Saturday, June 7, 2014

Mastery of Design: A Cartier Diamond and Coral Jabot Scarf Pin, 1920



The Victoria & Albert Museum


This long scarf pin by Cartier features three overlapping jeweled semicircles at its head. This pattern is echoed in miniature on the clip at its base. Made between 1920 and 1930, this style of brooch was very fashionable at the time. It is made up of two separate decorative ends which are joined by a pin.

When made, Cartier referred to these pins as “cliquet pins” because of the snap fastening which held the lower element in place over the sharp point of the pin. However, overall such pins are referred to as jabot pins (after a cravat or jabot) or sûreté pins.

A pin like this—in the 1920s would have been worn to secure a scarf or worn on the lapel. Sometimes, they were even worn at the front of a cloche hat. In all instances, only the two jeweled ends of the piece would be seen, with the pin concealed. This example of platinum set with fans of coral, onyx and brilliant-cut diamonds typifies both the look of the Art Deco and Cartier’s preferred style for these pins. 


Film of the Week: Sunset Boulevard, 1950



The Opening Shot
Paramount Pictures
“I am big. It’s the pictures that got small.”

--Norma Desmond


A man floats—face down—in a pool. We see him from beneath as he is gently fished from the freezing water—his body lifeless. We learn via a voice over that if you want to know the real facts, “You’ve come to the right party.”
Joseph C. Gillis was a screenwriter who was down on his luck. He needed some cash—quick—or his car was going to be repossessed. He tries various means of obtaining the funds that he needs—even going as far as trying to pitch a half-hearted script to Paramount Pictures. The only bite he gets is the biting criticism of one of Paramount’s lowly readers, a girl named Betty Schaefer.

The Principal Cast:
Nancy Olson, Gloria Swanon,
William Holden, Erich Von Stroheim
Paramount Pictures
Dejected, Gillis attempts to take his car back to the parking lot where he’d been hiding it, but the repo men spot him on Sunset Boulevard. They chase Gillis whose car blows a tire. The limping car is pulled out of sight into the driveway of one of those grand palazzos—the kind that crazy movie stars built in the crazy 1920’s. The house, somewhat run-down, seemed abandoned. So, Gillis pulled the crippled car into the garage. He’s shocked when the deep voice of a woman calls down to him, “You there! Why are you so late?” Ushered into the mansion by a bald, ape-like butler with a German accent, Gillis is told, “If you need help with the coffin, call me.”

Unsure of what to make of the scene, Joe ascends the grand staircase to meet the woman who had called to him. He’s not quite sure what to expect at the top of the stairs. A woman of fifty, elegantly dressed in a gown and turban meets him and describes the kind of coffin she wants—a satin lining in white…no red. “He loved fires and poking at them with a stick.” She pulls back a sheet which covers a small figure on a massage table by the fire to reveal a dead monkey. Joe explains that there’s been some mistake. He is not the man that the woman expected. Furious, she orders him out. He pauses as he recognizes her as Norma Desmond. “You used to be in pictures. You used to be big.”

"I am big..."
Paramount Pictures
“I am big.” Norma barks, “It’s’ the pictures that got small.”

Joe finds himself quickly embroiled in Norma’s dusty Baroque world of memories and creative rambling. Once a great silent film star, she hasn’t worked in decades—seemingly forgotten by her once adoring public. Norma proposes that Joe help her with the screenplay that would mark her triumphant return (she hates the word, “comeback”) to the screen. Joe agrees. Little does he realize that he’d soon find himself living in Norma’s house and becoming the object of her affections.
Norma's New Year's Seduction
Paramount Pictures
At first, Joe tries to extricate himself from Norma and her peculiar butler, Max, but soon he begins to grow accustomed to the opulent lifestyle she can offer him. In fact, he grows rather fond of her—almost protective. Yet, after evenings spent with the “Waxworks”—Norma’s collection of other silent film stars (played by real greats of the silent screen), and Norma’s increasingly jealous and controlling behavior, Joe flees the mansion on New Year’s Eve just as Norma declares her intentions. Norma attempts suicide, and Joe returns, thus beginning their affair.
Paramount Pictures
What follows is one of the most fascinating films ever created. Sunset Boulevardwas a triumph—headed by writer/director Billy Wilder whose bitter criticism of the film industry was readily apparent in the film. He was considered a traitor by fellow directors and performers. In casting the film, Wilder went through many different ideas of actresses to play Norma Desmond—including Mae West. Finally, he cast Gloria Swanson whose own life eerily mirrored that of Norma’s in many ways. The set was filled with pictures of Swanson which must have been rather surreal for her—especially since she had begun working alongside Erich Von Stroheim who was to play her companion and servant, Max Von Mayerling—a former silent film director. Von Stroheim was actually a director who worked with Swanson on the film Queen Kelly which marked the beginning of the end of Swanson’s career.
Holden and Swanson
Paramount Pictures
For the role of the young writer, Joseph Gillis, Wilder initially wanted Montgomery Clift. Clift accepted the part, but then backed out of the film. Clift had a habit of backing out of big name films for peculiar reasons all of his own. He would grow to regret the decision. Instead, the part went to William Holden whose career was also in a downward swing. Sunset Boulevard served to resurrect his career. Though quite different in acting style and appearance than Montgomery Clift, Holden brings a masculine quality to the role of Joe Gillis which works quite nicely against Norma’s histrionics.

