Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Home Beautiful: The Music Room from Norfolk House, St James's Square, London, 1748-56



Click images to enlarge.
The Music Room of Norfolk House
This and all related images from:
The Victoria & Albert Museum


I always like to see entire rooms from houses preserved in museums. It’s also sort of jarring to see an interior from a private home set up in a public space. How does it get there? Why? Typically, this happens when a structure is torn down or renovated and part of the interior warrants salvation from a historical or artistic standpoint. As a person who feels that the majority of old buildings deserve to be saved (and someone who lives in a very old house), seeing these rooms find new life in museums is very pleasing to me.


Here, we see the paneling and ceiling from the Music Room of Norfolk House, the London town house of the Dukes of Norfolk which was demolished in 1938. The Music Room formed part of a group of state rooms on the mansion’s first floor. These rooms included three drawing rooms and a state bedchamber.
The ceiling panels are decorated with trophies representing the Arts, and the grand wall panels are adorned with musical trophies, surmounted by heads of Apollo, the ancient Greek god of music.

Norfolk House was built on St. James Square between 1748 and 1752 by Matthew Brettingham (1699-1769), a Palladian architect. The house was originally constructed for Edward Howard, 9th Duke of Norfolk (1686-1777).

According to the V&A, “Giovanni Battista Borra (1713-1770) designed the musical trophies: James Lovell (active 1752-1778) is thought to have executed those on the ceiling, as well as the chimney-piece, and Jean Antoine Cuenot (died 1763) is known to have carved those on the walls. The exuberant style of the Music Room would have catered for the francophile tastes of Duchess Mary.”

In 1938 the room was erected at the Victoria & Albert Museum without its window wall. The window wall, with its spectacular pier glasses between the windows, was recreated separately using surviving fragments and the evidence of old photographs. 











Unfolding Pictures: The Chinoiserie Fan, 1760-70



Fan of Chinoiserie Design
French, 1760-1770
Mother of Pearl Sticks and Guards with a Vellum Leaf Painted in Watercolors
The Victoria & Albert Museum




This Chinoiserie fan is an especially fine specimen of those made in France in the Eighteenth Century. Three vignettes are showcased in this complex design. The scenes depict Chinese fishermen, Chinese children playing on a see-saw, and Chinese children making music.

The images appear to be based on designs by Jean-Baptiste Pillement whose designs were published around 1758. In 1760, the year this fan was made, Robert Sayer incorporated Pillement’s designs into a designer’s source book, “The Ladies Amusement” which was meant to give painters complete scenes to use as a basis for their own works.

The fan leaf is mounted on a type of stick known by the French term “battoir” because their rounded, paddle shapes resemble battledore racquets or carpet beaters.
  The leaf is comprised of vellum painted in watercolors.  The sticks are made of carved and pierced mother-of-pearl which also depicts Chinoiserie scenes.  These are inlaid with gilt and silver foil and adorned with paste stones.



Saturday Sparkle: “County of Cornwall Bracelet,” 1893




 


County of Cornwall Bracelet, 1893
Crown Copyright
The Royal Collection
Images Courtesy of Her Majesty
Queen Elizabeth II
Carat-upon-carat of shimmering European-cut diamonds surrounds remarkably bright, clear rubies in this magnificent bracelet. Created in 1893, the bracelet was a gift to Princess Mary of Teck (later Queen Mary) from the Duke of York (later King George V).

The centerpiece of the bracelet is a stunningly jeweled Cornish rose—a symbol of the ceremonial County of Cornwall. The rose is detachable and can be worn as a brooch or a pendant. A good many of the pieces of jewelry in The Royal Collection feature removable or changeable parts so that the look and use of the piece can be altered as fits the occasion.

In 1947, Queen Mary made a gift of the bracelet to her granddaughter, Princess Elizabeth (now Queen Elizabeth II). The Queen has been known to wear the bracelet for certain events. When not in use, it remains in The Royal Collection.


At the Music Hall: My Old Dutch, 1892



Albert Chevalier
I've got a pal, 
A reg'lar out an' outer, 
She's a dear good old gal, 
I'll tell yer all about 'er. 
It's many years since fust we met, 
'Er 'air was then as black as jet, 
It's whiter now, but she don't fret, 
Not my old gal.
We've been together now for forty years, 
An' it don't seem a day too much, 
There ain't a lady livin' in the land 
As I'd "swop" for my dear old Dutch.

