In the first episode of Jeeves and Wooster, the TV series starring Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry (based on "Jeeves Takes Charge" by P.G. Wodehouse), Bertie and Jeeves pay a visit to Ditteridge Hall. Above is a view of Bertie having his morning cup of tea while Jeeves prepares the bath and fills Bertie's shaving mug.
The props used in the scene are most appropriate for a gentleman visiting the country seat of the Glossop family - the scene was filmed at Englefield House, Berkshire.
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.
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) .
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.