Monday, December 31, 2007

My New Heirloom Victorian Love Token Valentines............
As promised, I have some wonderful new pretties for 2008! Above is one of my 'new' heirloom valentines, or remembrals. It was a very popular past time in the early~mid 19th century to give tokens of affection to friends and loved ones that contained precious bits of hair, flowers and ribbons. These are my versions.
They are made to hang on the wall, and are very nice size at 6x9 inches, not including the hangers. this one has a beautiful reproduction of a Victorian sentiment, that I have hand painted with watercolors.
Inside, you will find 2 gentle hair mementos, one strawberry blonde, very delicate and braided, arranged into a bouquet of graceful loops, 3 for the trinity......this one held by a crimson wax seal, made from a c1820 antique letter seal. It shows a flower, and says 'Forget me Not'.... below it I have inked the name 'Jane'
This is a side view~ another black hair piece, along with some dainty dried straw flowers, and red silk ribbon are contained permanently inside a wonderful vintage thick papered box with window front. Each are one of a Kind, and this one can be found in my Mantua Maker's Mercantile Blogstore~( link is in the upper right hand corner)
Two sweet dollys............

This is Anna Elizabeth, a special Queen Anne doll I sculpted in memory of my Grandma Ioerger that passed away on the 3 Nov this year. Isn't she just pun intended
My Hannah Pippin loves her too. Why make dollys and not let my wee ones play with them? Often all they hear from me is 'No touching~ NO touching!!!!'......but how can I say no to "Peease Peease Mommy...dollee dolleee peeeeeease"? Pippin is so careful~ its really surprising how gentle a 2 year old can be. I snapped this picture of them both in front of the little tree here in the gallery this morning..right before Anna got a big kiss from Hannah!
Pippin thought Anna might like a pony ride on the cast iron horse keeping watch over the tree.... I think she did enjoy herself immensely

Anna is 18.5" tall, hand sculpted mache. She wears antique linen stockings and reproduction shift, with bonnet made from precious lil bits of early 19th century embroidery and lace. Her eyes are c1840 pupiless black........ One can't help but wonder over all the Christmases past they have seen
If you look closely you can see the rising sun I used for my makers mark this past year~ Anna is the last, out with the old, and in with a new mark for '08. I have so many wonderful things planned for this year. I hope everyone who makes time to come and visit the Blog has a wonderful New Year, filled with much happiness, and health. I just cant thank you all enough~ it means so much to me to be able to share the art & history I love so much with others~
God Bless~

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas my Dear Friends~ I wish Peace on Earth, and Good Will to *ALL* Men

Sunday, December 09, 2007

From the Establishment of G. Brodie..............

'51 Canal St, New York.....As the approach of the cold weather will render our lady friends thoughtful about their winter garments, they will, we trust, be gratified that we are at pains to afford them several styles which the modistes of Paris have prepared for the season'..............

I know I certainly would be most gratified to have received the above such 'Raglan' for my Christmas gift in 1855! Or maybe even the 'Andalusia' pictured below
We keep a library of period fashion publications here at the Museum, and I am often asked if the clothing did in fact, look like the ones advertised. I have sat for many an evening and dreamt what it would be like, to receive the latest copy of Godey's or Peterson's Lady's National Magazine...and behold the excitement when the latest fashions were 'pictured'. I wondered if they were like the fliers we get now a days.....but unlike a photograph....did the actual garments live up to their neat & precisely engraved counterparts???? All was answered for me one fall afternoon, when an older gentleman, John Brown, offered me one of his Grandmother's cloaks

I wonder if this masterpiece also once had a name? With name or without, it is a masterpiece of handiwork and design. Its quite warm, the outer shell is a lush black velvet, heavily hand embroidered. The inside lining is a quilted silk over wadded inner layer. It is pictured over a bronze plaid silk day gown, also c1855. These two most certainly could have been worn together, the gown's skirting is fully lined for winter warmth.

