Victorian Delights: Reflections of Taste in the Nineteenth Century

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The Victorian period was one in which the minor arts, as distinct from the fine arts, reflected vividly, often with delightful humor, the customs and manners, clothes, recreations, entertainments and popular music of the day. The simple pottery ornaments of cottage and farmhouse had a quaintness that now makes them eagerly sought after by collectors. The elegant fashion plates and decorative title-pages of popular music not only offered scope for the brilliant gifts of now forgotten lithographers, but held a ...

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Overview

The Victorian period was one in which the minor arts, as distinct from the fine arts, reflected vividly, often with delightful humor, the customs and manners, clothes, recreations, entertainments and popular music of the day. The simple pottery ornaments of cottage and farmhouse had a quaintness that now makes them eagerly sought after by collectors. The elegant fashion plates and decorative title-pages of popular music not only offered scope for the brilliant gifts of now forgotten lithographers, but held a mirror to the social life of the world of Dickens, Thackeray and Trollope. Valentine cards expressed both the sentiment and joie de vivre that broke through the traditional solemnity of the Victorian family circle. Children delighted in toy theatres, and created gems of needlework in samplers which now command fantastic prices. All these subjects are assessed and illustrated in this book, which also rescues from the past some often forgotten examples of botanical, zoological and ornithological illustration which may come as an artistic revelation to naturalists today. By contrast there are some entertaining examples of popular art such as American 'cabinet' photographs of well-known actresses, the naive engravings of famous crimes of the period, a fascinating series of the original illustrations of Sherlock Holmes, and some of the earliest (and exceedingly rare) cigarette cards, including a pair to one in the Metropolitan Museum, New York, which is now valued at $30,000.

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Editorial Reviews

Yesteryear
Hadfield writes that the objective of his work is to direct attention to artifacts...which were created to provide information, decoration and amusement. As the expression goes, do they ever!
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780941533027
  • Publisher: Dee, Ivan R. Publisher
  • Publication date: 5/28/1988
  • Pages: 132
  • Product dimensions: 8.56 (w) x 10.84 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

As editor of the famous Saturday Book for twenty-four years, John Hadfield made an outstanding contribution to the present revival of interest in Victoriana. He also edited English Cathedrals, available from New Amsterdam Books.

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