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The recent Christmas post I did about Yoshio Markino, the Japanese artist who lived in Chelsea, reminded me that there were still some images I hadn’t used in a post, even though I wrote four…

Source: Markino returns: alone in this world

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Arriving in London in 1935, the Viennese photographer Wolfgang Suschitzky is best known for his depictions of London in the 1930s and 1940s. However a photography career spanning 70 years has seen him capture many subjects, all with the same genuine affection…

Source: vintage everyday: 30 Stunning Black and White Photographs of London in the 1930s and 1940s


This is an adaptation of an original 1890s Criterion Theatre programme in my collection. I confess to being potty about it. The original image is the central strip which I copied, pasted and extended to form a background so that it was a classic card-shaped design. The Art Nouveau shapes and swirls are a treat and enable one to breathe in the theatrical atmosphere of late 19th century London.

The Criterion Theatre in September 2007 [Wikipedia]

The Criterion Theatre in September 2007 [Wikipedia]

This small, Grade II* listed theatre in Piccadilly Circus — it has an official capacity of 588 — opened on the site of an old hunting inn, the White Bear, in 1874. It has played host to some notable performances and productions, not least Charles Wyndham as David Garrick (1888),  John Gielgud in Musical Chairs (1932), Terence Rattigan’s French Without Tears (1936-1939), Beckett’s Waiting for Godot (1955), which transferred from the Arts Theatre with Peter Woodthorpe, Hugh Burden, Timothy Bateson, and Peter Bull, and Joe Orton’s Loot (1966) with Michael Bates and Kenneth Cranham.

Did you know that one has been able to hear the underground rumble of Piccadilly Line trains since 1906 when the station and line originally opened? It gives productions a certain something! To read more about the Criterion’s history, click here.

I’ve just discovered that John Gielgud’s performance in the above-mentioned Musical Chairs was criticised by Noël Coward. Gielgud wrote to him thus:

To Noël Coward

May 1932, London

Thank you very much for writing as you did. I was very upset at the time, because as you know I had always admired you and your work so very much and also because in a way I have always thought my success in the theatre only began after the Vortex time – this play was my own discovery and I had much to do with the casting and getting it produced, so naturally I was very anxious you of all people should like it. But you are quite right, of course. I act very badly in it sometimes, more especially I think when I know people who matter are in front. And such a small theatre as the Criterion is difficult for me, who am used to the wastes of the Old Vic and His Majesty’s. If I play down, they write and say I’m inaudible and if I act too much, the effect is dire. Now and again one can strike the happy mien and give a good performance. But then, it is no use trying to excuse oneself. I played ever so much better today after reading your letter, and I am really glad when I get honest criticism, though sometimes it’s a bit hard to decide whom to listen to and whom to ignore…
[Daily Telegraph – Gielgud’s Letters, introduced and edited by Richard Mangan, published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson]

And here are Sir Charles Wyndham (1837-1919) as Garrick and Miss Mary Moore aka Lady Wyndham (1861-1931) as Ada Ingot in David Garrick at the Criterion Theatre in 1886, which is available as a greeting card.

Available at the following galleries:
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Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


In 1965 a woman died in an old house in Palace Green, a house she had lived in all her life. The house had once been the laundry of Kensington Palace but her parents had just been looking for a pleasant family dwelling. The houses around it had become grander (and more valuable) over the course of the 20th century but for Estella Canziani her house was the family home and garden she had always known.

Estella had done many things in her life. She was a writer on travel and folklore (and local history), a campaigner for the RSPCA and RSPB,  a book illustrator and painter. She painted landscapes, portraits, animals and costumes but what we’re looking at today are paintings of her home and the places around it. What Estella saw were gardens, trees, small animals and rooms full of objects.  She wrote a memoir of her…

Source: What Estella saw | The Library Time Machine


5779126-LTo celebrate festive traditions, here is an excerpt from The Book of Christmas descriptive of the Customs, Ceremonies, Traditions, Superstitions, Fun, Feeling, and Festivities of the Christmas Season (1836) by Victorian poet and critic Thomas Kibble Hervey (1799 – 1859).

“Boxing-day is still a great day in London. Upon this anniversary, every street resounds with the clang of hall-door knockers. Rap follows rap, in rapid succession, the harsh and discordant tones of iron mingling with those of rich and sonorous brass, and giving a degenerate imitation of the brazen clangor of the trumpet, which formed the summons to the gate in days of old, and which, together with the martial music of the drum, appears to have been adopted, at a later period, by the Christmas-boxers, on St. Stephen’s Day. Pepys, in his Diary (1668), records his having been…

Source: Boxing Day Bonanza | A R T L▼R K


Violet Trefusis (née Keppel; 6 June 1894 – 29 February 1972) was an English writer and socialite. She is chiefly remembered for her lengthy affair with the poet Vita Sackville-West, which the two women continued after their respective marriages to men. Trefusis wrote novels and non-fiction works, both in English and French.