The tailoring and fit is exquisite, giving the privileged wearer a most becoming silhouette
2 tiers of hand knotted silk & chenille fringe are an elegant effect over the separate sleeves
It is hard to imagine the hours of hand work that went in to this fabulous cloak. And from this example, I sit and drool all the more at the others pictured in my Lady's Book for 1855..... how I would love to find an actual 'Raglan', 'Andaluisa', 'Le Caprice' or 'Mary Stuart'!!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

A Visit with Santa...

All families have their traditions....ours is no different. I thought I would share a precious photo with you all that I bring out every year for Christmas. I took 3 of my 4 children this year, to see the dept store Santa...they all know he's just a worker bee for the Big man....but important, just the same. I had to laugh...looking at my freshly printed pictures today. There is my son Josh, he's 9, proudly standing with one leg on each side of Santa's knee......looking closer, there is his FLY open! ::::sigh:::: Moving on, gee~ theres not one, but 3 poses of my sweet Emma, she's 6 ~ guess the photographer could tell she loves to have her picture taken. And lastly, my precious Pippin. 2 years old in Sept, her first trip to sit on Santa's lap. hmmmmmm.........yes, just as I expected~ I have to laugh out loud, as I look at her picture~ SWEET picture.....there she is, sliding off Santa's lap, he's got one arm around her trying to hold her up there, while he catches his glasses in the other hand, her big pouffy pink coat is all pulled up and bunched under her chin, her face is red as a cherry, eyes are clamped shut, her mouth is wide open and you can almost hear her window shattering screeching thru the precious is THAT! I'm still giggling, when I look up on my mantle, and see this picture of my Mother~ Barbara Ioerger. I think this was around 1949 or just may have been her first meeting with the Big Man, by the look on her face. Wonder what she asked him for???

Sunday, December 02, 2007

A Special Christmas Queen Anne Dolly, Mifs Penelope Pringle,
Wishes you all a most Merry Christmas! I think I will name her in charge of the decorations on Olde English.....she has already re~arranged the tin candle tree's tapers~ none of them fit right and she gets so befuddled when one starts to tilt. She has convinced me to change them out with some wonderfully aged hand dipped ones in a dreamy Christmas red color, so we have some on order, soon to arrive in the post. Isn't it funny the things a person can look forward to!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Just how far behind can one get I wonder????????????

Ohhhh such a busy time of year! It seems there are never enough hours in the day.....and its getting dark so early now~ I find myself just sitting in the quite gazing upon the Christmas Tree. Sometimes I remember the happenstance of each little ornament....sometimes remember trips as a little girl to go cut the Christmas Tree 2 weeks before the big day................sometimes I don't think of anything at all.......I just sit and stare at all the beautiful twinkles of light dancing ever so gracefully thru the branches. I will be updating the blog soon~ am starting to get back into my old routine since my parents left last week. They drove down from Wa state as a wonderful surprise for Thanksgiving.........I can honestly say the very best holiday I have ever had~ EVER!

Dolly is coming along~ she is so proud of her new panniers...she thinks she will be the first in her city to wear a set......I just didn't have the heart to tell her everyone is wearing them nowadays. A proper girl just doesn't ever mention such things.

Monday, November 26, 2007

A Blessed Christmas I Wish for Thee~

Outside the house the air was cold
And quiet all about,
Till far across the snowy roofs
The Christmas Bells rang out.......................

From my Heart to yours~ I wish all my faithful friends a most Blessed Christmas. May all your wishes come true, and your hearts overflow with Happiness and Joy. Thankyou for visiting the Museum & blog, and for the most generous support that has been shown to us this year. Words just cannot express my appreciation adequately

Ever history's humble servant~

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tis The Season.............
For making much happiness and merriment! Above is a little peek at a very special Christmas Queen coming to eBay soon..............I am also happy to announce I will be starting the TDIPT Mercantile Nov 15th~ Ill have a link on the sidebar~ hope you' ll stop by both the Mercantile, and The Primitive Gathering on the 15th to see whats new. As Thanksgiving is nearly upon us, early this year, I wish you all a Happy & Safe holiday!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Give Ye Thanks.......
I hope thee wilst stop by my eBay auctions tomorrow next~ 2 new dollys I wish thou to meet, both one of a kinde, and so very sweet. You'll see a wee peek at one below, a Harvest time Pilgrim. Me thinks her quite sweet in nature, she has just gathered the oaks for the Harvest feast table ~

