I REALLY wanted to buy a beautifully hand painted pair of Coalport porcelain ice pails, c1802. An orange ph­eas­ant with golden wings perched on branches blooming with red and gold flowers. Then see panels of deep cob­alt blue containing swirl­ing gold leaves and flower med­allions. On the top of each lid was a pagoda style…

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Anne Lister (1791-1840) was born in Halifax Yorks and spent her childhood in her parents’ home. And she was a regular visitor to her aunt’s grand family estate Shibden Hall. Portrait of Anne Lister in her customary dark clothes,by Joshua Horner c1830, Shibden HallLister was not raised to be in busin­ess, but to be a wife.…

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Born Josef Braun (1918-2009) in Lodz Poland, he arrived in Aus­tr­alia with his father and siblings in 1933. At 15 he settled in Melbourne and attended Princes Hill Central School. Brown showed an early talent for drawing and was first exhibited at his school.Bush track Dromana, 1875by Louis BuvelotFrederick McCubbin, Autumn Memories, 1899donated by Brown to…

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In 1894, during Budapest's golden fin-de-siècle era, a grandiose fa­cility was built in the city centre. Al­­­ajos Hauszmann was comm­is­s­ioned to plan the design and along with Flóris Korb and Kálmán Gier­gl, he created a lavish, 4 st­or­ey­ed palace with a ground-floor café. The New York Café soon be­came the centre of Hung­ar­ian cultural his­t­ory,…

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After the crises of the Maritime Dispute in 1890, Shearers’ Dis­pute in 1891 and the Great Depression of early 1890s, many in Austral­ia’s work­­­ing class believed that their nation could never be a work­ingman’s parad­ise. Some were drawn to a utopian settlement in Paraguay. William Lane, c1892WikiBritish-born William Lane (1861–1917) was the popular editor of Bris­bane…

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Scientists believe that marsupials evolved in Nth America, sp­read to Sth America and thence to Australia, formerly con­nected continents. Most marsu­p­ials died out in the Americas, beaten by placental mammals, but they thrived in Aust­ral­ia. By the time Sth America, Australia and Antarctica separated millions of years ago, Australian mammals had evolved.A quokka family on…

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Hilda Rix  (1884-1961) was born in rural Victoria. Her mother was artistic so Hilda was allowed to study at the National Gallery School Melbourne from 1902-5 under Frederick McCubbin, Australia’s greatest artist then. In 1907 she left Australia for Europe with her mother and sister, studying at the New Art School in London, followed by…

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Albert Bert Spencer (1886-) was born in Balmain Sydney, younger son of Henrik Henry Spencer, a Danish labourer and his wife Al­ice. The father died when Bert was a toddler, meaning the 3 sib­lings were raised by a struggling mother. Hill of Content bookshop, Bourke St MelbourneSpencer’s mot­h­er was the inspiration for all his endeav­ours, intro­d­ucing him…

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The Leviny house Buda, in Castlemaine bought and renovated in 1863Ernest Leviny (1818-1905) was a Hungarian and a citizen of the Austro Hungarian Empire. He moved from a small town to Budapest, to train as a silversmith and jeweller. In 1843 he lived in Paris developing his craft before moving to London where he set up a…

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Art Deco fans will enjoy Sarah Hue-Williams’ book A Kind of Magic: Art Deco Vanity Cases  (2017). It was written in collaboration with Peter Edwards, a London deal­er in C20th Art Deco jewellery. A Kind of Magic brought together the personalities, designers and work­shops who created the art objects. The book included photographs of 48 Jazz Age…

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#Israel was the very first IRC channel that both Daniel ben Sefer-Dabas Sydney and Helen Webberley-Heloise Melb­ourne had been involved in. We met many fine people who remained close friends, especially Muet, Mer, Academy, Winky, Andygee and Peteyc. The experience in ear­ly 1993 was novel, challenging and fun. But eventually the fun palled. The problems were…

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Many years ago I examined the theft of the Mona Lisa in this blog. So now let us re-examine the most famous painting in the universe, by Leonardo da Vinci in 1503-16, to reveal a different motive from the one provided back in 2012.Vincenzo Peruggia (above) stole his beloved Mona Lisa (below)from the Louvre in 1911.King Francois I placed…

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Petrol in the UK was the first commodity to be rationed, although it was supplied for essential services eg doctors and farmers. When a North Atlantic blockade by German U-Boats stopped imported food, huge shortages were caused and by Jan 1940, the British government had to introduce food rationing. The scheme was designed to ensure fair shares for all…

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Madonna will showcase Lempicka’s art on her Celebration Concert Tour, Lempicka The Musical on Broadway in Mar 2024. An exhibit­ion at San Francisco’s Legion of Honour Museum will reevaluate her style in art history by int­rod­ucing 1920-30s Paris culture. And a documentary The True Story of Tamara De Lempicka & the Art of Survival will appear in 2024! What a year!! Portrait Of Dr Boucard…

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Welcoming back their surviving sons and brothers to Ballarat1919, Victorian Collections.Because dead soldiers were not repatriated to Australia from Europe during or after the Great War, the dead were had to be buried thousands of ks from their homes. The planting of a tree was a replace­ment funeral for families who could not provide a funeral for…

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Fruit fanastique, 1929Clarice Cliff (1899–1972) was born to Harry and Ann Cliff in Stoke-on-Trent, one of 7 children. From 13 she worked in The Potteries, her ta­lent first noted in 1916 when she joined Arthur Wilk­in­son, a maker of transfer-printed earthenwares. She made her name with the brightly co­loured range of Art Deco pottery she…

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Map of Normandy in France and Hastings in EnglandKhan AcademyConsider the issue of re-writing history over time, even when the original sources was well accepted. When reading Marco Polo’s writ­ing for example, despite it being of endless historical and literary value, historians have recognised mistakes, ex­ag­gerations and omissions. Now David Musgrove and Michael Lewis suggest…

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Prince Albert studying, Queen Victoria looking on1859The early C19th saw rapid indust­rial­isation & urbanisation in the UK. With it came a heap of related problems such as deficiencies in hous­ing, san­itation, public health and education. The dominant laissez-faire ideology suggested that unregulated market activity would ensure the welfare of all by providing the conditions for…

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1922 was the birth year of literary modernism!TS Eliot, Virginia Woolf and Vivien EliotThe Guardian The World Broke in Two: the Year That Changed Literature  (Deckle Edge, 2017) by Bill Goldstein wanted to cover the intellectual achieve­ments and personal dramas events in the life four now famous British writers, Virginia Woolf, Thomas Stearns Eliot, Edward Morgan Forster…

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The 100 Years' War (1337-1453) was horrendous. Endless battles contin­ued between English Plantagenets and French Valois, for control of Fren­ch soil. Late in the 100 Years War, English forces occupied much of northern France, including Normandy’s capital Rouen.Joan of Arc was a proficient horse riderand leader of the French soldiersMeridian Hill Park, Wash DCAt first,…

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