Thursday, 16 September 2010

Kensington Treasures

I had such a lovely day on Sunday at Teddies 2010! I met lots of collectors I recognised and I was amazed to find I can still remember which bears they already have. Thank you to everybody who adopted a new little friend, and came to visit the stand; I really appreciate it :0)
For this fair I swapped my display components about a bit and added a few new ones; I just can't resist! I have to say I was extremely pleased with the final "look", and I was absolutely delighted when several kind people said it looked beautiful!

Will I ever stop adding to my collection of display items? Errrr - probably not.In fact, definitely not; I've already got some different pieces in mind for the November show in Sheffield.....

And so to "what we did on the Saturday." First of all we had a brisk stroll down Kensington High Street and Kensington Gore, pausing as usual to photograph the Albert Memorial and the Albert Hall.My 14 year old surprised us both by saying he wished we had tickets that night for the Last Night of the Proms! We were offered tickets from the inevitable touts; although they were for the outside party in the park.
After a quick visit to the Natural History Museum, where, as I suffer from a fear of heights, I had to go on the escalator from hell (again!) then it was on to The Victoria & Albert Museum.

(There's a lot more escalator after reaching the planet. Brrrrrrrrr)

Sadly I couldn't go in the exhibition of Grace Kelly's dresses because it was on timed tickets; and they had sold out for the day- did I hear husband and son breathe a huge sigh of relief? No... must've been someone else.... Happily I was able to locate the Beatrix Potter rooms;where the walls are ranged with all the original book-plate sized artwork for "Peter Rabbit", plus others from Beatrix' youth, and personal letters to and from Frederick Warne her publisher.It is very difficult to get your head around seeing the actual originals when you are so familiar with the printed versions. Each is in perfect condition; suprisingly vibrant and captivatingly miniature.Her earliest drawings would be considered prodigiously talented by today's standards; if it's possible I admire her even more than I did before! Take a look at a detail from a pencil drawing, based on the garden shed outside her home, of rabbits potting Geraniums, and also the adorable watercolour of "Bill" the unfortunate little lizard who is given a fright by Alice in Wonderland, at the top of this post.

From these rooms we moved on to the Portrait Miniatures. I could spend all day gazing in to the cases with the helpfully provided magnifying glasses.Rather than try and fill up the whole camera(!) I had Ashley take a pic of one of my absolute favourites; a breathtakingly beautiful 3" wide portrait from the 17th century which combines finesse and realism.To say it is highly skilled is an utter understatement!Who was he, and why don't men wear collars and sashes like that anymore?....

Incidentally, I was fascinated by a displayed "Buff Coat" from this period, in the English Rooms. You've probably seen them in paintings without realising what they are. The mannequin was wearing a very thick suede skirted jacket - although it is cow leather it has the look of pale sheepskin. Originally they were a lowly, practical item of clothing for soldiers; giving them some protection from weaponry, but eventually they became fashionable, and were often part of the costume chosen for important portraits; in particular those "cavalier" paintings where the Buff Coat was augmented with breastplates, sashes, expensive lace and military regalia.The one on display must have been kept for this purpose as it looks practically new. Amazing.

I'll add some more photos later...

TaTa For Now, Ruth x


Amanda said...

Your stand does look lovely! Sounds like you had a great weekend.

Donna Griffin said...

Hi Ruth! I've been waiting for your report of the show and outing. Your table is beyond precious - wish I could see it in person. Thanks for posting the photos as well - my favorite is the pencil drawing of the rabbits.
Thanks for the kind message delivered by Elanor. Looking forward to more photos from your journey.
Lotsa hugs,

Bearly Sane said...

Super post the piccies of Beatrix' work...I am still green here!
Your table looked stunning and I love the props...those little drawers are perfect for your wee ones.
Warmest Hugs,
Sandi @ Bearly Sane

Ruth said...

Thanks Amanda! :0)

Hi Donna :0) Lucky Elanor; getting to meet up with you! I still have a magazine to send you- hopefully I'll be able to grab a bit more time here and there now Hugglets is done.

Thanks Sandi! Don't you just love little Bill? I wish I could "make" him 'cos he's just soooooo cute!!

Hugs for you All,
Ruth xxx