Real-life Hollywood greats of the twenties and thirties appear as themselves in the film including C.B. DeMille, Anna Q. Nillson, H.B, Warner, Buster Keaton and Hedda Hopper. Wilder labored over the film—changing the introduction (set in a morgue) after the sequence elicited unintended snickers from a preview audience. The result—though widely panned by Hollywood insiders at the time—is now considered one of the greatest cinematic masterpieces ever created.

 
"All right, Mr. DeMille.  I'm ready for my close-up."
Paramount Pictures
With a dramatic, Baroque set, equally dramatic score by Franz Waxman, riveting performances, cutting-edge camera work and a truly shocking script, Sunset Boulevardwill always remain on the list of the finest films (especially among Film Noir) ever made.

The film has influenced many art forms and had been an inspiration to actors and writers alike.  A musical version by Andrew Lloyd-Webber was praised by Billy Wilder for its faithfulness to his original work.  Enjoy this clip from one of the first trailers for 
Sunset Boulevard.  










The Home Beautiful: A Gingerbread Mould, 1830-70



Gingerbread Mould
1830-70
The Victoria & Albert Museum




Wooden moulds like this one were used to impress patterns on the top surface of pieces of gingerbread.
  Such formed gingerbread novelties have been popular for centuries and were often enjoyed at fairs.  Pieces of gingerbread with gold leaf applied on top were sometimes called “fairings” (not to be confused with the porcelain trinkets and prizes which use the same name).  There was, perhaps most famously, a gingerbread stall at St Bartholomew's Fair, held in London every year from 1123 until 1850.

This mould of beech wood, as was typical of English examples, features a picture on each side. On one side of the mould is a horse-drawn coach with a driver. On the other, we see a man in a top hat on a hobby horse--an early bicycle without pedals which was pushed along by the feet (from 1817-1830).

The Art of Play: The Fire Chief, c. 1950



Tin Toy
England, Circa 1950
This and all related images from:
The Victoria & Albert Museum





Made around 1950, this toy is now part of the Michael Buhler Collection of tin toys at the Victoria & Albert Museum’s Museum of Childhood.

The tin car was manufactured in England and operates by means of a small friction system. Such cars were made at the time in a variety of styles. This one is part of a set which was made up of a Police car, a fire truck and an ambulance. This is the Fire Chief’s car, and, it’s pretty nifty. The tin has been neatly painted with great care and detail. Little people in firefighters gear have even been painted on the windows to give the impression of passengers. Tin toys like this developed originally in the U.S. around 1850, but the medium quickly caught on in Europe with Germany becoming one of the major centers of production.





Figure of the Day: A Victorian Fairing, 19th C.



Fairing
German, 1887
The Victoria & Albert Museum



Fairings were so-called because they were given out as prizes and souvenirs at Victorian fairs. These porcelain trinkets were often made in Germany for the English market. Here’s another great example of a Nineteenth Century fairing.

The body of this piece is made of white porcelain which has been coated with a brilliant, shiny glaze. The base is typical of these objects—a moulded rectangle fitted with scrollwork at the reverse.

These objects often depicted comical scenes. The group here depicts two women in sporting dress, each on a bicycle. They are about to collide, prompting the caption:
A dangerous encounter. 
This fairing is marked :

'1887', 'OM', 'I'

Like most fairings, this one was made in Germany. Many German porcelain concerns had lines of inexpensive fairings, but certainly the most prolific was Conta and Boehme of Pössneck in Saxony.