Written and performed by Music Hall and Vaudeville star, Albert Chevalier (with music by his brother, using the name Charles Ingle), “My Old Dutch,” was actually meant as a tribute to Chevalier’s wife, Florrie.

The title for the song has been explained n a variety of ways, most of which refer back to a Cockney rhyming slang phrase for companion or friend, or, even for wife. The Cockney slang for mate was, “Dutch plate.” Meanwhile the Cockney slang for “wife” was “Duchess of Fife.” Both phrases were shorted to “Dutch.” Chevalier also stated that the song title comes from a nickname he had for Florrie because he said her face was as smooth and white as the face of a Dutch porcelain clock.

The song was quite popular for its wholesome themes of domestic harmony and purity and eas regularly applauded by both the common man and the most famed celebrity. Chevalier would perform the song in the guise of an elderly gentleman who was separated from his wife of forty years upon being sent to the work house. This sentimental presentation never failed to move the audience.

Mr. Punch of Belgrave Square, Chapter 328




Chapter 328 
Taken 



Coo,” Punch sighed, leaning back onto the settee in the drawing room. “That Matthew can eat!”

“Almost as well as you do, dear Punch.” Robert nodded.

“What did you both think of him?” Lennie asked.

“I thought him most delightful.” Robert answered.

“Me, too!” Punch agreed. “You must marry him!”

“Oh…” Lennie waved a hand at her brother.

“I’m mean it, I do. He’s a nice, honest bloke what clearly is smitten with ya. And, he likes breakfast!”

“All very fine qualities,” Robert chuckled.

“An affection for breakfast is not really suitable grounds for a marriage.” Lennie smiled.

“It ain’t just that.” Punch shook his head. “It’s the way he looks at ya. And, the way he speaks to ya. All gentle-like. Like he…well, like he values ya, like he respects ya. You heard him ask you, all them times, what ya think. Most men don’t wanna know what a lady thinks. But, Matthew, well, he does. What you say matters to him. How you feel is important to him.”

“Dear Punch is correct.” Robert nodded. “He’s quite taken, Lennie. He hung on your every breath.”

“So, what we’re sayin’ is that we approve.” Punch continued.

“Don’t you think you might be counting our chickens before they’ve hatched?” Lennie asked.

“Mmmm…” Punch sighed. “Chickens.”

“I think Lennie means that one can’t say how many chicks will come from a basket of eggs until they’ve hatched.” Robert explained.

“A basket of eggs…” Punch smiled.

“We’re getting ahead of ourselves.” Lennie chuckled. “I’ve only spoken with the man twice, and he’s sent me flowers. I don’t know that he has any intention of asking me to marry him.”

“Oh, he does.” Punch said firmly.

“I don’t know that.” Lennie shook her head.

“I agree with Punch.” Robert said. “I’m certain that he will.”

“And, when he does, you’ll say that you will.” Punch added.

“Will I?” Lennie grinned.

“Won’t ya?”

“I don’t know.” She shrugged.

“Why?” Punch leaned forward. “Don’t ya like him?”

“I like him.” Lennie answered. “However, there’s much to think about.”

“Such as?” Punch asked.

“To begin with, he’s older than I.” Lennie responded.

“Not much older.” Robert said. “That’s not too much of a consideration. After all, Punch is ol…”

“Don’t start.” Punch snapped playfully. “It’s only four years and it ain’t worth mentionin’.”

“What else, Lennie?” Robert winked.

“I’m not sure. Perhaps we wouldn’t be compatible.”

“You seemed compatible today.” Punch raised his eyebrows.

“At tea, brother dear. That doesn’t indicate a lifetime of compatability.”

“Well, I think you should marry ‘im.” Punch snorted, sitting back again.

“Are you so eager to see me leave?” Lennie asked playfully.

“No!” Punch answered. “I’d like it if you stayed with us forever. I just want you to be happy. Besides, Matthew lives just across the square. Ain’t as if we wouldn’t see ya whenever we liked.”

“Let’s just see what happens, shall we?” Lennie laughed.

“I already know.” Punch answered. “But, sure, we’ll do it as you say.” He sighed. “When’s dinner?”

“We’ve only just finished tea.” Robert laughed. “We’ve four hours before dinner.”