The affair was featured in novels by both parties, in Virginia Woolf’s novel Orlando: A Biography, and in many letters and memoirs of the period, roughly 1912–1922. Many are preserved at Yale University Library. Trefusis also inspired other fiction and was featured as a pivotal character in these novels, including “Lady Montdore” in Nancy Mitford’s Love in a Cold Climate and…

Source: People : Violet Trefusis . Vita’s True Love . | stuartshieldgardendesign


Wretched Richard's Almanac

September 6, 1939

Widely regarded as one of the leading illustrators from the Golden Age of book illustration, from 1900 until the start of the First World War, Arthur Rackham died on September 6, 1939. He was born 71 years earlier in London as one of 12 children. In 1884, at the age of 17, he was sent on an ocean voyage to Australia to improve his fragile health, accompanied by two aunts, and upon his return began studying part-time at the Lambeth School of Art.

His first book illustrations were published in 1893. He has illustrated such diverse works as Grimm Fairy Tales and Shakespeare, Alice in Wonderland and Wagner’s ring cycle. Many of the works he illustrated are commonly referred to as the Arthur Rackham editions.

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Originally posted on stuartshieldgardendesign.

Dora de Houghton Carrington (29 March 1893 – 11 March 1932), known generally as Carrington, was a British painter and decorative artist, remembered in part for her association with members of the Bloomsbury Group, especially the writer Lytton Strachey.

Early life

The daughter of a Liverpool merchant, she was born in Hereford, England, and attended the all-girls’ Bedford High School which emphasized art. Her parents also paid for her to receive extra lessons in drawing. She went to the Slade School of Art at University College, London where she subsequently won a scholarship; her fellow students included Paul Nash, Christopher R. W. Nevinson and Mark Gertler. All at one time or another were in love with her, as was Nash’s younger brother John Nash, who hoped to marry her. Gertler pursued Carrington for a number of years, and they had a brief sexual relationship during the years of the First World War.

From her time at the Slade onwards, she was commonly known simply by her surname. She was not well known as a painter during her lifetime, as she rarely exhibited and did not sign her work. She worked for a while at the Omega Workshops, and for the Hogarth Press, designing woodcuts.

Career and personal life

220px-stracheycarringtonCarrington was not a member of the Bloomsbury Group, though she was closely associated with Bloomsbury and, more generally, with “Bohemian” attitudes, through her long relationship with…

via People : Bloomsbury , Dora Carrington | stuartshieldgardendesign.


Originally posted on WildeTimes.net.

A Private View at the Royal Academy, with captions pointing out Anthony Trollope, Prime Minister William Gladstone, Robert Browning, the Countess of Lonsdale, Lord Leighton, Lillie Langtry, Oscar Wilde, Ellen Terry and Henry Irving, and John Everett Millais

The opening of the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition at Burlington House, Piccadilly, London on the first Monday in May marked the beginning of ‘the Season’ for the élite of Victorian Society. This set in play three hectic months of balls, concerts, dinner parties, operas, horse riding in Hyde Park, the Derby and races at Royal Ascot, the Henley Royal Regatta and cricket at Lord’s. Young women pinned their hopes on getting engaged before the debutante balls, parties and concerts came to an end on 12 August, when fashionable people abandoned London and headed north to shoot grouse, partridges and pheasants as a prelude to fox-hunting.Whatever Oscar Wilde may have thought of fox-hunting (“the unspeakable in full pursuit of the uneatable” as he called it in A Woman of No Importance), his social success is reflected in his appearance at the Royal Academy’s Private Viewing day in May 1881, an invitation-only event. At only 26 years of age, Wilde was a celebrity moving in the best circles, despite being an Irishman in xenophobic London.Wilde’s achievement is remarkable because in 1881 he had little writing to his name (his first and largely forgotten play, Vera, and a volume of poetry), yet he had made himself conspicuous enough as…

via The Apostle of the beautiful and the Season | WildeTimes.net.


Originally posted in July 2013, here is Architectural Oddity again with all the gallery links (below).

Surreal art created with a vintage postcard in my collection of the British Textile Pavilion at the 1908 Franco-British Exhibition in London.
Background layer: Playing with Brushes.
Texture: Textures of Italy.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

Available at the following galleries:
Redbubble
Crated
Zazzle US
Zazzle UK
Fine Art America
Fine Art England
Saatchi Art

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Originally posted on The Library Time Machine.

First, let’s sort out the local connection. Fanny, or more properly Frances, Burney the 18th century novelist lived in Chelsea twice. Once with some of her family in an apartment at Chelsea College when she finished working as Second Keeper of the Robes for Queen Charlotte, and later in her life at an address in Lower Sloane Street.

