Are you sitting comfortably in a room you can call your own? If not, Classic Driver recommends a trip to Bonhams Gentleman's Library Sale to procure some essential interior decorations.
There's been talk in the Press lately of how a man's life can be prolonged by spending time in his shed, carrying out stress-relieving acts of tinkering and pottering - but here at Classic Driver we believe a chap's study is an even more important place of refuge. It's somewhere to keep your automotive library, to display those trinkets that other family members might not appreciate, to hang one's motoring posters and, above all, to settle down with a chum for a quiet, manly natter over a Talisker or two.
Such masculine havens have long been associated with the world of old motors, which is partly why Geneva-based car authority Simon Kidston (formerly of Bonhams car department) organised the first 'Gentleman's Sale' for the house back in 2004.
Originally comprising a select 250 lots, the content has broadened over the years and the next edition of what is now called 'The Gentleman's Library Sale' - happening on January 18 - features more than 780 items comprising everything from ink stands to fire grates and from fossils to sculpture. The main criterion, of course, is that any of it would look right in a fellow's private domain - and there's enough kit here to furnish and decorate an up-market 'man cave' from scratch.
Let's start with the basics, such as a pair of Chesterfield sofas covered in nicely burnished, ox blood leather at £3,000 - 5,000. Then you'll be needing a large and handsome mahogany bookcase, plenty of which are on offer from as little as £500. Throw in a decent pedestal desk - or maybe even the nice walnut roll top at £2,000 -3,000 - and a pair of Gothic Revival, Pugin-style armchairs (£4,000 - 6,000) and it should all start to come together.
It won't, however, look terribly interesting. Solve that with a pair of Bardin terrestrial and celestial library globes, perhaps a barograph in an oak and glazed case and maybe a six-foot model of the Old London Bridge. Hang a wooden propeller from an AVRO 504 on the wall (£1,500 - 2,000), place Edmund Cotterill's bronze of the Duke of Wellington on the desk, flank it with a pair of miniature brass canon and then you'll be getting somewhere.
The all important aspect of refreshment, meanwhile, could be taken care of by an Edwardian decanter table (£4,000 - 6,000), entertainment might be down to a Louis XV 'tric-trac' table which can be used for both chess and backgammon (£1,500 - 2,000) and talking points could include a box containing four of Sir Winston Churchill's (now somewhat dry) Cuban cigars, and perhaps the bronze clutch control wheel from the WWII submarine 'HMS Seraph' (£500 - 700).
And if you insist on at least a touch of femininity, why not add the exquisitely formed coco de mer on offer as lot 336 for £500 - 700? Its botanical name 'Lodoicea callipyge' refers to the fact that the first sailors to see these exotic nuts floating in the sea 500 years ago likened them to a well-formed pair of woman's buttocks...
Bonhams Gentleman's Library Sale takes place on Wednesday, January 18 at 101 New Bond Street, London W1. On view Sunday, January 15 11am - 3pm, Monday and Tuesday 9am - 4.30pm. Catalogue on line at Bonhams.com.