Tuesday, November 14, 2017

SILVER FERNS AND OTHER SHINY THINGS

Joachim Matthias Wendt [1830-1917]:  Silver Emu Egg Inkstand c. 1870
Hello
A few weeks ago we attended a function at a nearby regional Art Gallery.
On display was their new acquisition, something from Australia's Colonial history.. 
A Silver Inkstand built around the egg of an emu, a large, flightless Australian bird.

Born in Germany, and apprenticed to a watchmaker, Wendt become an accomplished silversmith.  He migrated to Adelaide in 1854 and set up a business which continues to this day.  He received many important commissions and specialised in pieces such as this, extravagant naturalistic creations featuring Australian flora and fauna.

Kangaroos and emus can be seen both within the egg and on the stand below, beneath silvery Australian tree-ferns.  
On top of the egg is one of our old favourites, the sulphur crested cockatoo:


Here are a few more examples of this genre, found on Google:





Emus often feature, as do the silvery fern trees.
I have always loved these old pieces, and they can be seen in most State Galleries around Australia.


We are enjoying a few days of unseasonal cool weather -
and I love it.


Thinking of snow...


and the odd maple leaf....


The agapanthus are doing fine, thank you.
This is the first time I have seen one which has branched off in this way -
so unusual..


and there has been a good flush of roses, thanks to recent rains.


If you are a crafty person, do you have a few UFO's (unfinished objects) about the house?

I commenced this red bird quilt about ten years ago, finished most of the blocks, put it aside and forgot it.

Found it during a burst of decluttering, put aside a few hours and have most of it joined, and a couple more blocks nearly finished.  Borders, wadding and binding, and it will become somebody's Christmas gift.


I have been singing with my new Ladies Choir, doing some performances for Aged Care homes and community groups.
It is so rewarding, and enjoyable to sing some good Christmas carols too.


Take care...

XXXX






24 comments:

  1. I have seen those emu eggs which are elaborately decorated with silver on some antique programmes.
    With your thoughts of snow and maple leaves, I can sense that the excitement for you both is mounting.

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    1. Ah, I have never seen them on those programmes, but will keep an eye out now. Many of them were presented to guests from overseas, so I imagine made their way back to the UK especially.
      Yes, excitement mounts as final preparations get underway. There seems to be a bit of snow already, so signs of a White Christmas look good.

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  2. It's hard to beat Mother Nature for beauty, but some aritists and artisans come close, don't they Trish? I love the silver figurines. And what a lovely Christmas quilt, you're are finishing. I have a quilt as a bedspread. Love them!

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    1. The Colonial artists did some beautiful work, representing Australian flora and fauna to share with the world. Those pieces are so valuable today, when stealing an emu egg would be against the law. I love the use of quilts in the US and Canada, where they fit right in as bedspreads.

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    2. My father's family made quits too! When he was about 5 years old he was recruited by his 3 older sisters to cut the fabric into squares. So he had memories of sitting with his sisters making quilts. I think it's great training for a boy to be the younger brother of 3 older sisters, developing valuable skills and an understanding of women he can use the rest of his life.๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜Š

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    3. I can see how your father would have learnt all sorts of things from three older sister, and well done him for joining in the quilting bees. Always useful for a man to know how to handle a needle and thread!

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  3. Well, that ink stand is certainly something! Beautiful. I am envious of your roses. I have one or two on the balcony but they don't have much scent because it's too cold..

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    1. It would be lovely to own one of those silver works, wouldn't it, but they are extremely highly valued these days. Roses are a bit fussy, like just the right spot, enough sun, good drainage but plenty of water. We lose some most years!

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  4. Love that quilt Patricia....someone very special will ❤️ It!
    Enjoy your week...
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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    1. It's been ages since I actually finished a quilt Linda. There are another couple of half-done quilt tops in the sewing cave, but one day... Happy week, and bring on the snow for me :)

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  5. That sulphur crested cockatoo is a beauty! I love those pink ornaments and pink glass bowl. I just bought some red ornaments like that cause they reminded me of the ones my mom put on her tree every year. You did a lovely job on the red bird quilt. How wonderful that you're singing in the Ladies Choir. Christmas carols are always so special to hear. : )

    love, ~Sheri

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    1. Sheri I love those Christmas balls too, and have them in every colour. They remind me of childhood too. And I have always liked a bit of pink Christmas too. Off to sing more Carols today, to spread a bit of Christmas cheer.

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  6. Hi Patricia how lovely for your choir to sing to the elderly,they would love that so much ,my mum before she got sick used to do line dancing with her group for the elderly and they be wearing xmas hats and have the people laughing.
    Oh i love the pink ornaments they are so pretty,i enjoyed your post my friend xx

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    1. We sang for another group today and it was really lovely too. We always get such a positive response, as I can imagine your Mum's line dancing group would also have experienced. Glad you like pink pretties too!

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  7. Beautiful piece Trish. Love all your decorating. Gorgeous quilt there and definitely glad you are finishing it. Lovely you are back enjoying your singing xxx

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    1. Thank you Michelle, It has been years since I actually finished a quilt, so fingers crossed I make the distance, lol. I might have forgotten a few steps. I missed the singing for most of this year, and am so pleased to be back into it now. Another great concert today, lifts the spirits no end. xxx

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  8. Your quilt is beautiful, I'm so glad you're going to work on it again. I can't wait to see it. How nice for the choir to visit the elderly and sing to them. When I was in school chorus, we used to visit the Veteran's Hospital to sing to them. They really loved that. I enjoyed the emus, what an interesting bird. One of my favorite songs references an emu...as something you might buy if you had a million dollars. :)

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    1. Thank you Jennifer, fingers crossed the quilt works out. I bet you enjoyed those visits to the Veterans, and they would have loved it too. Those audiences are so responsive you fell glad you came. You must tell me the name of that song - I have never heard of it. Can't imagine why you would buy an emu - they are not really good as a pet, not cuddly or friendly, and have a big sharp beak!

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  9. I love your quilt, Patrica! How diligent you are! I don't think I could bear to give such a beautiful spread away. As for all your silvery sparkly things, they are all very unusual and pretty although I confess not to be fond of these types of decorative art. Lucky you with your lovely roses! I am so missing the summer!

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    1. Hello Val, I think I am over the quilt craze these days, and am happy to give my quilts to family who like them. Even Little Aussie has scored one or two!

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  10. You are singing AND enjoying art and flowers and quilting, you are most certainly my kind of gal!

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    1. Arty girls rule, Kay! Glad you like all the same attractive things :)

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  11. I enjoyed your biographical history of Wendt - of course, I know the establishment in Adelaide well. And I love the Australiana you have depicted. It will feel good to get the quilt finished and rehoused - UFO's always nag at me, which is why I don't have many!

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    1. I remember seeing some super examples of the colonial silversmiths in the Adelaide Art Gallery years ago. They are historical works now, but so interesting to see. UFO's tend to bother me too - I suspect I blanked this one out of my mind because did not have time to do anything about it for a while!

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