28 April, 2013

Props and Tablescapes

This is one of the tablescapes I set up for Hubby's 50th birthday Jeeves & Wooster/Downton Abbey Party. One of the games I planned was for guests to find as many nods to the books/shows as they could and write them down on a card. These are all things we already had, with the exception of the round cigar box, which was one of Hubby's presents.

There are artifacts from my husbands great-grandfather, which fit the time period perfectly, so I included them in the tablescapes. I could have gotten even more detailed, but I simply ran out of time and found that most people could just take in what I'd already set up! Lesson learned, there! Simplicity is a good thing! I think any show enthusiast would have loved spending extra time pouring over the possibilities. The globes and trunk are a nod to Jeeves & Wooster's trip to America (Season Three). The banjo, well, is the closest thing I could get to the banjolele, which makes its appearance in several J & W episodes.

We have the complete set of Jeeves & Wooster done by Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry. One Christmas, Hubby and I each got the other this set. Our own version of "The Gift of the Magi!" :-)
The toy car was Hubby's Grandfathers. The old photo is of Hubby's great grandfather.

Below, I included another family toy car and great grandfather's cufflinks, cufflink container, and compass. The "W" hanky is a nod to Bertie Wooster. No 1910-1920's British tablescape is complete without some vintage British tomes.


More: Around the Tea Table, Tennyson's complete works, and Charles Kingsley's Westward, Ho! (Illustrated by N.C. Wyeth)

Kiplings poems, Georg Eliot's Romola, two by Lamb, Samuel Johnson's Rasselas, Lord Byron, another Charles Kingsley, a book of minor Victorian poets, and a book of selected British essays. To the far right, you can see The Gentleman's Companion, which is a two-volume set for gentlemen about culinary arts and spirits.

It's a little dark, but I placed a copy of turn-of-the-century sheet music on an old music stand that belonged to hubby's Grandmother. It is a nod to the banjo-playing minstrels in some of the Jeeves & Wooster episodes.
 Here was another nod to the era and the costumes: Leslie Thrasher was a rival of Norman Rockwell, and this is in the collection titled The Rivals of (Norman) Rockwell. Interesting book!


In my next post, I'll show and explain some of the decorations that are nods to Downton Abbey.

I hope you have enjoyed our interpretation of the era for a very special birthday celebration!

Cheerio, Jeeves!


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