Monday, November 10, 2014

Poppy Day, Tower Exhibit, Old Curiosity Shop Cup And Saucer, Royal Birthday

It's Remembrance day, Poppy Day or Veteren's Day depending on how you were raised..Brit or Yank.  The name Poppy Day came from this poem written during the Great War or World War I:

 On my last post I shared the progress on the Tower Of London installation commemorating Britain's entry into World War I. You can read about it HERE. It was finally finished...with 888,246 red ceramic poppies...the number of British casualties in the war...

The Times Online posted this photo of the Tower with the completed exhibit from the air, and a friend of mine is in London at the moment, visited the Tower and sent me this photo....

 Look at the way they poured from a window...the scope of it is truly amazing. Thank you, too, to all the veterans who have given so much for our freedom. Thank you. The poppies are in place until Nov. 11 when they will be sold for 25 pounds each to raise funds for charities, 11.2 million pounds.

And to my teacup for Tuesday...
 I want to share a teacup for Tuesday Cuppa Tea, so chose this English themed Rosina, England demitasse cup and saucer that was a souvenir of The Old Curiosity Shop in London England...
 The Old Curiosity Shop was immortalized by the novel of the same name by Charles Dickens....

 I can remember crying so hard over the plight of Little Nell when I was a child...
 The Old Curiosity Shop is still there, although it has been through several changes in the stock...from antiques & curios, to high fashion shoes, to carpets to an art gallery...but the outside remains unchanged...this is from one of our London visits...

Rosina, England, one of my favorite china makers, made fine bone china souvenirs for the shop in the 1940-1950s, most with this Cecil Forbes original engraving design of the shop...for more info on the teacup at Time Was Antiques click on the photos.

This is a circa 1900 early postcard and early photograph of the shop interior...I would have LOVED to have a wander around...wouldn't you?

And a Happy Birthday to HRH Prince Charles whose birthday is November 14th....who is 66.

Prince Charles at age 5 with sister Princess Anne...and below from a few months ago...both courtesy of Getty Images...

 Thanks for visiting. I hope you have a wonderful week. I am joining Tuesday Cuppa Tea.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

100 years since the day Britain went to war in 1914--Red Poppy Exhibit at the Tower Of London

Today marks the 100 anniversary of the day England entered the Great War, the war we know as World War I

In this photo from Getty Images, you see the red ceramic poppies that have been "planted" in the exhibit in honour of the centennial date of October 15, 1914 in the artist's installation by Paul Cummins called Blood Swept Lands And Seas Of Red.  The exhibit includes over 120,000 hand made ceramic poppies.  Here is the view from above the Tower Of London...

which so effectively looks like the spilled blood of the soldiers who gave their lives in what was supposed to be "The War To End All Wars"...

Poppy planting for the installation was visited by royalty like Prince William, Catherine and Prince Harry...

 and assisted...albeit all branches of service. This photo is of 3 generations of Grenadier Guardsmen...the oldest now a Chelsea Pensioner, the middle now a Yeoman Warder at the Tower, popularly known as a Beefeater, and a present day Grenadier Guard. My husband was a Coldstream Guardsman, a brother regiment in the Queen's Brigade Of Guards.

To read my previous post about a Royal Albert Crown China commemorative teacups trio from 1914, click HERE

to read an account in the Mail Online about the installation with a video as well, click HERE

A day to remember with sorrow for loss...wish we could all learn from the terrible history of war.... 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

World War I China From Royal Albert, The Victoria And Albert Museum

It's been awhile...but life happened, and I had to take a break from one of my blogs...and this was the one that was put on hold for awhile. When my husband was having a bit of a bad patch with Parkinson's Disease, I just didn't have time for everything...any of you ever feel like that????

I think what prompted me was finding this...a fantastic teacup trio from World War I with a 1914 mark by Royal Albert Crown China, England...the early version of Royal Albert China.

The war here was called The European War, and was thought to be "The War To End All Wars" and how I wish that had been the case. The cup and plate bear the words:

 No Price Can Be To High When Honour And Freedom Are At Stake
and that was a very popular slogan at the time.
 The flags of France, Russia, Belgium and Japan are depicted in hand painted enamel on transfer with the slogan "United We Stand". These nations were allies of England during the war...but think of what happened in the next decades....

This is the mark...very different from the Royal Albert, England marks we are all familiar with...There is also a cream pitcher in the pattern as well...
Patriotic china from World War I is pretty rare today...really historic survivals of a time that is long past.....for more info on these items at Time Was Antiques, click on the photos...

I thought I'd share a visit a couple of years ago to our favorite Victoria & Albert Museum in London...affectionately known as The V&A. We visit pretty well every time we are in London. The collections are pretty well everything you could possibly want to see from ancient to modern.

The last visit, we spent a lot of time in the English Arts And Crafts is synonymous with lovely hand crafted  items and parallels the Aesthetic Movement in the US. It's one of my favorite design periods. The 1860s ignited a reaction to the Industrial Revolution's mass produced goods and artists like William Morris, Phillip Webb, Archibald Knox and others pioneered a return to hand crafted items of beauty. William Morris famously said:

 “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful” William Morris, 1834-1896

This is an Archibald Know sterling silver with stones and enamel box at the Victoria and Albert.

