Frightfully common

Charles Cowling

 

The English interior designer David Hicks created the signature look of the Swinging Sixties. Those strong colours and geometrical designs — they’re his. 

He seems to have been a man at ease with his mortality, a mindset informed, perhaps, by his daily ritual of chain-smoking cigarettes. At his flat in Albany he “created a crimson drawing room and bedroom with a bed lavishly draped in red damask, which he described as ‘a bed to receive one’s doctors from, a bed to die in.’ 

“Hicks did not die in that bed but rather in his bed at the Grove, surrounded by beloved objects and gazing at the landscape. He orchestrated his own funeral, spelling out the arrangements in a book that he made called “The Demise of David Hicks.” His coffin was carried to its final resting place on an ivy-covered trailer attached to Hicks’s Range Rover. He was wearing a David Hicks tie, and his pockets were stuffed with his obituaries and press clippings.” [Source

Hicks designed his own coffin, of course. When lung cancer claimed him at the age of 69 he lay in state in it, at his own instructions, in his garden pavilion. Made of sycamore, it was, at his command, handle-less.

Coffin handles, he said, are “frightfully common”. 

 

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[…] launched by aesthete and designer David Hicks, which the GFG ran a little while back – here – has support in high places. Pope John Paul II’s coffin was beautiful in its simplicity. […]

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Don’t you just love consistency? A life dedicated to style ends in style. Actually ‘ends’ is too modest. These funeral rights are a culmination: he didn’t just go he sashayed off the stage; he didn’t do anything as untidy as shuffle off his mortal coil he stepped out of it with a glide and a bow…