'Tis Autumn time! The summer flowers

Have faded 'neath it's golden feet;

The birds have left heir shady bowers,

and winds chime mournfully and sweet;

The maple boughs, whose faded leaves

Have whispered thru the summer days

Like bright-winged birds, around the eaves

Are flitting in the sun's pale rays;

I hear their rustling low and sweet,

As if an angel floated o'er;

They seem to me like friends I meet,

And love, then part forever more.

---Lottie Linwood, 1855

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

May Ye a Bountiful Harvest Have~
Tis the season of harvest~ I hope all of my readers find themselves knee deep in pumpkin, corn, squash and potatoes! Alas, the one super human zucchini plant has ceased its over production and gone to sleep for the winter. YAY! I have spent the last few days cleaning up the garden tidbits out into the compost....all except the corn stalks. We froze more corn on the cob this year than any before~ and I love decorating with the stalks. Just tied up with twine on the fence posts makes for a most festive Fall welcome to my visitors.
One of my goode friends Edyth O'Neill sent one of her precious antique China dolls to come play with me~ she is holding her above. You can see her blog here 'Rachael' is by far the largest doll I have ever had pleasure of dressing~ nearly 30" tall.
I had in mind another c1850 print for her dress....but Rachael liked this one could I say no to this sweet face? She wears a strand of Peruvian blue opals around her neck.
I wasn't the only one to get attached to Dear Rachael! Thank you Edyth for letting her come to visit us at the Inn

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Welcome Fall!
Fall has arrived in all its glory here at the Museum! Above you can see a sampling of some of my favorite adult bonnets displayed on my sideboard, 'Olde English'. from left to right, starting with the bonnet atop 2 c1840 & 50 hat a lady's cream silk velvet hat with blonde lace streamers, referred to as a 'Eugenie' style. It is the same era, early 1870's, as the plum silk visiting gown you will see later. Next, are two early 1820s leghorn poke bonnets with gorgeous watered silk ribbon chin ties(all bonnets in this photo have original trims). The term "Poke Bonnet" was loosely used in the 19th century for a great many decades~ depending on the year you were in, determined how deep the bonnet's brim. In nearly all circumstances, tho, if viewed from the side, the face of the wearer could not be seen. Moving on to the 4th bonnet, this is really a nice example of a 'fanchon'. This type bonnet became popular directly after the Civil War and into the early 1870s. It was worn towards the back of the head. It looks beaded from afar, but up close, as you can see below, it is made from rows of little balls..........
And on even closer inspection, you will realize that this entire bonnet is handmade of straw that has been twisted, contorted and arranged very neatly~ even the little balls are made of folded straw. A true masterpiece of design and handiwork. This bonnet would have been extremely expensive in its day~ definitely owned by a very well to do woman of Society.
Next bonnet after this, a wonderful c1834 leghorn Poke, then next a black velvet hat, my earliest, c1800-10, with label. Up on the last stand is a late 18teens gold silk poke, again with makers label, and a white lady's day cap last. One of these, in different styles, of coarse, would have been worn under each of these bonnets, so the wears hair would never come in contact with the bonnet itself.
I have just 3 gowns in this vignette, an 1850 black silk day gown, to the left, a lavender silk day gown, c1865, and on the right, spectacular c1872 plum silk & velvet visiting gown. This was worn by my Lady in her parlour to receive guests....never worn outside.

This black silk taffeta gown is one of my favorites, because the bodice is quite special~ its a maternity bodice. On either side of the front, there are lacing side gussets so the wearer could expand the fit as her tummy grew. These are extremely rare! There is a very misguided rumor that women did nothing but stay indoors through out their pregnancy~ when actually, just the opposite is true. They continued on about their daily business right up until the last few weeks, then entering into confinement.

