I’m just back from an amazing ten-day road trip through Utah, where I spotted this delicate miniature Pink Tea Service in a gift shop on Main Street in Park City. As we move slowly out of the pandemic’s strict lock down guidelines — particularly as they apply to indoor dining — I must say that I’m really looking forward to going to a place like NYC’s Plaza Hotel again to immerse myself in their over-the-top Afternoon Tea experience. Sigh.
How did an ancient Asian tradition become something quintessentially British? The fashion for Tea drinking in Great Britain started at court in the later seventeenth century and spread among the aristocracy. Tea remained a heavily taxed luxury until a century later, 1n 1784, when tea duties were slashed from 119 to 12.5 percent, making it affordable to the general public.
In the eighteenth century, the rise of the East India Company — founded to trade with India, Southeast Asia, and China — led to a British monopoly on tea distribution. This global grip established the nation’s mercantile empire, critically dependent on colonial occupation and the movement of slaves. In 1771, American colonists famously protested Britain’s commercial control, dumping imported tea into Boston Harbor during the Boston Tea Party.
Ambitious British pottery manufacturers and retailers leveraged tea’s popularity to their advantage, cultivating an enormous national ceramics industry. Vastly expanded production yielded new wares, materials and consumers. Profit margins on ceramics were slim, so quality mattered, as did efficiency. Resources and skills were often shared, as innovative makers sprung up and sometimes quickly failed. These developments signaled a shift — creative and economic — toward mass manufacture in a remarkably nimble market, generating a booming export industry for Britain as a result
Photographed in The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
This colorful, lace-up ankle boot is one of a pair of boots worn by the actress playing the character of Mrs. Potts in the Broadway production of Disney musical, Beauty and The Beast. Aren’t they fantastic? If it weren’t for these photos you would probably never have seen this rad boot, as Mrs. Potts‘ feet are generally obscured by her nearly floor-length skirt (and the fact that she is, you know, a human teapot).
Photographed in the Museum of the City of New York in Upper Manhattan
Best known for his role as George Jefferson on the popular 1970s sitcom, The Jeffersons (a spinoff of All in the Family, on which he also starred as the same character), actor Sherman Hemsley passed away on Tuesday, July 24th at the age of 74. While Hemsley is primarily famous for his acting resume, he was also a musician who once collaborated with Jon Anderson of Progressive rock band Yes. And according to a 2009 article from Magnet Magazine, Hemsley was an eccentric, prog rock aficionado who had a sweet spot for the band Gong. Read on and have your mind blown little at This Link.