Saturday, October 24, 2020

British moon flasks at the Met


The furnishing industries in Mid 19th century England were overcome by a kind of artistic decadence.


Minton, Doulton, and the Worcester manufacturers, and just about everyone went overboard on their inspired and opulent parodies of the classical Chinese moon flask.


The Met has a heap of ‘em.!/search?q=moon%20flask


etc, etc ...

Saturday, October 3, 2020

arthur rackham originals ... occasionally pop up at auctions or in museums ... then you can see how its done ... mostly by pure magic ... these images are all taken from a trawl of the christie's site ...

Friday, October 2, 2020

the colour purple ... a true story ...

I was at a loose end.  I’d just given up school-teaching for ever, after the minimum of commitment, and had also fallen out yet again with a certain flossy fluffy floozy. 

I drove down to Spain in the middle of September with the idea of staying away from both sources of grief until I had calmed down a bit.  Before setting out, I bought a couple of T-shirts, one was this sort of colour.


I travelled around and after six weeks or so I visited some very kind English friends in a village about a hundred miles west of Madrid, and I hung around there for a few days. 

They are people who never never never wake up early.  I asked them how to say “cafĂ© con leche en vaso profundo, por favor”, because I needed some vocabulary so I could go down to the 24-hour bar/motel on the main road next morning and get some good coffee two or three hours before they might be expected to rub the sleep from their eyes. 

At seven next morning, just as I was slouching across the huge motel car park, there arrived two coaches that had been travelling all night, en route from a late summer holiday in Lloret de Mar back to Badajoz.

The passengers were about forty institutionalized male adults, all shapes and sizes, with a variety of physical and mental abnormalities, and all of their professional and voluntary carers. 

Each and every one of the “not quite normal one’s” wore an identical polyester shell suit, a bit like this.



Anticipating a long wait for my coffee, I darted into the bar and blurted out my order in badly broken Spanish. 

The barman was probably about ten years younger than I am now, and he spoke to me, as far as I was able to understand, very kindly.  He pointed to an empty table near the door.

Sit over there with the rest and I will bring it to you !”

So I sat quietly and enjoyed my coffee in unusual company. 

And there was no need to pay.