Sunday, 30 January 2011

Fashions Of Old & Queen Vic's Stamps

Chilly air & choppy waters, bundling into the girl's motor car for a "where shall we go today doll?".  Erm, Christchurch. Popping through this little town now and again on a week day for bit 'n' bobs before, but this  the first for a Sunday's stroll.  

So as we passed the Red House Museum we couldn't help ourselves but to go in & have a roam & a nose. An "oooh nice one" followed when at the turn of one corner we were greeted by this welcome.

Having for the last month or so been finding myself reading more & more about the immediate years following Queen Victoria's death, now I could see first hand what fabric this folk had on their backs.

                                            Formal Edwardian wear of Tops 'n' tails, laces & silks.

Below, uniforms from the end of World War I.

Below, decidedly comes inspiration for an item which has beeen long  overble collardue for myself, the detachable collar (of course with the added "collar bar") which makes a starring role in the upcoming Martin Scorcese's "Boardwalk Empire". Back to the '20's I say for this summer!

Someone really should put that Bow on straight & true!

Silhouettes that helped the 20's kick off with a  Roar!

A Noah's Ark apparently one of the only toys that were allowed to be played  with on a Sunday in the 1920's & 1930's, the girl said she would've played with them through 'til Monday if she'd had a set in the 80's.

An Edwardian miniature play zoo.

And a walk back toward the exit & back to a nod again to Queen Victoria in the form of the perfect stamp holder!

Are the 20's the way forward for this year?  Flappers, tailors arm bands, Big bands & Bow Ties.

A 1920's Art Deco Spring party may be up & coming Love From Hetty & Dave soon!

Let's hope so.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

An Edwardian Depatment Store Fit For a King!

Having settled into the New Year at a snails pace, ignoring the  High St. sales, the crowds & the tat. It was when I was trawling through Vintage Tobbaciana items on Ebay I came across a stunning leather cigarette case that came from a Department store in the West End of London around 1900.

This particular item though managed to get away from me, not realising the status of the store that it originated from. J.C.Vickery of Regent Street W1. I was bolted upright as I researched other items made by the firm and that of it's founder John Collard Vickery. Though what is below is prretty much all of what I could find.

This was the firm of John Collard Vickery, an important and sucessful player in the retail side of the gold and silversmithing business in the early 20th century.

Collard and his then partner, Arthur Thomas Hobbs, bought up the long established business of William Griggs, a stationer and bookseller at 183, Regent Street in c.1890 and expanded the stock to include jewellery, dressing cases, gold and silver lines.

The partnership with Hobbs was a short lived one and was dissolved in 1891. Now on his own, Vickery went from strength to strength expanding the Regent Street premises to include, at first, No.181 and then No.179 by the year 1900. He went on to obtain the royal warrants of HM the King, HM the Queen, HM Queen Alexandra, TRH the Prince and Princess of Wales, HM the King of Portugal, HM the King of Spain, TM the King and Queen of Denmark, HM the Queen of Norway, HM the King of Sweden and the Prince and Princess Christian of Schleswig Holstein.

A move further up Regent Street to No's 145/147, in 1925, was forced by the expiration of the leases on the original premises. The move along with the depression in the 1920's and Vickery's advancing years all contributed to the firm being declared bankrupt in 1930.

John Collard Vickery died aged 75 on the 19th August 1930, what was left of the business fell into the hands of James Walker Ltd.

John Culme in his "Directory of Gold & Silversmiths" relates a nice story regarding Vickery: The late G.S. Saunders of James Walker Ltd. told me that Vickery would travel each day from his home in Streatham to Regaent St. in his own carriage, stopped his coachman one day in order to examine a leaf on the drive outside his house. Stepping down from the vehicle he picked up the leaf to pin to it a note. As he continued his journey, his gardeners were astonished to read. "Why has this leaf been here for two days?"

A fella after my own heart! A little O.C.D. never did anyone any harm I say. Since that cigarette case went to another buyer I have been fortunate enough to aquire some gems from the Vickery store though and now it's started I hope, a collecction which span many years ahead.  

From top, a Gent's ( still shiny) leather jewellery box, a 1920's travel clock and a solid silver card case.

And also a longing for the other such items that alredy have been sold at Christie's & Bonhams!

 Croc skin box & leather wood photo frame. Circa 1910.

Travel clock & Barometer.

So the start of a new collection, if these were to the taste of Edward VIII & Mrs. Simpson they'll sit happily in this Dandy's abode on the South Coast!

Until Valentines Day, Much Edwardian Love.

Monday, 3 January 2011

Happy Dandy New Year

Au revoir 2010, Salut MMXI! With a manic end to 2010 all done & dusted, a few highlights are still fresh.

At the beginning of December trawling through  the wonder/evil ( however you look at it ) that is Facebook, I came across a friends page who was sharing a link on Patrick Grant, who had recently been crowned British Menswear Designer Of The Year. The link was an article on "British Men Are Too Scruffy".

"If you wind the clock back even a decade people associated London with an archetypal image of a beautifully dressed man wearing a grey flannel suit and a bowler hat carrying an umbrella. It may be comic but it projected solidarity to the world and was a positive part of our national identity. Now people are made to feel awkward for being correctly attired." Patrick Grant.

Here here! I went on to leave a comment on Mr Grant's link, saying that his views were bang on the button and  Dress Up Fridays should be the norm here in the UK.

Amazingly, within a few minutes, Patrick Grant himself replied saying, Dress Up Friday? "Mr Schroeder, quite a brilliant idea!" So soon enough saying the idea will be pitched to The Sunday Times Style Magazine as one thing to watch out for in 2011!

I believe whole heartedly that the growth and acceptance of dress down Friday within the British workplace is appalling. The American influenced dress day does, some say even affect employees to slouch off and reduce productivity and have a lazy attitude, so much so that rightly, some City companies do not allow the "dress down thing" any longer! Thankfully

So, what a perfect British response will Dress Up Friday be! Ties, polished shoes, cuffs, silks, hats  whatever you wish, but be sure to make the effort & join Dress Up Friday In Britain! ( And yes we do have a page with that title you can "like" on Facebook  if you so wish. )  But do remember it was this Dandy who gave the British Dress Up Friday! ( Only if it takes off you understand ).

Other businesss was the Dandy Man continuing selling well at Love From Hetty & Dave and going live on Ebay under the ID of dandymancan. Smoking memorabilia is top of the list with charming accessories including Polo Cigarette cases, Ladies Enamel Powder Compact Cig case aswell as the many delightful cigarette dispenser from the 1920's through to the 60's and lighters.

A ladies 1950's copper cigarette case.

A 1920's Art Deco cigarette dispenser where the bird bows down, a drawer opens & picks the cig up in it's beak for you!

A 1940's Japanese cigarette ligher made in occupied Japan.

And for Retro lovers a collectable Coke can table lighter!

In terms of cloth, the Buy Of The Week would have to be this Vintage Military Jacket inn immaculate condition complete with buttons from  "Gaunt London"

This Dandy's New Year's resolution is to adhere to traditional values, write more blogs & Dress Up Fridays!