Friday, February 15, 2013

NOT for Gravy! The Bourdaloue


I hope you all had a Happy Valentines Day.  I just had some minor surgery on Tuesday so I wasn't up to going out.  Shawn and I stayed home with Ashton and the three of us had a candlelight dinner together.  Trevor is working at a local ice cream shop so he was busy working and Kalyn, poor, boy-friendless Kalyn, who is also currently grounded, sent us a text yesterday afternoon pleading to let her "have one night off to go to dinner with some of her single friends while those in love celebrate"? 
 We totally caved and let her go. 

  Last month, my sister had told me that she's been hooked on watching Downton Abbey.  I have to admit, I watch so little tv that I didn't even know about Downton Abbey until she told me about it!  Since then, I've been nagging Shawn for us to watch it together.   So after dinner last night, we decided to start watching the series on Netflix so that we could start with the first episode.   We have been missing out is all I can say!  We stayed up until after midnight watching the first three episodes and I cannot wait to watch more tonight.  

Well, whenever I watch films set in this era I'm always looking for transferware...in fact I was contacted about supplying some for a movie set not long ago...but that's another post...maybe.  One of the serving pieces I spied in a dining scene got me thinking about how the pieces I'm about to show you are often misidentified, even in museums at times.

Take a look at the following items.  






Are you thinking these are gravy boats?  Perhaps they are creamers?  Well, if that's what you're thinking, you're not even close.   Each of these examples is called a bourdaloue: aka a porta potty, a chamber pot, a loo, coach pot or a slipper pot but these are ergonomically designed for use by a woman. Although the examples I've shown are all blue transfer printed, bourdaloues were often gilded and exquisitely detailed or even made of silver.

 Imagine the dress of the 18th century female; spreading hoops and silk petticoats made with yard upon yard of costly fabric.  Now imagine nature calling with all that material and cumbersome clothing to maneuver! With the assistance of the lady's maid, a bourdaloue could be slipped beneath the skirts and petticoats and then carried away.  
 As legend has it, though some historians argue this is not so, the little potty is named after a French Jesuit priest at the court of Louis XIV named Louis Bourdaloue.  Churches had no toilets then, and no breaks were given during sermons and with the priest being known for his long discourses it is said that women sat through them with a bourdaloue placed under their dresses.

 This example below is called Old Peacock and was made in the early 1800's by Spode.


Below, this bourdaloue dates to 1830 and was made by Wedgwood in the Landscape pattern.  Wedgwood referred to them as 'coach pots', for as the name implies, they were often used during long horse drawn coach travel.


My first thought after seeing this painting by Francis Boucher was 'What a perv' in regards to whomever commissioned it.  It depicts a woman pulling up her dress to use her bourdaloue.  I wasn't even sure I wanted to post it on my blog, but here you go.   



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Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Special Valentines Day Poem~

As far as I'm concerned, there is no poet more romantic than Petrarch...
except for the one I married...who wrote the following to me as a gift one year...


You are my air
Essential, yet often unappreciated
Vital to my life, yet often taken advantage of...

You are my mountains
Strong and standing regardless of time
It's not just that you have stood with and for me
It's that so often you've been the one holding me up...

You are my water
Rivers filled with tears shed for me
Oceans filled with fears for me
Water that's replenished me
Running through me, washing me...

you are my flowers, my life's bouquet
Gentle, colorful, naturally beautiful
Coloring my world that was black before I knew you
Making life smell wonderful with scents of love and passion...

You are my underserved consequence
The sum of all the good things I've always meant to do, but haven't
My reward for things I haven't earned
My motivation for improving...

You are my gentle breeze
Inspiring, continually refreshing
The end of a hot day's blessing
A continual promise of change, a promise of things to come
A promise to a desert of rain...

You are my inspiration
My hope, my greatest fulfilled expectation
My reason for existing, my reason for living
Without you there's no meaning
Without you I am nothing, without you I have no value...

You are my song, my lyric
My rhythm, my tempo, my melody
The tune I can't forget, the singing of my soul
The song that makes me whole...

You are my time
Time to make amends
Time with you to spend, times I can't forget
Time to grow old with and change things for the better
Time to love and time to cry
Time to watch our children laugh until they're no longer children
And then time spent with their children...

You are my answers
To the questions of my life
The question of whom I was meant for
To the questions of my destiny
The one with which I was meant to spend eternity...

You are my everything, your are my life
My God, thank you so much for my wife...

I love you, I live for you...


~I love you too Shawn.  Happy Valentines Day~



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Monday, February 11, 2013

Pretty Transferware Plates for Valentines Day

I'm sorry I haven't posted in several weeks.   I have been super busy, business-wise, which I'm very thankful for, but have also had a whole gamut of other things going on in my life,  including some health issues that have kept me feeling fatigued for some time. Tomorrow morning I am having a minor surgery which should hopefully diagnose what's going on with me but I'm not sure how much I'll be posting over the next few months....even though I have  tons I want to post about!  I have missed blogging and my blogging friends sooooo much.

With Valentines Day fast approaching, I could not resist showing this sweet little plate of which I happen to have a pair of in my red transferware collection. 


  You know I love just about anything with a bird motif' 

This plate is from the Aesthetic Movement and combines asymmetry which was such a popular theme of the designs of that period but it also combines the sweetness of the Victorian era too.

The plates have the cutest little bird on a branch inset into an ornately detailed frame of  scrolls and such.  A partial border of flowers defined by a single row of geometric semicircles gives way to a casual flow of floral branches which cascade below and sort of frame the little bird cartouche.  

I thought the lovebirds necklace was a perfect little trinket to lay over the plate.    
The pattern is named Victoria and the potter is J F Wileman.
These were made between 1866 and 1891.

I had hoped to do a Valentines table for two with the bird plates but that's not happening this year.   If time had permitted, I would have layered them over these sweet plates by Alfred Meakin, suitably titled 'The Courtship'...how romantic are these?


These plates show a young Victorian couple seated next to a woodland stream.  The young man has a basket of flowers, of which he is offering one to the seated lady, holding her parasol.  

Well, that's all for tonight but I hope you'll be back on Valentines Day... I've already got a post ready... I'm sharing one of the sweetest love poems~