Saturday, 4 May 2013

Sepia Saturday 175; Ciggies;

I never smoked, luckily a rough Gauloise put me off for life.

 He looks like a camel!
In Switzerland a very stupid person was called a Camel.

In 1913, R.J. Reynolds developed an innovation: the packaged cigarette.

Most tobacco users who smoked cigarettes preferred to roll their own. Reynolds worked to develop a flavor he thought would be more appealing than past products, creating the Camel cigarette, so named because it used Turkish paper, in imitation of then-fashionable Egyptian cigarettes. Reynolds undercut competitors on the cost of the cigarettes, and within a year, he had sold 425 million packs of Camels.

 I guess, this Advertisement would not be so popular today!

Camel cigarettes were originally blended to have a milder taste in contrast to brands that, at the time of its introduction, were considered much harsher. They were advance promoted, prior to official release, by a careful advertising campaign that included "teasers" which merely stated that "the Camels are coming"(a play on the old Scottish folk song, "The Campbells Are Coming"). This marketing style was a prototype for attempts to sway public opinion that coincided with the United States' entry into World War I, and later World War II. Another promotion strategy was the use of a Circus camel, 'Old Joe', which was driven through town and used to distribute free cigarettes. The brand's catch-phrase slogan, used for decades, was "I'd walk a mile for a Camel!"

Popular Christmas presents!

The most famous historical style of Camel cigarettes is the soft pack of the regular, unfiltered variety (generally known as Camel Straights or Regulars). These were the first blend of Camels to be released. Camel regulars achieved the zenith of their popularity through personalities such as news broadcaster Edward R. Murrow, who smoked up to four packs of Camel regulars per day, in effect using a Camel cigarette as his trademark.

In late 1987, RJR created "Joe Camel" as the mascot for the brand. In 1991, the American Medical Association published a report stating that 5- and 6-year olds could more easily recognize Joe Camel than Mickey Mouse, Fred Flintstone, Bugs Bunny or even Barbie.[3] This led the association to ask RJR to terminate the Joe Camel campaign. RJR declined, but further appeals followed in 1993 and 1994. On July 10, 1997, the Joe Camel campaign was retired and replaced with a more adult campaign which appealed to the desires of twenty-somethings to meet-or be-beautiful and exotic women in 1930s attire and themes.

The signature scene on most Camel cigarette packs shows a single dromedary standing on desert sand, with pyramids and palm trees in the background.
On the back of the cigarette pack is another desert scene, featuring this time bazaars and mosques. On European and some other non-U.S. versions, the desert scenes have been replaced by a health warning.

Camels, courtesy wikipedia

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Thursday; Cabinet;

Who would not wish for a cabinet like this one?

The Roentgens' Berlin Secretary Cabinet

David Roentgen 1743–February 12, 1807), was a famous German cabinetmaker of the eighteenth century, famed throughout Europe for his marquetry and his secret drawers and mechanical fittings. His work embraces the late Rococo and the Neoclassical styles.

In 1753 his father Abraham Roentgen, who had trained in London in the workshop of William Gomm, migrated to the Moravian settlement at Neuwied, near Coblenz, where he established a furniture manufactory. David learned his trade in his father's workshop, and succeeded to the paternal business in 1772, when he entered into some kind of partnership with the clockmaker Kintzing. At that time the name of the firm appears already to have been well known, at all events in France; but it is a curious circumstance that although he is always reckoned as one of the little band of foreign cabinetmakers and workers in marquetry who, like Jean-François Oeben and Jean Henri Riesener, achieved distinction in France during the last years of the Ancien Régime he never ceased to live at Neuwied, where apparently the whole of his furniture was made, and merely had a shop, or show-room, in Paris.
Roentgen was first and foremost an astute man of business, and Paris was the style center of Europe. Before very long Marie Antoinette appointed him her ébéniste mechanicien. He appears, indeed, to have acquired considerable favor with the queen, for on several occasions she took advantage of his journeys through Europe to charge him with the delivery of presents and of dolls dressed in the Paris fashions of the moment; they were intended to serve as patterns for the dressmakers to her mother and her sisters.
He appears at once to have opened a shop in Paris, but despite, and perhaps because of, the favor in which he was held at court, all was not smooth sailing. The powerful trade corporation of the maîtres ébénistes disputed his right to sell in Paris furniture of foreign manufacture, and in 1780 he found that the most satisfactory way out of the difficulty was to get himself admitted a member of the corporation to which all his great rivals belonged. By this time he had attracted a good deal of attention by the introduction of a new style of marquetry, in which light and shade, instead of being represented as hitherto by burning, smoking or engraving the pieces of veneer, were indicated by small pieces of wood so arranged as to create the impression of pietra dura.

