Cuixmala's Cushions

In 1986, the billionaire banker Sir James Goldsmith acquired some 20,000 acres of land on the Pacific coast of Mexico near Careyes and commissioned the architect Robert Couturier to build an enormous home, Cuixmala ("Soul Haven"), overlooking the sea.

When Goldsmith was in residence, between December and May, the home was attended by a retinue of 400 servants, including cooks, gardeners, security guards, and, according to one visitor, "two full-time cushion sewers" to tend to the 1,300 exquisite Indian silk pillows strewn across the home's countless giant sofas and armchairs.

[Goldsmith, Couturier later recalled, "was the source of the whole region's economy."]

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