Sunday, 6 March 2011

the age of enlightenment

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Albs came for a three day visit to London last week, which was obviously awesome from a social point of view and disastrous from a university work point-of-view. The first day, we went to the British museum.

I've been before quite a few times, since it's about a ten minute walk from my university, but it was my first time spending any time in the Enlightenment Room. The 18th century is an era of British History that I've never been much interested in, perhaps because I studied literature and I don't have much time for the poets of this era (except for the brilliant Alexander Pope). I love the Victorian era, the 20th century, and even the Middle Ages, but have neglected The Age of Reason, which is a shame, because it was the birth of many of the ideas that make the Victorian period so interesting: the questioning of traditions, morals and religion, the interest in science and natural history, the "open discussion of public issues" (Habermas).

The room was organized into different themes (see link) but I just drifted around reading the spines of all the French tomes, ogling the finely carved stones and minerals, staring back into the beady centuries-old eyes of taxidermied birds, while Albert chilled with the Greek busts. Apart from anything else, it was the era of great collections, when perhaps it seemed as though the key to understanding the world could be accessed through lining up all it's riches, mineral, animal and vegetable, to be prized and studied.

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This dude has a lot to answer for
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Do any of you vintage experts have any idea how old this coat may be? I found it in the half-off section of Beyond Retro off Brick Lane, and was powerless to resist the charm of its velvet bows and cuffs. The brand is Rothschild, It was made in Yugoslavia, and the RN number is 38843, which by my total-newbie googling puts it at about 1969... but I'd be happy to know what you think.
And yes, it needs a button (two actually) sewed on, but since I wanted to debut it this winter and not next...

coat: vintage
shoes: Camper
awful hair and puffy eyes: not my day

A bit of Alexander Pope to send you on your Sunday ways! (from the Essay on Man)

Who sees with equal eye, as God of all,
A hero perish or a sparrow fall,
Atoms or systems into ruin hurl'd,
And now a bubble burst, and now a world.

54 comments:

L. said...

Emily, I really love reading your posts because they are such a nice mix of intellectualism and more frivolous style tidbits - erm, velvet, pink, yes please! What a gorgeous coat :)

http://hellonancydrew.blogspot.com

Raquel said...

Yeah, I still need to go to the British Museum, but it's been so cold I don't feel like going anywhere alone :|
Oh and that coat! Pink may not be my colour, but it is yours! The coat is amazing and you look amazing with it! And since I'm not even close to a vintage knower I have no idea of the classification of it, haha.
We need to meet soon! Maybe next Wednesday? How's the uni work going so far?

x

Closet Fashionista said...

Loooooove that coat! I need to go to museums more often!
And yes, I'd love to marry Neville, haha
http://www.closet-fashionista.com

Tanvi said...

I am totally loving your coat. I think I went to the British Museum as a kid. haven't been since.

Tanvi
from © tanvii.com

Stef / Diversions said...

Gorgeous find :) and looks like you two had a fun ehem cultured time.

deppa said...

Que entretenido! Primero que nada, estudiaste literatura como carrera? o sólo un curso? o eres aficionada?
Segundo! debe haber sido increible aquel lugar, me muero de envidia :)
Tercero: no tengo idea del abrigo pero tuviste mucha suerte al conseguirlo, la forma y el color son adorables :)

Nos vemos!

A said...

Very very nice pictures. Awesome

jess said...

The coat is so pretty. I love the color.

Emily, Ruby Slipper Journeys said...

@deppa: I studied literature in my undergraduate degree. Now I'm doing a masters, but not in literature. ; )

Diana said...

what an amazing color on you!! i also love day trips to local museums! i also love your ballerina outfit from your last post -- the styling is too cute :)

xo

http://dressedupallligators.blogspot.com/

Xavi said...

Hi Emilly,
Today in English. I need to improve my writen English because It's poor and I need it a lot. Do you forgive my mistakes? Thank you.
British Musseum... nice. And of course, is a good site to dating how old is the coat by the carbon14 test. :)
Nice coat, with or without buttons. What are you talking about with the sculpture?

Rebeccak said...

