Posts filed under ‘19th century’

TV: Do Not Miss! Banished and Poldark will Start this Week!

And so it begins!

BANISHED
BBC Two
Thursday, 5 March, 9pm

In his latest TV drama Banished, writer Jimmy McGovern tells a brutal story about the first British convicts to be transported to Australia.

Read more here!

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Russell Tovey (right) alongside Myanna Buring and Julian Rhind-Tutt

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Anne Meredith (Orla Brady), Elizabeth Quinn (Buring) and Katherine McVitie (Joanna Vanderham)

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Russell Tovey (James Freeman)

But what I’m personally waiting for is the result of the rumoured spray-tan

POLDARK
BBC One
Sunday, 8 March, 9pm

The very lovely vampire dwarf Aidan Turner plays a stubborn but heroic Cornishman who returns from the American War of Independence to discover that his father has died and his fiancee is betrothed to another man.

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I’ll be watching this mostly for historic research.

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Mostly.

 

4 March, 2015 at 11:48 pm 1 comment

2015 goes 18th and 19th Century, telly-wise – what can we look forward to?

I’m still waiting for something to even remotely provide me with the entertainment and delight of Garrow’s Law and the handsomeness that’s Andrew Buchan (and no, neither “Call the Midwife”, “Downton Abbey” nor “Mrs Brown’s Boys” will do, thank you very much), but at least there is a faint light on the TV horizon for 2015 for us aficionados of the 18th and 19th century.

Let’s start with

POLDARK
with Aidan Turner (Ross Poldark) and Eleanor Tomlinson (Demelza).
BBC1, 8 episodes, scheduled for March 2015

Aidan Turner as Ross Poldark

Kíli finally had a shave, of sorts. Ross Poldark (Aidan Turner) Image Credit: BBC/Mammoth. Photographer: Robert Viglasky

Yes, yes, I know – Robin Ellis and Angharad Rees left mighty big shoes to fill, and there’s a good number of Poldarkites who feel there is no need for a re-interpretation. But after 40 years – why not? I’m confident that both Aidan Turner and Eleanor Tomlinson have the talent to tackle this task. Let’s wait and see (or rather, watch); I’ll definitely do the latter. And come on – Aidan Turner in uniform, what’s not to love!
He’ll always be Mitchell to me.

BANISHED
with David Wenham (Captain Arthur Phillip, 1st Governor of New South Wales), Joseph Millson (Major Robert Ross), MyAnna Buring (Elizabeth Quinn), Julian Rhind-Tutt (Tommy Barrett), Russell Tovey (James Freeman) a.o.
BBC2, 7 episodes, scheduled for Spring (?) 2015

Ah, now that sounds interesting! “Banish” will follow the lives and dares of a group of convicts (and their guards, I suppose) who try to survive in Australia in 1788. Very fascinating material (remember Jack Davenport in Mary Bryant? Yes? Ah…), and I’d watch just about anything with George Russell Tovey, but David Wenham as well? We’re spoiled!

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MyAnna Buring, Julian Rhind-Tutt & Russell Tovey in BBC Two’s “Banished”

Banished

MyAnna Buring, Julian Rhind-Tutt & Russell Tovey in BBC Two’s “Banished”

And, just in case I haven’t emphasised this enough: David Wenham in uniform! Quick, quick, pass the smelling salts!

David Wenham, heart of oak

Faramir never looked better.

Last but definitely not least:

JONATHAN STRANGE & MR NORRELL
with Eddie Marsan (Mr Norrell), Bertie Carvel (Jonathan Strange) a.o.
BBC1, 7 episodes, tba, 2015

Eddie Marsan (Mr Norrell), Bertie Carvel (Jonathan Strange)

Eddie Marsan (Mr Norrell), Bertie Carvel (Jonathan Strange)

Anybody here surprised that this is the one I’m the most excited about? No? I thought so. I CAN’T WAIT! BRING IT ON, BEEP! HUZZAH!

Set at the beginning of the 19th-century, England no longer believes in practical magic. The reclusive Mr Norrell (Marsan) of Hurtfew Abbey stuns the city of York when he causes the statues of York Cathedral to speak and move. With a little persuasion and help from his man of business Childermass (Cilenti), he goes to London to help the government in the war against Napoleon. It is there Norrell summons a fairy to bring Lady Pole (Englert) back from the dead, opening a whole can of worms…

If you know of anything else of interest coming up on television this year, please let me know.

And if none of this should be to your liking, you can still tune in on Monday, ITV1, 9pm, and watch “Broadchurch”, where Mr. Garrow and Mr. Pullings will deliver excellent drama.

3 January, 2015 at 6:00 pm Leave a comment

Did Napoleon get up your nose? No surprise!

Pardon the pun, but I couldn’t resist when coming across this snuff box on the Antiques Roadshow.