“Oh.” Punch frowned. “Well, I’m gonna go up and see Colin and Dog Toby.”

“I’ll join you.” Robert replied.

“May I come?” Lennie asked.

“Of course, it’ll be good practice for when you have babies of your own.” Punch said seriously.

Lennie rolled her eyes.

As they exited the drawing room, they were met by an out-of-breath Speaight.

“Your Grace,” Speaight panted.

“What is it?” Punch asked.

“There’s a man in the front hall to see you.”

“Who?” Punch narrowed his eyes.

“Lum Ruskin.” Speaight replied.

“Ruskin? The bloke what took Fern to the rooming house?”

“Yes. He says that the house was overtaken by an Italian man and an American woman. They took Miss Fern, and, in the melee which followed, Mr. Barrett escaped.”

“Roger!” Lennie exclaimed.

“Oh, bother.” Punch sighed. “Tell him we’ll be right down.”



Did you miss Chapters 1-327 of Mr. Punch of Belgrave Square? If so, you can read them here. Come back on Monday for Chapter 329. 




Unusual Artifacts: An Antique Music Stand, 1810



The Victoria & Albert Museum

A wood and metal frame has been gilded and covered in printed paper to imitate japanning. With a telescopic support, this frame would have serves as an convenient, portable and attractive music stand when it was made in 1810. A music stand of this ilk would have been predominantly used by harpists. During the Regency period, the harp was a particularly fashionable instrument for women to play.

This stand is the epitome of Regency style which was clearly influenced by ancient Greek and Roman forms. The Neo-classical look of this music stand echoes the predominate style of Regency architecture.

The stand was made by the firm of Erard which was founded by Sébastien Erard in Paris in the 1770s. Erard had been close to the court of French King Louis XVI—a connection which proved problematic when the French Revolution unfolded in the 1780s and 1790s. Erard moved to London, where he re-opened his business in 1792 at 18 Great Marlborough St., Soho. There, he continued to be one of the major innovators in the music industry throughout his life.




Object of the Day, Museum Edition: A Positive Organ, 1627



Positive Organ
Germany, 1627
This and all related images from:
The Victoria & Albert Museum


The term “Positive Organ” refers to an organ smaller than those typically used for church music. These were mostly employed in domestic settings, set on a table. One person would operate the keys while another pumped the bellows at the back of the instrument.

This one with its carved, painted and gilt pine case features keys made of birch. The organ pipes are constructed of stiffened, layered paper.

It’s believed that this instrument once belonged to Johann Georg, I Duke of Saxony (1585-1656), whose portrait adorns the piece. Strapwork strolls complete the elegant look. The organ was made in Dresden Germany in 1627 by Gottfried Fritzsche (1578-1638).






Friday, May 17, 2013

Mastery of Design: The Mercer Maiden Brooch

The Mercer Maiden Brooch
Crown Copyright
The Royal Collection
Image Courtesy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II




Made by Garrard & Co, this brooch of gold, enamel, diamonds and garnets was presented to Queen Mary by the Worshipful Company of Mercers in July 26, 1949 when Her Majesty was  admitted to the freedom of the Company at Mercers' hall.  Mercers are merchants, by the way.


The brooch depicts "The Mercers’ Maiden," the symbol and coat of arms of the Company. since 1425.   She's been around for almost six hundred years, but no one seems to remember who she is or why she's the symbol of the Mercers guild.

The oval gold brooch is set with an enamel and gold bust of the crowned maiden inset with diamond and rubies on a  ground of blue and red guilloché enamel. The scroll border is set with diamonds and rubies and the gold reverse is inscribed.


Crown Copyright
The Royal Collection


Mr. Punch's Puzzles: The Riddle of the Week





Once, again, Mr. Punch, with my help, is offering up a true Victorian riddle.  The first person to answer correctly--by posting in the comments--will receive public congratulations.  

So, here's this week's riddle.  We ask that you don't Google the answer.  Mr. Punch would not find that sporting at all.  Give it a shot and see what you can come up with.  Here we go... No cheating...

What odd number becomes even when beheaded?


And, the answer is...

SEVEN.

If you take the head off of "Seven," the head being "S," that spells "even."  I'd also accept Eleven, Angelo, assuming that the head is "El."  Many good answers today.  Many came close.  And, many--Darcy, Dashwood and others--were delightfully odd.

