★ Silver Screen Stars: Celeste Holm

★ American actress, Celeste Holm, was born exactly 100 years ago today! A talented performer on both stage and screen, she’s pictured here in a studio publicity photo from 1947. Born in Manhattan, New York, on 29th April 1917, Celeste was the only child of Theodor Holm, a… Read More

★ Gabrielle Chanel Fashion Plate (1917)

★ Lovely illustration showing a selection of day outfits designed by Gabrielle Chanel, published in ‘Les Elegances Parisiennes’ in March 1917. A product of changing social realities and the harsh practicalities of the First World War, these three outfits are the embodiment of late-1910s… Read More

★ Decorative Casket with Plaques (c.1815)

★ A decorative casket with porcelain plaques, made in England by the Derby Porcelain Works (c.1815). Currently in the collections of LACMA, it’s crafted from rosewood and adorned with opulent gilt bronze decorative mouldings (also known as ‘ormolu’), with hand-painted… Read More

★ ‘An Interesting Letter’ by Julius LeBlanc Stewart (1890)

★ Paintings frequently portray great events and grand people, but ‘An Interesting Letter’ by American artist Julius LeBlanc Stewart (1890) shows a scene far more familiar to most people. I have a bit of a passion for paintings that… Read More

★ Ella Fitzgerald at the Downbeat Club (1947)

★ Today is the centenary of legendary American jazz singer, Ella Fitzgerald’s birth! Often referred to as the ‘First Lady of Song’, she was famous for her richly toned voice, impeccable diction and unparalleled talent for vocal improvisation. Born on this day in 1917 in Newport News, Virginia… Read More

★ Easter Portrait for Whitman Chocolates by N. Muray (1945)

★ I know Easter is over, but I just cannot resist sharing this wonderfully vibrant portrait of a young woman wearing an Easter hat, photographed by Nickolas Muray for Whitman Chocolates (1945). Presumably intended to form part of Whitman’s… Read More

★ On the Beach in Atlantic City (c.1905)

★ A young woman enjoying the summer sunshine on the beach in Atlantic City, New Jersey, photographed by William M. Vander Weyde (c.1905) and now forming part of the George Eastman House Photography Collection. I think this is such a great photo, as she has… Read More

★ Ad for Van Nelle’s Afternoon Tea (1927)

★ Wonderful illustrated advert for Van Nelle’s Afternoon Tea (1927). Stylistically, this advert is so typical of the period. From the warm shades of apricot, blue and brown that make up the colour palette, to the highly idealized woman with the fashionable Marcel wave hairstyle, simple… Read More

★ Vivien Leigh as ‘Anna Karenina’ (1948)

★ Beautiful actress Vivien Leigh and co-star Mary Kerridge in a publicity still from the 1948 adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s novel, ‘Anna Karenina’. I finally found the time to sit down and actually watch this film (it has long been on my ‘must see’ list), and I have to say, it was every… Read More

★ Fancy-Dress Costume by Paul Poiret (1911)

★ Today marks the 138th anniversary of French fashion designer Paul Poiret’s birth. So to honour the occasion, I thought I’d take a brief look at his legacy and one of his most famous creations. A leading couturier of the early 20th Century, he… Read More