Monday, January 21, 2013

Downton Season 3, Episode 3: Sconces, Love Letters and Steiffs.

W5476 Industrial Iron Wall Sconce Candleholders
Minor Spoiler Alert:
Well, besides thinking that last night's Downton Episode was just way too short, holy cow. It was full of some twists and turns. But without getting into too many plot points here are the things that stood out to be in the background: Sconces, Love Letters and a Teddy Bear.

Verdi 3-Light Mirrored Sconce

I love sconces.  They were a valuable and useful way of lighting an area, both with candlelight and then and now with electricity. The Downton sconces are fanciful and Edwardian, but today's sconces come in all designs.  People shy away from using sconces because of the hard wiring presumed difficulties, but there are several ways to work around wiring issues if you don't want to do anything permanent. Here are a few examples of sconces that add another layer of design element to your space.
Clarissa Glass Drop Sconce

Emmeline 2-Light Wall Sconce

Stella Wall Sconce

Wyatt Sconce

Madison Glass Pendant Sconce

Chelsea Swing-Arm Sconce

Angler Sconce

Elise Candle Sconce

Candelabra Sconce

Industrial Iron Wall Sconce

Love Letters:
Oh, Bates and Anna.  I know the angst of waiting for a letter...and the anguish of over thinking why one hasn't arrived.  He loves me. He loves me not.  When my hubs was over in Iraq for a little bit of War, we wrote love letters to one another. Sometimes it would be weeks before I received another letter...but when they arrived it was pure joy.
I'm sure you've seen the SCRIPT and Letter Trend floating around out there in design is big and it will get bigger! It evokes the old fashioned art and joy of letter writing and receiving.

Love Letter Napkins, Set of 4
"Love Letter" Napkins
Antique Letter Indoor/Outdoor Rug
Letter Rugs
The Art of Penmanship Giclee Print
"The Art of Penmenship "Giclee 

Scripted Pillows
and a Teddy Bear:
When Ethel's little boy, Charlie Bryant, had tea time with his grandparents, they brought him a Teddy Bear. And to me, it looked like a Steiff {pronounced STIFE}....the quintessential Teddy of the early 1900s. Teddy Bears became all the rage after Theodore Roosevelt popularized the movement in/around 1902. In 1903 a German toy company by the name of Steiff began making jointed bears. They were discovered by an American who thought they would be the next big thing and he was right. They were an instant hit.

When I was a child a friend of our family gave me a Steiff bear and I had no idea that he probably shouldn't have been played with. He was my "Fuzzy Wuzzy". Fuzzy Wuzzy went everywhere with me. He was a 5-6 inch sized, white bear and he was "LOVE" to me.  I think I even took him to college. Fuzzy Wuzzy is now a collectible as are ALL Steiff stuffed animals. The old ones are rare and sought after...but Steiff has a thriving production today in which they have kept with the times and expanded into just about every possible animal that they can...selling on-line, in high end specialty stores and even zoo and museum gift shops...they have an entire collection at the San Diego Zoo that corresponds with the zoo's exotic animals.
Ethel's sacrifice will most likely guarantee that her little boy will have a Steiff, a Silver Spoon and Eton, no doubt.
{For more about the rise in popularity of Teddy Bears in the early 1900's click here.
For more on collecting Steiff click here and for an example of what vintage Steiffs can bring at auction, go to this Christie's Auction House sale in 2010, in South Kensington, UK, where a Steiff Antique Harlequin Teddy Bear, circa 1925, sold for over $74,000.

So, Sconces, Love Letters and Steiffs.
Perfect world, right? Not at Downton!!!!

P.S. Don't forget to enter the January Give away!!! You could win a fabulous book!
Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle, by The Countess of Carnarvon  (2011)
Enter here!!!


  1. I have to admit. as I watch Downton Abbey now, I think what is Amy going to notice and point out tomorrow. I love everything you noticed, but I did expect you to mention the toaster. It might not be a design element but it sure tells of the time. Thanks for sharing all your insight and design knowledge.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I just noticed I had some typos in my first response, here it is without typing errors:
      Macay, I'll leave the toaster post to you on!!! You are right, the toaster invention is huge!! I sort of go for the unexpected angle or less in your face elements, trying to be creative about what I see in the background of the story lines and sets. I could have included something about gardening, as well, with Grandmama's quip about Edith not being desperate enough to start gardening...I always think the possibilities are endless on what to discuss ;) But what a cool toaster it was! Thanks for the comment and for following my little critics post the morning after! XO!

  2. I am such a baby. I was folding laundry and sobbing as I watched Ethel give up Charlie this morning. So sad. Love the sconces! You probably already know this about me, but I was so drawn to the bedside industrial one. So great.

    1. I know, Maren...wasn't that just excruciating?! I kept thinking of all the mothers that have had to do give their child a better life. So so sad, and so tragically heroic. I did know you would have loved the industrial one. I am doing a lighting post next week and have an even better pendent one that you are going to die over, coming up for you! XXXOOO! ;)Be sure to come back tomorrow, you may think that the house tour tomorrow looks familiar! ;)

  3. I love that you noticed the letters. That was one of my favorite parts of the show. It's probably for all the same reasons why I prefer a book as opposed to a tablet. I love the look, feel, smell, and sound paper makes. The way Anna clutches the letters when they finally arrive. Ugh! Love it all!!!

    1. me, too. Some people have mentioned that they are tired of the bates and anna storyline, but I think it is meaningful to show the anquish and waiting that so many people go through..frankly, i'm surprised it wasn't a plot point during the war episodes last year, but I guess none of the romances were love writing ready. I think that is why the whole SCRIPT/handwritten trend is so big {and like I said, only going to get bigger} because getting letters is special now...handwriting is a thing of the past almost. It is romantic. ;)
      thanks for the comment, now go and enter that book giveaway today!!!