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A snuff box in the shape of Napoleon’s hat – now I’ve seen it all! Though not quite up there with Napoleon’s head in a jerry, it’s still a very quirky item. Made of horn in ca. 1812, this commemorative snuff box was made with Napoleon’s doomed Russisa campaign in mind. Prophetic that he looks so sulky, despite his grande armée in the background). The inscription says “Napoléon à Moscou” (Napoleon in Moscow – oh, the dangers of overhasty marketing!)  And at a value of £ 300 – £ 400 pounds, it’s not to be sneezed at.

29 May, 2014 at 8:22 pm Leave a comment

The Georgian Children Thrones

Antiques Roadshow goes Games of Thrones…

This is where the well-heeled Georgian family would have placed their little prince or princess for supper – it’s a miniature late Regency/Georgian dining chair! Made of Mahogany in ca. 1830, this children chair allowed for catapulting porridge and cooked liver all over the dining room from a prominent position. It will therefore not come as a big surprise for you if you learn that it is still used within the family.

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Special detail: the seat (still the original upholstery) is made of woven horsehair!

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With a value of £800 – £1’000, this migh be just the perfect gift for the next baby shower…

Now, some parents are known for putting their children on pedestals. Some Georgian parents, however, put them on thrones!

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This useful piece was made of oak and elm and dates back to the late 18th/early 19th century. If you’d want to go potty with it, you’d have to fork out between £800 and £1200.

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Indeed, worthy of a prince! (No, not for you, George. You already got a bilby.)

2 May, 2014 at 7:08 pm 1 comment

Ladies and Gentlemen – Nelson’s Teapot!

Seeing how Easter is just around the corner, a Fabergé egg might have been more suitable to turn up on the Antiques Roadshow, but I thought that you’ll be just as happy with Nelson’s teapot. And it’s the real thing!

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How did Nelson’s teapot find its way into the Antiques Roadshow? Well, this lady brought it along.

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Her grandmother’s maiden name was Barlow, and she was a descentant of Admiral Sir Robert Barlow, who “commanded one of Nelson’s ships”. Looking at the order of the battle which survived through the centuries, you can see that it was HMS Triumph.

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Barlow’s third daughter married Horatio Nelson’s elder brother William, and he inherited title and teapot after Nelson’s death.

The teapot was part of  the so-called “Baltic Service”, which was presented to Nelson by the people of London on occasion of a banquet.  And it was made in – France. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this a recycled piece of French china. Oh those thrifty Londoners!

Isn’t it amazing that this teapot survived through the centuries? Final proof neither Nelson nor Emma had cats.

Having a cuppa from this teapot will set you back at least £ 20’000, for that’s what it would probably bring at an auction. And as with all things Nelson, sky would be the limit.

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It wouldn’t be complete without the knitted commemorative Collingwood tea cosy, though (which is slightly more affordable).

18 April, 2014 at 4:22 pm 1 comment

You have the Breeches, you have the Cravat – but do you have the Condom?

Probably not, but you could have bought this outstanding – stop chuckling! – piece twelve years ago from Christie’s.

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Thanks to The Chirurgeon’s Apprentice for finding this one.

You couldn’t get more authentic than this, come next Austen Ball! The little English riding coat is made from sheep guts, sold for £764 and measures 21 cm – oh, and you can tie it with a ribbon!

(And just in case none of you are in the mood, you could look at the picture for inspiration!)

I’m not fully convinced this is 18th century, though… judging from the fashion sported by the coupling couple, I’d dated this to the 19th century. But then again, you can never be 100% sure with condoms.

This here is a 17th century condom, made from red silk and also fitted with a ribbon:

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Condoms were first used in brothels, and often soaked in contraceptive herbal decoctions, washed after use and then reused. Aren’t we all happy we made some progress there!

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1 August, 2013 at 6:20 pm 1 comment

Horatio Nelson got a Make-Over

After the finding-royals-under-the-car-park fad, we now have the give-history-a-make-over craze.

Historical hipsters: Shakespeare and Elizabeth I get makeovers from modern artists

I admit, seeing “Elizabeth I” and “hipster” in one sentence is painful; Shakespeare, however…

For Yesterday’s series “Secret Life of…”, historian Dr Suzannah Lipscom and a team of digital artists have given a number of historical portraits a modern make-over. Maybe nothing for purists, but I think it’s a fascinating idea, though the execution is a bit hit and miss. Marie Antoinette looks like Lindsey Lohan. Maria Theresia is nicht amüsiert.

But this – this, dear friends, is priceless:

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In case the title of this post wasn’t a give-away:

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Genius! I absolutely love the robotic hand! Now I’d like to see modern!Collingwood, wearing dungarees and battling snails in his cabbage patch in Morpeth.

Well, I have a contribution as well. Beat that!