We have seen that Roentgen had been appointed ébéniste-mechanicien to Marie Antoinette, and the appointment is explained by his fondness for and proficiency in constructing furniture in which mechanical devices played a great part. The English cabinetmakers of the later eighteenth century often made what was called, with obvious allusion to its character, harlequin furniture, especially little dressing tables and washstands which converted into something else or held their essentials in concealment until a spring was touched. David was a past master in this kind of work, and unquestionably much of the otherwise inexplicable reputation he enjoyed among contemporaries who were head and shoulders above him is explained by his mechanical genius. The extent of his fame in this direction is sufficiently indicated by the fact that Goethe mentions him in Wilhelm Meister. He compares the box inhabited by the fairy during her travels with her mortal lover to one of Roentgen's desks, in which at a pull a multitude of springs and latches are set in motion. For a desk of this kind Louis XVI paid him 80,000 livres. Outwardly it was in the form of a commode, its marquetry panels symbolizing the liberal arts. A personification of sculpture was in the act of engraving the name of Marie Antoinette upon a column to which Minerva was hanging her portrait. Above a riot of architectural orders was a musical clock (the work of the partner Peter Kinzing), surmounted by a cupola representing Parnassus. The interior of this monumental effort, 3.4 m high, was a marvel of mechanical precision; it disappeared during the First Empire.
Roentgen did not confine his activities to Paris, or even to France. It has been said that he traveled about Europe accompanied by furniture vans, and undoubtedly his aptitude as a commercial traveler was remarkable. He had shops in Berlin and Saint Petersburg, and himself apparently twice went to Russia. On one of these visits he sold to the Empress Catherine furniture to the value of 20,000 roubles, to which she added a personal present of 5000 roubles and a gold snuff-box in recognition, it would seem, of his readiness and ingenuity in surmounting a secretaire with a clock indicating the date of the Russian naval victory over the Turks at Cheshme, news of which had arrived on the previous evening. This suite of furniture is believed still to be in the Palace of the Hermitage, the hiding-place of so much remarkable and forgotten art.  The French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars which so speedily followed, eclipsed Roentgen's star as they eclipsed those of so many other great cabinetmakers of the period. In 1793 the Revolutionary government, regarding him as an émigré seized the contents of his showrooms and his personal belongings, and after that date he appears neither to have done business in Paris nor to have visited it. Five years later the invasion of Neuwied led to the closing of his workshops; prosperity never returned, and he died half ruined at Wiesbaden on 12 February 1807.

According to his biography in the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition of 1911, Roentgen was not a great cabinetmaker: "His forms were often clumsy, ungraceful, and commonplace; his furniture lacked the artistry of the French and the English cabinetmakers of the great period which came to an end about 1790. His bronzes were poor in design and coarse in execution; his work, in short, is tainted by commercialism. As an in-layer, however, he holds a position of high distinction. His marquetry is bolder and more vigorous than that of Riesener, who in other respects soared far above him. As an adroit deviser of mechanism he fully earned a reputation which former generations rated more highly than the modern critic, with his facilities for comparison, is prepared to accept. On the mechanical side he produced, with the help of Kintzing, many long-cased and other clocks with ingenious indicating and registering apparatus. Rontgen delighted in architectural forms, and his marquetry more often than not represents those scenes from classical mythology which were the dear delight of the 18Th century." He is well represented at the V&;A Museum in London, and other collections.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Tuesday; Animal farm;

My Kitchen's Animal Farm;

Beasts of England, Beasts of Ireland,
 Beasts of every land and clime,
 Hearken to my joyful tidings
 Of the Golden future time.

