Monday 12 August 2013


Welcome to the latest addition to my DAZZLING DECADES series... the 1910s.

I've called this decade the TOPSY-TURVY TENS, as this really was a time of stark contrasts. History has portrayed the early 1910s as an idyllic and prosperous time in Britain, with long, golden Edwardian summers and the Empire at its peak. But in actual fact, that only tells half the story.

For a start, Edward VII died in 1910, so it wasn't even still the Edwardian era! George V succeded the throne to kick off a tumultuous decade. His Coronation in 1911 was followed a year later by the tragedy of the Titanic. Social unrest was now bubbling away amongst the working- classes and the Suffragettes were in full swing, with Emily Davison dying for the cause at the Epsom Derby in 1913.

Art was also finding new and exciting boundaries to explore, as British artists were embracing the new art movements celebrating technological advances with Futurism, Cubism and Vorticism. But the decade will always and sadly be remembered by the Great War.

The chain of events in Europe led Britain into war on the 4th August 1914 and would change this country forever. As the turmoil of the trenches unfolded, Britain's social order was changing. Class barriers broke down and women were finding new freedoms and responsibilities.

The price of these changes however was tragic. Names like the Somme, Ypres and Passchendaele are forever entrenched into the British psyche, for the senseless slaughter witnessed there.

Finally peace came on the 11th November 1918, and an exhausted country came together once more for the Peace Celebrations of 1919 and to look forward to a brighter future.

Once again my collage is made up of items from my own collections. So although you might not get all the national events mentioned, I believe it gives a very personal feel for the decade. I've bought pieces along the way especially for the collage, including the lovely The Play theatre magazines and the 1911 Coronation Medal. I did find a Titanic postcard at an antique market in London, but it was £100. The ArtPix funds couldn't quite stretch that far!! I did though decide to represent the ship as an icon in the background.

I didn't want the war to dominate the collage, especially as I've already done a special 1914-18 collage, so I've sparingly used a few items. Notably the Christmas 1914 tin and an ID Card, which most people probably won't realise were in use at the time. I was also very pleased to use my Lord Kitchener postcard, which I've had for years!

I love the amazing Southend & Westcliff Graphic newspapers from 1910 and 1912, including an advert for what was on at the Southend Hippodrome! There are some cracking adverts for Vim, Robin Starch and Eno's Fruit Salt. Theatre and movie stars are represented by George Robey and Lillian Gish (thanks to her namesake Carya Gish for this postcard!). And also Gladys Cooper, which is an amazing press photo, that still has the crop marks added by a designer, for when it was used in a newspaper or magazine.

There's also a handbook for Torquay from 1912, a fabulous bound copy of Punch from 1917, pennies, farthing, stamps, postcards, an unusual French cookery magazine from 1914 and a Happy New Year card from 1911. My favourite find for the collage though was the fantastic sheet music cover for the ditty 'Girl of Mine'. An American song from 1919, that has a gorgeous image of a woman smiling. See what else you can spot!

I'll finish up by mentioning the two Peace Medals that were distributed as part of the Peace Celebrations of July 1919, as the country bade farewell to the truly TOPSY-TURVY TENS...

Below are just a few of the items I've used, giving you a closer look!
Fabulous cover of The Play magazine from 1918.
Dashing young blade on the cover of Southend's local newspaper of 1912!
A peak at who's treading the boards that week at the Hippodrome!
Cute postcard of the Great War from 1917.
Probably the most iconic face of the 1910s, Lord Kitchener.

Cracking advert for Vim!
Front and back of a Coronation Medal for George V from 1911. 
Struck by the makers of Elect Cocoa, no less!
Stunning press photo of the actress Gladys Cooper. 
Check out the cropmarks, from when it was used for print.
Simply splendid American sheet music cover from 1919.
Finishing up with a Peace Medal for the good folk of Streatham in July 1919.

I would love to do a collage of the 1900s, but I really only have a few items I could use so far. I might also have to wait until the 1990s are considered vintage before tackling that decade!!

The full set of my DAZZLING DECADES is now.....
EGO 80s

For a peak at them, have a look on my website:!pix/vstc1=decades

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