In 1921, the year before this portrait of Gladys Calthrop (1894-1980) was painted by Sir William Rothenstein (1872-1945), she met Noël Coward on holiday in Rapallo. Coward, while singing at Mrs Astley Cooper’s English Club, was horrified during his performance when a ‘smartly dressed’ woman in the front row appeared to be ‘fighting an attack of convulsive giggles with singular lack of success’: this woman was Gladys Calthrop. Mutually realising they shared a sense of humour, the pair became inseparable, discussing life and death, religion and art; indeed, the present portrait previously belonged to Coward and was in his collection until his death. Coward described Calthrop as ‘intimately concerned with all my best work, and so intrinsically part of my failures and successes.’ Gladys worked in Britain as a leading stage and film designer until 1964, working on films with Coward, including Brief Encounter. In 1969 she escorted Noël Coward to receive his overdue knighthood; Winston Churchill had put a stop to the award in 1943, as he did not agree with Coward’s lifestyle choices. Oil on canvas; 40 x 26 in (101.6 x 66 cm) #modernbritishart#modernbritish#williamrothenstein#gladyscalthrop#1920schic#1920sstyle#1922#interwar#independentwoman#artdirector#mrsastleycooper#rapallo#noelcoward#briefencounter#noelcowardcollection#blueeyes#striking#autumnalorange#autumnal#orange#amber#velvet#orangevelvet
Up close with... The Anschluss (Austrian Annex) Medal
The Anschluss Medal was awarded to all German military personnel who participated in the march to Austria, members of the Austrian branch of the NSDAP and other Austrians who contributed to the Anschluss on 13 March 1938 (featured on the medal as '13 März 1938').
Out of the Flower Campaign Medals it is the second easiest to obtain. 318,689 medals were awarded making it less common than the Sudetenland Medal, but still 10x more common than the Memel Medal. Average medals can be purchased for between $65-$75. Ones in near mint condition such as my example fetch $90-$100 and mint examples/those with the original presentation case can't fetch $150. ----------------
Watching a new Christmas documentary (it came out yesterday), the fourth Christmas programme I have watched so far this year, and that is The Sweet Makers at Christmas. I loved watching the original series a few months ago and so I knew I would love their Christmas episode. Four modern confectioners look at Christmas and sweets from three periods in history: Georgian, Victorian and the Interwar eras.
The German post-war army:
The Reichswehr was the predecessor to the Wehrmacht, formed on 6th March 1919 following the defeat of Imperial Germany.
The fun thing is that the German uniforms became more and more toned down over the course of the First World War and as soon as it ended they made a really fancy one with decorative cuffs, fancy breast pockets, 'Kragenspiegel' collar insignia and visible metal buttons down the front.
The post-war uniforms were a mess, basically. All possible different kinds of converted uniforms (to match Reichswehr criteria) were used, I saw one picture in a book (couldn't find it online sadly) where eight officers wore eight different combinations of footwear, headwear, trousers and tunics!
But apart from the uniform he Reichswehr looked pretty much the same as the Imperial army had during the Great War. Gewehr 98 rifles, same pouches, same backpacks, same helmets and so on.
Picture three is fairly interesting: a Reichswehr machine gun team running with an MG 08 mounted on a tripod (possibly a post-war thing?) where the right man (our right) wears a converted M15 'Feldbluse' tunic.
Polish avantgarde 1918-1939 exhibition which strongly reminds me of dr Manhattan from 'Watchmen' (my partner showed me 'Watchmen' and it is the best superhero, well antihero movie ever) #art#avantgarde#interwar#drmanhattan#watchmen