HHHappy New Year

I tried but this version of the Emblem of Tibet in exile does not help date this holiday card from HH The Dalai Lama. image: juliensauctions

There are literally like a hundred Christmas cards from various configurations of the British royal family in this ex-countess’s estate sale—here’s one of several with skeevy Prince Andrew—but there is only one holiday card from His Holiness The Dalai Lama, and it rocks.

Austrian refugee and concert pianist Maria Donata Nanetta Paulina Gustava Erwina Wilhelmine Stein married to George Lascelles, 7th Earl of Harewood and first cousin to the Queen, in 1949, and after her divorce in 1967, Countess Harewood kept in touch with her friend the Queen. Which accounts for staying on the Windsors’ mailing list, but not the Dalai Lama’s. Her later marriage to a politician Jeremy Thorpe doesn’t help either.

So it probably involves her son David Lascelles, now the 8th Earl, who produced Tibet: A Buddhist Trilogy, a four-hour, meditative, verité documentary on Tibetan monastic life in exile in 1979. Lascelles also commissioned Bhutanese monks to build a stupa at Harewood in 2004 as part of a spiritual reparation, a way to account for his family’s legacy of enslavement and exploitation without necessarily impacting its actual fortune or the 18th century country house it funded.

Which is all well and good, and enslavers need all the karmic help they can get. But the point here is, the coolest Christmas card around was sent by the exiled human incarnation of the Buddha to an Ashkenazi Jewish refugee-turned-ex-countess months away from either of their actual new year’s days. [update: at least TWICE.]

27 June 2024, Lot 105: Dalai Lama | Signed Holiday Card, est. $300-500 [juliensauctions, s/o opulent tipster rachel tashjian-wise for the first auction, and idroolinmysleep for the second]