The following blog is the conclusion of our Dowton Abbey blog from one of our favorite friends of Past Era.
These pieces from her heyday during Victoria’s reign is a prize in Lady Violet’s jewel collection and the Grantham girls should all be nice to their gran in hopes of inheriting.
Although this piece is of much later vintage, it is just the thing for Mr. Bates to buy for his Annie for their 25th anniversary to celebrate their success in the luxury hotel business.
As I watched the scene where Violet, the Dowager Countess of Grantham, expresses her concern that Lady Mary and Matthew and his fiancée not meet on the train to Downton, “I do so hate Greek drama, all the action happens off stage.” And I realize Downton Abbey is the Greek drama of jewelry. Most of the action takes place in the country, which as far as jewels are concerned is definitely off stage. Along with disease and various other social inequities one of the tragedies of the period was the rule of etiquette that decreed diamonds were not worn in the country; therefore, the real jewellery action is in London during the social season. We saw the Crawley’s return from the London season and we heard discussions of the balls but the tiaras and stomachers, the earrings with stones the size of small birds’ eggs were left behind safely tucked in their velvet boxes in the family’s vault in the Bank of London. The following items from PAST ERA inventory are some of the things that we would have seen had Mr. Fellowes allowed us to attend a ball or two.
Although Marion Glober and her staff are most discreet and horrified by those dealers not so scrupulous who spin a good story to enhance the desirability of their merchandise, she will never convince me that at least some of these fabulous items did not come from the sale of the Crawley estate. Perhaps Lady Sybil sold off a few pieces to finance a political uprising.
Anyway I shall continue to hope for better jewellery viewing —-yes I am the same woman who is sort of frustrated that John Singer Sargent did not use a really good close up camera. Luddite that I am, I even considered buying a giant screen television in hopes of a better view but decided to save my money for another PAST ERA purchase that I could savor at really close range.