The firm was established in 1790, specializing in small porcelain pieces such as dolls' heads and, from about 1855-1860, in these fairground trinkets. The subject matter of the figural groups varied from the most innocent (children, pigs, dogs, simple puns) to the frankly ribald (naughty frolics and dirty jokes). Sometimes, the figures would lampoon contemporary politics or society with caricatures or scenes which were considered timely or humorous. The ladies on their bicycles that we see here are demonstrative of that theme.




At the Music Hall: Daisy Bell/A Bicycle Built for Two



There is a flower within my heart,
Daisy, Daisy,
Planted one day by a glancing dart,
Planted by Daisy Bell.
Whether she loves me or loves me not
Sometimes it's hard to tell,
And yet I am longing to share the lot
Of beautiful Daisy Bell.


Chorus:
Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer, do,
I'm half crazy all for the love of you.
It won't be a stylish marriage -
I can't afford a carriage,
But you'd look sweet on the seat
Of a bicycle built for two.


We will go tandem as man and wife,
Daisy, Daisy,
Ped'ling away down the road of life,
I and my Daisy Bell.
When the road's dark, we can both despise
P'licemen and lamps as well.
There are bright lights in the dazzling eyes
Of beautiful Daisy Bell.


(Chorus)


Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer, do...
I will stand by you in wheel or woe
Daisy, Daisy,
You'll be the bell which I'll ring you know
Sweet little Daisy Bell
You'll take the lead on each trip we take
Then if I don't do well
I will permit you to use the brake
beautiful Daisy Bell


(Chorus)


Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer, do...


Though most people refer to this song as “Bicycle Built for Two,” it’s actual title is "Daisy Bell.” It was composed by Harry Dacre in 1892 and has since been a very popular song, often used in contemporary programming to convey a sense of the past.

Another popular version of the song arose in the style of an answer-song wherein there are two choruses—the original, and, then another in which Daisy refuses her suitor. Usually, the jilted suitor is called Harry in honor of the author of the lyrics.

Here are the lyrics to the “Answer Song” version.
Harry, Harry
Here is my answer true.
I can't cycle, for I get black and blue.
If you can't afford a carriage
There won't be any marriage.
For I'll be switched if I'll be hitched
On a bicycle built for two.


Or: 



Harry, Harry
Here is my answer true.
I'd be crazy if I were to marry you.
If you can't afford a carriage
You can't afford a marriage.
And I'll be damned if I'll be crammed
On a bicycle built for two.



Object of the Day: Another Trade Card for Pianos






This is one of several Victorian trade cards that I have from this same thuggish supplier of pianos and organs. We’ve already 
looked at one other. These are all in the very 1880s fashion of monochromatic images on metallic ink which often depict chubby tots engaged in sporting activities, and, very often, in the process of being gravely injured.

Let’s take a look at this work of blue on a gold background. Called “Bucked,” it is dated to 1881. What’s happening here? Well, it’s a typical, bright, sunny, gilt-sky day. You know…just the sort of thing you’d see anywhere in the world in 1881. Everything seems normal. A child with a large posterior is riding a bicycle. He (or possibly she) is, for some reason, dressed like a page with a wee, stylish pillbox hat. Princess Diana would have worn it in 1981. He’s hit a rock with is front tire and is being propelled over the handle bars. No doubt, he wall fall into the thorny shrubbery which lines the fence. His injuries will be too severe for 1881 medicine. His physician will prescribe him sarsaparilla—taken orally as well as rubbed on his wounds. Death is unavoidable. Buy some pianos.

The reverse bears the same heavy-handed, slightly ominous copy with which this card’s brother has been printed. “Maybe you buy some pianos. Maybe this whole thing goes away. Maybe you add an organ. Maybe the kid doesn’t need to die. You get me?”





We are selling PIANOS and ORGANS 
At just Ten Dollars advance on the Whole- 
sale Prices. 
-<<<<<---- span="">>---->.-.<---- span=""><---->>>>>-

WE WISH IT POSITIVELY UNDER- 
STOOD THAT WE KEEP NO AGENTS. 

-------------------------

We sell an ORGAN for 50 Dollars as good 
as any other Dealer that employs Agents 
can Sell at 75 Dollars. 

-------------------------------

WE SELL A BETTER PIANO FOR $250 THAN 
AGENTS AND DEALERS WHO EMPLOY THEM, 
CAN SELL FOR $350. 

WE HAVE CONTRACTED TO SELL 3,000 PIANOS 
AND ORGANS IN ONE YEAR. AND WILL SELL 
To ALL at Wholesale Prices. 

