Seller Story: Vicki McCaw – Aiken, SC

“My mom, Martha McCaw, who everyone knew as Vicki, grew up in Texas and was an heir to the founder of Texaco. Her father was an Austro-Hungarian émigré who came there in 1900. He was very entrepreneurial in the oil business, so as Texas was industrializing during the Depression he was actively involved.

My mom was painting her toenails one day, when she came up with an idea for a product. It was kind of the precursor to all the nail art nowadays. When she was working on this project, she had the idea that she wanted to create a signature series with the world’s most famous artist, who at the time was Salvador Dalí.

She got Dalí to make 10 paintings for her nail product. She designed it, produced it, and she sold it to Colgate Palmolive, who owned Helena Rubenstein at the time. She really had her eye on the prize.

We traveled a lot. My parents weren’t afraid of taking us out of school, and my mom really believed in us being right there as part of everything. That’s where a lot of the objects in the house come from — there are many pieces from her family, and then there is just this wonderful array of objects from all those years of traveling.

She also had a whimsical side to her, a really playful side. So on one hand you’d see this amazing aubusson carpet, and then you’d see a little cluster of stuffed animals, like three little E.T. dolls or something. There were always these funny, witty, quirky little things.

As a design lover, her home was her canvas. It was one of her ways of expressing herself. It was all about creating a home that was inviting, and then having interesting people come in and be a part of it. She was very vivacious.” – Tori Winn, daughter.

Seller Story: Vicki McCaw – Aiken, SC
Seller Story: Vicki McCaw – Aiken, SC
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Seller Story: Vicki McCaw – Aiken, SC

What made you decide to sell through EBTH?

It’s been daunting to me to try to respect this whole history of collecting, trying to find the best way for it to go into the hands of people who will appreciate it. I live in London and my life is just not able to accommodate the volume of things — so many beautiful things — so this feels like a nice way to honor every object.

She was really into comfort, and really into quality. She always bought lovely things, but things that were comfortable, and inviting.

Any other treasures from her travels?

There’s a teak elephant that was one of the things that came from one of the trips that we took to Thailand. There’s some beautiful old kind of Thai dancer figurines. There’s a lot of really beautiful pieces. She loved animal objects, so there are a lot of creatures, from very beautiful brass herons, freestanding, to a wonderful collection of all kinds of things that are frog-related.

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