days.
(In case your Roman history is rusty, the good Maecenas has come
down from the time of Octavius Caesar as a byword for a wealthy,
generous and enlightened patron of the arts… and so say all of us
of Kip.

Motor cycle hot shot.

I first became aware of Kip’s joyful family when I was a student at
Harvard. Father Malcolm (1919-1990) was a motorcycle fanatic. He was indeed the leader of the pack as they gathered at the end of Holyoke Street where I resided in what were credited as the apartment of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s valet. With this splashy opening le tout Harvard Square knew when this impresario, this imp of the unpredictable was in town. Here was a man who knew how to generate buzz, lots of buzz, and keep ’em smiling, sugar.

Like father…

I advise my students that if they want a guarantee they’ll be rich
and comfy they should carefully select just the right parents,
and here Malcolm’s two sons (Steve, born 1947 and Christopher,
born 1950) showed  they got the message.

Daddy was rich, granddaddy (a Scottish emigrant with a slew of relations in the noble Clan Forbes) was rich… get the picture? The key wasn’t just making money, it was having fun while keeping what they got and getting more.

Neither for the father nor the sons was wealth a matter of grim drudgery and punishing responsibilities. They knew that wealth must mean happiness or its cost is too high. Wealth was never their master; always their servant. To be around a Forbes is to feel joy and experience their kindness in sharing. They resurrect in themselves the penetrating phrase “Noblesse oblige”, an aspect of wealth no wealthy person can afford to forget or postpone, even if what can be given is no more than the widow’s mite.

“Ars longa. Vita brevis.” Kip, the Emperor, and high collecting adventure.

My challenge now is to get you to attend my very special tete a tete with Kip. Knowing him as I do I can promise you it will deliver some of the most enlightening moments of your life, during which you will see how Kip salvaged the tarnished reputation of the “forgotten” emperor Napoleon the Third (reigned 1852-1870) by ordering four days of non-stop auctioneering at the highest and most ostentatious level’; in other words pure Forbes and as such followed with breathless interest by connoisseurs worldwide. Come to the program and add yourself to their informed ranks!

Useful facts.

Christopher Forbes spills the beans on life, lore, love and lavish living in conversation with Dr. Jeffrey Lant.
March 24, 2pm ET

http://www.TheLiveBusinessCenter.com/?id=27538

then check out the Forbes auction March 5, 6 & April 9. For catalogs of the over 1,300 items featured go to www.osenat.com Each of the four catalogs commences with fascinating details about  the Forbes, Kip, and his stupendous imperial collection, now available to you.

For general information go to www.writerssecrets.com where you
can find the video of this program after it is recorded. While
there, check out Dr. Lant’s new memoirs, “The Connoisseur’s Journey,
Being the artful memoirs of a man of wit discernment, pluck and joy.”


Dr. Jeffrey Lant

Find Excerpts from Chapter 1 at: http://writerssecrets.com/exerts-from-the-book-well-always-have-paris-chapter-1/

Excerpt from Chapter 3

Author’s program note. The autumn auction catalogs have begun to pour in, a stunning library of things rare, notable, luxurious, just the kinds of things you know are necessary for the “look” that screams your name. You are — or want to be — a collector on an international scale… but you don’t know how to get started. You are seized with curiosity for what’s available but need a knowledgeable friend to show you the ropes. I am that friend, and it’s time to start your education.

I have selected Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” for today’s background music. Written in 1874, it is lush, grandiose, opulent in the Slavic style, just the kind of music that gets you in the mood for seeking the treasures which will enhance your life and present you to the world just as you like. Go now to any search engine and find the rendition of your choice; make sure to include the celebrated “Kiev Gate” portion. Then come along with me as I open a spectacular world to you… by giving you the practical details you need to participate.

A word about your guide… me!

For the last twenty years and more, I have been an active, even obsessive, participant in the auctions presented by the greatest auction houses in the world… Sotheby’s and Christie’s in New York, Rome, Paris, London, Amsterdam… Bukowskis in Stockholm… the Dorotheum in Vienna. Each sale always had a catalog… and I have learned what only other collectors, connoisseurs, museum officials etc. know: how to read an auction catalog and know the essential, hitherto unpublished facts, the facts which crack the code on participating successfully in these auctions. For you see, what the cognoscenti know they are not anxious to share with you. They want to hoard this information and keep it from you; the better to gather the treasures of the earth unto themselves and themselves alone… without being bothered by… you! That changes today…

The pivotal fall sales of the world’s great auction houses are now underway; nearly daily from now until the great pre-Christmas December sales take place, the eye-popping, mouth-watering catalogs arrive to titillate, frustrate, unsettle… for that is what these and all auction catalogs are so artfully designed to do… they aim to plant the seed of desire in your mind and so haunt you night and day. I know that siren song too well; it has insinuated itself into my brain often and expensively over and over again. And if you have an insistent eye for beauty and a need to acquire, it will insinuate itself into yours, too.