-------------------------- 

Look to your interest and send for our 
WHOLESALE PRICE LIST before pur- 
chasing. 

NEW YORK MUSIC COMPANY 
524 GENESEE AVENUE 
          EAST SAGINAW , MICH. 
                                DEPEWManager.


Friday, June 6, 2014

Mastery of Design: A Cartier Bangle, 1937




Bangle
Cartier, 1937
This and all related images from
The British Museum



Cartier’s London branch created this sumptuous bangle in a wholly Indian style. The floral piece is a brilliant marriage of platinum, gold, diamonds, and rubies. The central motif looks back to Nineteenth-Century Indian Jaipur work with a very post-Deco sensibility.

Diamonds (baguettes and brilliants) and a double row of cabochon rubies glitter in an asymmetrical platinum setting. Meanwhile, the central floral theme is set in gold around an egg-shaped cabochon. The reverse is enameled with flowers in the Kundan style.





Antique Image of the Day: The Punch and Judy Show, 19th C.



Punch and Judy Show
Hand-colored Print
19th Century
The George Speaight Archive
The Victoria & Albert Museum




Hand-colored with watercolor, this Nineteenth-Century print depicts a crowd of people at a Punch and Judy show. However, there’s a lot more going on in the scene than just the antics of Mr. Punch. We see young Artful Dodgers picking pockets, a curious dog about to take a drink from a man’s pail, and the amorous embrace of a young couple.

Mr. Punch has long been the voice of the people, and here, we see that this unknown artist was aware of the power of Punchinello to draw a crowd from all walks of life. Laborer and gentleman alike have paused in their days to unite—for a moment—in a shared drama of their own.




"Treat of the Week" Schedule





On Tuesday next week, we'll have a day devoted to the simple pleasures and beauties of country life.  Included in that, I'll be posting a beautiful "Treat of the Week" which celebrates the best of country cooking.

Then, on Thursday, we'll have another "Treat of the Week"--a very special recounting of one of Bertie's favorite days of the year.  It's one you won't want to miss.




A Recipe for Punch, Chapter 118




Chapter 118
The Promise of Home


"Morgana!"  Robert gasped as Maudie and George Pepper led Morgana into the passage outside of Lennie's room.  He quickly embraced her, still trying to be gentle so as not to hurt her back, tears springing into his eyes.  "However did..."

"Three of the young men from the g...g..gardens helped me to escape."

"Are you harmed?"  Robert released the woman.  He looked at her arms which were raw from the canvas ties which had bound her.  "You are..."

"No, it's no...nothing with which I can't cope.  I had far worse in the traveling show, I assure you."

"Still...I'll call for Gamilla or Violet...we..."  Robert began.

"Not now,"  Morgana shook her head.  "We must look after Lennie.  Please tell me that you were able to save her."

"I hope that I have,"  Robert answered sadly.  "But, however did you know?"

"When those kind young men carried me out, we came upon Mr. Jackson and Ivy who taunted me with the news that Lennie had tried to...to...take her own life."  Morgana gulped. "Robert, why...why would she do such a thing?"

"The state of affairs in our household, the ordeal she'd been subjected to thanks to Jackson, everything...she was quite depressed by it all."

"But, it's not like her.  Is it?"

"No, not at all.  Nonetheless, what's gone on would be enough to drive the strongest of us to such an act.  She confessed to Gamilla earlier that she felt as though she was responsible for the whole thing."

"This is talk for family,"  Maudie interjected from where she and George still stood behind Morgana.  "We should take our leave, Sir."

"Do stay."  Robert said  quickly.  "We have all suffered together.  That, more so than blood,"  he winced at the word, thinking of the state in which he'd found Lennie--the life pouring thick and red from her arms into murky pools on the floor.  "That, makes us family."

"George was long my companion in our captivity."  Morgana looked affectionately at the young man behind her.  "Without him, I'd be quite lost."

"I still wish to know how you escaped."  Robert leaned in.  

"I shall tell  you all about it.  For now, th...though, let's only say that I'd managed to attract the attention of those kind gardeners who carried me back to the house."  Morgana answered softly.  "They were shy to take me to the formal entrance, feeling they weren't worthy to knock, even in my company.  They br...brought me instead to the kitchens where I was given over to Maude and Georgie."

"We left the men in the kitchens with my mum.  She's givin' them quite a feast, I should say."  George nodded.

