Aloysius, The Brideshead Bear


Aloysius with Ben Whishaw in the film adaptation of Brideshead Revisted
Aloysius the bear with Anthony Andrews as Lord Sebastian Flyte, and Jeremy Irons as Charles Ryder, in the acclaimed television adaptation of the novel (1981)
Aloysius is Lord Sebastian Flyte's teddy bear in Evelyn Waugh's novel Brideshead Revisited (1945).
Similar model Teddy Bear, Ideal Novelty and Toy Co c.1910 (V&A Museum of childhood)
Aloysius, and in particular his representation in the acclaimed television adaptation of the novel (1981), is credited with having triggered the late-twentieth-century teddy bear renaissance. He was depicted by a teddy bear named Delicatessen, who was owned by the actor Peter Bull.
Delicatessen aka Aloysius in the Brideshead Revisited TV series
The inspiration for Aloysius was Archibald Ormsby-Gore, the beloved teddy bear of John Betjeman, Evelyn Waugh's friend at Oxford.
The original Archibald Ormsby-Gore (left)
The original Archibald Ormsby-Gore (left), better known as Archie, was John Betjeman's teddy-bear, and the inspiration for Aloysius, in Brideshead. He was his lifelong companion together with an elephant known as Jumbo(right) .
Betjeman at Oxford
John Betjeman brought his bear with him when he went up to university at Oxford in the 1920s, and as a result Archie became the model for Aloysius, Sebastian Flyte's bear in Evelyn Waugh's novel Brideshead Revisited.

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ARCHIBALD

The bear that sits above my bed
A doleful bear he is to see;
From out his drooping pear-shaped head
His woollen eyes look into me.
He has no mouth, but seems to say:
'They'll burn you on the Judgement Day.'

Those woollen eyes, the things they've seen
Those flannel ears, the things they've heard -
Among horse-chestnut fans of green,
The fluting of an April bird,
And quarrelling downstairs until
Doors slammed at Thirty One West Hill.

The dreaded evening keyhole scratch
Announcing some return below
The nursery landing's lifted latch,
The punishment to undergo
Still I could smooth those half-moon ears
And wet that forehead with my tears.

Whatever rush to catch a train,
Whatever joy there was to share
Of sounding sea-board, rainbowed rain,
Or seaweed-scented Cornish air,
Sharing the laughs, you still were there,
You ugly, unrepentant bear.

When nine, I hid you in a loft
And dared not let you share my bed;
More aged now he is to see,
His woollen eyes have thinner thread,
But still he seems to say to me,
In double-doom notes, like a knell:
'You're half a century nearer Hell.'

Self-pity shrouds me in a mist,
And drowns me in my self-esteem.
The freckled faces I have kissed
Float by me in a guilty dream.
The only constant, sitting there,
Patient and hairless, is a bear.

And if an analyst one day
Of school of Adler, Jung or Freud
Should take this aged bear away,
Then, oh my God, the dreadful void!
its draughty darkness could but be
Eternity, Eternity.

John Betjeman
Note: Archibald Ormsby-Gore, better known as Archie, was John Betjeman'teddy-bear.

Together with an elephant known as Jumbo, he was a lifelong companion.

Betjeman brought his bear with him when he went up to university at Oxford in the 1920s, and as a result Archie became the model for Aloysius, Sebastian Flyte's bear in Evelyn Waugh's novel Brideshead Revisited.

In the 1940s, Betjeman also wrote an illustrated a story for his children, entitled 'Archie and the Strict Baptists', in which the bear's sojourns at the family's successive homes in Uffington and Farnborough are fictionalised. Archie is here described as a member of the Strict Baptist denomination, riding a hedgehog to chapel, and enjoying amateur archaeology, digging up molehills, "which, he considered, were the graves of baby Druids".

Archie and Jumbo were in Betjeman's arms when he died in 1984.

Downton Abbey: Lady Violet Style Paper Mache Table


Lady Violet on Downton Abbey seated next to her decorative Papier Mache table. This table appears throughout the series as a key piece of furniture in the Dowager Lady Violet's drawing room. Her servant bell is usually seen on this table which she uses to great effect to both summon servants and dismiss guests as the whim takes her.

Paper Mache Table
English Victorian Paper Mache Tilt Top Table

Here is a similar table seen on eBay this week - click on the picture to view the detais - just the conversation piece to impress your guests. You can be sure the Dowager Countess would approve.

The Halcyon: Deco Photo Frame

Art Deco Photo Frame in a scene from The Halcyon Credit: ITV The Halcyon

Here is an interesting 30's style art deco photo frame prop you might have noticed in Episode One of ITV's The Halcyon.  Lady Priscilla Hamilton is seen holding the photo frame while she waits to see Mr Garland in his office in a scene from the first epidode of the ITV series. If you are interested in collectibles from the era you can find similar frames on eBay. Below is one example I saw on eBay today.

Reference: http://www.ebay.com/sch/Art-Deco/69471/i.html?_nkw=deco+oak+photo+frame&LH_PrefLoc=2

The Halcyon ITV: Royal Suite Crystal Lamps

Royal Suite at The Halcyon Credit: ITV The Halcyon - Left Bank Pictures

The Halcyon Episode 1 Royal Suite

The Halcyon is an ITV drama series about a grand hotel in wartime London. Lord Hamilton occupies the royal suite amid dramatic events in Episode 1 which was brodcast on ITV on Monday 2 Jan 9pm

Warren Kessler New York Crystal Table Lamp w/ Swan Neck in The Halcyon Royal Suite Credit: ITV The Halcyon - Left Bank Pictures

The set of such grand London hotel is fitted and decorated to perfection reflecting the wartime era. One of the first decor items we notice in the royal suite is a pair of ornate crystal table lamps.  The pair of cut glass crystal urn shaped table lamps are decorated with swan neck accents and  would not look out of place on Downton Abbey. You can see the details in a similar lamp that is currently listed on eBay.com

Warren Kessler New York Crystal Urn Style Table Lamp w/ Swan Neck

This lamp is not an exact match to the pair on the show but is very similar and was made by Warren Kessler, New York Crystal. It is described as a  Brass Goose Neck Table Lamp. The lamp is 29 inches tall and has a telescoping rod to allow for varying heights. There are 2 sockets with pull chains that take standard bulbs. Similar lamps are seen in various materials. French garniture urns are seen with similar swan neck handles in marble with ormolu gilded bronze accents.

