Casino des Folies
A long time ago I acquired a delightful little programme that looked as if it was for a venue called the Casino des Folies. The artwork by Ada Peacock is one of my favourites . But what was it for? and what or where was the Casino des Folies?
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Ghost Signs: A London Story
The most comprehensive account of ghost signs ever published, focusing on London’s hand-painted relics of advertising past.
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The phrase ‘Cinq a Sept’ (5 to 7 and pronounced ‘sank-ah-set’) has an interesting double meaning of its own significance to the French and other nationalities. Although a prevalent concept in the Jazz Age of the 1920s it still resonates today.
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Dancing World Magazine
A few years ago I acquired a magnificent run of 25 copies of the rare British magazine The Dancing World. It is a remarkable publication spanning the period from May 1920 to at least March 1924, and at the last check, only one copy is held by the British Library. As a result this is a truly unique find that will be invaluable to researchers of the Jazz Age. But the bigger picture is that it also sheds light on the activity of William Mitchell who created the Palais de Danse in Hammersmith and Birmingham and was also behind Rector’s Club, one of the most fashionable nights-club rendezvous in London.
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Learn to order food by season – Parisian style
You know where to eat and when to eat – now ﬁnd out what to eat. By month. By season. The fine art and charm of dining is not in flopping into a Restaurant, grabbing the menu, sweeping it quickly with your eye and calling to the waiter, ‘ Give me some of this; give me some of that.’ Just the same old ‘Bread, meat and potatoes’ that everyone else orders. Why not know Food as you know other fine things?
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The Social Season in the Jazz Age
The social season in the Jazz Age was a well established pattern of behavior where the elite, rich and famous members of society moved with the seasons like a flock of migratory birds from one nesting place to another enjoying a range of activities and events.
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The bizarre tale of Mrs Smith Wilkinson
Described variously as ‘The Countess of Monte Cristo’, ‘The Queen of Diamonds’ and ‘Madame Aladdin’, Mrs Smith Wilkinson can be seen as a society con-artist and one of the first wannabe celebrities. She made a rather big splash in Paris in the summer of 1921 causing much debate and gossip in the press thereafter. Whatever was all the fuss about?
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