Favours and Carnival Novelties
At special events throughout history there has always been the desire to augment festivities with novelties of all kinds, especially at special occasions like New Year and weddings. Toward the end of the 19th century as dances, balls, galas and the new concept of the smart restaurant proliferated on both sides of the Atlantic, special nights were introduced where a wide range of gifts or carnival novelties were given away as souvenirs to make the night special and stand out. Later, these ‘favours’ became indicative of the madcap nocturnal fun and frolics of the Jazz Age and the 1920s.
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The Tragedy of May Vivian
May Vivian (1903-1924) was a vivacious actress and dancer who had just made a name for herself in London cabaret and was destined for bright things, but her life was cut short when, with all the dramatic intensity of a film tragedy, she was shot dead in the Spring of 1924 by a jealous suitor in the South of France.
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The Kursaal Pleasure Palace, Ostende
One of the premier locations in Europe in the 1920s and the show piece of Ostende was the magnificently appointed Kursaal entertainment complex.
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Moss and Fontana
Marjorie Moss and Georges Fontana were the most graceful and sought after British dancing duo in the Jazz Age. They secured high praise in London and Paris in the 1920s before conquering New York in the late 1920s and were regarded by some as ‘the greatest pair of dancers since the Vernon Castles.’
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