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Topic: For sale: the sexiest house in town Return to archive
01-09-02 04:07 PM
CS by Mira Bar-Hillel and Harriet Arkell

Kylie Minogue shot a pop video in the swimming pool,
Jerry Hall got into a lather in the bathroom and it was
also the setting for a graphic orgy scene from
Spartacus - if sex sells, this £3.5 million Clapham
mansion ought to fly off the market.

Located on the busy
A3, seven-storey No
46 Clapham Common
Northside has seen it
all. The Joy of Sex
video was shot here,
with naked models
assuming various
positions in the
ballroom, penthouse
and bathroom, and an
Ann Summers erotic
lingerie catalogue was
photographed in the
lift. The house was
also the setting of the
orgy scene for The
Rolling Stones'
Beggars Banquet
album cover.

"During the Ann
Summers shoot the
house was full of
naked women, but an
electrician who was
working on the house
didn't realise," said
photographer Michael
Joseph, who owned the house for nearly 20 years.

"The man was doing some work when the lift doors
opened and a beautiful naked lady walked out. He got
so excited by the whole thing that instead of doing one
day's work he ended up staying 10, working for
nothing and installing things we didn't need.

"For The Joy of Sex video I remember hirsute people
being filmed in sexy candlelit scenes in the bathroom. I
don't remember learning anything new about sex but it
did look rather nice."

Mr Joseph himself shot the orgy scene for a French
theatrical production of Spartacus, and remembers
having to use every ounce of delicacy to choreograph
the blushing naked models."People had to be very
controlled because of the flames, daggers and
swords," he said. "But it was great to work with the
model Tula [Caroline Cossey] as she was one of the
first people to have a sex change. She was born a man
but had the most magnificent feminine figure."

As well as giving the house its sexual notoriety by filling
it with his famous friends and taking some extremely
candid photographs, Mr Joseph and his wife Julie
transformed it into an opulent family home.

Bought for just £60,000 in 1979, the house, which has
a 50ft garden, was then divided into flats. The Josephs
turned it back into one house, boasting a 40ft by 17ft
ballroom with floor-to-ceiling windows, a two-person
bath, a swimming pool with sliding roof, and ornate
pink marble columns.

The house was sold to its present owners - Gareth
Quarry, his partner Jill Whitehouse and their three
children - in 1997 for £1.5 million, but they now wish to
find somewhere with more land, and it is on the market
again for more than double that.

Tony D'Alton, of estate agents Knight Frank, believes
the mansion's sexual history will be neither a help nor
a hindrance when it comes to selling it. "My clients
certainly won't mind that sort of thing at all," he said.
"What they are interested in and what is wonderful
about this house is that you can use its bottom three
floors as offices, so someone can have their home and
their business in the same place, with no commuting
over the river." With 10,000 sq ft of living space, the
new buyer will also have lots of room to entertain his
or her neighbours, and there are plenty of them. In
November the Evening Standard revealed how 260
asylum seekers were living in a cockroach-infested
hotel just a few yards down the road.

© Associated Newspapers Ltd., 09 January 2002
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