Mistresses of the rich and famous still abound. Take, for example, the beautiful and elegant Madame Ariane Dandois, long time mistress of Baron Elie de Rothschild. In the 1970's, with a mere $50,000 in her pockets, exquisite taste, and shrewd business acumen, Ariane became a successful Parisian antique dealer.
Although the Baron was married to his childhood sweetheart, Liliane, a woman of considerable intellect and substance, he conducted affairs with numerous women, including Pamela Churchill and Madame Dandois. Ariane's and Elie's relationship produced a daughter, Ondine, who astutely took her papa's name.
After 34-35 years of success, Madame, whose daughter joined her in the business, put her estimated $12- $15 million inventory up for sale at Sothebys in New York on October 25 & 26. The collection took up the entire 10th floor. Take a peek at the following photos from New York Social Diary where the lush wares are shown to great advantage at the auction house. French designer Juan Pablo Molyneux transformed the show rooms, creating a photo version of a room in The Hermitage in Petersburg and blowing up Piranese prints of 18th century Rome onto lightweight fabric to recreate a spectacular backdrop.
Baron de Rothchild died this past summer at the age of ninety. It was said that after his wife Liliane died in 2003, he broke off his relationship with Ariane perhaps for fear of matrimony.