Last week, we were in London, and, walking around Whitehall, I discovered the 18th century Blewcoat School building and this beautiful botanical display.
I thought I would share it for today’s “In a vase. . .,” since I haven’t been able to buy flowers, and nothing is blooming in the yard (although I think I will see primroses along the fence by next week).
The building now houses a fancy bridal shop, Ian Stewart.
Why the use of onions, I’m not sure — they do seem to be cooking onions and not ornamental Alliums. There may be a connection to unity and wholeness (round, concentric layers). One website said onions were once given as marriage presents during the Middle Ages.
Selling flowers to Sikh pilgrims at the Golden Temple, Amritsar, India, January 15, 1914, by Stéphane Passet, via Archives of the Planet Collection – Albert Kahn Museum /Département des Hauts-de-Seine.
This autochrome is one of about seventy-two thousand that were commissioned and then archived by Albert Kahn, a wealthy French banker who was committed to the ideal of universal peace and who believed that “knowledge of foreign cultures encourages respect and peaceful relations between nations.”* He was also acutely aware that the 20th century was going to bring rapid material change to the world.
Accordingly, from 1909 to 1931, Kahn sent thirteen photographers and filmmakers to 50 countries “to fix, once and for all, aspects, practices, and modes of human activity whose fatal disappearance is no longer ‘a matter of time.’”† The resulting collection is called Archives de la Planète and now resides in its own museum at Kahn’s old suburban estate at Boulogne-Billancourt, just west of Paris. Since June 2016, the archive has also been available for viewing online here.
Christmas tree wagon of William Power & Sons, merchants of seeds and trees. Photo taken at Waterford, Ireland, courthouse on December 16, 1929, via National Library of Ireland Commons on flickr.
There’s another good photo of this little girl (possibly a Power) and another loaded company wagon here.
Brought down at last
From the cold sighing mountain
Where I and the others
Had been fed, looked after, kept still,
Meant, I knew — of course I knew —
That it would only be a matter of weeks,
That there was nothing more to do. . . .