This colorful image of a flapper enjoying a panoramic vista of the French Riviera has an equally colorful story. The woman is Gaby Deslys (an abbreviation of "Gabrielle of the Lillies"), a dancer, singer, and actress who achieved fame on two continents. She performed frequently in Marseilles, Paris, and London, wowed crowds at the Liverpool Olympia, and sparked a riot during an appearance at Yale.
The most famous of her romantic entanglements was with King Manuel of Portugal, who was said to have given her a pearl necklace worth $70,000 (valued at more than 10 times that amount today). Gaby loved pearls and claimed before she died in 1920 that she owned a collection of them equal to her own weight.
Her penchant for extravagant style was immortalized on the silver screen when her carved and gilded bed, styled in the form of an enormous swan, was bought at auction by the Universal Studios prop department for use in the 1925 film of The Phantom of the Opera. In 1950 it was also used in Sunset Boulevard as the bed of Norma Desmond.
Marseille was Gaby's adopted home, and was close in proximity to where Fap Anis was produced, making her a natural fit for the brand: she was a local girl made good.