Ladye here, is holding a period c1850 openwork basket purse on her arm. I specialize in these little purses, sooo precious and sooo fragile. We have over 100 examples here. The above purse is nearly identical in weave to the one held in the daguerreotype below

Did you ever wonder what women were wearing during the battles of our Great Civil War? Below is a day dress, c1865~ just beautiful lavender tissue silk trimmed in sea foam green bias satin strips, cloth buttons and AWESOME chenille & pearl fringe
There is not a machine stitch on any of these gowns
How I would have loved to been in the store where this trim was purchased~ it may have been brought by boat across the Atlantic from France.

Friday, September 14, 2007

An All Hallow's Eve Masquerade
I hope you will take a minute and stop by the Primitive Gathering on the 15th to see all the new goodies everyone has to offer! Ascha will be there~ all decked out for the Masquerade!

Friday, August 31, 2007

c1750-65 Lady's Brown Linen Strapped Stays
These snapshots leave alot to be desired, but thought you would enjoy them just the same. Alas, I thought I had found the perfect 'girl', but, as you can see.....she is much to well 'endowed' for my stays to fit quest will continue! Being a private entity, I just cant afford the 2-3 grand for a correct 18th century form mannequin of proper posture~ I'd rather have another dress. I think you can get a goode idea of what these stays looked like when originally worn.
They are in immaculate, near mint condition~ fully lined in a crisp, original cream linen. Entirely hand stitched over whalebone strips~ too numerous to count. They are so very rigid~ a sheer monstrosity when it comes to trying to store them..........yet, when fitted and laced, they twist and turn in all the right directions, and mold the body like butter. Because of the sheer brute strength needed in the hands to stitch them, nearly all staymakers were men.
All the back lacing eyelets are precisely stitched in white linen, as are the lacing eyelets for the shoulder straps. The main reason these stays don't fit well on a modern form, is the placement of the shoulders~ 18th century posture dictated the arms and shoulders held way back~ all the time~ it was common the shoulder blades to touch each other. While you are sitting comfortably at your computer, take note of your posture, and now, sit erect and jet your shoulders back as far as they will go..........until it is uncomfortable~ chances are, your posture still would not be correct~ hence the need for stays~ they sucked the waist IN, narrowed the ribs down to a conical shape, and thrust the bust UP, pushing the shoulders back until they could go no further.
I love how contrasting thread was used, and major seams taped in same~ a true work of art.
It was more common for the back lacing to start at the bottom, and continue up skipping every other eyelet~ then once at the top turn around and lace back down to the bottom......but these have clear wear marks of where the laced originally laid, and I have laced them in that fashion
The tabs at the bottom not only eased out prettily over the hips, they also gave 'displaced flesh' a place to retreat to
Stays shown over a later 1790 linen shift

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Savoring the Last Few Sweet Days of Summer...............
Next commeth September?????????? Allready? Where did the summer go? We have been very busie here at the LRM~ I guess it has put me in a time warp...seems like just yesterday the children were ancious for the last day of school. Lately all I have been hearing is 'Mom~ when is school going to start?' Come Sept 4 they will be on their way least I will have lil Pippin here to keep mommy & dollys company! I have some wonderful new things here at the museum that will be getting their photographs soon to share.....and of coarse some new dollys!
This is one of my favorite Queen Anne dollys~ Mifs Thankful Purdy. I always have adored the name "Thankful" of the original passengers on the Mayflower had this name, along with a brother, "Wrestling". Being a mother of 4 children myself.....I can get a pretty goode idea of why that little fellow was named 'Wrestling'.............

I had planned on selling Mifs Thankful........but truth be told, mommy likes her an awful , awful lot. We have had a long discussion, and she will be staying here with me! So, since space at the Inn is always limited, I will be listing a very, very special girl up on eBay this night~ I hope you will stop by and take a peek at my auctions & support the LRM!