Monday, January 27, 2020

Jane Austen Pride And Prejudice Anniversary 1813-2020

Hello to my friends. January 28th is the anniversary of the publishing of Jane Austen's Pride And Prejudice in 1813...
My favourite is the 1995 version with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle...

The book was originally published with the author listed as A Lady, as it was considered scandalous for a gently bred woman to publish a book.

Eventually, her favourite brother Henry Austen let the cat out of the bag... and subsequently the Prince Regent hinted strongly she should dedicate her next work to him, as he had been an early and devoted fan of her books.

She dedicated Emma to him in 1816.

 It was thought she was not that fond of the idea, but felt it correct to do so...

This pair of Regency or Georgian hallmarked silver sugar tongs were made in 1828, and I like to think Jane Austen must have used a similar pair...

Where indeed would be without her wonderful books!
So glad to remember this anniversary! 

Mr Darcy, you must allow me to present this young lady to you as a desireable partner...

Monday, January 20, 2020

We're All Scottish On Burns Night January 25th

January 25th is the birthday of the famous Scottish author and poet Robert Burns who was born in 1759.

And loving Scotland ad all things Scottish has been famous for years...
 Queen Victoria and Prince Albert loved the Scottish Highlands, and Prince Albert redesigned Balmoral Castle into their Highland retreat.

And Queen Victoria splashed tartans... including several they designed themselves... around the interiors...

Above is a family drawing of a drawing room at Balmoral, that has hardly changed, as Queen Elizabeth II loves it as well...

Her Majesty at the Ghillies Ball in 1971...

Burns is still remembered by many with Burns Night festivities which include poetry, whiskey and haggis...he even wrote a poem to the famous regional dish of Scotland... which I don't like.  

I recently read a cozy murder mystery by Canadian author C. C. Benison called Eleven Pipers Piping, where the murder occurs at a very rancorous Burns Night supper. A very fun read! 
  I also love his series featuring transplanted Canadian Jane Bee who finds herself a housemaid at the Royal palaces and sleuthful helper of the Queen. Great fun!

These 2 photos of the Scottish Highlands, some of the most popular posts in the last few years on my Facebook page, may go someway to explaining the beauty and appeal of the highlands...
the above photo is of an unidentified location, and the photo below is of Loch Muick in Aerdeenshire...

Or this of the Cairngorms on the Balmoral estate...

And always a popular theme in decor. Shelley China, England, a marvelous pottery which unfortunately closed in 1966, had a long lived popular pattern called Heather. 
Below is an example of the wonderful Scottish landscape with multicolored heather by what I am sure is a salmon stream in a gorgeous large plate or charger...

So remember to sing For 'Auld Lang Syne of Robert Burns most famous compositions. I won't suggest raising a glass of whiskey...don't like that either! I make a poor Scot... good thing I'm English...I'll have that cup of tea now...

Monday, January 13, 2020

Shelley China Landscapes to Start A New Year!

I absolutely love Shelley China. Shelley closed in 1966 and is the focus of collecting societies in the USA, England and Australia and I am a member of all of them. The designs of Shelley are popular for many reasons. But in my opinion, the landscape designs are the most under appreciated ares of Shelley collecting.

Shelley landscape designs include Glorious Devon, Woodland, Surrey Scenery, Bluebell Woods, England's Charm and many others. One of my favorite is the Woodland design cup and saucer that is pictured here. The design was manufactured in several shapes and sizes in it's long history until the pottery closed in 1966.

I love England and the scenery is one of the reasons I do. This could be taken from any number of places from around the English countryside. When we used go annually for a buying trip, we always spent 1 week out of the month in some part of the country we are re-visiting or have never been, and choose for scenery more than anything. Then, of course, it's check the local papers for church fetes, antique fairs and car boot sales!

Just looking at Shelley's landscape designs is a mini trip to England for me and always bring a smile to my face.

To see more of Shelley's landscape or scenic designs... or any other Shelley we might currently have... check this link to Time Was Antiques or click on the photos.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Happy Birthday Catherine Duchess of Cambridge

Wishing a Happy Birthday to Catherine Duchess of Cambridge...

Born January 9, 1982....

And many more happy and healthy years!

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Twelfth Night Ends The 12 Days Of Christmas

Twelfth Night ends the 12 Days of Christmas... I can hear you humming it now... 

And refers in Christian calendars to the 12th night following Christmas and the birth of the Christ child, traditionally viewed as the time it took the Magi or Wise man to reach the Christ Child.

 In non Christian England, the traditions were instead related to the solstice, and in the early church, after 12 days of prayer, good deeds and charity, the 12th Night was viewed as an end to restraint.

