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One year ago, a dozen of us enjoyed a wonderful holiday in Spain and France.
When Juanita discovered some of us were to be in London at the same time this year, she suggested we plan ‘An Event’ to celebrate.
‘The Event’, a special lunch at one of London’s newest restaurants, was expanded into an ‘Event + Surprise Presentation’ after Michael found a ‘Jewel’ from the Titanic in a shop in Cobh, Ireland on a voyage from New York to Southampton with the Turners and Edmundo.
Edmundo was ‘inspired’ and developed a storyline.
READ THE ‘SCREENPLAY’ and THEN WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW
SCREENPLAY – “The Truth About the Brooch”
Storyline Adaption (from cloudy sources) – by EPC
Producer and Screenplay – by MM
Sound Engineer – he was fired
At the time of the sinking of the Titanic, she stoically retired to the suite with her Jacob, and dressed in her finest lingerie, they lay in bed, and died as the waters rose.
Before the ship started breaking apart, a composed Mary threw the brooch into the sea, where it was to be recovered later by divers.
The diver sold it in 1916 to Prince Alexandrovich Obolensky, who was going to present it to the Czarina during their wedding anniversary in 1917.
The Bolshevik Revolution intervened, and Prince Alexandrovich was obliged to sell the brooch when he fled to Paris.
The brooch was bought by none other than Tom Buchanan, the son a well-established rich American family from Long Island – “tobacco money from Kentucky”.
The brooch became the wedding gift that Buchanan gave Daisy when Daisy decided to marry him rather than wait five years for the quixotic and handsome young Jay Gatsby to return from Military Service.
With the onset of the Great Depression, Buchanan was ruined, as his greed had made him invest all the Tobacco money in Wall Street and had sold everything.
The Buchanans sold the brooch to a multi-billionaire Bulgarian Contessa in exile, who was rumoured to be the mistress of Principe Contini, rumoured to conduct enormous businesses for Hitler and Mussolini.
So the story goes that after the Allied Victory, the brooch again was sold by the Contessa, who had gone into exile this time to Buenos Aires.
Baron von M and “El Duque de Cobos” appointed the most knowledgeable jewel merchants in Buenos Aires , Sofia, Paris, London and New York to search for the brooch.
The Agent who found the jewel was asked to meet Baron von M and “El Duque de Cobos” in Cobh in County Cork, Ireland (where the Titanic departed 101 years before).
We arrived by sea, knowing that due to looser Customs practices, it would be easier to introduce the jewel into England the same way it had left in 1912.
AND . . . . The Presentation was made in a ceremony in London after Luncheon at Oblix in the new Shard building on the other side of the river.
Who would guess that a ₤5 brooch purchased from a pop-up shop along the Quay in Cobh during our stopover could be the basis of so much fantasy and fun?
Unabridged Story as conceived by EPC - Click to read
Storyline Adaption from cloudy sources – by EPC
At the time of the sinking of the Titanic, she stoically retired to the suite with her Jacob, the German American business magnate and first multi-millionaire in the United States. Dressed in her finest lingerie, they lay in bed, and died as the waters rose.
Before the ship started breaking apart, a composed Mary threw the brooch into the sea, where it was to be recovered later by divers.
The diver sold it in 1916 to Prince Alexandrovich Obolensky, who was going to present it to the Czarina during their wedding anniversary in 1917. This of course was truncated by the Bolshevik Revolution, and Prince Alexandrovich when he fled to Paris was obliged to sell the brooch in order to survive in the style to which they were accustomed.
The blue heart-shaped brooch encrusted in diamonds was bought by none other than Tom Buchanan, the son a well-established rich American family from Long Island – “tobacco money from Kentucky”. The brooch became the wedding gift that Buchanan gave Daisy when Daisy decided to marry him rather than wait five years for the quixotic and handsome young Jay Gatsby to return from Military Service in World War I.
During the Twenties, Long Island was shocked by the death of Gatsby, who was shot by the jealous husband of Myrtle Wilson, the mistress of Tom Buchanan. He wrongly believed that it was Gatsby who ran down and killed his wife, whereas in truth, it was his own wife Daisy who was behind the wheel. Despite Daisy’s love for Gatsby alone, being the bitch she was, she stayed with Buchanan and continued with the roaring parties. However, with the onset of the Great Depression, Buchanan was ruined, as his greed had made him invest all the Tobacco money in Wall Street and had sold everything.
The Buchanans were forced to sell the brooch to a multi-billionaire Bulgarian Contessa in exile, who was rumoured to be the mistress of Principe Contini, rumoured to conduct enormous businesses for Hitler and Mussolini. During the Occupation of Paris by the Nazis, the Bulgarian Contessa was seen many times at the Paris Opera and Maxims sporting the brooch.