First, start today.

Success in auctions is based on these key factors:

1) the development of an “eye”

2) doing the necessary homework for each item of your interest

3) finding and listening to your experts

4) setting and living within a realistic budget.

Let’s look at these points one at a time:

1) Developing your “eye”.

Great collectors, sage and savvy collectors, are people who can see within even the most battered and mistreated object not just what it is now… but what it once was and with tender loving care can be again. This skill is pivotal and can only be developed by constant and detailed artifact review. ALL collectors know the value of doing their homework. The development of the Internet has made this easy, for the information you need is as near as your computer.

Gathering this information long precedes acquiring objects or having the necessary funds to do so. Thus, start visiting the websites of the auction houses mentioned above. ALL now post their catalogs online available for your scrutiny 24 hours a day, a benefit your parents and grandparents could only have imagined. With these e-resources you are able to be better informed than any previous generation of collectors. Use this advantage to develop the all-important eye.

The “eye” that it takes a lifetime to acquire through constant viewing, reviewing, and careful judgements is not something you can rush. Its development is predicated on constant catalog review, reading what experts have to say, attending museum lectures and events… assiduously working on seeing, perceiving, looking beyond the surface into the soul and meaning of each object. This is a lifetime’s occupation and should be undertaken as early as possible. People who do not do this are and always will be at the mercy of the market and will never develop a collection of merit that showcases your impressive knowledge and success on the never-ending hunt.

2) Doing the necessary homework.

Many wealthy people buy art and artifacts by the yard, advised by decorators who may know something about arrangement but who almost universally lack the essential knowledge of history, provenance, and underlying value and significance possessed by real collectors.

Like it or not (and you’d better like it) all true collectors understand the need for intense analysis of any item in which they’re interested. This information comes first by studying the catalog; then requesting a “condition report” from the auction house. This reports consists of what the auction house knows about the object in question. It will be honest but it may well raise more questions than it answers. If so, check the catalog to get the name of the auction house’s designated authority on this object. Either email or call. You will find these experts personable, candid, anxious to be helpful. Just remember at all times: they want to sell this object, and so condition reports must always been read with a grain of salt.

3) Finding and listening to your experts.

Because auction house experts all work to sell, you need your own experts, people who have no other thought than honestly advising — you. Where do you find such people? Auction house experts can help, by making referrals. They will know everyone who is anyone in the field. You will need their expertise. Take full advantage of it. As I can attest these folks, zealous in your service, can spare you the pain of expensive, embarrassing mistakes. Listen carefully too what they tell you, especially once you know they have that all-important eye.

4) Setting and living within a realistic budget. Have you begun to master the key points above? Good! Now it’s time to gather the funds you need to participate. Begin at once.

Depending on your particular area of interest, you may be able to start for as low as a few hundred dollars. Start small, start careful, go slow, as you come to know the vicissitudes of auctions. Remember, these great auction houses have existed for hundreds of years. Move forward with due deliberation. But don’t let deliberation become procrastination. Care is needed but so is the ability to take action as necessary, while always setting and living within your inviolable budget.

Last Words.

You are now ready to begin one of the most important and exciting journeys of your life… as you commence your walk down the red carpet towards the most beautiful, valuable, and important objects on earth. One last thing: don’t expert those who don’t appreciate such things to appreciate you and your sublime and never-ending search. Don’t let their uninformed remarks and blindness infuriate or irritate. By following these steps you will leave such people in the dust while embracing all the connoisseurs, experts, and knowledgeable friends who henceforth enrich your life. Be sure to include me amidst their number… and let me know how with this candid advice you get on with your passion.

