Cecil beaton

The art of seizing the moment in photographic portraiture

A Tatler photographer once told me that the secret to taking a good photo was the three Ts: tum, tits, teeth. Suck it in, push ’em out, show your pearly whites. Leaving aside David LaChapelle’s portrait of Pamela Anderson, there’s a shortage of Ts in Phillip Prodger’s Face Time. This looks likea coffee-table book but doesn’t bark like a coffee-table book. On first flick through, I found the pictures desultory, even depressing. I was expecting more of a Condé Nast vibe. Glossy and glossier. On second approach, taking text and pictures together, it became a more interesting beast. Prodger is a former head of photography at the National Portrait Gallery

Sale of the century: the contents of the Sitwells’ mansion are going under the hammer

In my bedroom there is a small lidded laundry basket. It was designed by Geoffrey Lusty for Lloyd Loom, a company that has, since 1917, been producing surprisingly durable furniture made from lacquered woven paper fabric for the middle classes. The basket is globular and stands on three spindly legs. It is weatherbeaten, and slightly worn, because it was produced in 1957, at the dawn of the Space Era. Indeed, it is a Sputnik wicker linen basket, designed in the style of the famous satellite. Only 100 were ever produced. Why is this double design classic not in a museum? It may be that one is. As far as this