Saturday, April 25, 2009

Princess Grace's Faberge Egg

Inspired by an 18th century French clock, Mikhael Perkhin crafted this beautiful translucent blue egg for Faberge. Tsar Alexander III gave the egg which features a serpent set with diamonds, a base of gold, and a working clock, to his Tsarina, Maria Feodorova, on Easter Day in 1887.

The enamelled egg was removed from the Anichkov Palace to the Armory in the Kremlin during the Russian Revolution. Michel Norman of the Australian Pearl Company then bought it. Eventually the shipping magnate, Niarchos, acquired it and gave it to Prince Rainier III of Monaco.

Princess Grace loved the splendid egg. Legend has it that she kept it on her desk in the Palace until she died.

Controversy About The Date

There is some controversy concerning whether this egg really was made in 1887. Lopato thinks that it is too sophisticated and elaborate to have been made at this early date. It was also supposed to have sapphires. But Tatiana Muntian argues that it was made at this early date.

Friday, April 24, 2009


Like Jordan, I only found out the meaning of this term recently! I love the Victorian/ Edwardian eras so I'm a big fan. Read her post which explains steampunk here:What is steampunk?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Gallery of Edwardian Clothes

I found a gallery of beautiful Edwardian designs here: Edwardian Designs

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Meme from Histatic!

(NB: I've also put this on my Royal blog.)

What is your current obsession? Sarah and John Churchill. I'm in love with the ravishing Duke of Marlborough, the victor of Blenheim. Sarah is almost more interesting. It's a great love story.

Good fika place? Not sure about this one.

Do you nap a lot? No-not a napper at all.

Who was the last person you hugged? My husband.

What’s for dinner? Lean pork chop, mashed potatoes and spinach.

What was the last thing you bought? Writing Magazine at the newsagent.

What are you listening to right now? The Duchess by Amanda Foreman.

What’s on your bedside table? Books-I just love them.

Say something to the person/s who tagged you. She didn't tag me, but Histatic is a wonderful blog!

If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you want it to be? I would have to say the Italian lakes. George Clooney can't be wrong. Stresa is the most beautiful town.

Favourite holiday (sorry) spot? The Italian lakes again. I'd love to go back to Belgirate on Lake Maggiore.

Name the things you can’t live without. I can not live without my husband, my close family and friends and my books.

What would you like to have in your hands right now? The book that I'm expecting about Anna Pavlova!.

What is your favourite tea flavour? At the risk of being boring, Twining's English Breakfast Tea. Yes, it has to be Twinings!

Which modern Royal would you most like to meet? Princess Mary. I like her grace and elegance. I also like her because she's Australian and has a Law degree.

If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go? Lake Louise in Canada. I went there when I was 11. We had lunch at the beautiful old hotel on the lake and walked in the garden. It was wonderful and I'd love to spend more time there.

What did you want to become as a child? I wanted one career after another! They included: actress, writer, English professor, teacher, botanist.. I'm what Barbara Sher calls a 'scanner'.

What do you miss? I agree with Histatic here: University-it was awesome. I miss doing my Arts degree.

What are you reading right now? I am about to read Becoming Queen, Kate Williams.

What do you fear the most? Things changing. (Histatic and I must be somewhat alike!)

What designer piece of clothing would you most like to own (new or vintage)? A Poiret gown.

If you could go back in time what period and where would you go to and why? (question added by TammiMagee of Histatic!) At the minute I would go to the mid to late 18th century in order to meet Sarah Churchill and Abigail Masham.

Last question, added by Sallymandy: How do you feel about the economy? I hope that it's looking up!

That’s all for me. If you’d like to do the meme, here’s how it works.

1. Respond and rework. Answer the questions on your blog, replace one question you dislike with a question of your own invention; add a question of your own.

2. Tag eight other un-tagged people. (I decided to open this up to anyone.)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Jeanne Lanvin

Jeanne Lanvin was a great Edwardian designer. My new article about her: Jeanne Lanvin

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Review of Sara Wheeler's Cherry: A Life of Apsley Cherry-Garrard

Cherry: A Life of Apsley Cherry-Garrard

This Antarctic hero famously almost lost his life searching for the eggs of the Emperor Penguin hoping that they'd help solve a Darwinian problem.

A son of an aristocratic family who eventually inherited two English estates, Cherry-Garrard could have become a country gentleman and squire. He didn't need to work, but he was looking for more meaning in his life. He met Edward Wilson who became his mentor and helped him win a place on Scott's last expedition. 'Cherry' wrote his great classic, The Worst Journey in the World, about his harrowing time in Antarctica.

This biography describes Cherry's great expedition and experiences at the Antarctic, deals in depth with his terrible struggles with depression and his mistreatment by the Press and the British Museum, and his happy marriage at the end of his life. Wheeler also made an expedition to the Antarctic and her anecdotes make this part of the book very interesting.

The problem is that the book fell away a bit after the account of the Antarctic journey, because this was the most fascinating part of Cherry's life. It also became quite harrowing because Cherry was haunted by wondering whether he could have saved Scott and this affected his life badly.

However, it's well-worth reading if you like to read about Antarctic heroes.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Interesting Feature on Sir Robert Helpman

This was on Artworks on ABC National: Sir Robert Helpman He tells us a little bit more about Anna Pavlova with whom he began his career.

Hobble Skirt

Evangeline has an excellent post about this elegant but tight skirt here:The Hobble Skirt

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Couturier Paul Poiret

My article: Couturier Paul Poiret won an Editor's Choice award!

Marchesa Casati

Here is my article about this very odd woman who was a fashion icon in Edwardian times:
An Italian Fashion Legend

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Giovanni Boldini

Boldini was another famous portrait painter of the Edwardian age. There is an article about him here: The Master of Swish