So the story goes that after the Allied Victory, the brooch again was sold by the Contessa, who had gone into exile this time to Buenos Aires. It was the fact that the brooch was rumoured to be in the Argentine, being the place of birth of Baroness von Stieglitz, it was planned by Baron von M and “El Duque de Cobos” to appoint the most knowledgeable jewel merchants in Buenos Aires , Sofia, Paris, London and New York to search for the brooch which had been known to arrive in Buenos Aires with the Contessa.
In order not to raise any suspicions, we asked the Agent who found the jewel to meet us in Cobh in County Cork, Ireland (where the Titanic departed 101 years before). We arrived by sea, after a smooth Atlantic crossing from Newfoundland knowing that due to looser Customs practices, it would be easier to introduce the jewel into England the same way it had left in 1912.
And . . . . in London, after lunch at Oblix, the latest London restaurant sensation located on the 32nd floor of The Shard, Renzo Piano’s celebrated building on the other side of the river, we present the Baroness von Stieglitz with ‘The Brooch”.
Picasa Web Album
|" . . . of Mary Astor's Brooch and the Baroness"|
Cobh, County Cork Ireland. Click to see photos and video of the Irish town where we located the brooch
|County Cork, Ireland|
VIDEO 1 min 40 secs
what an amazing picture, I cant wait to get home with a nice cup of tea to read the London pages of the blog and watch the video.
Mick , Great fun but mad as a hatter…Love the poetic licence..
I feel privileged to have been present at the inception of such magnificence. When I left, I was convinced I had actually heard the true story.
For once I saw the Baroness speechless!
Edmundo, you are very creative! Why don’t you join Hollywood as a film director.
The story is so funny and complex. Luckily you saw Gatsby the movie for some input.
I think this story would have Ken and Pam Turner’s full attention and Ken would research the history books.
Oh how well the Baroness is looking. In fact you all look great. Very envious.
Much love to you all.
What do you mean? I need not to have seen Gatsby to come up with the narrative of “The Truth About the Brooch”.
Well, everyone who has lived in the Argentine knows that the brooch appeared every winter at the season’s inaugural at the “Teatro Colon” clasping the silver foxes of the mistress of the Argentine Plenipotentiary Ambassador to the Kingdom of Guanabaru. This is a known fact discussed to this day in the Tango Sanctuaries in the dark corners of the city on the River Plate.
“El Duque de Cobos”
Bravi, tutti! You and Michael make a dashing pair, full of international intrigue.
I smell a hit in the making… 🙂
Beyond fabulous!!! And such fun !!!
You all look so elegant ….
Thank you for your generosity, fun, inclusiveness and ability to share.
It greatly enhances my life, and of course I will be dining out on experiences at the Oblix, the Shard and my fabulous friends..
Edmundo and Michael I will be wearing the jewels with pride.
What a beautiful story, Edmundo, and equally the video!
How is the trip going? What else?
Greetings from the Maharani of Allambie.
It is my sad duty to advise you that this brooch looks remarkably like the property of my late Great Grandmother – mistress of His Excellency the
Maharaja of Tara Hall in Mussourie in the hills the of the Himalayas.
Unfortunately, the brooch went missing during Indian Mutiny and we are delighted that our friend the Baroness is wearing this beautiful item with such delight although a misplaced pride of ownership.
We look forward with great anticipation to our reunion with this treasure and yourselves upon your return.
For a few dreaded moments reading through your email, I thought you were about to ‘lay claim’ to the jewel, and that would have broken the heart of Baroness Juanita, and put paid to what would amount to fabrications on the part of El Duque de Cobos!
And to think that I sat in the bar of the hotel while he dictated and I hung on every word innocently typing into my Macbook Air every word that flowed so easily from his memory, (or now could it be from pure fabrications?)
Baroness and El Duque, You do realise that June was born in India, and it is very likely that her story and claim over the jewel holds water. Her Great Grandmother – was indeed the mistress of His Excellency the Maharaja of Tara Hall in Mussourie in the hills the of the Himalayas.
I am asking celebrated lawyer Andrew S to take on the case of verification of her claim. (Finally, I might get him to read the whole El Duque story in the blog to be better briefed!)
June, Thanks for being such a good sport and responding so funnily to what has been such an amusing chain of events and fun for us travellers. And all of this, springing from my sighting a derelict shop window full of jewellery from the Titanic while I was out walking with Pam and Ken in the port city of Cobh on our cruise only last week.
