Daily Archives: December 7, 2008

In the Presence of the Past

At top, the Belvedere, the 18th-century palace of Prince Eugene of Savoy, was later the last home of Archduke Ferdinand, whose assassination led to the start of World War I. The city's coffeehouses, above, include the recently renovated Cafe Museum, once frequented by Gustav Klimt. (Photo By Scott Vogel)

The Washington Post – November 23, 2008 – By Scott Vogel.

Vienna’s Complicated History Is Never Too Far Out of Reach

Just across Prinz Eugen-Strasse from the green copper domes and baroque overachievement of Vienna’s Belvedere Palace sits a terrifically tacky little Greek restaurant (vinyl checkered tablecloths, plastic bunches of grapes hanging from the walls). It’s a good place to go drinking with your mother, methinks (the waiter flirts with her), at least until the conversation enters perilous territory, by which I mean Whatever-Happened-to-the-Good-Old-Days territory. Once that happens, all anyone has to do is mention those sailor hats worn by the Vienna Boys’ Choir and the floodgates will open.

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Magnificence of the Tsars (Victoria and Albert Museum)

Red wool coat from the wardrobe of Peter II, 1727-1730. © The Moscow Kremlin Museums

Red wool coat from the wardrobe of Peter II, 1727-1730. © The Moscow Kremlin Museums

The Financial Times – December 6, 2008 – By James Sherwood.

Though many have been watching the luxury market with anxious eyes in these recessionary times, recent events in London suggest a slightly different perspective. In May it was announced that Fabergé, the imperial Russian jeweller, is to be revived by a group of investors, with Mark Dunhill, formerly president of luxury goods firm Alfred Dunhill, as chief executive and former Tatler jewellery editor Katharina Flohr as creative director. Then, this week, the exhibition Magnificence of the Tsars opened at the Victoria and Albert Museum, displaying the coronation uniforms of seven successive emperors of the Romanov dynasty.

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What lies beneath the splendor?

Sous l'Empire des crinolines (1852-1870) - Musée de la Mode, Palais Galliera, Paris.

Exposition : Sous l'Empire des crinolines (1852-1870) - Musée de la Mode, Palais Galliera, Paris.

The Jakarta Post – December 7, 2008 – By Kunang Helmi-Picard.

It is said that women have to suffer for their beauty, and pay for it as well. And certainly some French women — once society had returned to excess after the austerity following the French Revolution in 1789 — were willing to suffer, at a cost, for beauty.

A current exhibition at the Palais Galliera Fashion Museum gives an idea of the extravagance. The exhibition covers the period of the Second Empire in France (1852-1870) when the crinoline — a metallic petticoat holding up the voluminous skirts of the dresses of the period — had its heyday.

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Imperial Russia’s jewels showcased at museum

The Coronation Egg.

The Times of India – December 7, 2008.

NEW DELHI – A placard hanging inside the exhibition hall at the National Museum reveals that Carl Faberge, a jeweller best representative of Imperial Russia’s torrid affair with opulence, turned to nature for inspiration. 

The exhibition, Faberge : Precious Jewellery of the Russian Empire, is as much a celebration of the jeweller’s artistry as it is of the charms of forget-me-nots, lilies-of-the-valley and wild pansies. The placard states that the jeweller, whose masterpieces were created in the late 19th and early 20th century, preferred the modest beauty of common flowers to “exotic orchids” and other exquisite blooms of foreign lands. 
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Remembering the princely heritage of historic County Durham

A prize-winning photograph of frost at Durham Cathedral and the River Wear, by Andrew   Nicholson

SEAT OF POWER: A prize-winning photograph of frost at Durham Cathedral and the River Wear, by Andrew Nicholson

 The Darlington and Stockton Times – December 5, 2008.

COUNTY Durham is described as a palatinate, even though the privilege was formally abolished as long ago as 1646.

That area reverted to its role as a normal county in 1654 but the term ‘County Palatine of Durham’ can still be heard and read. Modern use of an obsolete term might be criticised by some, but it does embrace a highly important part of Durham’s long history and is one way of remembering that period.

The term was widely used in Europe as early as the tenth century, particularly in Germany and it indicated a district that was ruled not by the country’s sovereign but by a count palatine.

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Trapped in ‘a glass case’: Prince who yearned for the trenches

The Times – December 5, 2008 – By Ben Hoyle.

A restless Prince who is confused about his purpose in life seeks fulfillment in the military only to find that his commanding officers refuse to let him anywhere near the fighting.

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Sunny von Bulow dies after 28 years in coma

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The Associated Press – December 6, 2008.

Prosecutors allege her husband, Claus von Bulow, twice tried to kill her

NEW YORK – Martha “Sunny” von Bulow, the heiress who spent the last 28 years of her life in a coma after what prosecutors alleged in a pair of sensational trials were two murder attempts by her husband, died Saturday at age 76.

She died at a nursing home in New York, her children said in a statement issued by family spokeswoman Maureen Connelly.

Martha von Bulow was a personification of romantic notions about high society — a stunning heiress who brought her American millions to marriages to men who gave her honored old European names.

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Edward VIII’s links to a mystic

BBC – December 6, 2008.

Further evidence has emerged that King Edward VIII was seeing a mystic during the abdication crisis, prompting the Archbishop of Canterbury to intervene.

Previously undisclosed archives tell the story of a king in the grip of a man known as “The Yorkshire Yogi”.

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This week in pictures (Dec. 9 to Dec. 15, 2008)

Chelsy Davy Arriving At Her Internship.

Chelsy Davy arrives for her third day at the distinguished lawyer firm, Farrer and Co in Lincoln's Inn Fields where she is doing two weeks work experience.

Chelsy Davy arrives for her third day at the distinguished lawyer firm, Farrer and Co in Lincoln's Inn Fields where she is doing two weeks work experience. (PA)

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