I hope you have merry little Christmas! and the weather good. Cheers, Kevin
This is a great composition. The grisaille-like background really makes the bright lithographed colors pop, and the flying bird, scarf and feather on the left supply the motion and balance the forward-moving elbow, stomach curve, and skated foot on the right.The only compositional difficulty is the white muff, which while charming, impedes her hand movements (for balance) and suggests an impending purler--possibly on the next card in the series.Incidentally, Little Augury just a few hours ago posted a photo of a woman wearing a large fur muff: http://littleaugury.blogspot.com/2011/12/little-muffies-aunt-in-states-big.html--Road to Parnassus
I love the front of the blades; they're like elf shoes. Wonderful holiday pairing.
Those iceskates! Wow! What memories they bring. I had a pair that looked just like your Grandmother's. Are they the kind that require a key so that they fit onto the soles of ordinary shoes? We would skate from ice float to ice float...never realizing what danger we were in. Thanks for the memories Mark. I hope that Christmas finds you among the warm circle of family and friends. Merry Christmas, Gina.
Cheers, Kevin! Merry Christmas.
Hello, Parnassus - It would be so like the Victorians to show a fall in the next of the card series, but I think this particular skater was quite an expert and knew how to swing the muff back and forth to maintain balance. I've been enjoying Little Augury's series of photos with muff - I believe she has quite an extensive collection of her own antique photos. Merry Christmas, Parnassus, and thanks for a year of great exchanges!
Hi, Steve - I liked how those elfin skate toes matched the ones in the Victorian card (thanks for noticing!). I'm so glad to have discovered your wonderful site this year — Merry Christmas to you!
Hi, Gina -I believe these skates did fit over regular shoes. As a girl, my grandmother was a champion skater, the sort who jumped over barrels! She lived on a large lake in Switzerland, with an island in its middle. Every year the residents of the island would award a bag of chestnuts to the first person to skate across the ice. One year my grandmother (who was somewhat of a tomboy, and quite a daredevil) skated across the ice too early, and it broke up behind her as she made a mad dash. She won the bag of chestnuts, but had to stay overnight on the island.Merry Christmas, Gina!
Merry Christmas Mark! I always enjoy stopping by your blog.
Merry Christmas, Theresa! It's always fun sharing with you!
A wonderful post, Mark. Especially with your grandmother's ice skates to bring the past into the present in such a pleasant way. Merry Christmas, my friend. Have a great one. :)
Merry Christmas to you Yvette (and I know which movies you won't be watching on Christmas Day!). :o)
Mark, a fabulous teaming of objects. What prized possessions those skates must be!
Hi, David - They are indeed prized possessions to me, and they must have been to my grandmother, as well. She kept them for nearly 80 years. Merry Christmas to you!
I seem to remember skates like that hanging in a garage when I was a kid. Unfortunetly they, like most things of their ilk, have disappeared over time.
Hello, Archguy - I know what you mean; I see more and more little details of my life appearing in antique stores! What's even stranger (for me,at least) is to see an article I never particularly cared for reintroduced to the market as chic retro! Merry Christmas to you!
Mark, What a great story about your grandmother skating across the lake and having to stay on the island. Would love to know more. I know about ice breaking while skating. Our village boys used to jump on our ice floats. We had to beat them to the next piece of ice or fall through.
Hi again, Gina - The prize may have been walnuts or chestnuts, I'm not sure which. My grandmother grew up in Ligerz, which the French-Swiss call Gleresse. The village was on a 24-mile lake called Bielersee, and the island is called Sankt-Petersinsel. Jean-Jacques Rousseau stayed there for a while.
A lovely Christmas to you Mark, what a gift your blog is. AnyesXx
Thanks, Anyes! Merry Christmas.
What a pretty and sentimental card (in the best way), and how wonderful to have your g-mothers skates. A treasure!