21 October 2011

With Halloween coming up, and the current tribal and gothic fashion trends beckoning it in, embrace your dark side this autumn at Grays with the strange and the terrifying.
Of course most of us know of various versions of the origins of Halloween. It is commonly thought that it rose out of the amalgamation of the Roman and Celtic holidays Pomona (Roman celebration devoted to the Goddess of the same name), Parentalia (Roman festival of the dead), and the famous Celtic celebration Samhain. All of these holidays focused more on the celebration of life and harvest, versus the current connotations.
Agate, Lapis and Diamond Maple Leaf Brooch, Austrian, 1930's. Price on enquiry, Michael Longmore, Grays stand 378-379.

Medieval English Angel, Carved wood circa. 1500. Patrick Boyd-Carpenter, Grays Stand 127.

It only gained its name in the late 17th century, but steadily gained popularity.  And slowly but surely its mystical roots were exchanged for more frightful histories, as the 18th and 19th centuries saw a strong distancing from belief in the supernatural and more trust in the scientific.  However, this time of year saw the resurrection of belief in divination, ghosts, monsters and the occult. 
Theodore Von Holst's (1810-1844) frontispiece to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1831).
Red Dragon Jug, late 19th century.  Cekay, Grays Showcase FS005 and V027.

Famous 19th century Gothic writers popularized the holiday through their horror novels such as Shelly’s Frankenstein, and Stokers Dracula.  The rise of Orientalism also spurred more interest in the supernatural and occult. 

Cat Brooch, Ting's Jewelery, Grays Stand C22.
Hand painted Litho of Al Hirchfield's Alfred Hitchcock - father of cinema horror himself.  R.G. Grahame, Grays Stand 129-130.

Now that you’ve been schooled in what the holiday is all about, come get decked out in our dealers most 
terrifying pieces.
Scorpion Brooch.  Time Antiques, Grays Showcase P03.

AFrench Victorian Jet Pendant Necklace, £175. Allison Massey, Grays  Showcase MG032 and MG033




Become queen of the night.  Jean Muir 1960's Moire dress.  Vintage Modes, Grays.

Mice, Beware! Linda Bee, Gray Stand L20.


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