Friday, March 23, 2012

Graham's Magazine 1840

There is a passing cloud, a hint of rain and its in the mid '60's.  I had to find an indoor activity for the day, and I am saying this is my most facetious tone.  But I did retreat indoors after a walk at the park.  My husband is a lover of anything/everything Edgar A. Poe, so I took to looking through one of his "Mr. Eddie" books, Graham's Magazine 1840.   And, when I mean looking, I mean enjoying the illustrations rather than the literary contributions of the day (as Poe was a contributor to the magazine that year).
I have the feeling they are captivated by their tulips and peonies just as we are today.  However, I am guessing these varieties which we would consider heirlooms today,  have a fragrance surpassing today's varieties.

A colored plate of their high fashion of the day.  Quite subtle colors except for those brilliant red flashes.  I was just thinking of the amount of soutache or braid purchased as trim and the additional sewing time.  Although the sewing machine was invented by 1840, it was not a household item. Definitely additional sewing time for these fashions.

The latest in fashion for spring or summer attire.

"My Brothers"  The checked frocks with ruffles and bows at the sleeves are quite adorable.  Yes, adorable.  Guess if the little one perched on the stool is a brother, or a sister?  I'm not sure the bonnet is a give-away for either gender at this point.  It would have been nice if this was a color-plate to see the colors selected to go with the fashions.  This was the illustration for the poem "My Bothers" written by Mary L. Lawson.  So, yes, the little one on the stool is a girl.

"Coming to Get Married"   The ladies look with gleeful glances as the pastor seems perturbed; maybe he burnt his tongue on the hot tea just seconds before the entrance of the lovely couple?  It had to be some physical pain to give him such a miserable appearance on such a glorious occasion. 

Ephemeral objects which have survived 170 years are just treasures at this point.  I can only imagine where some of the other color plates went over the years and if they were put on display at the time to be admired by their owners.

And thinking of paper objects reminded me of something I have never really seen after years of selling vintage wooden spools - paper advertising tucked inside the thread wound on the spool.  The paper caught my attention and then I pondered as to whether I should unwind it to reveal this ephemeral advertising piece.

 After a second of deliberation, I started to unwind the thread....

and it quickly fell out with rows of thread left in tack on the spool...

Just the sweet little kitten motif made it fun to see.  I wonder if the offer for the Dressmaker's Sample Card is still available?  Maybe the hunt is on to see if this treasure is still somewhere to be found!

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