Saturday 22 June 1996
Aromatherapy bath treats, pounds 2.99
Supermarket bubble bath is rarely a sophisticated affair, and certainly not something you would ever consider giving as a present. But times are changing. This month sees the launch of Tesco's own range of bath essences and aromatherapy oils, all beautifully packaged in elegant frosted glass bottles. Choose between bubbles or oils labelled Recharge, Unwind and Sensual.
Tesco stores nationwide
Cigarette snuffers, pounds 22.00 for a pair
Are you the kind of smoker who stubs out cigarettes in haste and then, once you've left the house, panics about the smouldering stub burning it down? Panic no more. Enjoy stress-free smoking courtesy of Smythson's snuffers. Place the little gold-plated collar in your ash tray and once you've taken the last drag of your cigarette you drop it into the hole. Within seconds it has been extinguished without any grubbing around in the ash tray or the fear of conflagration.
Smythson: 0171-629 8558
Proof that Francis Bacon's muse came out of a bottle is in Christie's sale of contemporary art, Thursday (7pm). His portrait in oils of Muriel Belcher is painted as he saw her - behind the bar of the smoke-filled, Bohemian Soho drinking club, the Colony Room. Here is the same stretched and smeared face that is Bacon's peculiar vision. Given a mirror, Belcher might have seen herself the same way.
She was the club's fierce, foul-mouthed proprietress. In 1949 she gave Bacon free drinks in exchange for luring high-spending nobs into the demi- monde of her tiny domain. She had an inquisitorial, crow-like stare, a long nose, flaring nostrils and lank black hair. She was one of the few women that Bacon found beautiful. The painting is estimated pounds 550,000-pounds 750,000.
This is Impressionist and contemporary week. Recent sales have shown that there is strong demand in the pounds 100,000-pounds 200,000 range. If you do not fancy spending in this bracket, why not go for cheaper fare in Christie's South Kensington's relatively down-market combined Impressionist and contemporary sale on Monday. Its only disadvantage is its starting time, (2pm) - aimed at dealers whose job it is to attend, rather than nine-to-fivers.
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