* * * * *
About The Author

Dr. Jeffrey Lant is known worldwide. He started in the media business when he was 5 years old, a Kindergartner in Downers Grove, Illinois, publishing his first newspaper article. Since then Dr. Lant has earned four college degrees, including the PhD from Harvard. He has taught at over 40 colleges and universities, quite possibly the first to offer satellite courses. He has written over 20 books, thousands of articles and been a welcome guest on hundreds of radio and television programs. He has founded several successful corporations and businesses including his latest at …writerssecrets.com

 

His memoirs “A Connoisseur’s Journey” have garnered seven prizes that ensure its classic status. Its subtitle is “Being the artful memoirs of a man of wit, discernment, pluck, and joy.” A good read by this man of so many letters. Such a man can offer you thousands of insights into the business of becoming a successful writer. Be sure to sign up now and get a copy of his memoir at http://writerssecrets.co

 

His new model at Writers Secrets.com helps people to get their messages and stories out to the world! Find out more at: http://writerssecrets.com

ebook cover Writers Secrets newGet a FREE Copy of “How to Be a Writer Who Makes Money, Flies High and Dazzles the Folks Back Home. Oh Yeah!” by Dr.Jeffrey Lant Get Your FREE Copy CLICK HERE

 

Excerpts from the book “We’ll always have Paris.” Chapter 1

Excerpts from the book

“We’ll always have Paris. A story of wealth, obsessions, and the emperor’s ransom collected and dispersed by Christopher Forbes, connoisseur.” by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

What inspired Dr. Lant to write this book is his upcoming meeting with Christopher (“Kip”) Forbes.

Two connoisseurs in ebullient conversation about life, money, collecting, and the joy of MORE!

F. Scott Fitzgerald said, “The very rich are different from you
and me”… Come see for yourself on Thursday, March 24, 2pm ET

http://www.TheLiveBusinessCenter.com/?id=27538
when your host Dr. Jeffrey Lant,  internationally known author
and commentator, goes toe-to-toe with plutocratic, billionaire
Christopher (“Kip”) Forbes, Vice Chairman of Forbes Publishing
company, whose appearance reminds us “living well is the best
revenge.”.

Kip is the Maecenas of our drab, mediocre, second rate days.
(In case your Roman history is rusty, the good Maecenas has come
down from the time of Octavius Caesar as a byword for a wealthy,
generous and enlightened patron of the arts… and so say all of us
of Kip.

Motor cycle hot shot.

I first became aware of Kip’s joyful family when I was a student at
Harvard. Father Malcolm (1919-1990) was a motorcycle fanatic. He was
indeed the leader of the pack as they gathered at the end of Holyoke
Street where I resided in what were credited as the apartment of
Franklin D. Roosevelt’s valet. With this splashy opening le tout
Harvard Square knew when this impresario, this imp of the unpredictable
was in town. Here was a man who knew how to generate buzz, lots
of buzz, and keep ’em smiling, sugar.

Like father…

I advise my students that if they want a guarantee they’ll be rich
and comfy they should carefully select just the right parents,
and here Malcolm’s two sons (Steve, born 1947 and Christopher,
born 1950) showed  they got the message.

Daddy was rich, granddaddy (a Scottish emigrant with a slew of relations
in the noble Clan Forbes) was rich… get the picture? The key
wasn’t just making money, it was having fun while keeping what
they got and getting more.

Neither for the father nor the sons was wealth a matter of grim drudgery
and punishing responsibilities. They knew that wealth must mean
happiness or its cost is too high. Wealth was never their master; always
their servant. To be around a Forbes is to feel joy and experience their
kindness in sharing. They resurrect in themselves the penetrating phrase
“Noblesse oblige”, an aspect of wealth no wealthy person can afford to
forget or postpone, even if what can be given is no more than the widow’s
mite.

“Ars longa. Vita brevis.” Kip, the Emperor, and high collecting adventure.

My challenge now is to get you to attend my very special tete a tete
with Kip. Knowing him as I do I can promise you it will deliver some of
the most enlightening moments of your life, during which you will see
how Kip salvaged the tarnished reputation of the “forgotten” emperor
Napoleon the Third (reigned 1852-1870) by ordering four days of
non-stop auctioneering at the highest and most ostentatious level’; in
other words pure Forbes and as such followed with breathless interest
by connoisseurs worldwide. Come to the program and add yourself to their
informed ranks!

Useful facts.

Christopher Forbes spills the beans on life, lore, love and lavish living in
conversation with Dr. Jeffrey Lant.
March 24, 2pm ET

http://www.TheLiveBusinessCenter.com/?id=27538

then check out the Forbes auction March 5, 6 & April 9. For catalogs of the over 1,300 items featured
go to www.osenat.com Each of the four catalogs commences with
fascinating details about  the Forbes, Kip, and his stupendous
imperial collection, now available to you.

