16 Sep 2011
avatar Author: Nicky Haslam

I first met Sir Henry ‘Chips’ Channon at Simon Fleet’s Gothic Box house in Bury Walk in Chelsea. Other guests were Lady Diana Cooper, the young Givenchy and the ‘les six’ composer Francis Poulenc. It was the first really grand society party I was asked to after leaving Eton. I was very small potatoes compared to them and Channon had bigger chips to fry, such as getting his protégé the decorator David Hicks married off to Lady Pamela Mountbatten.

 Sadly, I never went to 5 Belgrave Square where this wonderful table was housed in the famous ‘Amalienburg’ room created by the French decorator Stéphane Boudin for Channon but it was much talked about as he had entertained society from Mrs Simpson and her King to Lady Cunard and politicians. On Chips’ death the room was dismantled and has been in storage ever since-and sadly it looks like it! The room as it once existed and the furniture now currently up for sale at Sotheby’s is a Romantic echo of a past era. It would be great if Roman Abramovich who now owns 5 Belgrave Square would buy it and reinstate the entire room as a salute to Chip’s  taste and fortune.

Chips’ diaries were published posthumously and are the seminal overview of the 1920s, 30s and 40s, a man with an amazing eye and attention to detail. The dairies were heavily edited by Robert Rhodes James in 1967, but the documents still exist in unexpurgated manuscript. Goodness, I would love to get my hands on it and re-edit them.

8 Responses to “Society Chips”

  1. avatar taylor says:

    A fascinating post and a very worthwhile suggestion to Mr Abramovich…. The room, as it once existed, was dazzling.

    I wish you success in obtaining the unexpurgated manuscripts and re-editing the diaries…they will be thrilling to read.

  2. avatar Karena says:

    Nicki an amazing room. You really should get ahold of the manuscripts of Chip’s diaries, edit and publish them!


    Art by Karena

    I hope you will come over and enter my amazing giveaway from Interieurs!!

  3. avatar Karena says:

    Nicky are those mirrored squares on the dining table?

  4. Adored this peak into Channon,s life + as K says, get “those manuscripts” and publish them. If only furniture from the past could speak!
    xx peggybraswelldesign.com

  5. avatar Colette says:

    yes mirrored squares…diaries…well its been discussed but so much to do! thanks for the comments. c.

  6. avatar mary says:

    The eglomise table is gorgeous. I like it with the mirrored surfaces showing their age. Hopefully a buyer will arrive that will love this room and restore it to its fabled beauty. Great post.

  7. avatar Fluffy says:

    Wonderful room and I wish more gentlemen would take a cue from NH’s clothes in these photographs.

  8. avatar Bobby says:

    Lovely, the detail on the doors is superb.

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