x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

A new meaning given to bath crystals: Swarovski studded tub

Do you sometimes feel your bathroom is a little lacking in bling? How about a £150,000 bathtub studded with 22,000 Swarovski crystals.

The Swarovski Element Saracen bath from Catchpole and Rye comes studded with 22,000 crystals and can be yours for a mere £150,000. Courtesy Catchpole and Rye
The Swarovski Element Saracen bath from Catchpole and Rye comes studded with 22,000 crystals and can be yours for a mere £150,000. Courtesy Catchpole and Rye

Do you sometimes feel your bathroom is a little lacking in bling? Fear not. This week's big ticket column has just the answer: a £150,000 (Dh843,000) bathtub studded with 22,000 Swarovski crystals.

The Swarovski Element Saracen cast-iron bath with enamel interior is handmade in Kent, England by Catchpole and Rye. Craftsmen painstakingly glue the crystals in four sizes to the exterior by hand - a job that takes 200 man hours. The effect is very Saturday Night Fever.

The tub is on sale at Harrods department store in London. Buyers can opt for crystals in white, blue, gold or green. Catchpole will also make customised designs, using various colours to depict names, logos or a coat of arms.

Explaining the creation of the bath, Catchpole's managing director Tony O'Donnell told the Daily Mail: "It was to do something exotic.

"We did a job for a princess in the Middle East and she was very much into her bling, and that's where the idea stems from."

The Baby Bateau comes in slightly cheaper at £120,000 but as Mr O'Donnell points out: "If you have the money, you want the bath, then the price isn't the issue."

The baby bath is covered in one type of crystal for a consistent shimmering effect.

Of course, it you are really serious about your bathroom decor, there will be no stopping at just a bathtub.

The designer Jemal Wright of Hollywood has created a Swarovski-studded toilet. The loo, which is part of the Isis collection, will set you back about US$75,000

Still, this bathtub isn't going to cut the mustard if you are a seriously big spender. Oh no.

For that you have to take a leaf out of the British society girl Tamara Ecclestone's book.

Last year, she forked out a cool £1 million for a crystal bathtub.

She reportedly sent five aides into the Amazon to collect the crystal used to make the tub and had to have the bathroom floor of her £47m house especially reinforced to accommodate the bath.

 

Q&A

A little bit more on the Crystal Saracen. It sounds like fiddly work. How did the craftsmen get all those little crystals in place?

Good question. The craftsmen devised a rather ingenious solution. They picked up the crystals individually using Blu-Tack on the end of a pencil. This allowed them to place the stones one by one on the bath.

And there is something blingtastic for the little ones too, I see.

Yes. Amanda Jenner has created My Carry Potty – a Swarovski-studded portable potty that allows toddlers to go in style whenever the need strikes.

So what’s the most expensive bathroom in the world?

Well, according to the Guinness Book of Records, this belongs to the jeweller Lan Sai-Wing. He spent £2.4 million (Dh13.4m) transforming the bathroom in his Hong Kong store, making everything in the room out of 24-carat gold and precious gems.

Everything?

You name it: chandeliers, sink, toilet and toilet paper holder.

Anything else you care to mention?

Well, I’ve told you about the most expensive bathroom in the world. Now let me tell you about the most expensive toilet. This is the Russian space toilet on the International Space Station. It cost US$19 million in investment in 2007. Part of its unique design turns waste water into drinkable water for the astronauts.

lgutcher@thenational.ae