For general information go to

www.writerssecrets.com where you
can find the video of this program after it is recorded. While
there, check out Dr. Lant’s new memoirs, “The Connoisseur’s Journey,
Being the artful memoirs of a man of wit discernment, pluck and joy.”


Dr. Jeffrey Lant

Excerpt from Chapter One

“We’ll always have Paris.”

A story of wealth, obsessions, and the emperor’s ransom collected and dispersed by Christopher Forbes, connoisseur.

 

To understand Christopher “Kip” Forbes you must want something (or someone) more then you care to admit to anyone, maybe even to yourself; something secret, a truth known only to you… and God.

 

For to be a connoisseur is to give in to whatever you find desirable, whatever haunts you, whatever seizes your vulnerable brain, and then do whatever it takes to get it. Whatever it takes.

 

You suddenly see what those around you cannot see; (their obsessions are not yours). It is that thing of beauty, that joy forever; that thing which only a moment ago you may have known so little about, may not even have known at all.

 

Now, however, it has overwhelmed, yes in an instant, the Maginot line you promised and relied upon to keep your insistent desires at bay. This barrier, so persuasive when you are yourself, rational, sensible, a person of reason and serenity falls in an instant when confronted by a thing which may, and probably does, leave the rest of the world cold and uninterested. Their disinterest counts for nothing, absolutely nothing.This matter is personal; between you and cunning temptation, and no one but you knows, thank goodness.

 

All connoisseurs have known this feeling and all live with the hope and fervent prayer (and fear of expense) they will know it again and again, ’till death do us part, in sickness and in health.” A snatch of brilliant, insightful dialogue from the film classic “Casablanca” (1942) puts into succinct words the constant, gnawing, ongoing dilemma of our lives.

 

(Take a moment here to search for Max Steiner’s suite from the film and play it here, now, for this is for connoisseurs, too, above all. Wipe away that mist now gathering over your eyes. It is the fitting tribute we connoisseurs pay to a master and doth refresh us while honoring him).

 

“You’re part of his work, the thing that keeps him going.

If that plane leaves and you’re not with him, you’ll regret it.

Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon, and for the rest of your life.”

 

To regret is to have lived ,just not the way you wanted.

 

Piaf regrets. “La Vie En Rose” a hoax.

 

Edith Piaf (1915-1963) famously sung that she regretted nothing, nothing at all. However that was not the truth. She knew it, too, but put on the bravest show to disguise it. It was for your benefit, and it was a lie from first word to last. Too much  truth can be a terrible thing; too much love fatal, as connoisseurs know better than anyone.

 

To be in love is to be racked by pain and disorienting muddle causing you to stumble and lose equanimity and composure. Not you? Hear this! Never has there been a connoisseur, no matter what his means or clever stratagems who has succeeded in every amatory endeavor; no not even fabled connoisseur Don Juan himself, for whom love was always shadowed by regret; regret when he failed to conquer, deeper, more troubling regret when he succeeded, even the greatest triumphs certain to shrink before his eyes into something frustrating, not good enough, never good enough.

 

Thus does every connoisseur live in a mixture of acute, driving want, occasional success, sadness, anger, humility, self satisfaction  and rage together. It is the most volatile concoction imaginable; expensive, inconvenient, humiliating.

 

Yet for a certainty we would sharply decline any proposition for its erasure from our lives, for that would be the greatest error of all as Rick knew so well and tried to make Ilsa know, too… the cost being a broken heart they shared, a situation connoisseurs know only too well and far too often.

 

“… You’ll regret it. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon, and for the rest of your life.”

 

“Lafayette, we are here.”

 

In July, 1917, the American Expeditionary Force left its farms and Main Street enterprises to save la belle France, la France eternelle in the Great War, World War I. It sailed under Commanding General John J. Pershing’s stirring motto “Lafayette, we are here”, recalling democratic America’s favorite aristocrat, M. le Marquis de Lafayette (1757-1837)  who fled the protocol madness of royal Versailles to become the petted favorite of George Washington and the entire new nation he helped forge. Now freedom’s heirs were returning the favor, noblesse oblige.

 

The connoisseur emerges.