Haha - that last pic is just brilliant! I love those big old display cases!

I don't know much about the 18thC either - I am really more a vistorian girl, but have also realised recently that some of the big guns from the 18thC really informed later ways of thinking. I may need to make a date with that part of the library!

What are you studying now?

黃愛玲 said...

Gosh, I love that jacket - it looks so darling on you. The colour makes your skin glow. =o)

Laura said...

super cute coat!! i love it!

-laura
http://thesemanyyears.blogspot.com

Sophie said...

I love the colour of that coat! Its gorgeous!
Sophie
x

Emily, Ruby Slipper Journeys said...

@Xavi: feel free to write in English... you didn't make any mistakes!
Me and the sculpture are saying that Cupid is kind of a slut! ; )
@Rebeccak: My masters is in Urban Studies. Feel free to ask what the hell that is!

Rebeccak said...

hah! I am actually sitting here struggling over MY thesis proposal!! But I am determined to make today one of those days where TONNES of writing happens.

ok yes - what is Urban studies?! I am thinking either cultural studies or city planning, which are just a touch different!

Libby, Vintage Aplomb said...

Oh my gosh..no kidding, I had the children's counterpart to your jacket while growing up! It was almost identical to yours and came with a lovely matching hat that I still have!! Also, I love the British Museum as the backdrop for your photos!

Velvet said...

You look gorgeous in this coat! I'm afraid I can't help with the "age" of it though.

Have a great week!

NRIGirl said...

First I thought it was not one of your colors, (as if I know a list of your colors...) but then as I moved on I could definitely say it is!

Emily, Ruby Slipper Journeys said...

@Libby: haha, I thought it looked like a children's coat when I bought it. I thnk it fits into my "Victorian orphan" theme!
@NRIGirl: Actually you're right; it's not one of my colours. If given the choice of colours, I would not have picked this one. But I loved the coat enough to ignore the colour, and actually, it makes me pretty happy on these grey London days!

sojourned in style said...

you always take on such itelligent journeys full of wit and something to be learned. what can i say history is a great backdrop for your outfit ! the coat is very lovely and so charming!

Michal said...

Thanks for your tips!! I will definitely take the cold temps into consideration!

That coat is so awesome! That is one of my favorite colors- I think it just looks so amazing on everyone. I went to the British Museum last time I was there but I definitely wasn't in that room.

Chelsea Lane said...

what a cool place! I love the photos that came of it :) that coat is amazing, such a vintage treasure. amazing color, looks great on ya!

xoxo

CessOviedo said...

Museum was such a great idea to shoot in! I've heard wonders of the British museum, wishing to go over there so bad ... probably when I do I could borrow that beautiful purple coat, looks amazing, pretty pictures!

<3 Cess O.
http://blog.cessoviedo.com

Terri said...

I would love to visit rooms like this. The last photo of you in deep conversation with a man of curled beard is just too wonderful, as though you are telling him all about the 21st century.

Can't help you place the coat.

Emily, Resplendent Tranquility said...

I'll keep this comment short(er) considering the length of the last one I left you ;)

I love museums and The British Museum is definitely near to top of my ''must visit'' list.

Such a darling coat! The color looks very nice on you.

Anything but Bland said...

that coat is so neat, doll! i love it!

love the last photo, too! haha!

love, polly ;D

dimi said...

You look so cute with your pink coat in the huge museum! Thanks for showing us the British Museum! I really like museums and I don't go to as many as I want! The coat looks like from the "60's" so 1969, sounds good to me!

p.s. - I tagged you for "the handwriting game"!! Feel free to participate if you think it's fun!
Have a lovely new week!!

Miranda said...

Your coat is amazing ö

Stevia said...

that is the coolest vintage coat
and I can totally understand why you insist on wearing it even when it has two lost buttons!

the British museum looks amazing!
I love museums as well
they are a good place to remember about how we got here right now!

Carys said...

Great pictures, that coat is amazing!!
From Carys of La Ville Inconnue

Carrie said...

I adore that coat - what a find! And looks (from the pictures anyway) like it's in great shape. Sweet! :-) Would love to make it to the British Museum someday, but so far our time in the U.K. has been limited to a day or two between flights elsewhere. {sigh}

Shybiker said...