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Well, and then there’s this, of course – yes, we’ve had it before, but it’s so amazing, it deserves an encore. Plus, you can never have too much of a good thing.

garrowextras39 Young Mr. Garrow with a Squirrel (1765) or Andrew Buchan, re-incarnated

2 May, 2013 at 11:16 pm 1 comment

A bit Off-topic, but who could resist these incredible Victorian Earrings? Not me!

While the focus of this blog is on all things 18th century, with emphasis on the Royal Navy, I sometimes come across something which is either so bizarre (the Battle for the Eternal Light, for example!) or awesome that I stretch the timeframe a little. In any case, this is still Age of Sail, though thoroughly not sailing related!

Dear readers, I give you

A BOX.

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CONTAINING VICTORIAN OWL EARRINGS.

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OWL EARRINGS!

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TAWNY OWL EARRINGS! IN A CAGE!

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If you’re not squeeing with delight and pawing at the screen right now, then – well, then you don’t. But these earrings are some of the most astonishing pieces of jewellery I’ve ever come across. According to the Antiques Roadshow expert, the owls date to between 1865  – 1868, and he valued them at £ 3’000 (!!!).

And the cherry on top of the awesome-cake: the owner does still wear these earrings – the last time at a Harry Potter fancy dress party! Go you, Hedwig!

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22 April, 2013 at 8:46 pm 4 comments

Release the Hounds, Collingwoodites: Thieves Steal a Lock of Admiral Collingwood’s Hair (and more!)

Ladies and gentlemen, your help is urgently needed:

The Lord Mayor of Newcastle’s Mansion in Fernwood Road in Jesmond has been broken into on  1 April. Police believe that  burglars broke in through the cellar overnight between last Monday and Tuesday. The criminals stole

  • a gold Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Labour Party founder Arthur Henderson in 1934 (the medal bears the inscription “Parlimentum Norvegial A Munro Henderson” and is with a presentation scroll in a leather case)
  • a large amount of antique silverware (silver cups dating back to 1919, a set of four Victoria napkin rings embossed with a star from 1875, a William IV snuff box dating back to 1834, a George II mustard pot from 1759 and a Queen Anne silver love cup engraved with two Queen Anne coat of arms)
  • and a lock of hair from Admiral Lord Collingwood. It was kept in a circular oak box with an engraved inscription: “This box which was made out of transform of the Royal Sovereign and enclosed a lock of the hair of the late Lord Collingwood, was presented by Admiral Thomas to the Corporation of Newcastle Upon Tyne.”

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These are very distinct items which are almost impossible to sell through “regular” channels (unless the criminals melt the silver down, which I really don’t hope they’ll do), and I don’t think waiting for any of these items to turn up on The Antique’s Roadshow in twenty years is the way to go. So let’s try to do a bit of detective work:

There’s not much we can do about the medal or the silverware, but if anybody, anywhere should try to sell a lock of Collingwood’s hair or inquire about its value, chances are that one of us will notice. So please, keep your eyes and ears open, and don’t hesitate to contact the police if you see somebody trying to sell any of the above-mentioned items!

Anyone with information on the burglary is asked to call Northumbria Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800-555-111.

By the way, former  Newcastle United chairman Freddy Shepherd and technology tycoon Graham Wylie have offered £30,000 for the return of these items.

6 April, 2013 at 9:51 pm 1 comment

Swiss Ladies keep 18th Century Fashion alive

Today I’m writing about something I don’t actually know much about: national dresses. Or rather, cantonal dresses, as we’ll be talking about Switzerland. Each canton – even each district! – has its own historical dress. What has this to do with 18th century fashion, though? A lot! Many of these dresses have their origins in the 18th century, and anybody with even the smallest interest in women’s fashion of that era will immediately recognise familiarities.

I was sorting through the Little Box of Horrors today (means: my photo box), and came across one such historic dress. It’s probably the one that’s most well-known outside of Switzerland, and often erroneously thought to be the national dress. But it’s  actually the “Bernese Sunday Dress”, and it’s kindly modelled here by Miss Lilian Joyful, my oldest sister.

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The dress she’s wearing belonged to my great-great aunt’s mother in law, so I guess we can date it back to end of the 19th/early 20th century. Despite the notorius dislike for change in Switzerland, cantonal dresses have changed in style through the centuries, but not much. You have stays, shifts, stockings, sometimes pantaloons, shoebuckles… and breeches for the men, as demonstrated here.

Here’s a picture of an antique top/stays of one such dress. It’s made of velvet and linen, the buttons are heavy silver.

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Cantonal dresses are still worn on special events all across Switzerland, but far more in the country than in the city. I haven’t seen anybody in such a dress for ages in my city. It’s a bit of a shame, really; not only because it’s yet another tradition that’s slowly getting lost, but those dresses are also the only 18th century fashion which is still used “in real life” outside of historical re-enactment.

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Is there a national/regional dress where you come from? Please share, I’m curious!

10 March, 2013 at 12:10 am 3 comments

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