After the major purchase, we sat in the half sun and faint drizzle outside a small cafe for a pot of tea and a tomato sandwich watching the ships go up and down the River Lee. Irish grandmother, Anne, whose husband John had passed, was happy to take home my half eaten sandwich (that I’d wrapped in my used napkin) for after she’d had a nap and put the kettle on for her daily chat with ‘her John’. She has dinner every night at 6 with her daughter, the mother of her four grandchildren, who lives next door. The youngest, a 31 year-old grandson, has gone to live in London, and poor Anne fears the boy will never marry! Oh, I wonder, why?
You are all looking wonderful and having such fun.
Eddy..What..The Baroness speechless?
Needless to say that I am appalled at the claim made by Mrs Whelan of Sydney and previously New York and India, but I am very disturbed at your statement questioning the veracity of my narrative as “could it be fabrication?”.
Further I resent your doubts about “sources” when you are aware that it was my grandfather, the XV Duque de Cobos, who was Ambassador of the Nationalist Government of Generalisimo Francisco Franco to the Argentine who facilitated the move of the Bulgarian Contessa to arrive in Cadiz and sail on the SS Marques de Comillas to Buenos Aires. At the time it was arrange by my granfather for the brooch to be sent in the diplomatic valise that was customary to travel from Berlin to Buenos Aires via Rome and Madrid thus avoiding any suspicion for the transportation of the brooch from Europe to South America.
I should further affirm that my grandfather always told me that it was impossible to mistake Mary Astor’s brooch due to the intricate mounting of the gem traced to the craftsmen that were employed by His Holiness, Julio II (of Sistine Chapel fame) to design all jewels worn during his long and prosperous Pontificate; so this is further testimony to maintain “the Truth About The Brooch” as told by a several times over “Grandee of Spain”.
El Duque de Cobos, XVII
Needless to say “What a shaggy dog story this is getting to be” with all the claims being made one would be afraid to go out in public with the Brooch. Sing on Cheers J
Loved it. True friends together in London. American and Australian royalty well represented in Europe! Can Juanita lend me the brooch for Salamanca?
Wow! A girl can never have too much bling and the ‘Baronness’ has the chutzpah to convince everyone that it is ‘the real deal’. Glad to see you are all having such a great time.
Juanita, the colour and brooch look terrific on you. Who are the desperado group of guys?!!
what an amusing story that was. Edmundo should be a writer, he spins a good yarn.
You all looked very smart and the colour of the broach suits Baroness Juanita so well.
Glad you are having such a good time.
gorgeous photo – envious of the day – it looks such fun
How fun! You must be a little bad and mad I guess to conjure this up.
“…..Despite Daisy’s love for Gatsby alone, being the bitch she was…..”
Double M with
Two t’s and two s’s.
Me encantó… que sigan disfrutando. Abrazo. Ronald
It’s enchanting. Continue to enjoy
Great story! A very creative crew you are traveling with on your journey.
Doesn’t the brooch make an appearance in Australia? In the lining of the robes of a Jesuit priest?
Have now arrived in hotel Principe Di Savoia, Milan and have wifi for my poor ole iPhone!
Brooch looks fabulous, how clever of the Countess JVS to wear blue – sets it off perfectly and think that finalizes ownership issues!
Love from us both & keep us informed of developments in the ownership tussle,
Pam & Ken
Juanita looks stunning in her beautiful blue blouse and jewels. And Michael looks as dapper as ever.
You complain about the cold in London… We’re in Skye and it’s freezing… Br rrrrrr. Still the spectacular scenery compensates for it all. Any plans to be in Paris?
Dear travelling Royals,
Either there was a conspiracy between the blue of the Baroness’s blouse and the blue of the sparkling brooch, or coincidences really do happen.
The Performance by Baron de Cobos was superb. I’m just wondering if Alice made it to the tea party!
Anne, Gold Coast
I have been thinking about a picture of an armoured car picking ‘the brooch’ up to take to bank vault. So Maharini of Allambie cannot get it. . . Plus of course I have already commissioned copies at the ready to lend to all.
And who would have thought I would be in blue? I NEVER wear it. . .
it was just a shame nobody thought to bring a sound engineer to the shoot, or a gun to ‘shoot’ the noisy females at the next table!
Of course it helped to have Cecil B de M’s screenplay to accompany the film, otherwise it looked for all the world as if Edmundo was proposing to Juanita and presenting her with an outrageous broach to buy her silence over why there would have to be separate bedrooms on the honeymoon.
You guys have so much fun. I’m envious, I wanted the brooch. What a neat story. Ha Ha Ha
See you soon.
Mick, Have looked at your cinematic efforts twice now on the big screen with 7.1 Dolby sound. As JT says, you would have to have been there. The cast was fab, the scene terrific but the only sounds we could hear came from the ‘washer-up-er’ in the kitchen and David’s laughing. Over time in Thames studios things will get better.
