Thursday, January 29, 2015

History's Runway with Miss Oscar: Her Majesty's Hardy Amies Poppy Gown, 1983

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

Not wanting to be left out, Oscar thought she'd offer the first of her fashion posts a bit early.

We begin with an attractive evening gown from The Royal Collection.

Hardy Amies designed this stunning gown for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.  Featuring a cream chiffon skirt with an intricately embroidered bodice, the Queen wore the gown for  a reception in California during an Official Visit to Mexico and the United States of America, from February to March 1983. 

The bodice of the gown is embroidered with Californian poppies in shades of crimson, salmon and purple with stems of black and white.

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

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

Gratuitous Bertie Dog Picture: Faint of Heart

Getting ready for our relaunch next week, Bertie wanted to offer a new "Gratuitous Bertie Dog Picture" in advance.

"Oh, please.  Try waiting for your dinner until 10:00 in the morning, and then talk to me about feeling faint."

Original Image:

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

A Lady Fainting After Having Been Bled.
Creator: Copy after Eglon van der Neer (Amsterdam 1634?-Düsseldorf 1703) (artist),  Creation Date: c.1680-1750,  Materials: Oil on panel,  Acquirer: George IV, King of the United Kingdom (1762-1830), when Prince of Wales (1762-1811),  Provenance:  Acquired by George IV before 1806.
Crown Copyright, The Royal Collection via The Royal Collection Trust.
The original image was provided courtesy of The Royal Collection and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

To learn more about this gorgeous masterpiece, visit its official entry in the online catalog of The Royal Collection.

You, too, could have a cup of tea with Bertie. Or, you could wear his picture proudly. Visit our 
online store to see our range of Gratuitous Bertie Dog products.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

What to Expect From Our Relaunch

We'll visit museums and The Royal Collection

Now that the posting drought is coming to a close, I thought I'd let our regular readers know what they can expect with the relaunch of Stalking the Belle Époque.  

Lots of Ephemera

Bertie will share some TV magic.
We'll take a closer look at my monumental collection of Victorian ephemera.  Since I've a cabinet full of antique scraps, trade cards, post cards and other chromolithographs which aren't doing much of anything, I thought I'd continue to scan them for your viewing pleasure.  My goal is to make this a daily feature.

Monday through Thursday will boast a new chapter of A Recipe for Punch, as we return to Yorkshire to catch up with Mr. Punch (The Duke of Fallbridge), his companion, Robert Halifax and their loyal, but often-tortured household.

We will continue our exploration of Europe's great art collections from my pals at The Royal Collection and The Victoria & Albert Museum to other museums which most of us don't get to visit on a regular (if ever) basis.

Puppets take center stage.

The history of puppetry, especially Punch & Judy, will remain a favorite topic as we take a look at the ways in which puppets and puppeteers have shaped entertainment as we know it.

The "What's Bertie Watching" feature will become a weekly staple as we take a look at some of the classic television shows which have shaped our current media landscape.

And, speaking of Bertie, he'll continue his romp through art history with his weekly feature of the "Gratuitous Bertie Dog Picture."

Our resident fashion cat, Oscar, will launch her own feature as she leads us through a study of the fashions which graced the runways of the past.  

Mr. Punch will continue to dominate Fridays with his own brand of fun and games, and, he'll host the "Treat of the Week" which will now anchor our Friday posts.

Oscar shares fashion history.

Weekends will focus on fun for the whole family with a look at classic film and animation and a discussion of the ways in which families of the past spent time together, relaxing and maintaining their homes.  This will include music, games, and glimpses into the home lives of those who came before us.

And, of course, every day will give us an opportunity to view the arts, both fine and domestic, which helped define past "Beautiful Eras" and which help us make our own beautiful era.

Of course, I reserve the right to throw in a few surprises here and there.  One never knows what I'll find.  I certainly am excited to see what I can share with you, and, especially excited to see what  you can share with me.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

It's Not a Comeback! It's a Return!

Bertie, Mr. Punch, Oscar and I have been gone for what seems like forever.  Well, we haven't actually been gone, we've been here.  It's just that we've been doing other things--things that weren't nearly as much fun as we had hoped they'd be.

Ah, well.

Starting next week, Stalking the Belle Époque will be back.  I don't know if I'll be able to keep up the pace that I started in 2010, but, it'll be a nice, steady journey.

Best of all, A Recipe for Punch will continue, after a brief catch-up with what's already passed.

I'll be adding some new features and changing others, but you can expect a lot of pretty things at which you can look and, hopefully, some interesting articles, an exciting story, and some delicious "Treats of the Week." I've got months of treats to show you!

So, we'll see you on Monday, February 2, 2015!

On behalf of Bertie, Punch and Oscar, I say we're all looking forward to it!