Come back next Friday for another of Mr. Punch's Puzzles.




Mr. Punch wants you to always know “the way to do it,” so why not check out our “That’s the way to do it!” products which are available only at our online store.  

Unusual Artifacts: The Tiller-Clowes Polander, 1870-1890



Polander
The Tiller-Clowes Marionette Troupe
This and all related images from:
The Victoria & Albert Museum




Here’s another of the set of thirty-five marionettes from the Victorian Tiller-Clowes marionette troupe which wowed London in the mid-to-late Nineteenth Century. This one, like its brothers, features a head, legs and hands of carved and painted wood as well as its original handmade costume.

You may not instantly recognize what or who this figure represents. He’s a “polander” or a pole dancer, and, no, not the kind of pole dancers we have today. He’s based on a real man, “The Great Polander” who was a hit in London in the late Eighteenth Century. The act involved dancing while juggling a pole. And, that’s what this marionette can do. He’s incredibly difficult, I imagine, to operate since juggling the pole requires the figure to switch the object from hand to hand.




Friday Fun: David Wilde's Punch and the Baby




We've looked at other clips of Professor David Wilde's exceptional Punch and Judy shows, and, I think this one is equally grand.  Recently made available online by Chris van der Craats, this video was taken during the 2010 May Fayre Celebration.

Enjoy!





Mr. Punch of Belgrave Square, Chapter 327





Chapter 327 
Lady and Gentlemen


I say,” Matthew smiled as Lennie entered the drawing room. Punch, Robert and the Earl all stood as she came toward them. “Lady Fallbridge, you look…well, your dress is just lovely, and…well…”

“Thank you.” Lennie blushed. “I see my brother has told you about today’s visit to the palace.”

“I think it’s just smashing.” Matthew nodded. “And, the honor suits you, Lady Fallbridge. Both of you.” He turned to Robert. “I’m so pleased to have met you finally, Lord Colinshire.”

“And, I, you.” Robert nodded.

“Of course,” Matthew continued nervously, “His Grace and I have met previously, though I’m sure you don’t remember.”

“I am quite sorry to say that I do not.” Mr. Punch replied, affecting Julian’s manner for the sake of the Earl.

“Well, I say, an important gentleman would not be able to recall all of those he’s met.”

Mr. Punch nodded.

“Gentlemen, do sit.” Lennie smiled. She demurely placed herself upon a small balloon-back chair. Matthew gazed at her.

Punch could see at once that Lennie was anxious, and, so, he tried to distract the Earl’s attention.

“Lord Cleaversworth,” Punch began, using Julian’s voice.

“Oh, please, Your Grace, call me Matthew. Whenever I’m called Lord Cleaversworth, it makes me feel that I’m quite older than I really am.”

“As you wish,” Punch nodded. “And, you may call me…” he paused. What could Matthew call him? He was uncomfortable being referred to as ‘Julian’ because he wasn’t Julian. He didn’t mind being addressed as the Duke of Fallbridge because it was a role which he had solely filled. However, even though he shared Julian’s body, he wasn’t Julian. He was Punch.

Robert, sensing Punch’s dilemma, spoke up. “Perhaps Matthew could use the affectionate name which Lennie and I use for you, if you wouldn’t mind.”

“I would not mind at all.” Punch shook his head with relief.

“Oh? What’s that?”

“When His Grace and I met, I took to calling him, ‘Mr. Punch.’” Robert smiled.

“Punch?” Matthew smiled.

“Yes,” Mr. Punch nodded.

“As is the puppet?” Matthew asked.

“That is correct.” Robert replied.

“May I ask why?”

“Robert?” Punch looked to his companion.

“Well,” Robert cleared his throat. “His Grace has long been an aficionado of the art of puppetry and has a special fondness for Punchinello. Furthermore, he exhibits, quite often, a rather impish glint in his eye which puts one in mind of ‘Old Red Nose’ and his mischievous grin.”

“How charming.” Matthew smiled.

“I’ve even taken to referring to my brother as ‘Mr. Punch.’” Lennie spoke up. “Even Her Majesty herself, just this very afternoon, did so.”

“Well, then, I’m honored to be included in such an exclusive group.” Matthew said earnestly. “If His Grace is certain he wouldn’t mind.”

“I’d be delighted if you would.” Punch replied.