 

I picture “Kip” Forbes’ relationship with France as important… as glorious… as generous and as historically significant as the folks David McCullough chronicled in his book “The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris” (2011).Because the book ranges between 1830 and 1901, Kip isn’t in it. I wonder whether America’s best and favorite lyric historian would consider an afterword? It is well merited, Mr. McCullough. Could you do this for us?

 

The boy, the Emperor, the audacious objective

 

When you come from one of the world’s richest families, you have so many options, that you face an “embarrass de choix”, a burden most of us can only imagine. Butcher, baker, candlestick maker; these and a million other options stood to attention as possibilities, plausibilities for Kip. What’s a body to do?

 

Where does obsession start? In Kip’s case, with a professor at Princeton University who taught him the importance of Roman numerals, thus enabling the Emperor Napoleon III to emerge from the deep, solemn and oppressive grandeur of Le Grand Napoleon. And let’s admit it, we are relieved.

 

One day during that flicker of time called simply “l’Empire”, Napoleon held a great ball to which tout le monde was summoned. They were ordered to dress up, dress richly, mere ostentation inadequate, thence to proceed from their brand spanking new palaces and show off… to each other, to Napoleone, to Europe, and, of course, to history, for all the Bonapartes were acquainted with Clio the Muse.

 

She they shamelessly tormented, twisted, flattered and  badgered, none more so than the Great Man himself, for whom truth was the greatest fiction of all, always subject to his changing whims and fancies. Ipse dixit his veritas.

 

This may make for stirring pictures in the cavernous Louvre, but it as surely guarantees long evenings of ennui and stifled yawns. It is any wonder not just that the imperial gratin would not dance, but left their clueless Master quite alone and friendless when the jig was up (1814) and when it was up again (1815).

 

Napoleon III is quite a different matter, as Kip discerned early in the increasingly important relationship between the keen lad and the Emperor who needed a friend and the occasional day off from his arduous and unappealing duties.

 

“Trop Cher”.

 

Kip tells the unwary he collected Napoleon III objets instead of Napoleon I because the prices of First Empire memorabilia and artifacts were through the roof; started that way at Waterloo when his very carriage was pillaged and has been that way ever since. (Friend, if you find the splendid sautoir of pearls which his favorite sister Pauline impulsively gave him to help the great cause, return to yours truly, no questions asked.)

 

Before we continue go to any search engine and become reacquainted with a rousing dance number; perhaps the most well known dance of all. You may not know it under its proper name, “The Infernal Galop”, but in a minute, as soon as you turn it on, you’ll be dancing, kicking up your heels and showing too much flesh, quel scandale, just as you’re supposed to.

 

Ladies, demi mondaine or otherwise, and gentlemen (old goats welcome to be indiscrete), I give you the genius of Jacob Offenbach (1819-1880) and the boisterous CanCan. No royal personage no matter how exalted needs to invite us to this dance. It compels us! Now consider this…

 

Offenbach was Napoleon III’s favorite composer, and the emperor himself conferred upon his music man the honor of citizenship and high rank in France’s highest order of post-revolutionary chivalry, the Legion of Honor (founded by Uncle Emperor in 1802). It’s a signal honor shared by Kip.

 

The uncle would not have condescended so. The nephew did it without cavil or second thought. This is why we prefer nephew to uncle. We see more of ourselves in this underrated prince, who knew that greatness might command a ruinous price and personal despair.

 

Aspects of Napoleon III

 

Louis Napoleon Bonaparte was born in Paris in 1808. He was the fruit of the most despicable thing his grandmother Josephine ever did. You see, she was older than her “Boni” and barren. The Emperor loved her, as truly as he was able, but he needed an imperial heir to secure his ill-gotten gains. And his firefly dynasty always trumped mere humanity; a miscalculation dictators often make.

 

Josephine knew the game and knew that the more connections she had with the Bonaparte family, the better her chances of toughing it out and remaining on the rickety throne. Thus, she connived to marry her artistic and intellectual daughter Hortense to the Emperor’s monstrous brother Louis King of Holland whose very touch made her flesh crawl.

 

“Hush, hush.”

 

She fled into the manly arms of one of the certified hunks of the century, the Count de Flahaut. As a result there was good reason for thinking the child was not a Bonaparte at all, but Beauharnais. This was unprovable then, and is only tittle-tattle now. However, the fact remains, he loved his de Beauharnais mama more than anyone else until his only son Louis came along in 1856 (d.1879) He was an affectionate man when given the chance. Sadly, that chance came but infrequently and never with his surpassingly beautiful wife, Eugenie, whose delectable appearance  promised delights which were never forthcoming. He could imagine them. She could not.

