My article in The Spectactor USA on my late friend Peter Beard

Read the original online here.

My old family friend Peter Hill Beard, that hybrid of Hemingway, Warhol and Errol Flynn, died with signature irregularity sometime in either March or April, aged 82.

The obituaries say he was ‘known as “the last of the adventurers”’ so often that one suspects he may have coined that himself.

Peter was old money. His great-grandfather James Jerome Hill, born in 1838, founded the Great Northern Railway and from him descended a line of New York stockbrokers with a mansion on the Upper East Side and an estate in Tuxedo Park. William Waldorf Astor and J.P. Morgan attended Peter’s grandparents’ wedding. His grandmother later married Pierre Lorillard V, whose family were the original developers.

No financier, Peter became a photographer, focusing on his beloved Africa. Always trying to get the shot others couldn’t — in 1996 he was gored by an elephant — he developed a signature style of collaging the original image with handwritten notes and color washes, often using materials from the moment the photo was taken, such as elephant dung or his own blood. His works, enhanced by his personal cachet, sold well in exhibitions and from his friend Michael Hoppen’s gallery in London’s Chelsea.

Beginning as an African conservationist — a word he hated for evoking ‘tourist’ — Peter published his most important book in 1965, The End of the Game. But it was befriending Karen Blixen of Out of Africa fame and buying the neighboring ranch to hers in Kenya that created his African name.

Peter in Africa in the old days

[Read more…]

EVENING STANDARD: Clive’s 50 Not Out In The City

It makes me particularly proud to see that my father’s 50th anniversary in the City of London is makes headlines courtesy of the City Editor of the capital’s great newspaper.

Evening Standard

CLIVE’S 50 NOT OUT IN THE CITY

Anthony Hilton
26th September 2012
Clive Fiske Harrison, with his then fiancée, now wife, Barbara Gail Horne, at The May Fair Hotel in London during his first year in the City, 1963, after his return from New York

Clive Fiske Harrison, with his then fiancée – now wife – the sculptor Barbara Gail Horne, at The May Fair Hotel in London during his first year in the City, 1963, after his return from New York (Photo: family archive placed in public domain)

Today saw the annual general meeting of Fiske & Co, the stockbroker and investment bank.

It also marks the day 50 years ago when Fiske’s chairman, Clive Fiske Harrison, joined Panmure Gordon, then one of the leading brokers. A fellow junior colleague in Panmure at that time was David Mayhew. He, like Fiske Harrison, has survived the intervening years of change rather better than has Panmure. (Mayhew stood down as chairman of J. P. Morgan Cazenove at the end of last year.)

In those relaxed days, the market opened at 9.30am, the partners drank gin or whisky (starting often not much later) and the office workers beer. Hardly anybody drank wine. This was of course before the 1970s market collapse, 1980s Big Bang and 1990s explosion of regulation.

But some things haven’t changed, Fiske Harrison told his shareholders. When he started in 1962, Greek bonds traded at the equivalent of 30p in the pound!

Well done, Clive! I doubt there are many of the current City take who will match your half century.