Well-to-do folk are spending tens of thousands of dollars on newly built gypsy caravans, and the Wall Street Journal is hot on the trail. The Journal, forever the go-to source for the latest in rich people trends (like water features, absurdly large closets, tricked-out basements, and whatever it is "teen lounges" are) recently ran a piece about how the mobile architecture once used by Romany families (and, you know, wandering psychics in The Wizard of Oz) has become coveted by Europe's elite, being used as "guesthouses, party spaces, and studios." These aren't the typical ragtag, hipster-built "gypsy junkers" one sees pop up on the market every once in a while, these are artisanal and prized, with the details that are an old, Catherine the Great-style opulence. Here are the best lines form the story:
8. Earlier this year, a wealthy Russian throwing a party for his daughter's 25th birthday on a Greek island decided a gypsy caravan would add a nice touch.
7. The most ornate of the wagons resemble giant Fabergé eggs, with gilded woodcarvings, cut glass mirrors and red velvet interiors.
6. Under his guidance, craftsmen in the Czech Republic build the wagons from scratch, carving intricate patterns on the exteriors and adding brass trim, and, if requested, sandblasting the windows with floral designs.
5. It takes about six weeks to build a new caravan, he says, with up to eight men working full time.
4. The price of his caravans ranges from $30,000 for a simple design to about $60,000 for the most ornate.
3. "It's a piece of movable art," says Tim Jasper, a designer whose eponymous U.K.-based design firm builds garden wagons, as he calls them, or upscale, modern gypsy caravans.
2. He sold it for $150,000 to a wealthy ranch owner in Colorado who used it as an ornament on her property.
1. [Another] client [...] says she fantasized about owning a wagon ever since she saw one in the movie Lassie Come Home as a girl. 'It's like a little dream come true,' she says about her vacation home.