Venice Simplon Orient-Express


An exclusive collection, designed by Joanna Boyen & handmade for the VSOE, celebrates the history, legends, marquetry, decor & style of the famous train, interpreting them in fine jewellery

The King of Trains

On a torrentially rainy day in the autumn of 1977, Sotheby's organised a sale of Wagon-Lits rolling stock at Monte Carlo goods depot. James Sherwood, who had begun to take an interest in the revival of the Orient-Express went there to examine the carriages and perhaps make a bid. The carriages had been taken for a joy ride from Nice to Monte Carlo that morning and Princess Grace had eaten brunch in the lovely restaurant car designed by ReneĢ Lalique. Prince Rainer was there too, as Peter Wilson, the famous auctioneer and head of Sotheby's prepared to start the sale. The carriages were arranged as a backdrop and the station was swarming with press and TV crews.

James Sherwood entered the bidding. He lost the first two cars to the King of Morocco, but took the next two cars, both sleepers built in 1929. Railway cars are very large, long, bulky objects. Wagon Lits were happy to transport them - but "Where would Monsieur Sherwood like them delivered?" Where indeed...

More than 40 years on, and with a full set of carriages retrieved and lovingly, painstakingly restored, the vision of James B Sherwood and those of the original founders of luxury train travel, live on in this beautiful train. Brimming with history, glamour & romance, this King of trains & train of Kings continues to be a source of legend.