In This Issue:

  • The Crinoline – a fashion disaster?
  • Antiques of the Year – 2016
  • Paktong in Georgian England
  • 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue: The House of the People and their President

And much more…

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In My Opinion

John Fiske

Historically thinking

John Fiske 

I loved the talk, even though it was held in a barely heated carriage barn with a stone floor on a late November evening. I should have worn an extra pair of socks. There were between 90 and 100 people there, a pretty good turn out for a small town. I knew a good chunk of them, people from the museum, the Historical Commission and those whom I meet drinking coffee at Zumi’s. but there were a lot I didn’t know, which is always nice to see.

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The Crinoline a fashion disaster?

Judith Dunn

Fashion has always gone to extremes, but the crinoline was possibly the most impractical, cumbersome and indeed life-threatening creation ever. Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind managed hers with enviable grace, but her character was never required to do housework, use public transport or face a gale in a city street. However, from the 1850s to the 1870s, the crinoline swept all before it – often literally if cartoonists of the time are to be believed.

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Antiques of the Year – 2016

Judy Penz Sheluk

Our Senior Editor selects her favorites from the thousands of antiques we covered in 2016.

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Paktong in Georgian England

Geoffrey Draughn
However obscure their object of desire, most collectors can be confident that when they reveal its identity, people will at least know what they are talking about. Unless, that is, it happens to be paktong. This base-metal alloy is virtually unknown outside a small circle of collectors, dealers and metallurgists. The scarcity of paktong artifacts means that few people have much practical experience of it. Most of those outside the antiques trade (and many inside it) have never heard of paktong and what little awareness there is, commonly owes as much to myth and legend as to hard fact.

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1600 Pennsylvania Avenue: The house of the people and their president

White House

Barbara Miller Beem

The joyous times: The elegant weddings, the glittering state dinners, the annual Easter egg rolls. The solemn times: The public signings of bills and treaties, the historic addresses to the nation, the funerals. And this month, the ceremonial times: The change from one president to the next, from one first lady to the next, from one family (and its pets) to the next. Through the best of times and the worst of times, the White House, the oldest public building in the District of Columbia, has been a symbol of unity and pride to the nation and of power to the rest of the world.

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Yours Sincerely

John Fiske

A couple of days after hearing a fascinating talk on first settlement farming by my friend Peter Cook (see “In My Opinion”), I was sitting in the kitchen talking with Lisa while she made the Thanksgiving stuffing. Two key ingredients were pork sausage and apple: Watching her stir them into the mix took me right back to Peter Cook’s talk.

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