Which is good for me because although Frances Burney / Madame D’Arblay was a very remarkable woman and one of the first great English novelists, this week’s post is really about a particular edition of her first novel Evelina.

Now I’ve written nearly 200 of these posts you must have had all my basic thoughts and the variations on them. One thing I seem to say quite often is that things in the past resemble things in the present. People seem to do the same things in the past as they do now and the things they entertained themselves with are like the things we use now for the pursuit of happiness.

One day I went to the Reference store looking for a book illustrated by someone who is nothing to do with this post. In an odd corner of the Dewey Decimal Classification you can find novels, plays and poetry all together at one number, 741.64 classified by the artist who illustrated them. And there I found a 1903 one volume edition of…

via 18th Century escapades: Evelina and Fanny | The Library Time Machine.


Swan & Edgar’s Fashionable Furs was one of the first greeting cards I made at Zazzle. I scanned this advertisement from one of my early 20th century editions of the English theatre periodical, Play Pictorial.

Regent_Street,_London_W1_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1098011

Even if you have never heard of Swan & Edgar’s, this grand department store was housed in one of the most recognisable and iconic buildings of Piccadilly Circus, between Piccadilly and Regent Street. It was the establishment in which to be seen for it sold the most sumptuous clothes for the well-heeled. The store had its beginnings in a haberdashery stall in St James Market run by William Edgar early in the 19th century. After meeting George Swan, the two men combined resources:

They first opened a shop together in Ludgate Hill which Mr Swan had been operating, but moved to 20 Piccadilly in 1812. They then moved to 49 Regent Street when their former site was demolished to make way for Piccadilly Circus, which had been the home to the Western Mail coach offices and the Bull & Mouth public house. George Swan died in 1821, however Mr Edgar continued to use the name. By 1848 the premises had expanded to 45-51 and the entire corner of Piccadilly Circus… [Wikipedia]

stores_swanedgar

Available at the following galleries:
Zazzle US
Zazzle UK

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Originally posted on HistoryLondon.

Was it something in the water? Wandering around the City of London’s Square Mile I have been surprised to learn that five of England’s greatest poets were born here, within a few hundred yards of each other, in a concentration of poetic genius I would hazard is not surpassed anywhere else in the world.

The lives of the five: John Milton, Alexander Pope, Thomas Gray, John Keats and Thomas Hood, occupied a key period of about 250 years of London’s history from 1600 to 1850. Their poetic styles were very different, and none of them, except perhaps Hood, is remembered particularly as a London writer, but I thought it would be interesting to find out what they had to say about their home city.

In 1608, John Milton was born an unquestioned Cockney, in Bread Street just three houses south of Cheapside and the…

via Five Cockney Poets | HistoryLondon.


Sinking beneath the waves as I try to catch up. I hope you enjoy the reposting of Those Were the Days,
Take care and keep laughing!
Sarah

First Night Design

The CaféŽ Royal, London by William Orpen (1912) © First Night Vintage—Available as Posters, Cards, and Prints

The Café Ž Royal, London by William Orpen (1912) © First Night Vintage—Available as Posters, Cards, and Prints

There were many disadvantages to living in the early years of the 20th century, not least the coming of the ‘War to End All Wars’, which was anything but. Nevertheless, I can’t help dreaming of swanning around in an Edwardian frock or a Twenties flapper dress and the wherewithal to enjoy the delights of London theatre, fine dining and exquisite conversation. My recent post, Café Royal Rose, set me on a journey. But before I could do but a soupçon of research, I was stopped short by finding a copy of William Orpen’s painting on Wikimedia.

I could not pass by without downloading it and working magic with my resizing software (OnOne) to be able to sell it on First Night Vintage. I don’t think any regular followers will be…

View original post 256 more words


Originally posted on First Night Design

Thomas Crapper Toilet Victor Horta Museum, Brussels

Thomas Crapper Toilet Victor Horta Museum, Brussels

 

That’s right — Thomas Crapper (1836-1910) did not invent the flush loo or toilet.  Certainly he was responsible for improving the mechanism by developing the ballcock, for example, and for spreading the word about flush toilets, but the inventor he was not.

Nor is it true that his name is the reason we refer to the ‘waste product’ as ‘crap’.  It’s a lovely idea but his surname is purely coincidental. The word ‘crap’ appeared much earlier and is likely to have come from the combination of the Old French crappe, meaning ‘chaff’, and the Dutch krappe, meaning ‘to pluck’ or ‘cut off’.  These days we use ‘crap’ as a slang word not just for excrement but for anything we consider is…

via First Night Design | Thomas Crapper Did Not Invent the Flush Loo

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