Posts Tagged ‘victorian cufflinks’
In season one of the underground hit show, Downton Abbey, you may have come across the acute obsession to detail in clothing and appearance. To our delight, cufflinks played a large part in this Victorian obsession. When Matthew Crawley comes to Downton, he finds himself put-off by the amount of attention he receives from the household servants. He can’t fathom the need for a footman, someone to dress him “like a dog” everyday, and innocently appeals to dismiss their superfluous services.
But after a seemingly cordial run-in with the head of the household, he grows to understand that everyone “needs to play his or her part” and it’s quite wrong to dismiss servants when they want to do their job. He questions Crawley, asking if when he takes over the Downton domain, will he dismiss the numerous staff members simply because of Crawley’s taste, or will he realize that they’re place in at Downton, they are an integral part of the household, and their living must not be taken lightly.
It’s then, and only then, does Crawley open up to the idea of being waited on by servants. One of these tasks include PICKING OUT CUFFLINKS and PUTTING THEM ON. “I think these are too formal for the occasion. Can you pick another pair?” “Would you like the crescent ones, sir? I think they are much more suitable.” Such a wonderful moment captured in film…
“The Downton Abbey estate stands a splendid example of confidence and mettle, its family enduring for generations and its staff a well-oiled machine of propriety. But change is afoot at Downton — change far surpassing the new electric lights and telephone. A crisis of inheritance threatens to displace the resident Crawley family, in spite of the best efforts of the noble and compassionate Earl, Robert Crawley (Hugh Bonneville, Miss Austen Regrets); his American heiress wife, Cora (Elizabeth McGovern); his comically implacable, opinionated mother, Violet (Maggie Smith, David Copperfield); and his beautiful, eldest daughter, Mary, intent on charting her own course. Reluctantly, the family is forced to welcome its heir apparent, the self-made and proudly modern Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens), himself none too happy about the new arrangements. As Matthew’s bristly relationship with Mary begins to crackle with electricity, hope for the future of Downton’s dynasty takes shape. But when petty jealousies and ambitions grow among the family and the staff, scheming and secrets — both delicious and dangerous — threaten to derail the scramble to preserve Downton Abbey. Created and written by Oscar-winner Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park), Downton Abbey offers a spot-on portrait of a vanishing way of life.”
Modern conveniences have done a lot for mankind–but they’ve also taken a lot away from us. Some things are just better…in their original style. There’s something rushed and hurried about our modern appliances and we rarely have time to simply stop and enjoy the process of an activity. This post is an ode to the past, a nod at nostalgia, in hopes that you reincorporate these little treasures into everyday (or monthly) life.
Record Players: the soothing scratches, the jukebox feel, the tiny needle strumming along…music is just there. As opposed to it electronically radiating from a computer speaker, where it was downloaded illegally on some canceled website. Plus records are super cheap now, around .25 cents if you’re lucky. So go visit your neighborhood record store, if it hasn’t been shut down yet.
Herb Crushers: Remember seeing your grandmother crush herbs by hand? Suddenly, and slowly, the kitchen would start to smell of a fresh garden…the churning action at the table, the wooden bowl, the scraping of the crusher. Memories.
Candles vs. light bulbs: the eternal glow of the candle, reading at night, wafting natural light from the other room. Plus mix the scent action and you have one amazing antique invention.
Sponge baths: Sure the invention of the modern shower is great, but the activity of cleaning oneself has been reduced to hurried, frantic motions, instead of the alternative: boiling water on an open stove, mixing it with room temperature water in a big bowl, and bathing yourself “naturally.” Try it not just when the electricity or hot water goes out, but on a random Tuesday. You feel ultra-cleansed afterwards and super relaxed.
Old Fashioned Soda Pops: the shape of the old glass bottle, the candy/general store feel, the cracking open of a metal cap, the real sugar vs corn syrup. Our standards of soda products have decreased over the past twenty years and it’s no surprise that one gets a real treat in an old fashioned Coke or Cream Soda. The bottles can be used as decorations afterwards around the house, by putting fake or real flowers inside.
Pen and Paper: good old fashioned parchment and ink. Ah! Before the type writer, printing press, and obviously computers, people…wait for it…wrote by hand. Normally by candle light at that. Poets would say the Great Muse actually travels from the top of the head, down the arm, and through the hand. Not enough has been said about the laborious joy of free writing and the surprising creativity that can come from it. Plus it won’t hurt if you work on your handwriting a little..