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A Bear on a Book Reading a Book, Eating Beef and Bread with Butter, Drinking Beer!

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posted by alias raaen99 on Friday 6th of August 2021 02:25:07 PM

DADDY: “Goodness Malachi! What are you doing?” MALACHI: “I should have thought that was obvious, Daddy! I’m enjoying a little read whilst I’m letting my dinner cool down a little!” DADDY: “Yes, I can see that. My real question is why are you sitting on top of my 1936 copy of Bill Brandt’s ‘The English at Home’? And perhaps more importantly, why are you eating over it, Malachi?” MALACHI: “Well, it seemed to me to be a capital place for dinner. Why do you ask?” DADDY: “Well, I was going to use it as a reference book for a written project I’m working on.” MALACHI: “And here I was, thinking you had left it out, just for me, Daddy.” DADDY: “I’m afraid not, Malachi. Now, may I please have my book?” MALACHI: “I’m afraid not, Daddy.” DADDY: “Whyever not, Malachi?” MALACHI: “Well, I’ve just sat down to read and to eat. I’m afraid that you will simply have to be patient.” DADDY: “I’m not entirely sure that you should be eating over my 1936 copy of Bill Brandt’s ‘The English at Home, Malachi.” MALACHI: “Oh, don’t worry Daddy, I’ll wipe my paws well before and after eating.” DADDY: “Very well, Malachi.” *Sits and waits.* MALACHI: “What are you doing, Daddy?” DADDY: “I’m being patient, Malachi. I’m waiting for you to start, and then finish eating, so I can have my book.” MALACHI: “Well, I do hope you won’t mind waiting for a while, Daddy. You know I like to savour my dinner, and my dessert.” DADDY: “I see you dinner of Beef Wellington and bread and butter, washed down with some beer. But where is your dessert, Malachi?” MALACHI: “I hadn’t thought about it before now, but since you mention it, do you have any Bourbon biscuits?” The theme for “Smile on Saturday” for the 7th of August is “begins with B”, where the challenge is to photograph one or more items starting with the letter B. When I saw the theme, of course I thought of my bears, as anyone who follows my photostream will be aware that I love teddy bears! However, I wanted to try and get a few more things beginning with the letter B in my shot. If you follow my photostream, you may also know that I collect 1:12 size miniatures, some of which have featured in past themes in the “Smile on Saturday” group. These miniatures gave me the solution. Since Malachi, my miniature 1:12 size bear has featured in several of “Looking Close on Friday’s” themes I thought it was time to show him off in “Smile on Saturday” in the “begins with B” theme this week! Malachi the BEAR is sitting on my 1936 first edition BOOK of BILL BRANDT’s ‘The English at Home’, reading a BOOK, whilst enjoying a dinner of BEEF, BREAD with BUTTER and a BOTTLE of BEER. That seems to be a few things that “begin with the letter B”. Whether you call this a moment of madness, whimsy or both, I do hope that you like my choice, and that this photograph makes you smile! Malachi I acquired in mid-March 2020 (and mid Coronavirus) from a wonderful Melbourne stalwart toy shop: Dafel Dolls and Bears, when I went looking for a present for one of my goddaughters. Malachi is designed by Mary and hand-made by Wendy Joy in Australia. He has articulated arms and legs, and an extremely sweet face. Malachi was the name he came with, written by hand on his little tag. Malachi is reading a 1:12 size miniature book made by the British miniature artisan Ken Blythe. Most of the books I own that he has made may be opened to reveal authentic printed interiors. ‘The Twins ABC’ is one such book and you can even read some of the words inside and see the black and white illustrations quite clearly. I have quite a large representation of Ken Blythe’s work in my collection. What might amaze you even more is that all Ken Blythe’s books are authentically replicated 1:12 scale miniatures of real volumes. In this case ‘The Twins ABC’ is an Edwardian children’s book published in 1901 and published by Liberty and Company. To create something so authentic to the original in such detail and so clearly, really does make this a miniature artisan piece. Ken Blythe’s work is highly sought after by miniaturists around the world today and command high prices at auction for such tiny pieces, particularly now that he is no longer alive. I was fortunate enough to acquire pieces from Ken Blythe prior to his death about four years ago. His legacy will live on with me and in my photography which I hope will please his daughter. I hope that you enjoy this glimpse at just one of hundreds of his books that I own, and that it makes you smile with its sheer whimsy! The Beef Wellington carved on the plate, the plate of beef, vegetables and roast potatoes, the gravy boat, the cottage loaf of bread and the butter wrapped in foil have all been made in England by hand from clay by former chef turned miniature artisan, Frances Knight. Her work is incredibly detailed and realistic, and she says that she draws her inspiration from her years as a chef and her imagination. The glass of beer and the bottle of strong ale are vintage pieces I acquired from Kathleen Knight’s Dollhouse Shop in England. Both the bottle and the glass of beer are made of real glass and the label on the bottle is authentic. Malachi sits on my first edition 1936 imprint of the rare ‘The English at Home’, filled with black and white illustrations by the famous British photographer, Bill Brandt (1904 – 1983). It was his first published book, and many did not survive the Blitz on London just a few years after this book was published. It shows the contrasts between upper-class and working-class life in Britain at the time.

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  • Published 10.19.21
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