Soon or late the day is coming,
 Tyrant Man shall be o'erthrown,
 And the fruitful fields of England
 Shall be trod by beasts alone.

Rings shall vanish from our noses,
 And the harness from our back,
 Bit and spur shall rust forever,
 Cruel whips no more shall crack.

Riches more than mind can picture,
 Wheat and barley, oats and hay,
 Clover, beans and mangel-wurzels
 Shall be ours upon that day.

Bright will shine the fields of England,
 Purer shall its waters be,
 Sweeter yet shall blow its breezes
 On the day that sets us free.

For that day we all must labour,
 Though we die before it break;
 Cows and horses, geese and turkeys,
 All must toil for freedom's sake.

Beasts of England, Beasts of Ireland,
 Beasts of every land and clime,
George Orwell

Animal Farm is an allegorical novel by George Orwell, published in England on 17 August 1945. According to Orwell, the book reflects events leading up to the Russian Revolution of 1917 and then on into the Stalin era in the Soviet Union. Orwell, a democratic socialist, was a critic of Joseph Stalin and hostile to Moscow-directed Stalinism, especially after his experiences with the NKVD and the Spanish Civil War. The Soviet Union, he believed, had become a brutal dictatorship, built upon a cult of 
personality and enforced by a reign of terror. In a letter to Yvonne Davet, Orwell described Animal Farm as his novel "contre Stalin", and in his essay "Why I Write" (1946), he wrote that Animal Farm was the first book in which he had tried, with full consciousness of what he was doing, "to fuse political purpose and artistic purpose into one whole".

The original title was Animal Farm: A Fairy Story, though the subtitle was dropped by U.S. publishers for its 1946 publication and subsequently all but one of the translations during Orwell's lifetime omitted it. Other variations in the title include: A Satire and A Contemporary Satire. Orwell suggested the title Union des républiques socialistes animales for the French translation, which recalled the French name of the Soviet Union, Union des républiques socialistes soviétiques, and which abbreviates to URSA, the Latin for "bear", a symbol of RussiaOrwell wrote the book from November 1943–February 1944, when the wartime alliance with the Soviet Union was at its height and Stalin was held in high esteem in Britain among the people and intelligentsia, a fact that Orwell hated. It was initially rejected by a number of British and American publishers.. Its publication was thus delayed, though it became a great commercial success when it did finally appear partly because the Cold War so quickly followed World War II.
The novel addresses not only the corruption of the revolution by its leaders, but also the ways wickedness, indifference, ignorance, greed, and myopia corrupt everything in a country. It portrays corrupt leadership as the flaw in revolution, rather than the act of revolution itself. It also shows how potential ignorance and indifference of the people to problems within a revolution could allow horrors to happen if a smooth transition to a people's government is not achieved.

©Photos Ts

Monday, 29 April 2013

Monday; Fairytale;

La Cenerentola, 
Gioachino Rossini
La Scala,

La Cenerentola, ossia La bontà in trionfo is an operatic dramma giocoso in two acts by Gioachino Rossini. The libretto was written by Jacopo Ferretti, based on the fairy tale Cendrillon by Charles Perrault.
First performance: January 25, 1817
Language: Italian

 La Cenerentola takes place in late 18th century Italy.

