A question

Blogging will be light in March.

But here’s a question.

Why is it, in historicals, that all carpets are Aubusson, all vases are Sevres (or, more precisely, “precious Sevres”), and all gowns are made by Worth?

I mean, I realize these are excellent manufacturers, but not all purses have to be Prada and some stiletto heels are made by manufacturers other than Mahnolo Blahnik.  The only thing more cliched than a Sevres vase is a precious Sevres vase, and the adjective is only applied to make the reader wince when it is tossed against a wall in a fit of pique–presumably, because the man doing the tossing has been trying to get a hold of a vase by another manufacturer and is furious at the stranglehold monopoly that Sevres keeps in Regency times.  Damn those vase cartels!

I want options!

All righty then–it’s back to my broken Grecian urn–which is my non-Sevres vase.

15 thoughts on “A question

  1. I suppose there are few “brands” from the Regency which both writers and readers know off-hand. Still, it would be a welcome change to learn a few others. 🙂

    A fun place to look for inspiring furniture and object d’art description is in antique auctions. a Sevres vase or a Grecian urn too trite? How about a “magnificnt silver Warwick vase, cover and liner…typical form, the body applied with fully-modelled classical heads, thyrsi, and grapevine, above lion pelts and acanthus, the low domed part-fluted cover finely cast with a band of matted ivy leaves, the finial fully modelled as a putto holding a grape cluster above a Bacchic panther, the removable liner with shell-form handles, the base engraved with armorials, marked on body, liner, cover, finial, and wing-nuts.”

    Probably more description than needed. *grin*


  2. I must be oblivious. I dont think all gowns are Worth, probably because I read a lot of regencies which was before Worth’s time. I have seen museum exhibitions of Worth gowns and they were amazing. If I lived udring Queen Vicky’s time, I would be dressed only in Worth too.

    For porcelain, I personally prefer Meissen to Sevres but it doesnt bother me that much. I see as much reference to Chinese Ming porcelain which is also fine with me (altho I find Chinese porcelain from the Qianlong Period more exquisite.)

  3. Almost on topic: my pet hate.

    I get annoyed when I pick up a book and the setting is “The Highlands.” Where in the Highlands?!?! Give me a city/town/village/post code/something…. It could be because I live in Scotland and have been to “The Highlands” and I know it is not all the same. It would be like an author setting a book in “North America”.

  4. Don’t forget the boots by Hoby, the coat (the sober black favored by Brummell) by Weston and the buff/dun breeches.

  5. One could always just read more Georgette Heyer for name-dropping in Regency-set novels. Her research is impeccable. Though it always bothered me a little when a Turkish carpet was referred to as a “turkey rug.”

    I agree that the temptation to use the same proper nouns for product placement needs to balance recognition for readers with genuine new research.

  6. Haha. What I love is that um, many people have no idea what Sevres pottery or Aubusson carpets look like–nor what distinguishes them from say, Delft or Meissen porcelain and Savonnerie carpets, respectively. And don’t get me started on Worth. He may have been the father of modern couture, but he had major competitors just as talented (Doucet, Callot Soeurs, Paquin, Beer, etc–and Charles Frederick Worth died in 1895 btw) whom are easy to discover if you read at least one book on 19th century fashion.

    But there I go, name-dropping. lol

  7. Hehehe. And I am seriously over the MB shoes, too. I read a rash of contemporaries over the last week or two, and at least 50% of the heroines owned or wished to own a pair of MB shoes. Are we not past this???

  8. On the topic of historical… stuff. I have a question that I can not seem to find online or at my library, and I think I should go mad and start babbling soon.

    In the mid-nineteenth century, how, exactly, were hunts conducted at house parties. I don’t mean hunting parties, but house parties that lasted a few weeks and the men thought hunting was a swell idea? And if women wanted to tag along, was that possible, and how would it work?

    I realize you are not my walking reference, but I’m seriously desperate here, so I thought it couldn’t hurt to ask.

  9. Amy, sorry, I know NOTHING of hunting parties and am in foreign country so no research books here right now!

    If you´re not a member of the Beaumonde, join and ask!

  10. Amy,
    Have you read the Wallflower series by Lisa Kleypas? In one of the first ones she has what you are describing and a think a lady tagged along.
    As far as research goes, have you tried speaking to someone in the UK? I know there is a ban on fox hunting now but I would google it anyway and find a place where they did take place and make a phone call. As a rule, people here are super hepfull about research. And at the very least a live person can tell you where to start looking.

    Which foreign country? Research?

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