"I'm glad.  When they've finished, I want them to come upstairs to me so I might offer them further reward, something worthy of their heroism."  Robert responded.  "They deserve our deepest thanks for returning our Aunt Morgana to us safely."

"We...we...we are not yet safe, Robert."  Morgana shook her head.

Robert's shoulders sagged.  "I know, but, still--you're safer now than you were."

"None of us are away from danger until we've stopped those who are working to restore my sister.  Where is Punch?"

"Gone out to look for you.  His man, Charles, and Lord Cleaversworth are with him."

"So, h...he's not alone?"

"No."  Robert replied.  

"Thank the stars."  Morgana exhaled.  "We must find a way to restore him to the Hall immediately."

"I could go..."  George volunteered.

"I'd go, too."  Maudie nodded.

"No, no.  You've both been well enough in harm's way."  Robert said firmly.  "I won't have it. I shall go myself, with Gerard."

"What of Lennie?"  Morgana asked.  

"Violet and Gamilla are looking after her.  I've done all I could do for now."  Robert answered quietly.  "Without Punch, we cannot attempt the transfusion of blood which we'd..."

Robert stopped speaking when he saw Morgana's look of confusion.  "You've not known of much of what has gone on here--just as I do not know all you have had to suffer through."

"We will soon be able to tell all."  Morgana nodded.  "For now, I shall help the girls with Lennie."

"If you would."  Robert took Morgana by the elbow.  "If you're not too exhausted from your ordeal."

"I would endure any fatigue for Lennie or any one of you."  Morgana smiled.

"I am also rather concerned for Gamilla for reasons which I can't explain now.  Perhaps..."

"I shall entreat her to rest a b...b...bit."  Morgana responded.

"I can be of help, Miss Morgana."  Maude offered.

Morgana looked to Robert who nodded.  "That would be appreciated, Maude.  And, George, if you would return to the kitchens and ask the men who saved our Aunt Morgana to please come upstairs and wait for me.  When they've finished their meals, please take them to the library and ask them to be comfortable.  Offer them whatever they wish to drink and tell them it would mean much to me if they'd truly act as if this was their home as well."

"I'll go now, Lord Colinshire."  George nodded, hurrying off.

"If I may, I'll look in on Miss Lennie."  Maudie bowed her head.  

"Yes, do."  Robert stepped aside so Maudie could enter the room.

Alone with Morgana, Robert sighed.  "I hate to leave you now, only my dear Punch is..."

"Go, Robert."  Morgana held up a pincer without a hint of self-consciousness.  "Go and bring our Punch home to us.  He is our heart.  We need him.  You more so, even, than the rest of us.  He is, a...af...after all, your..."  She paused to think of the right word.  "He's really your husband."

Robert nodded.  

"Find him, bring him and Charles and Lord Cleaversworth home so Punch may be reunited with you and your son, so His Lordship may take his place at Lennie's side and so Charles might one day find the happiness that Gerard has found.  I ha...have heard the way Violet speaks of him."

"I will return."  Robert hugged Morgana again.

"Do so quickly and safely and with your beloved and your friends."

Robert went off to find Gerard so they might search for Punch and the others as Morgana quietly entered Lennie's room.

In the darkened suite, Morgana squinted.  Draped limply across the bed, Lennie looked pale and phantom-like--her arms bandaged to each elbow.

Gamilla sat on one side of the bed, holding one of Lennie's hands.  Violet stood at attention at Gamilla's shoulder.

The two servants turned as Morgana entered, and, gasped.  

Gamilla leapt to her feet with a surprising nimbleness given her state of tiredness and her pregnant condition.  Closely followed by Violet, Gamilla rushed to Morgana.

"Oh, Miss, they done let you go!"  Gamilla cried, putting her hands on Morgana's shoulders--setting aside rules of servants and the family of the house.  

Violet, too, reached for Morgana, and, took a pincer in her delicate hand.

Normally, Morgana would have pulled her claw away in embarrassment.  Yet, she felt so at ease and was so touched by the welcome that she received, she did not feel the need to do so.

"They did not let me,"  Morgana answered.  "But, go, I did--with considerable he...help."

"We're ever-so glad you're with us again.  I'm only sorry that you had to come home to more sadness."  Violet began.

Morgana glanced at Lennie.  "My poor niece..."