La Cenerentola, ACT I
Inside the defunct mansion of Don Magnifico, Angelina (Cenerentola,  is working as the family's maid. Her  stepsisters, Clorinda and Tisby, are trying on dresses and jewelry. While cleaning, Angelina sings a song about a King who fell in love with, and later married, a woman of the common class. A beggar shows up at their door, Clorinda and Tisby  want to send him on his way, but Angelina kindly offers him a cup of coffee and bread. While the beggar eats, courtiers arrive to announce that Prince Ramiro will  stop by in an effort to seek out the most beautiful woman to be his bride. The girls are excited  and  aflutter, soon the prince arrives disguised as his own valet in order to observe the women in their natural state. He is immediately aware and taken  by Angelina's beauty. They exchange longing glances until the stepsisters call her away. Ramiro, still in disguise, announces the entrance of the prince. His real valet, Dandini, arrives dressed as the prince. The girls swoon over his presence. After inviting them to the ball, Don Magnifico forbids Angelina from attending. Ramiro takes note how poorly Angelina is treated by her family. The beggar returns to the house and asks Don Magnifico for his third daughter, Angelina. Magnifico insists his third daughter is dead, and leaves with Dandini and his two daughters. Alone in the house, the beggar calls out to Angelina. After greeting again, he reveals to her that his name is Alidoro and he is the  the Prince's tutor. He asks her to the ball and promises her protection, then proceeds to tell her that the heavens will reward her greatly for her pure and kind heart. She accepts his invitation and prepares for the ball.

Once Dandini, Magnifico, Clorinda, and Tisby arrive at the prince's palace, Dandini gives Magnifico a tour of the wine cellar in an effort to get him drunk. Dandini manages to distance himself from the family and takes a moment to meet with Ramiro. Ramiro is confused after Dandini tells him that the two sisters are practically stupid, because Alidoro insisted that one of Magnifico's daughters was extremely kind and genuine. Their conversation is cut short when the two sisters enter the room. Dandini offers Ramiro to serve as their escort, but they reject the offer, still unaware that Ramiro is the real prince. Alidoro announces the arrival of a mysterious guest, a veiled Angelina. When she removes her veil, nobody recognizes her. Her stepfamily eerily feels they know her as if in a past life, but they cannot make the connection. This gives them an uneasy feeling.

La Cenerentola, ACT II
Pacing in a room within the prince's palace, Don Magnifico feels threatened by the arrival of the mysterious woman. He reminds his daughters that when either of them marries the prince and takes the throne, they mustn't forget about his importance. Magnifico leaves with his two daughters, and soon, Ramiro enters while daydreaming about the lovely woman and her resemblance to the woman he met earlier in the day. When he hears Dandini approaching with Angelina, he hides. Dandini begins to court her and asks her to marry him, but she gracefully declines. She tells him that she is in love with his valet. All of a sudden Ramiro comes out of hiding. She hands him one of her matching bracelets and tells him that if he really loves her, he will find her. After she leaves, Ramiro calls his men into the room and orders them to find the woman with the matching bracelet.

Meanwhile, Don Magnifico approaches Dandini and commands him to choose between his two daughters, still under the impression that Dandini is the prince. Dandini confesses his true identity as the prince's valet, but Don Magnifico doesn't believe him. When Magnifico becomes disgruntled, Dandini is quick to kick him out of the palace.
Back in Don Magnifico's mansion, Angelina, dressed in her rags, is cleaning as usual and tending the fire. Don Magnifico and his two daughters arrive from the ball in foul moods, and they order Angelina to prepare their supper. Angelina follows her orders and begins cooking as a storm rages outside. After dinner, Aldorino arrives seeking shelter when the prince's carriage is overturned in the storm. Angelina quickly prepares a seat for the prince. When he sits down, they instantly recognize each another. Ramiro takes out the bracelet she gave him before and he compares it to the one she is wearing. Realizing he has found his true love, the two happily embrace. Expectedly, Don Magnifico, Clorinda, and Tisby protest angrily. Ramiro rebukes them and begins to decree a punishment. Angelina begs him to have mercy on her family, and he obliges. The two lovers depart and Aldorino couldn't be happier with the turn of events.
Within the palace and dressed as a princess, Angelina is approached by Magnifico begging for her favor. She tells him that she only wishes to be recognized as one of his true daughters. He agrees to her wishes and the two embrace. Angelina asks the prince to forgive her family. Once forgiven, she tells them that her days serving as their maid are over.

That's what is called a fairy tale.  It always turns out with a happy ending! When have you last seen or read a fairy tale?