There are few collectors' troves more curious and covetable than that of supreme tastemaker, Joan Juliet Buck. The LA-born former editor-in-chief of Vogue Paris (from 1994 to 2001), is the only American to have held this illustrious position, which speaks volumes for her exceptional aesthetic prowess. And now, with Buck selling pieces from her personal collection on online luxury marketplace Paddle8.com, our wish to obtain one of her accoutrements is not such fantasy.

 

With rare items available from the likes of Cartier, Piaget, Martin Margiela, Karl Lagerfeld, André Kertész and Yves Saint Laurent, the collection features a diverse range of fashion accessories for both men and women – including a delightfully eccentric collection of cufflinks – as well as decorative objects and works of art and literature.

 

A few pieces up for bid are also the spoils of Buck’s ventures to flea-markets, her favourite being the Izmailovsky Market in Moscow. Buck advises that when entering the chaotic territory of a flea-market, one should “go as early as is humanly possible. Pre-dawn, bring a flashlight. Wear your most disgusting, hardy clothes for climbing over and under things for a better look, and take gloves, as some things may be splintery, scratchy, wet, oily.” She adds, “Prepare to be amazed, intrigued, enchanted. Meander; wander; marvel; touch everything you want to touch (gloves or not).”

 

Buck initially discovered Paddle8 through her friend and famed writer Glenn O’Brien. Founded in 2011, it is a luxury marketplace meeting the new demands of our zeitgeist, replacing the fusty brick-and-mortar auction house with an elegant online platform of high-end collectibles that can be perused at leisure from home. The organisation prides itself on evolving past comparable institutions like Sotheby's by showcasing fashion and design objects as well as art – it even auctioned off the sole copy of Wu Tang Clan's double album "The Wu – Once Upon a Time in Shaolin" last year.

 

We spoke to Buck about the selection up for bid, and couldn't resist asking the endlessly-chic style arbiter for the stories behind a few pieces.

 

 

I was able to indulge my combined passion for Art Deco, lustre and opalescence when I lived in Paris. I found the Sabino vase in the Marais – a beautiful Deco shape; blocky rectangles rising up the sides, in a rare opalescent glass that turns orange in certain light, blue in others. A great aesthetic high. 

 

 

The South Sea pearls from Repossi were part of the same passion. Once I’d learned what danger our seas were in, how pearls were dying, and coral, I sold some of my mother’s jewellery to buy this necklace. These huge pearls are grey-mauve with a deeper and subtler iridescence than white pearls, and a different charge to them. 

 

 

The Boucheron silver and gold compact belonged to my mother, who had a matching cigarette box for her purse. It’s from the 1960s when ladies carried gold and silver in their evening bags, powdered their noses, elegantly picked a cigarette from a woven silver box and allowed a gentleman to apply the flame to it with a matching lighter. They also carried minaudiéres – silver or gold evening bags that were large pieces of jewellery in themselves.

 

 

Egoïste is an extraordinary magazine created single-handedly by Nicole Wisniak in Paris. She invents the ads, does only what she wants, and creates issues that are like nothing else. This set includes the now vanished first issues. Nicole became a friend when I was in Paris finishing my second novel (ten years before Vogue). I interviewed Norman Mailer, Julian Schnabel and David Hockney for her.

 

 

Amazing people contributed to Paris Vogue when I edited it. Karl Lagerfeld took many photographs and would send his experiments as they happened – these photos of bowls and a pair of coffee cups are from the period when he first started making big prints. 

 

 

Donald Sultan agreed to illustrate the Christmas gifts for our Art issue; this is his rendering of a Georg Jensen silver ewer.

 

Joan Juliet Buck's collection is now live on Paddle8.com, and available until February 8th.