August 2016 Newsletter

  • By Antiques-Art-Design Sydney

“I would rather cry in a Rolls Royce than be happy on a bicycle”

Patrizia Gucci

Selection of striped enamel silver Gucci bracelets, part of our current collection, from $995.

Hello there,
This newsletter we bring you the world of Gucci, full of drama, intrigue and most importantly great design!  Gucci is famous for it's excellent craftsmanship, sexiness and iconic pieces - we take you behind the gloss and also showcase a few items in our current collection. Happy reading!


AAADA Sydney Antiques & Art Fair 2016

Opening Wednesday 7th September and running until Sunday 11th September, the 2016 Sydney Antiques & Art Fair is not to be missed - we look forward to seeing you there!  Situated at Randwick Racecourse in the Kensington Room, there are plenty of beautiful treasures to discover.

We will be sending out invitations very soon, so please make sure you let friends and family know if they are interested, all they have to do is contact us before 31 August 2016 via email and provide the following information: name, postal address and contact number, and we will send out an invitation. For more detail regarding the AAADA Sydney Antiques and Art Fair, please go to the following link:
From L to R: 1960s Gucci silver bamboo motif picture frame $2950, Gucci silver round and twist link bracelet $1250, Gucci silver striped table box $795, Gucci child's silver spoon and fork set $695.
Blowing out the Candles in August...
Napoleon tackles Tolstoy, Warhol snaps Mae West, Hitchcock shows Ingrid the wine cellar, T.E Lawrence gives Peter O’Toole the benefit of his wisdom…
Maurizio Gucci and Patrizia Gucci, image courtesy of
Family Feud

On October 28, 1972 500 guests gathered in Milan’s fourteenth century basilica Santa Maria della Pace to witness the marriage of Maurizio Gucci, a scion of the luxury leather goods empire, to Patrizia Reggiani, the vivacious and ambitious daughter of a trucking magnate. Absent was Maurizio’s father Rodolfo, the youngest son of Gucci founder Guccio Gucci, who disapproved of the bride and was devastated by his son’s disobedience.

The son of a bankrupt milliner, Guccio Gucci returned to his native Florence after a stint working in London’s Savoy Hotel where he’d marvelled at the elegance of the guests and the opulence of their luggage. Beginning with a small workshop in the 1920s he created a thriving family business selling luxury leather goods to clients including Princess Elizabeth, Grace Kelly, Sophia Loren and Eleanor Roosevelt.  When he died in 1953 he left the company equally to his surviving sons Aldo, Vasco and Rodolfo (his daughter Grimalda was excluded because she was female) and their male descendants.

By the 1970s the brand, synonymous with affluence and style, was thriving with stores in Europe, Asia and America but family management was a recipe for disaster; each member had their own pet projects and their own way of doing things. Aldo opened lavish boutiques in New York where he dictated that the stores be closed for an hour at lunchtime (as was the Italian custom) leading to queues on 5th Avenue. He hired the children of friends, installed them in his apartments and paid them a pittance leading to such desultory service that there were more loafers behind the counters than on the shelves. Board meetings often descended into shouting matches - it wasn’t unusual for handbags to sail through the open windows narrowly missing the workers below as enraged Gucci’s flung product samples at one another to make a point.
Sophia Loren, image courtesy of Pinterest
When Maurizio moved to take control of the company he informed the IRS about Aldo’s habit of confusing the company’s money with his own which led to his uncle serving prison time. “Involving the authorities” became a familiar tactic as the feuding continued through the 80s and 90s when the Gucci name became as famous for the family’s legal battles as it was for their fabulous products. It was a soap-opera to rival the glamorous Carringtons of “Dynasty” with whom they were frequently compared. It was also the era of the corporate raider and despite having a vision for the company, which included hiring the up-and-coming designer Tom Ford, Maurizio lacked business skill and was forced out in 1993.

In the meantime his marriage to Patrizia had broken down in and despite her frantic efforts to win him back they divorced in 1994. On March 27th 1995 Maurizio said goodbye to his new girlfriend Paola and walked to his new office at Via Palestro 20. When he reached the doorway a man stepped out, drew a gun and fired, killing him. That night Patrizia wrote “PARADEISOS” in her diary and wasted no time in evicting Paola from Maurizio’s apartment. The Italian gossip-mill went into overdrive, there were rumours of a “Mafia hit” and shady business dealings, but after a failed two- year investigation by the caribinieri, a chance tip-off to Filippo Ninni, chief of the Milan Criminalpol, cracked the case.

Patrizia had inveigled a friend to hire a hit-man to kill Maurizio and when the disgruntled conspirators saw how lavishly she was living from the estate they threatened blackmail. Police recorded their phone conversations and swooped on January 31, 1997. When Ninni came to arrest Patrizia she emerged wearing a floor-length mink coat, diamond and gold jewellery and clutching a Gucci handbag.

The week she was convicted Gucci stores world-wide displayed a pair of sterling-silver handcuffs in their windows. When asked for a comment a Gucci spokeswoman insisted it was “just a co-incidence”.

Sentenced to serve twenty-nine years Patrizia was offered parole in 2011, she replied “no thanks, as it would mean getting a job and I have never worked a day in my life and I'm certainly not going to start now” preferring to remain in prison with her plants and pet ferret instead.

Shortly before her release in 2014 she said “I dream of returning to Gucci – I still feel like a Gucci – in fact the most Gucci of all. I have the qualifications – for years I went shopping around the world. I come from the world of jewels and it is to that world I want to return”.

Lorna Lesley
Gucci solid silver handcuffs c.1998, part of our current collection POA.
Discovering Gucci... Crimes of Passion
………I can only imagine the wry smile of the shop assistant as she lay, using spotless white gloves, the pair of solid silver handcuffs on the velvet pad in the window of Gucci……and the satisfaction of the management of Gucci feeling that justice itself had been done by the act of laying them there.
It was a symbolic gesture, Patrizia had been tried and her verdict delivered the day that they appeared in Gucci’s windows in 1998, but according to many, it was pure coincidence.
Some believe, it was just a further fantasy of the erstwhile Creative Director Tom Ford, who had just about exhausted every conventional position for his “sex sells” style of hype and sensationalism for the brand.
But others saw it as the house distancing itself, and symbolic of it finally closing the lid on the Pandora’s Box of farcical scenes that had been played out in the law courts for the last three years and across decades in the social circles of Florence and Milan. No doubt, a soap opera with that many twists and turns, pathos and literally incredible story lines, made “The Bold and the Beautiful” look positively tame, and yet the irony was, that one of the two, was actually true.
And yet, one wonders, if this can be the end of such a story?…. Could a woman like Patrizia, now back amongst us, journey down a path of life well travelled?…. or could there be a sequel to follow?
 …..and if so, could Gucci be forced to have a solid gold gem encrusted tracking device in its window instead?

Christopher Becker
The Last Word…
“ She needs to have a few drinks and cry a little - then she’ll be perfect”

Tom Ford
(Tom’s tip on how to give a model a more modern look for a Gucci Fall Collection Show 1996)
Gucci fall collection 1996, image courtesy of, Gucci amorphic teardrop pendant $1250
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