"Been driven mad by those horrible folk,"  Violet spat.  "This is their fault."  She noticed the welts on Morgana's arms.  "We shall all soon show the scars of their wickedness."  Releasing Morgana's pincer, Violet dabbed her eyes as she began to cry.  "This...what she done...this ain't my mistress.  This ain't the way Lady Fallbridge acts or things.  This house, and those people...they did this to her."

"We're all under the spell of this house and the wickedness of those vipers who done made it their nest.  The whole place should be pulled down stone by stone and the earth sown with lavender and salt and sage."  Gamilla added.  "We done all ought to leave her, throwin' torches behind us to burn the disease off the land, and, go home."

"His Grace had the right idea,"  Violet nodded.  "We was our happiest when we kept to Number 65, kept the doors and windows locked and took our joy in one another.  Now, it's all..."

"Honey,"  Gamilla said gently to Violet.  "We shall again.  We'll spend out our days in peace, guided by His Grace and Lord Colinshire.  Takin' delight in Master Colin growin' up, seein' Miss Lennie wed, watchin' Dog Toby and his rascally tricks, tellin' stories to one another, eatin' Mrs. Pepper's fine vittles, and...and, even watchin' my own child--mine and Gerry's--grow strong and smart.  We'll let the evenings fill our hearts with gladness of a day well spent instead of fear and dread.  We done got that for to look forward.  Evenin's spent by our hearth downstairs, listenin' to Mr. Speaight read to us, lettin' our eyes fill with the beauty of the upstairs when we go.  Fillin' our bellies with laughter at His Grace's jokes..."

"And, Miss Morgana's tales o' the circus and her time in the show.  We'll all be a fine, quiet family."  Violet nodded.  

"Today, I'd even be grateful to see Miss Fern."  Gamilla sighed.

"We only need to get away from here,"  Violet agreed.  "Now, we got Miss Morgana back."

"Soon, my dears,"  Morgana smiled, feeling a maternal sensation she'd never felt before.  "And, we shall all go home soon."

Suddenly the idea of a home seemed real to her.

"First, w...we must keep up our strength for Lennie."  Morgana looked to the bed again.  "Is she conscious?"

"Off an' on."  Violet answered heavily.

"She might rally to hear your voice, Miss."  Gamilla suggested, guiding Morgana to the bed.  "Sit and talk with her."

"I'll s...st...stand."  Morgana shook her head.  "I'd rather you sit so you and your baby can rest."

"I couldn't."  Gamilla protested.

"You must.  I insist."  Morgana answered affectionately.  "For well over six decades these mismatched legs ha...have supported me.  Sit, please."

Gamilla nodded and returned to her place in the chair.

Morgana stood at the foot of Lennie's bed, gently placing her pincer on the blanket which covered her niece.

"Lennie,"  She said softly.  "I'm here."

Lennie's eyes fluttered and she looked to Morgana.  Suddenly, she began to scream in abject terror.  "Stay away from me, foul demon!  Stay away!  You've gotten what you wanted from me.  My blood was spilled just as yours was!  I did what was asked of me!"

Morgana was shocked for a few seconds, and, then she realized that Lennie thought that she was the specter of her mother.

"Lennie, dear,"  Morgana said quickly.  "It is I...Auntie Morgana."

Lennie fell back onto her pillows.  "I will not fall for your trickery.  Not you nor the succubus you promised would punish me for the sins you prescribed to me."

Morgana held up her claws.  "Look, my d...dear.  I am your Auntie."

"Auntie?"  Lennie gasped.

"Yes."  Morgana nodded.  

"Oh..."  Lennie wept.  "Auntie, I wish to go home!"

Morgana sat on the bed.  "We soon shall, my darling niece.  We soon shall."


Did you miss Chapters 1-117 of A Recipe for Punch?  If so, you can read them here.  Come back on Monday for Chapter 119.







Mr. Punch in the Arts: An Antique Drawing by George Scharf



Punch & Judy Show
George Scharf
The British Museum
Drawn from life, this pencil and watercolor sketch shows a Punch & Judy show being performed on the street much to the delight of those watching.  In the highly decorative tent, we can see Mr. Punch with his famous slapstick, aiming for a rather frantic Judy.  Scharf’s depiction of the tent is quite authentic.  We can see the evolution of such a Punch & Judy booth from when this was drawn in the 1800’s to a version from 1912 (below).   Since this was drawn from life, we’re led to believe that the booth’s signage, “Our Endavour is to Please” is an accurate transcription of a misspelling on the part of the “Professor.” 


Punch & Judy Booth
1912-1962
The Museum of Childhood at
The Victoria & Albert Museum