 

I have a suspicion, a secret about Kip and the Emperor I’d  like to share with you. Keep it under your hat, please.

 

In the beginning when he was a very callow fellow at Princeton, he collected imperial artifacts because it’s a grand thing to have and to hold power, history, and the intimacy of the great, the near great and the merely notorious, scoundrels, between the fingers of your own fair hand.  I know.

 

I was the first American ever to gain access to the Royal Archives at Windsor Castle. The first time the staff handed me a dusty box of Queen Victoria’s uncataloged letters I felt I was in private audience with Her Majesty… and I broke out in a sweat composed of anxiety, fear, and a proud excitement that has never waned in all the intervening years. Hooked is just the beginning of it…

 

Kip Forbes knows this. It is the inexhaustible fuel that drives him, and make no mistake about it; Kip is a driven man for all his self-deprecating humor and charm. All connoisseurs are. And  Kip is the grande signore of connoisseurs.

 

Pere Malcolm gets it going.

 

Kip’s father, full of snap, crackle and pop, was a collector of verve, insight, endurance, and audacity. He knew the chills and spills of collecting, the highs and the irritating ones that got away, kick the cat, and carry on.

 

He wanted Kip to share his informed obsession. It began at Christmas over fifty years ago when he gave his bright boy a letter. And not just any letter, either, but one from le Grand Napoleon’s illegitimate son Count Walewski. Who he? Merely a key pillar of the Second Empire, Minister of Foreign Affairs. So did the Siren do her important work, summoning fate.

 

Malcolm’s canny plan was thus ignited and Kip’s energy, imagination and determination did the rest. Oh, that all of us might have such a sire!

 

Silence before hand; volubility afterwards.

 

To be a connoisseur is to be at once and all together, a sleuth, gumshoe, wit, wily, excelling brain power, able to leap tall buildings at a single bound, and, above all, to do it in camera, in darkest secret, remembering that many a good ship was lost because of a slip of the lip.

 

To be a connoisseur is to live in two distinctly different  spheres of reality. Part one, before success, the mandatory silence that is more silent than the grave. There are things to do, and they must be done with the utmost discretion.

 

Part two, what we do when we have with what panache and consummate skill bagged our quarry when bragging is not only encouraged but expected. It is our right, and if lesser, incurious, placid folk cannot share it, that is their problem, and kiss my baby’s bottom.

 

“Look to the Rainbow…”

 

Now it’s time to conclude this chapter… as we see young Kip well and truly launched, saving an Emperor and burnishing the tarnished cultural reputation of once unassailable France, no longer quite as belle and eternelle as before. Well might she be grateful to Forbes, Christopher Forbes, this Galahad for Arts and Letters, unassuming but decisive.

 

I have taken a fine tune from “Finian’s Rainbow” (1960) to serenade our hero. Feel free to join in.

 

“On the day I was born, Said my father, said he.

I’ve an elegant legacy waiting for ye,

‘Tis a rhyme for your lips. And a song for your heart,

To sing it whenever the world falls apart.”

 

Keep looking for that rainbow, Kip.  I tip my hat to you, Maecenas. No one deserves it more.

Find exerts from Chapter 3 at: http://writerssecrets.com/how-to-read-an-auction-catalog-and-intelligently-participate-in-auctions-worldwide/

About the Author

Dr. Jeffrey Lant is known worldwide. He started in the media business when he was 5 years old, a Kindergartner in Downers Grove, Illinois, publishing his first newspaper article. Since then Dr. Lant has earned four college degrees, including the PhD from Harvard. He has taught at over 40 colleges and universities, quite possibly the first to offer satellite courses. He has written over 20 books, thousands of articles and been a welcome guest on hundreds of radio and television programs. He has founded several successful corporations and businesses including his latest at …writerssecrets.com

 

His memoirs “A Connoisseur’s Journey” have garnered five prizes that ensure its classic status. Its subtitle is “Being the artful memoirs of a man of wit, discernment, pluck, and joy.” A good read by this man of so many letters. Such a man can offer you thousands of insights into the business of becoming a successful writer. Be sure to sign up now and get a copy of his memoir at http://writerssecrets.co

Get a FREE Copy of “How to Be a Writer Who Makes Money, Flies High and Dazzles the Folks Back Home. Oh Yeah!” by Dr.Jeffrey Lant Get Your FREE Copy CLICK HERE