This is a display of everyday kitchen items but decorated beautifully despite being utilitarian objects. I actually took this photo because we had the ivory crumber on the wall there in the shop at the time I took the photo....

There is a large display of Arts And Crafts china and silver as well. 

And I loved this large Wedgwood jasperware jardinere.  There is always too much to see and not enough time at the V&A!

Thanks for joining me! It will be nice to connect with friends through this blog again.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Trooping The Colours For Queen's Official Birthday

Today, June 16th marked the last of the major royal duties for Queen Elizabeth II before the London Olympics begin in July. She also announced her semi annual Birthday Honours List ehich includes Kenneth Branagh and Kate Winslet.

Although the Queen's actual birthday is in April, her official birthday is always celebrated in June...nicer weather usually. The birthday main feature is the Trooping Of The Colour ceremony at Horse Guards Parade in London where the queen is greeted and is reviewed by Her Majesty.

This photo of from 1982. The Queen is sidesaddle, which is how she always rode for the ceremony. The year before, someone shot at her along the Mall, but she is a spectacular horsewoman and brought Burmese, her horse, under control within seconds to the admiration of the crowd. There will be archived news videos of the event if you are interested.  Now the queen, at 86, watched from the grandstand. This year Prince Philip was recovered enough to join her. 

Most of the guardsmen you see are Coldstream Guards, the regiment my husband was a member of. He remembers  that at the Trooping of the Colour someone almost always fainted due to locked knees. If it was hot, which it sometimes is, there were more that went down...and were subsequently disciplined with a boring job for a bit & teased by the others. In the 1970s, the bearskin hat weighed in at 8-10 pounds. The framework is now much more lightweight and weighs in at 5-6 pounds. I found this photo of an example:

The family enjoyed the carriage ride back to Buckingham Palace after the ceremony. Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge rode with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, as both William and his father Charles were on horseback.

 The family then gathered on the balcony of Buckingham Palace for a wave and a fly by.

 So happy official birthday Ma'am!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Queen's Jubilee Continues, Thames Pageant, Jubilee Concert

Today is Tuesday Cuppa Tea, but I don't have a teacup...just Diamond Jubilee news. Another great day yesterday. The Diamond Jubilee had it's Big Lunch midday which included Prince Charles and Camilla as surprise participants in Piccadilly.

Then it was on to the Thames Pageant. I watched it streaming from 5am Pacific time on the BBC website.

This was the scene as it crossed under the MIllenium foot bridge..a favorite river crossing site for us between the Embankment and the Southwark side.

There were over 20,000 folks on the river participating. There were 93 narrow boats which ply the canals of the UK and over 1,000 different vessels from 1 man kayaks to Uni crews, lifeboat brigades, a Venetian gondola and a fleet of boats who had actually participated in the fleet of boats who rescued people after the battle of Dunkirk.

The royal family braved the 2 hours in the worsening weather which culminated in a downpour.  Below is the Royal barge Gloriana which I posted about recently as it was being built.  I said at that time it would carry the Queen, but she and most of the family were actually on the much larger Spirit Of Chartwell.

 The GBP, or Great British Public as they are known, turned up trumps as usual and celebrated with an undampened spirit despite the uncooperative weather. I love the hand knit crown wooly hat made and worn by Janet Mead above, and the rain jackets seen all over during the festivities below.

Today, there is currently a live concert going on on a stage built around the Victoria Memorial, just outside the gates of Buckingham Palace.

I had to show you this. After the opening fireworks display, the revelers had the band perform of the Coldstream Guards of the Queen's guards, which is my husband's old regiment. Quite moving for us!

This is the line up for the concert, but Sir Paul McCartney is dur to end with 3 songs and that's not on the list. The Sing portion is organized by Andrew Lloyd Webber:

16:19 The line-up for tonight's concert is quite something. Apparently the Queen asked for Kylie's Timebomb especially. I'm most looking forward to Madness singing Our House from the top of....The Queen's House! And Elton John's rendition of I'm Still Standing which either seems appropriate or completely inappropriate.
• Madness – Our House (From roof of the palace)
• Robbie Williams – Mack the Knife/Let Me Entertain You
• Gary Barlow and Cheryl – Need You Now
• Ed Sheeran – The A Team
• Alfie Bow and Renee Fleming – Somewhere (From palace balcony)
• Gareth Malone and Military Wives – National Anthem
• Shirley Bassey – Diamonds are Forever
• Tom Jones – Delilah/Mama Told Me Not To Come
• Cliff Richard – Medley
• Grace Jones – Slave To The Rhythm
• Paul McCartney – Medley
• Jessie J – Domino
• Annie Lennox – There Must Be An Angel
• JLS – Everybody in Love/She Makes Me Wanna
• Alfie Boe – O Solo Mio
• Jools Holland and Ruby Turner – You Are So Beautiful
• Renee Fleming – Un Bel Di Vedremo
• Lang Lang – Hungarian Rhapsody
• Elton John – Your Song/Still Standing/Crocodile Rock
• Gary Barlow and the Commonwealth Band featuring the Military Wives – Sing
• Stevie Wonder – Medley
• Kylie Minogue - Medley (including Timebomb)

The concert will be followed by the National Beacon by Queen Elizabeth, the first lighting that began in New Zealand yesterday. I leave you with a Jubilee highlights video from the Guardian that is great!

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