“Very well, Mr. Punch.” Matthew nodded. “I say, what a lark.” He paused. “I should confess, Your…Mr. Punch…that I was quite intimidated to meet you again today.”

“I?” Punch raised his eyebrows. “Whatever for?”

“To be honest, your association with the crown is well-known. You’re the Queen’s favorite and held in such regard by the court. Furthermore, your reputation as a gentleman has become legendary. Many speak of your kindness and altruism. Furthermore, your influence within Parliament, and your wealth, set you apart from other men. Not to mention the fact that, as a jeweler, you are considered unmatched.”

“How flattering.” Punch nodded. “I was under the impression that most of Westminster was abuzz with talk of my madness.”

Matthew blushed. “I’ve heard those rumors as well, I will admit, but those are words spoken out of jealousy from less than reliable sources. No one of any substance would take such slander to heart.”

“I’m glad to know it.” Punch answered.

“And, of course, Lord Colinshire….”

“Robert, please.”

“Well, Robert is considered the finest doctor in the City of Westminster, another favorite of the Queen.” Matthew continued. “And, to be frank, I do so want you both to like me. Yet, I have no real accomplishments to my credit.” He flushed. “I…I have a tendency to say whatever comes into my mind. Please forgive me.”

“It is, in my estimation, an admirable quality.” Mr. Punch said gently. “One that makes a man rather transparent. It’s something of which I myself am often guilty. Furthermore, I know that it’s a quality which my sister finds most endearing.”

“So many, I find, have hidden plots and schemes.” Lennie added. “I find a man who speaks what he feels to be refreshing.”

“I say, that does my heart good.” Matthew answered.

“Ah, here’s our tea. Our Mrs. Pepper has been hard at work preparing all of our favorite treasures,” Punch said.

Speaight rolled the tea trolley into the drawing room, followed by Charles who carried a tall stand of sumptuously decorated cakes, scones, petit fore, and candies.

“Lovely.” Matthew smiled.

“Our Mrs. Pepper is undoubtedly the finest cook in Belgravia.” Lennie grinned.

“I’m sure I’ll enjoy all of it.”

They sat in silence as Charles and Speaight set up the tea.

“I’ll play mother,” Lennie nodded at Speaight.

“As you please, Your Ladyship.” Speaight nodded.

Charles made a point to catch Lennie’s eye before exiting, smiling his approval of Matthew. Lennie giggled quietly.

“I say, look at those sandwiches.” Matthew inhaled hungrily. “There’s nothing more that I like than a good sandwich. Well, perhaps breakfast. I’ve a special fondness for breakfast.”

“Do you?” Punch’s eyes widened. “Eggs, sausages, beans, toasted bread.”

“I do enjoy a good breakfast myself.” Punch said happily.

“I confess, I just like to eat.” Matthew blushed.

Lennie looked up from pouring the tea and grinned at Punch and Robert.

“Matthew,” Robert said, “I do think we shall all be very good friends.”

“I am most certain of it.” Punch agreed.

“I’m so glad to be in the favor of such important gentlemen.” Matthew blushed. “Perhaps, one day, their esteemed sister will…”

“I already do.” Lennie interrupted.

“I say…” Matthew nodded happily. “Jolly good.”



Did you miss Chapters 1-326 of Mr. Punch of Belgrave Square? If so, you can read them here. Come back tomorrow for Chapter 328.
 

The Art of Play: An Indonesian Puppet, 1974

Puppet
Crown Copyright
The Royal Collection
Images Courtesy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II




From the Royal Collection, we have a puppet which is almost as old as I am.  Almost.  Made in 1974 in Indonesia, the puppet of wood, fabrications and painted plaster was presented to Queen Elizabeth II by the Governor of the Special Region of Yogyakarta and Vice-President of Indonesia, Hamengkubuwono IX during Her Majesty's State Visit to Indonesia in 1974
Description:

This traditional Indonesian rod puppet is garbed in a native style known as wayang golek.




Object of the Day, Museum Edition: Picturesque Etchings and Other Rural Studies, 1792


Picturesque Etchings and Other Rural Studies
Thomas Rowlandson, 1792
Crown Copyright
The Royal Collection
Image Courtesy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II





Every so often, as I've said before, the Royal Collection exhibits something that's not been seen in a very long time, and, in some cases, centuries.  I was excited to see this etching by Thomas Rowlandson (1757-1827), a favorite Georgian-era artist of mine, especially since it also touches on one of my favorite subjects.

