Friday, January 20, 2017

Six Glass Constellations from the Mauretania

These six panels were made from glass: sandblasted, acid etched and brilliant cut. They came from both the Mauretanias where they were part of the decorative scheme in the restaurant positioned on both sides of the room over the dumb waiter recesses. Clearly they represent constellations, with the inclusion of Pegasus showing they are indeed constellations rather than zodiacal items. All six panels were offered for sale at Christie's in the 1980s. The auction cataloguers were unable to pin down a designer but noted that the list of names of those responsible decorative schemes for the ships' public rooms included both Marion Dorn and Sigmund Pollitzer who might have had a role in creating these. I don't know where they went from the Christie's sale, nor if anyone since has been able to pin down their creator.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Book Ephemera #3: Sir Allen Lane

Just to get this series going a little, here's another of the items from my collection of book and publishing related ephemera hot on the heals of #2. This is the invitation card and menu for a dinner at the House of Commons to celebrate 50 years in publishing for Sir Allen Lane, co-founder of Penguin Books, sadly he died the next year.

Vintage Swimwear and other Vintage Images

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Book Ephemera #2: Camps Library

The second item in this series of bits and pieces from my huge collection of book and publishing related ephemera. This is a very sweet postcard, presumably distributed inside new books appealing for books to be sent to the troops at the front in World War 1, to stock the rather pleasingly named Camps Library.

Monday, January 09, 2017

Pouring Wainwright

Well, as they say, it never rains but it pours. It's been a good couple of months for work by Albert Wainwright and I was delighted the other day to be able to facilitate the sale of these four pieces by him and by permission of the new owner they are shared here.


Not Your Average School Photo

This is a rather fun way of remembering your time at school even if it does seem a bit above and beyond the normal! A booklet of stiff card which has a photo of the school inside and out, a photo of the masters of the school and then, I think, a class photo for every year that you were at the school. This is Bury Junior Day Technical School in the 1920s

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Pink Narcissus and The Gates of Paradise

Films and Filming magazine has been a regular visitor to this blog for a little while now since a pile of them landed on my desk before Christmas. This issue must be the only cinema magazine ever to make a cover feature of the gay classic, Pink Narcissus. The pages on which it is covered are scanned below.

Interestingly, as with more issues of this magazine there are things which make you want to follow them up. There is a double page spread (below) relating to the 1968 film, Gates of Paradise, made by Andrezej Wajda telling the story of the 13th century Children's Crusade. The magazine, in 1971 is lamenting that fact that despite this film having been made largely in Britain (although also on location in Yugoslavia) is had not by then actually been released in the UK. Given the frank subject matter and the interplay of adolescent sexuality of every stripe with religious sentiment, this is actually unsurprising. I do not know if it ever did receive a UK cinematic release but the wonder of the internet is that you can see it on Youtube dubbed in German and subtitled back into English should you wish. It is also one of the earliest appearances on film for Jenny Agutter.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Quite Hard Book Quiz: A Reminder

I hope you have all had a very happy time over the Christmas period...

Of course, there is New Year next and we are now in that odd little week where things are normal and yet, not quite back to normal! So if you are still looking for entertainment, can I respectfully remind you of The Quite Hard Book Quiz.

It's simple. Make a donation of any size to Firefly International, who work with young people from Bosnia, Palestine and Syria and in return you will be sent a link to a fascinating and "Quite Hard" quiz about books, designed not to be easily googleable. 100 questions. Enough to keep you going a couple of days in this lazy season.

As I write this we are just a few pounds off of £400.

When you've done all you can simply email me your answers and I shall mark them and a small prize awaits the cleverest of you!

Mostly, however, your few pounds will join with others and will help to provide education and help for young people who have had some pretty overwhelming disadvantages thus far.

There is still time... on January 1st I will replace the Quiz file with the answers...

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Four Pieces by Albert Wainwright

I am grateful again to reader of Front Free Endpaper and collector of Albert Wainwright artwork, Padraig for providing a small selection of images from his collection. I think, without particularly meaning to, the four images here pretty much cover the breadth of Wainwright's output. There is the beautiful, fully-worked image above of a boy and a cherry tree (I have seen numerous night-time scenes by Wainwright and they all have a somewhat numinous quality). The Sea Cadet below represents the huge output that he had in terms of quick sketches. The Red Riding Hood stands for all his many theatre and costume designs which were such a large part of his life. The collage is something a little different but by singling out an advert for Nivea body cream that appears to be addressed to Scouts, we might suspect maybe a sense of humour showing through. The collage is on the back of a sketch. The only significant part of his output not represented in this little group is the portrait work that he sustained himself with at Robin Hoods Bay near Whitby for some years.

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