Reference:

Nostalgia: A nice hot cup of Tea

Campbell's Tea
I have recently rediscovered Campbell's Tea. Campbell’s Perfect Tea’ has been a part of life in Ireland since 1797. In the late 1700s, George Campbell established a Grocery Business in Dublin and sold a blend of tea they were proud enough to put their name on, calling it “Campbell’s Perfect Tea” and sold in it's distinctive yellow tin. It brews to a rich satisfying flavor from the loose tealeaf - no tea bags here - for a traditionally favored strong cup of Irish tea. I like to brew in a brown betty teapot and pour through a classic tea strainer into the cup.
In the US Buy Campbells Perfect Tea on Amazon

Wallace and Gromit take their tea from a brown betty teapot and a classic Cornish stripe mug
The classic Brown Betty Teapot

For brewing the perfect cup of tea you are missing out unless you use a traditional brown betty teapot. The red clay it is made from and the round shape, which swirls the tea leaves around when the water is poured in, are appreciated by traditional tea drinkers for it's unique qualities in tea brewing.
A Brown Betty teapot and Cornish stripe mug are featured in the much loved Wallace and Gromit animations and lend a nostalgic appeal. As a gift for the tea lover a gift set made up of a fine tea blend a Brown Betty and some Cornish stripe mugs are sure to be appreciated.
Where to buy: http://stores.ebay.com/edwardschina Edwards China ebay store sell the teapot and mugs currently.
IF you are in Ireland you can buy Campbell's Tea at Dunnes Stores or from Amazon in USA https://www.amazon.com/Campbells-Perfect-Gram-17-6-Ounce/dp/B000WIW24M

Gift Idea: Royal Doulton Downton Abbey Figurines

Royal Doulton Downton Abbey
Another gift idea for Downton Abbey fans is a Downton Abbey figurine from Royal Doulton. They are faithfully crafted limited edition pieces. A selection can currently be seen on the Royal Doulton online store.
If your favorite character is sold out you may find one at a good price  on eBay : CLICK HERE for the current listings on eBay

Lady Mary Figurine by Royal Doulton

Continue reading Gift Idea: Royal Doulton Downton Abbey Figurines

Holiday Collectibles: Add to your collection of Downton Abbey pieces from Dept 56

The holiday season is a great time for displaying Department 56 village collectibles and Downton Abbey fans who missed out on the now retired Downton Abbey pieces from Dept 56 can still find them for sale on the secondary market. The pieces are carefully designed as we can see from the Video clip below.

Seen on eBay:
Department 56 Downton Abbey Lit House 1142 Inch Distressed Box S1C
Department 56 Downton Abbey Lit House 1142 Inch Distressed Box S1C
Department 56 Downton Abbey THE DOWER HOUSE Porcelain Lighted 4043909 D6
Department 56 Downton Abbey THE DOWER HOUSE Porcelain Lighted 4043909 D6
Dept 56 Downton Abbey A Lady  Gentleman Friend BRAND NEW Free Shipping
Dept 56 Downton Abbey A Lady Gentleman Friend BRAND NEW Free Shipping
NIB DEPT 56 DOWNTON ABBEY SERIES DOWAGER COUNTESS  YOUNG FRIEND 4044802
NIB DEPT 56 DOWNTON ABBEY SERIES DOWAGER COUNTESS YOUNG FRIEND 4044802
Dept 56 Downton Abbey Dowager Countess  Young Friend 4044802
Dept 56 Downton Abbey Dowager Countess Young Friend 4044802
Department 56 Downton Abbey Highclere Castle Retired
Department 56 Downton Abbey Highclere Castle Retired
Dept 56 Downton Abbey Village Series The Downton Legacy Continues 2 Figurines NE
Dept 56 Downton Abbey Village Series The Downton Legacy Continues 2 Figurines NE
Department 56 Downton Abbey Complete Set RETIRED November 2015 New in Boxes
Department 56 Downton Abbey Complete Set RETIRED November 2015 New in Boxes
Department 56 Downton Abbey Series Lord Granthams Limousine Figurine 4043910
Department 56 Downton Abbey Series Lord Granthams Limousine Figurine 4043910
Department 56 Dept 56 Downton Abbey Series Downton Abbey 4036506
Department 56 Dept 56 Downton Abbey Series Downton Abbey 4036506
Dept 56 Downton Abbey Dowager Countess  Young Friend 4044802 New
Dept 56 Downton Abbey Dowager Countess Young Friend 4044802 New
Collectible 2014 Department 56 Downton Abbey Series Set of 3 Figures In Box
Collectible 2014 Department 56 Downton Abbey Series Set of 3 Figures In Box

Downton Abbey: Mrs Hughes’ Pullman Lamp

Brass tripod Pullman lamp on Mrs Hughes table

If you ever wondered about the lamp on the table in Mrs Hughes sitting room you may be interested to know that it is a called a Pullman lamp. Pullman lamps were commonly seen on Pullman railway carriages in in the Edwardian era. The picture on the right above is an example of a similar brass tripod Pullman table lamp and is an original antique from the era . I see more like it on eBay occasionally. Click here to see the current selection.