The hand-colored etching was published in 1792 and depicts a series of seven vignettes of the sorts of people and places which were common to every day life in London at the time.  We see ladies being assisted from their carriage by a Navy Man, a rather stout vicar on horseback, a Punch and Judy show (hooray!), rowers, an assembly of horses, fishermen and a group of soldiers and civilians drinking.

It's hard to say when the print came into the Royal Collection, but it's only recently popped up in the archives.



Detail
Crown Copyright
The Royal Collection
Image Courtesy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Masterpiece of the Week: A Garnet and Diamond Bodice Ornament, 1680-1700







Bodice Ornament
1680-1700
Dutch
Silver, Gold, Garnets and Rose-Cut Diamonds
The Victoria & Albert Museum

During the late Seventeenth Century, upper-crust ladies adorned their gowns with jeweled ornaments which often took the form of flowers or ribbons. This piece, part of an impressive and rare suite is one of the few surviving examples of Seventeenth Century jeweled ribbon work.


A setting of silver and gold contains gorgeous hessonite garnets and rose-cut diamonds arranged to mimic the folds of a real ribbon. Additional detachable pendants create a different look and can be worn independently or as earrings. Made in the Netherlands between 1680 and 1700, this magnificent piece was donated to the V&A by Dame Joan Evans. 






Painting of the Day: A Girl Chopping Onions, 1646



A Girl Chopping Onions
Gerrit Dou, 1646
Acquired by King George IV
The Royal Collection

King George IV had a special fondness for Dutch painting. In fact, he evendesigned a room in Carlton House around his collection of Dutch canvases. But, George IV wasn’t just any collector; he was able to amass an exceptional assortment of works from the finest Dutch painters.


Take, for instance, this domestic scene or genre painting by celebrated painter Gerrit Dou (1613-1675). Dou was notable as being the founder of the Dutch 
Fijnschilders school known for its meticulous brushwork, attention to detail and opulent finishes which give the paintings an ultra-realistic look. Dou often painted the subject of kitchen-maids which, in Dutch vernacular, was symbolic of more lascivious pursuits. The small child behind the table is, in light of this, more than just a “Dutch Baby,” but also a representation of cupid and the maid’s physicality.

This piece had a position of prominence in the collection of King George IV who was probably drawn to the work for both its outstanding artisty as well as its somewhat bawdy undertones. 


Crown Copyright
The Royal Collection
Images Courtesy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II



Bertie's Pet-itations: This is the Moment





Here's Bertie's weekly opportunity to share his ideas for creating our new "Beautiful Age."  Bertie's advice, I'm sure, can be applied to many different areas of our lives.

And, so, I happily hand the computer over to him.


Bertie says:

It's always okay to want more, but sometimes, you just can't get it.  So, enjoy what you do have and try again tomorrow.


Mr. Punch of Belgrave Square, Chapter 326




Chapter 326 
Too Much 



Mrs. Pepper daubed her eyes.

“Is it the onions?” Maudie asked.

“No, no, dearie.” Mrs. Pepper shook her head. “I’m just proud, is all. Imagine. We work for a Duke, a Duke what is a friend of the Queen ‘erself. And, now, our own Dr. Halifax is a baron and Miss Lennie is a Lady.”

“It’s pretty thrillin’.” Maudie nodded.

“They deserve it,” Ethel smiled, comin’ out of the scullery.

“I can’t think o’ anyone who deserves it more.” Mrs. Pepper wiped her eyes again. “A Duke, a Baron and a Lady. And, we get to serve them.”

“Dr. Halifax…” Ethel began.

“His Lordship.” Mrs. Pepper corrected the girl.

“Right.” Ethel nodded. “His Lordship seemed kinda shy about the whole thing. Miss Lennie, too.”

“They’re modest.” Mrs. Pepper smiled. “It’s what makes ‘em both so fine.”

Violet stuck her head through the pass-through. “Mrs. P., now, remind me what I’m supposed to call ‘em now.”

“You’re to call Dr. Halifax, “Your Lordship’ and refer to ‘im as “His Lordship or Lord Colinshire.”

“But, he’s a Baron, not a Lord.” Violet tilted her head to one side.

