Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Monday, May 14, 2012
A love story is associated with the imagery on this plate. According to the legend, the daughter of a wealthy Mandarin fell in love with her father's secretary. They would meet secretly under a willow tree. She was promised to marry an elderly nobleman so the two young lovers ran away. The Mandarin sent his soldiers after them and they killed his daughter's lover. Realizing her beloved was dead, she set herself and her house on fire. Two lovebirds then rose out of the ashes and reside in the sky above the weeping willow tree.
In decor, the crisp elegance of Blue Willow ware is highlighted by a substantial and bright complement. The naturally cobalt coloration of the delphinium is somewhat unusual to find in a flower. Vases filled with such bursts of blue would enhance a table set in Blue Willow ware. Isn't the color of the petals spectacular?
Friday, May 4, 2012
"A flower is not a flower alone; a thousand thoughts invest it."
- A Victorian Flower Dictionary
This fascinating volume was gifted to me recently and I have been studying its contents ever since. Always interested in floriography, I have had a little pocketbook of flower meanings for years which I often consult when making a painting or styling a bouquet.
A Victorian Flower Dictionary, by Mandy Kirkby, provides a more comprehensive interpretation of flowers and also discusses the history and symbolism of various blooms. Fifty flowers are featured in the book with an illustration of each and a summary of its importance in history, literature, art and Victorian culture. Also included is a short dictionary of additional flower meanings and a guide to recommended flowers for specific occasions. A lovely, thought-provoking introduction by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, author of the popular novel, The Language of Flowers enhances this reference.