I love the coat. Beautiful style, gorgeous color. I'm so happy you salvaged and resurrected it. Good clothes should have many lives. And wearing it in such a historical room was nicely appropriate.

Ashley said...

Ahhh I so need to get over to Europe and check places like this out. I know I'd linger way too long here--and everywhere, for that matter. I love your coat, too, although I have noooooo idea how old it is. That's one thing I dislike about vintage: it's so hard to figure out age for certain.

Thanks for your comment! Glad you're enjoying my blog!! :)

CAITLIN said...

for now, the typewriter is only for aesthetics (paper is noticeably absent), but i would like to start using it more often. i used to have a typewriter when i was a kid (we were really late to jump on the computer bandwagon) and i spent lots of time locked in my room typing on it :)

i remember reading 'ozymandias' when i was in high school--my tattoo definitely has a similar sentiment. the script was inspired by simone de beauvoir's book 'the mandarins'--she says: 'all around me the world lies like an immense hypothesis i no longer verify.' have you read any of her fiction? i can't get enough.

zoë said...

that coat is such a beaut! i'm not sure but i'd say it's from the 40's-ish. or it could always be an 80's remake... but the fabric looks too lovely for that!

Jyothi said...

I loved the coat and color. I wouldn't be able to carry it off. But I love it. Actually I am on the look out for coats. I am planning a trip to Paris very soon. I hear its still cold there now.

Jenni said...

That coat is gorgeous. It looks like you had quite the interesting debates with some of those statues. :D

Jennyboo said...

That coat is AMAZING! It reminds me of a coat I had when I was little- something that I wish I never gave away and so desperately look for in a thrift store! xoxo

SMASH said...

Gahh I wrote you this super long comment about being excited to see the British Museum in May and how awesome your coat is (the color, puffed shoulders, and length especially) but of course blogspot had to do me dirty and not post my comment right BAHHH. Anyway, you're lookin swell missy, but that's nothing new!

xx

Monique said...

Hi Emily way to do some research about the coat. 1969 just so happened to be the year my parents emigrated from Haiti to the U.S. Love the Alexander Pope quote.

Cait said...

I love your coat, what a wonderful find.

Cait x

dr.antony said...

First time here,and I loved it.
You look like a small girl, with so much of curiosity,in front of the statue.You in your coat ,look stunning.

Ashley said...

love the coat!!!! When I went to that museum I must have skipped that room too...haha. too bad, cause I LOVE that room!

Neon Noose said...

I love, LOVE your coat its pretty lovely color. I come from a Hispanic background and my mother too disagrees with me as well. She says they are messengers from the dead, warning you. Spooky stuff :0

Georgia Rose said...

That jacket is gorgeous! Such a lovely colour and it suits you so beautifully.

Erica Belle said...

Wow to that coat! I am never lucky enough to find good vintage stuff. And until you mentioned it, I didn't even notice the missing buttons!

You're lucky that you can wear such bright colors :D It flatters you!

Just found your blog! It put a smile on my face, so I started following you.
-Erica
TheBelleFatale

SABINNA and DAVID said...

great post... really really like your coat! beautiful!

xx, Sabinna and David

broken-cookies.blogspot.com

kendal croix. said...

That coat is too perfect.

Louder than Silence said...

Oh my Emily, what a delightful coat! Love love love - you look like a doll :) Sally x

Katie @ Beautifully Pure said...

What a pretty coat! Vintage things are so nice to find. :)

My favorite time of history is the late 18th century (I just love learning about the Revolutionary War <3) through the 20th century - but the Revolutionary War, the Regency Era, and the Victorian Era are my favorites times within that space. :)

That museum looks like lots of fun, though! Going to a museum is a nice way to spend a gray winter day.

~ Katie
http://www.beautifully-pure.com

veronika, tick tock vintage. said...

i stopped by in that museum when i was in london, i thought that room looked familiar...

as for the coat, my guess is mid 70's - i'd have to see the front and tag, though.

Rachel said...

that coat is completely perfect.