Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I have been away recently and I am going to find it a bit difficult to write often because of travelling between two places. I will do the best that I can to make my posts as frequent as possible.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Jeanne Paquin

You can read my article about this famous designer here: Jeanne Paquin

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Duchess of Marlborough Faberge Egg

Beautiful nineteen-year old Consuelo Vanderbilt, granddaughter of the great Cornelius, could hardly stop crying on her wedding day. She was in love with Winthrop Rutherford, but her mother had made her marry the Duke of Marlborough. This meant that she'd have to leave her own country and live with someone she hardly knew and didn't find impressive.

She found success as a Duchess and grew to love England, but not her husband! She visited Russia and dined with the Tsar himself at the Bal des Palmiers. Although Princess Alexandra's Faberge collection didn't impress her very much, she must have liked Grand Duchess Vladimir's and the Dowager Empress's collections. The former Empress's collection included a Blue Serpent Clock Egg.

Soon afterwards the Duchess commissioned a large egg from Faberge. She was the only American to commission a large egg from them. It is believed to have cost over 5000 rubles.

This beautiful ornament, a clock in the shape of an Easter egg, was crafted by Michael Perchin, who was inspired by a Louis XVI clock. The egg is coloured in translucent pink, white and gold with a diamond-encrusted serpent surrounding it. It features the diamond-set monogram of Consuelo - the initials CM under a ducal crown.

After her divorce from the Duke Consuelo gave this to a charity auction in 1926 where it was bought by the Polish soprano, Ganna Walska. This was the first Faberge Easter egg that Malcolm Forbes bought. In 2004 it was sold to Vekselberg.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Golden Age of Children's Novels

I found a very interesting article in The Times about Edwardian children's novels: Edwardian Children's Novels (NB: I can't seem to link to the article itself.)

The theme of this article is that the children in the novels and their readers were like Peter Pan and refused to grow up. I think that the contrary is true. What about The Railway Children and Anne of Green Gables? The children in the first novel were torn from the middle-class, mired in poverty, and had to endure having a father in jail. They were pretty grown-up! Anne had a tough life as an orphan. After being taken in by Marilla and Matthew at idyllic Green Gables her life improved, but Marilla was quite strict and Anne still had to grow up fast. At one stage, she gave up her ambition to go to university to stay at Green Gables and study by correspondence so that Marilla could keep her beloved home. (She went later.) Now that was pretty damn grown-up!

What do you think?

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Edwardian Photos in Colour!

There's a gorgeous gallery of Edwardian colour photos, including photos of King Edward VII and some of the Rothschilds, here: Edwardian Colour Photos