You mean you didn’t read the Screenplay?
Or read the words while they scrolled through in the first 62 seconds of the movie to set the scene?
And to think Mick took four hours typing away condensing the Edmundo ‘book’ into a shorter ‘Screenplay’, and then further condensing it again to better fit the silver screen to facilitate the viewer’s understanding of what was to follow . . . with, yes, unfortunate sound quality!
. . . And to think . .
Edmundo has submitted his ‘fantasmagorical’ brooch story (and its follow-ups) for the NY Times Book of the Year and Booker Peace Prize . .
and you thought it was only about an old video!
Loved the story about the brooch!
My Dearest Baroness,
To think that distance has prevented me to reach you on time to wish you a happy birthday on the same day as the celebration of your natal day.
I must say that the pictures taken with the stunning white coat and blue hat are marvelous. You only sent me one; I guess the one you liked the most. But allow “El Conquistador” give you his humble opinion on which I believe is the best shot – I have made a selection from a number of photographs sent by the Court photographer. I like picture number 4 where the Baroness looks straight at the camera wearing a practical white ensemble with a beautiful touched-up teal blue in a hat very becoming for the occasion. The collar up and just showing a glimpse of the Rolex is perfect as a signal of an efficient and worldly woman concerned with time and looks, or better said, with “form and substance”.
Needless to say that you remind me of some of your ancestry in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
I saw also a photograph of a dinner “en privé” with Sir. Leslie Michael where you were beautifully displaying the Astor brooch. Allow me to make a comment: I would like to recommend that the brooch should be worn only for those occasions that you are invited to attend a ball at the Governor’s mansion or a white-tie affair in connection with the most important charity in Australia. In addition I would also consider wearing the brooch at the Holy See’s Nunciatura when called upon by His Holiness Apostolic Nuncio to celebrate Pope Francis’s first visit to Australia and, of course, anytime Elizabeth II comes for a visit, but only the Queen because it would be an overkill situation if we are just talking about the Prince of Wales or the Dukes of this or that. See, I am trying to make sure that the brooch is not overexposed and that you do not appear in the press in a column written by a smart journalist about the expense that Baroness von Stieglitz must go through every time she sends the armored car to bring the brooch home.
I must say, however, that it looks stunning and if I didn’t know better I would have inquired about who was that lovely romantic couple in a dark corner of a Sidney restaurant.
Dear Mr Musgrave
This might come as a rude shock to you but I am going to put an end to what is going on in your blog.Let me warn you that this ia a serious matter and i am not part of your make believe story.Read carefully bacause you and YOU ALONE are going to be held responsible.
Kindly wear your reading glasses.No blues ,no reds just get those reading glasses out.This matter is of serious concern ,i reiterate once again.
The sapphire brooch you bought for your pretend story belongs to my great grandmother The late Rajmata of Nandalaya.Kindly do not take off your reading glasses because this letter is going to get even more serious. I once again repeat the urgency with which I am writing.
The late Rajmata had avelled with the sapphire to Paris to have it reset and the jeweller absconded with this jewel. An FIR was lodged with the police and i still hold a copy of this in archives of the Nandalaya museum. Reading your blog i took this document and put it safely in an unidentified location.
Yes mr. Musgrave the brooch you have is the REAL STONE as the absconded jeweller was apprehended and confessed that he set it into a costume piece to safeguard it.i hope your glasses have not fallen off ,because i am already on a flight to claim what rightfully is my inheritance from my great grandmother the late..THE RAJMATA OF NANDALAYA.
Sorry for a rude weekend
Granddaughter of the royal kingdom of Nandalaya.
Dear Ms Khanna,
In your rather surprising message, you omitted to provide flight details so I regret that the Rolls Royce will not be at the airport (what airport?) to greet you. Also, you should be aware that the Baroness is currently on the little island we call Tasmania visiting the Family Estate and no doubt securing the safety of the now famous and hotly contested heirloom that you deem belongs to your grandmother, the late..THE RAJMATA OF NANDALAYA.
Will this ever end?
Michael – the poor, unwitting Aussie tourist, who thought he was buying a simple piece of cosmetic jewellery in a pop-up shop along the wharves of the Port of Cobh in the south of Ireland, for an old friend.
Dear mr musgrave
I am afraid i have to address your name in lower case as a Royalty is writing to you…
Kindly do not NIMI ME….HER ROYAL HIGHNESS would be appropriate
But…i do understand that you have not moved in our social circle and play only PRETEND GAMES!!!
Ha ha ha …i too have enjoyed it …dear friend MICHAEL…. xxx
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