Friday, October 31, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Handmade things, that the person put part of their being into the craftmanship.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Among the many scientific professionals under Baudin's command was a zoologist trainee by the name of Francois A. Peron. Peron had saught to join Baudin's expedition after a tragic end to a love affair. He had wanted to serve as an anthropological observer, instead he was appointed zoologist trainee, later in the voyage his position would be elevated to a prominent position of sole zoologist after others were lost along the voyage due to death and desertion.
Historically Peron would become famous for documenting the voyage after the death of Captain Baudin. But most importantly with the help of fellow shipmate, artist Charles Alexandre Lesueur, Peron gathered over 100,000 zoological specimens. The most comprehensive Australian natural history collection to date.
Charles A. Lesueur was employed for the main job of illustrating Baudin's log books. As the journey progressed Lesueur became more of a specialist in drawing animals. This is because he became very close friends with the zoologist Péron. Péron was disliked a great deal by Baudin and made many enemies during the voyage. However, he and Lesueur became firm friends. Under Péron's guidance, Lesueur learnt the art of taxidermy, and the skills for trapping and hunting animals. At other times Péron would dance about and play the fool to distract the Indigenous Australians while Lesueur sketched them. Lesueur also learnt from Péron the importance of colour and paying particular attention to detail. Apart from completing drawings of many animals, he produced a variety of landscapes often including aspects of Indigenous Australian culture.
On July 18, 1801 similar expedition had set sail from Great Britian.
Having been given command of the vessel "The Investigator" Matthew Flinders set sail with a group of scientists, his orders were to chart and map the coast of Australia.
On December 6, 1801, Flinders reached Australia at Cape Leeuwin, and proceeded to begin surveying Australian coastline moving southward along it's shores.
On 8 April 1802 while sailing east Flinders sighted the Le Geographe, a French corvette commanded by the explorer Nicolas Baudin. Both men of science, Flinders and Baudin met and exchanged details of their discoveries, at what would later be named Encounter Bay.
Monday, October 20, 2008
I would love to know what inspired famed french illustrator Françoise de la Perrière; when he mused upon the design "Jonques et Sampan". Had he actually taken his in his inspiration while viewing Junks in their original setting in some far off Asian setting, or had he been inspired by the artwork of another such as shown in the ancient Japanese Ukiyo-e woodblock pictured above.
I actually spent quite a lot of time traveling in the Orient, while I lived in Japan. The massive floating hulls of the Junks are a sight to be seen. That was what had originally drawn me to this piece. Today I took a deeper closer look into its watery depths. I have always considered some of the other colorways of this design a bit garish, preferring the subtlety of this sea-glass colored version. I purchased it about the same time as I purchased a "Geisha" in a rather similar colorway. I realize now that I was reminiscing and missing my time spent in the orient and that is what probably prompted the purchase of both designs.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
There are a lot of collectors that refresh their collections by culling and selling off scarves to make room for more. And this has become increasingly difficult to do on eBay with any success for a lot of reasons most recently.
So many people like my friend are venturing out on their own, in some cases they are even joining up to work together on alternatives. The site owner of "What 2 Wear 411" is willing to meet and talk to others who are interested in listing some of their authentic pieces there. The site is new, and is in the start up stage but is up and running with some very nice items already there. So have a look and email Karen on the site if you yourself are interested in listing some things, or buying.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
The story by Chhengiz Aytmatov, "The girl With The Red Scarf" was translated by french poet Luis Aragon who called it the "world's greatest love story..."
If we were to truly look back in time many a heart struck gentleman has formally stated his love by the gift of a scarf to the lady of his affection. But how many of those moments, or stories have been preserved in time, only to be rediscovered at a later time?
I had the privilege of such an occurrence, when years ago I purchased a lovely old Hermes scarf, simply because it was a rare design, and I was attracted to the simplicity of the piece.
Think about your favorite or even the greatest love story that you remember hearing. Are they not often tragic?
I was gifted to be the person to whom a great though tragic love story was passed to, preserved in the silk of an Hermes scarf.
"En Vente Chez Hermes a Paris"
The scarf had come to the person from whom I received it, from her Great-Aunt. The scarf had come to her in its box inside of its original tissue with a note. The note read:
"A very special Hermes-Paris scarf from my love Gus. Worn 2-3 timeswith him, never to be worn again. My beloved Gus died in 1961."
The person I received the scarf from explained the note this way:
"My aunt was a career woman who never married. She had this love affair with Gus for 15 years! He was Catholic and his wife would not give him a divorce. He separated from his wife and was working in New York City when my aunt met him. He had been separated for 3 years. They each had their own apartment, but they were together for 15 years. He died of a heart attack in 1961 in my aunt's arms. My aunt died in 1969."
Sometimes I don Gus' memento of his love for this lovely woman, wrap myself up in my favorite cashmere sweater, make myself a cup of tea, light some candles, grab a good book of poetry, and let the threads cast their magic of memory of a tale of strong yet tragic love, that has stood the test of time, and lived on even after the lovers are gone.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
I recently acquired a scarf, that many of us thought was only printed for one special event, that being the 150 year anniversary of Credit Lyonnais Bank in London. Which celebrated its anniversary in 1970. Now while it is true that Hermes did in fact print special pieces in limited quantities for this event, they also printed a Napoleon III / Empire C'est La Paix which was not distributed for this event alone, as it was not printed with the imprint of the anniversary dates.
I love the consistency that in keeping with the historical significance Hermes printed the Napoleon III in a jacquard of "Bees".
Historically speaking there is much reverence and attention given to anything which has to do with the reign of the first Napoleon. No major anniversary of births, battles, or buildings goes uncelebrated.
The legacy of Napoleon III includes some of the most progressive social reforms of the period, along with much of the modern infrastructure of France as we know it today, including railroads and major ports. The second empire also saw the building of major avenues, and a sewer system that still functions today. Napoleon III also organized innovative financial and credit organizations.
Historians have always treated France's "Second Empire" somewhat dismissively. However, Hermes honors the Emperor here with Ledoux's beautiful design, which also commemorates the special relationship held between England's Queen Victoria, and Napoleon III. It is fitting that above Napoleon III the words Empire C'est La Paix . Perhaps Queen Victoria said it best when after visiting the tomb of Napoleon I escorted by Napoleon III, in her journal she wrote:
"The coffin is in a small side chapel, de St. Jerome....Into this the Emperor led me, and there I stood, at the arm of Napoleon III, his nephew, before the coffin of our bitterest foe, I, the granddaughter of that King who hated him most and who most vigorously opposed him, and this very nephew who bears his name, being my nearest and dearest ally!"
Napoleon the III's grave site has no place of honor in France, for he died in exile on the not too distant shores of England following complications with gallstone surgery. His wife had a church built in Farnborough this was to be his final resting place.
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Our childhoods hold wonderous memories that we can call up at any given moment, muse on them and drift back to a time when life was carefree and warm. Some of the special memories I have involve the quality times spent with my father. Who because of what he taught me, how he taught me, and what he shared with me, enriched my life forever. He has been gone for sometime now, but special memories linger on.
He loved the Amerian western. I remember the stories he would tell about going to the matinees when he himself was young. And then growing up I got to relive those moments with him through the miracle of television. There also were those trips together to matinees of our own.
As an adult, I still seekout the westerns when they come to the big screen. Which today is few and far between. Each time I do, I somehow feel as if I am again spending time with Dad.
I am excited about one that is set to be released soon, 'Appaloosa'. I have always wanted just the right colorway of Robert Dallet's design "Mustangs". I think I have found the one for me. I will be wearing it the next time I spend some time with dear old Dad.