“Right, but all Barons are Lords.” Mrs. Pepper answered.

“Are all Lords Barons?”

“No.” Mrs. Pepper shook her head.

“It’s all so confusin’.” Violet muttered. “So, can I call ‘im Baron Colinshire?”

“When speakin’ of ‘im, yes.” Mrs. Pepper nodded. “Either Baron Colinshire or Lord Colinshire. But, you need be more concerned with Miss Lennie since you’re her maid.”

“I’m to call her, ‘My Lady’ or “Your Ladyship.’ And when I speak of ‘er, I’m to say, ‘Her Ladyship or Lady Fallbridge.’” Violet said slowly.

“That’s right, girl.” Mrs. Pepper replied with pride.

“Mrs. Pepper,” Maudie interrupted. “If a Baron is a Lord, is a Duke a Lord?”

“Yes.” Mrs. Pepper nodded.

“So, why don’t we call His Grace, ‘Your Lordship’?” Maude asked.

“Well, because a Duke is more important than a Lord. That’s why we call him, ‘Your Grace.’”

“Is a Duke more important than a Baron?” Ethel asked.

“Yes. A Duke and a Prince are pretty much the same.” Mrs. Pepper said.

“Why don’t we call ‘im Prince Julian, then.” Ethel asked.

“Because he ain’t a prince and he ain’t Julian. He’s Mr. Punch.”

“But, he’s also Julian Molliner.” Ethel said.

“Yeah, why is it that these folk don’t use their surnames like the rest of us?” Violet asked.

“I dunno, girl.” Mrs. Pepper shrugged. “Just do as Mr. Speaight says, and, we’ll all be fine.” She turned to Maudie. “Now, quite workin’ your mouth and ‘elp me get these savories for tea finished. The Earl of Cleaversworth will be here soon.”

“What of an Earl?” Ethel asked. “How’s that compare to a Duke or a Baron? Is he a Lord, too?”

“He is, and Earl is below Baron and Duke.”

“Oh.” Ethel nodded.

“Now, go on, girl, those pots ain’t gonna wash themselves.”

“Yes, Mrs. Pepper.” Ethel smiled.

“Maudie, go to the larder and fetch me some o’ that nice cold beef.” Mrs. Pepper nodded.

“Right.” Maude scurried off.

“It is a fine thing, ain’t it, Mrs. P.?” Violet grinned. “Ours is a right important house.”

“Sure is.” Mrs. Pepper replied.

“And, all the better now that that Fern girl is outta it.” Violet continued.

“Poor thing looked so sad when that man came to take her to the ‘ouse where Mr. Barrett is kept.”

“Poor thing?” Violet grumbled. “In a week, she’ll be in a fine school. Just hope she don’t burn down the place.”

Mrs. Pepper shook her head. “Let’s pray she don’t.”

“Say, do you think Miss Lennie…I mean, Lady Fallbridge, is gonna marry this Earl?”

“After one of my special teas, it’s likely.” Mrs. Pepper winked.

“Maybe I oughta have you prepare one for me.” Violet sighed.

“You wanna be married?” Mrs. Pepper smiled.

“Don’t everyone?”

“Most, I s’pose.” Mrs. Pepper nodded.

“Just need a husband.” Violet chuckled.

“What of Charles?” Mrs. Pepper asked.

“Charles? Oh, he don’t want me.”

“Don’t he? When you was laid up with your burns, didn’t he come many times a day to check on ya?”

“He’s bein’ friendly.”

“That’s not what Mr. Gurney says.” Mrs. Pepper teased.

“Oh, come now. Gerry and Gamilla are all awash in their own love. They see Cupid shootin’ arrows in every corner.” Violet shook her head.

“Maybe you oughta start lookin’ for Cupid, too.” Mrs. Pepper winked. “Never know what you’ll find.”

“I’d be ‘appy if I could just find Miss Len…I mean, Her Ladyship’s new lace collar.” Violet laughed.

“Why don’t you ask Charles? He took all them packages to the pantry to sort through ‘em.”

“You are too much, Mrs. P.” Violet shook her head.

“Ain’t I, though?” Mrs. Pepper laughed.





Did you miss Chapters 1-325 of Mr. Punch of Belgrave Square? If so, you can read them
here. Come back tomorrow for Chapter 327.