The Carrickfergus Model School in County Antrim, Ireland (now Northern Ireland) is seen here on the 19th of July, 1907. The school opened in the Victorian era, and is still running today.
Just a little bit too much?!
Australia’s National Gallery, which is here in Canberra, has had some pretty amazing “blockbusters” recently (however I’m worried about the new director coming in soon).
The last big one I went to see was the Versailles exhibition, where So Much stuff from the Palace of Versailles, and so many historically significant pieces, were brought out from France for a few months.
Now, we have the Cartier exhibition – which is ending in a few days. We went to see it on Saturday.
And – wow. For starters I can’t believe that there was no security of any sort when there were billions of dollars of diamonds and other precious jewels on display.
They weren’t just any diamonds either; these were pieces from Britain’s royal collection, things the Queen wears, tiaras from royal weddings (e.g. the one Kate Middleton wore for hers), and crowns worn by Queen Victoria’s daughters. And these were pieces from Hollywood: jewels that belonged to Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly etc. There was even a clock belonging to a US President.
These heiresses were seriously rich!
It was also fascinating to see how much money was coming from Gilded Age New York. So many obscenely enormous sets of jewels belonged to the American heiresses who married into the British aristocracy – just like in shows like Downton Abbey, and in all those books I read.
There were also other things, like costumes from the Ballet Russes (the NGA bought most of the world-famous company’s costumes many years ago, before anybody else thought to), and pieces belonging to Victorian/Edwardian opera star Dame Nellie Melba.
I was told that two hours wasn’t long enough to see everything, and I thought that was ridiculous: after all how many diamonds could there possibly be?
It turns out two hours was nowhere near long enough.
I’ve seen crown jewel collections in a number of countries in Europe. I’ve been whisked past a handful of crowns at the Tower of London on a travellator a few times. Nothing I’ve seen anywhere else is close to what is on display in Canberra at the moment.
This is how close we got to things – even with a weekend crowd. This is Kate Middleton’s wedding tiara:
I’m really hoping the new director realises what an amazing gallery we have here. His “vision” for the gallery’s future sounds, frankly, like garbage. I want more Versailles and Cartier and Impressionists exhibitions, please. Not “homegrown modern art”!
The seaside resort of Hornsea in East Riding of Yorkshire, England was devastated by storms in March of 1906. The timber defences along the coastline were destroyed, and much of the beach was swept away.
Around 1907 work began on a new seawall. It can be seen completed in the second image, taken in 1910.
Rubble at Townsville Grammar School. X
Cyclone Leonta hit the north of the state of Queensland in Australia on the 9th of March, 1903.
The ruined Burns, Philp and Company’s Bulk Store in Townsville. X
One of the most damaging storms recorded in the tropical region at the time, the storm lasted for around twelve hours.
Townsville’s Anglican Cathedral lost its roof. X
Significant destruction was recorded in Townsville, with buildings such as schools and churches suffering major damage.
Destruction at Townsville Hospital. X
At least fourteen lives were lost in the storm, twelve in Townsville and two inland in the town of Charters Towers.
The damaged Australian Joint Stock Bank in Bowen. X
The Hall in Country Life. 28th September 1901.
On the 24th of October, 2004, Nocton Hall – a Grade II listed building in Lincolnshire, England – was gutted by fire for a second time. The Hall is the former home of Frederick John Robinson, 1st Earl of Ripon, who served as British Prime Minister in the 1820s.
An investigation concluded the destruction was caused by arson, but so far nobody has been arrested.
In addition to being home to a number of prominent residents, the Hall was also used as a location to treat wounded soldiers in both the First and Second World Wars.
The current building is a nineteenth-century construction that was built to replace the original sixteenth-century house, which was also destroyed by fire.
Today, the ruined house stands empty while its future is debated.