The above boar's head tureen from the 1770s made by the Chelsea Pottery in England, was probably made for use during 12th Night... immortalized by Shakespeare in his play.
 Revels and theatricals were part of the day.

 also a part of the festivities were costumes, assigning of roles to play, masks and the appointing of The Lord Of Misrule who's commands had to be obeyed.
Needless to say, there was much spirits and license, and many were appalled by what occurred, really in contrast to a religious observance.

Often roles were reversed... servants becoming gentry and gentry becoming servants, or parents being subject to children for the day or evening.

 The above is an engraving of the Lord Of Misrule at the Crystal Palace in London during the reign of Queen Victoria

 Games were played in Regency and Victorian parlors like Snapdragon above... snatching raisins from a basin of flaming brandy and hopefully not burning fingers to badly. 

And the Yule log, brought in on Christmas eve, needed to stay lit until Twelfth Night to insure good luck for the family.

Another was Bullet Pudding, but I couldn't find an illustration of that. It consisted of a mound of flour with a bullet on top. Players cut away a slice of flour with a knife until one player's cut dislodged the bullet. Then that player had to grasp the bullet from the flour with their teeth...and a much floured face... to earn the prize.

Twelfth Night cakes were and are very decorative and reflect the 3 Kings...

The above is from the National Trust and is an exact replica used in a Tudor kitchen

 So wishing you a wonderful Twelfth Night or Epiphany.
With all the lights and decorations put away, it will certainly be dimmer and lack sparkle around here for awhile!

Monday, December 30, 2019

Happy New Year and Happy Hogmanay, or Scottish New Year!

Happy New Year my friends!

In England and other areas of the UK, Hogmanay is celebrated as the New Year's tradition, especially in Scotland where the celebrations last for 3 days.

 It is not known exactly where the word comes from, although it is believed to come from the French word 'hoginane' meaning 'gala day'. It is thought to have first been used widely following Mary, Queen of Scots' return to Scotland from France in 1561. 
And when Oliver Cromwell outlawed Christmas for fear of idolatry in the 1650s, Hogmanay gained popularity.

 Hogmanay has some fun customs... and First Footing is one.

 First Footing plays an important part. The First Footer refers to the first person who crosses the threshold of your house after midnight and "seals yer fate" for the coming year. The First Footer should be a tall, dark and handsome man with a "dainty foot". Until the First Footer came in the front door after midnight, no one should enter or leave. The First Footer would knock, be asked to enter and do so with gifts in his pockets which have regional variations. :

The usual in my family's tradition was bread or sometimes salt, coal, coins and matches. In Scotland the bread is shortbread and also included...what else? Whiskey! The First Footer then backs out of the he won't take his good luck with him. Then the door (and the party) is free for all! 

The coal means your hearth won't grow cold, your bread is enough food, the coins insure prosperity and the matches, light.

First Footers who met the criteria, were in great demand and could make good money going from house to house by appointment, and earn enough to live on for months. 

 And, as all over, the singing of Burn's great song Auld Lang Syne

Another Hogmany treat is Black Bun... and this great photo and article in The Herald:

'Serving a slice of black bun with a generous dram to first-footers on Hogmanay is traditional in Scotland':

So who will be first through your door??? I know who will be first in our home, as He will never have left! 

A Happy New Year to you all and may 2020 be a year of health, prosperity, peace and happiness in our home and in yours!

Time Was Antiques 15% OFF with code SANTAFORGOT continues through January 3rd!

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Boxing Day, Giving, Hunts And Shopping

Happy Boxing Day!

For those who aren't familiar with the British term, Boxing Day has no pugilistic connotations but refers to the weekday following Christmas Day when the alms or "poor" offering boxes were opened and distributed to the needy.

Boxing Day gift giving began in the middle ages but was revived by Queen Victoria. After all the feasting of Christmas, the leftovers were distributed to the poor as well as monetary gifts. 

It was also a time to give gifts to the employees of the great houses and for the tradesmen that had served through the year. Gifts were given to postmen, delivery people, purveyors and shop keepers as well as any employees in your home or estate.

Boxing Day also includes lots of other opportunites that are more active...from after Christmas sales... the photo below was taken outside Harrods for the Boxing Day sale... and included a red carpet and refreshments being served to those waiting in line to enter with strict capacity controlled at any time.

 to fox hunting, which is a famous activity for Boxing Day, although not without controversy.... 

 Boxing Day hunt postcard... 1910 Bicester

I found a great video of a 2007 fox hunt on You Tube which I have added at the end of the post.

Adams Hunt Scene Plate 1960s English Country House Hunting Dogs Horses Ironstone 9.75 Inch

Hunting scenes have always been a popular theme on English country house decor...

Horse Brass England Tally Ho Hunter 1920s Harness Brass Pub Brass

And hunting horse brasses are always popular....
I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and enjoy your boxing Day. Here is the the wonderful Christmas message video from the BBC from Queen Elizabeth II.

And starts today...


Four Shires Bloodhounds Boxing Day Meet 2007

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