Saturday, June 6, 2009

Useful Umbrellas and Parasols (Monday 8 June)

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Umbrella Chandelier at Escher Museum, The Hague

Though the difference between a parasol and an umbrella may seem confusing today, it was absolutely clear and unquestionable to victorian society. A woman who carried an umbrella was admitting publicly that she could not afford to own or hire a carriage for transportation when it was raining. But a woman with a parasol was most assuredly a lady. The main reason for the popularity of the parasol was the admiration for a fair complexion. It was more than a sign of beauty, it proved to the world that it was a woman, who didn't have to work outdoors like 'common' females did. Because they were so precious and so expensive, parasols became one of the most popular gifts for a lover to give his sweetheart. Like jewelry, they were not a proper present from a young man unless his intentions were serious, and would not be accepted by a lady unless she intended to accept the giver, as well. at the same time like the fan and the lacy handkerchief, the parasol was both an object with a practical purpose and an indispensable aid to the subtle art of flirtation. It could mysteriously shadow a lady's expression, dramatize her sparkling eyes and smile, and even camouflage her imperfections. Lady Hamilton, Lord Nelson's notorious, no-longer-young mistress, always favored pink and pink-lined parasols, because the rosy light they cast on her face made her look more youthful. (exerpt taken from 'Flirtatious Fashions', by Kristina Harris, in Victorian Decorating & Lifestyles, June/July 1998)

Pink Parasol for photo prop or decoration from One Of A Kind Maybe Two $30US
19th Century Ivory Jadite Folding Parasol from Archivia $149US

Tea Shrine in Tin (outside shown) by Winona Cookie $45US

Vintage Goya Framed Print on Board from Art Zodiac $6US

The Umbrella Tea Towel by Tansley and Tansley $15US

The Borrowed Umbrella (no snow) 10x10 digital print from A Rabbit Girl $20US

Goth Lolita Spiderweb Parasol by Parasols By Tamie $75US

Saved for a Rainy Day Ruffle Pants by Bettsy Kingston $20US

Getting in on the act here at my place -


And for something a little less genteel an article from E How on 'Using an Umbrella for Self Defense'!

Many of the tactics to use an umbrella for self-defense are the same as those used with a cane or stick. One advantage of carrying an umbrella versus a stick is that you won't have police officers eyeing you suspiciously because it is not considered a weapon at first glance. You will also have the element of surprise with a would-be attacker. Read on to learn how to use an umbrella for self-defense.

Step 1 Purchase a long umbrella. Choose one with a hook type handle and a metal tip at the end.

Step 2 Grip the middle with the forward hand facing up and the back hand facing down to use an umbrella for self defense. If you are thrusting from the right side of your body, your left hand will be in front; the opposite is true if thrusting from the left side.

Step 3 Drag the tip of the umbrella across the assailant's stomach and pull back all in one quick motion.

Step 4 Follow up by thrusting the tip into the chin. You then have several options if the fight is not over.

Step 5 Drag the tip down the attacker's face. Then swing the handle up and strike the face.

Step 6 Finish by thrusting the middle of the umbrella, with both hands at the ends, up into the throat.

Step 7 Become familiar with your umbrella. Practice your moves just as you would practice target shooting if you owned a gun. Then instinct will take over if you are ever in a situation where you must use an umbrella for self defense.

24 comments:

Lisa said...

as always something to marvel- love the Madonna- she needs a bit of protection from the continual crap the reigns down upon her head......beautiful Chrisy xx

Diary of a Young Designer said...

prety cool! I didn't know those neat facts! btw, love the lolita gothic umbrella.

xo
Sophie

Fantasy Whispers - Vania Cruz-Perez said...

Love all of the umbrellas! My favorite is the 19th Century Ivory Jadite Folding Parasol....just lovely.

Vania

Alicia @ boylerpf said...

I love all the meanings from the Victorian days that each item carried and you certainly added a new one to my repertoire that I didn't know! So very, very interesting!

Audrey said...

Great umbrella finds!! I've been to the Hague, but not the museum. Of course that was 20 some years ago.

Winona Cookie said...

Great selection! I just love your blog, you have fascinating taste. Thanks so much for including the Tea Shrine :-).

Diana Evans said...

oh how cool!!! that chandelier...is so neat!!! I think I have to make myself one of those...wow!!! and the undies are so cute too....

cool finds.!!!!

Susan Williamson said...

This is a really magical post ...both your words and the images you chose. I've never really thought about umbrellas before, but now I know I will never think about them in the same way again. Thank you for that.

Hey Harriet said...

Well I had no idea about the history of parasols and umbrellas! Gotta love those ruffle pants! And your last pic is magic. What a display!

Ali said...

nice brollys! ;)
I especially like the bear print.

BettsyKingston said...

Oh dear, I can't stop thinking about the chandelier, what can't I have one!!!!.......and live in Europe during the summer........ with my parasols...

Finki (jay) said...

I love the way you see things, such a unique collection of fabulous umbrella/parasol imagery, I love the 'a rabbit girl' print the best.

Alexandra or Sasja said...

I LOVE the lamp!

Jetta's Nest said...

Crumbs...I just bought myself a new umbrella the other day too. I wonder if I sew some frills on it and use it on sunny days too if I could pass it off as a parasol :)

Thanks for enlightening me!

NODtoMOD said...

i LOVE the chandelier! all are fabulous! xo

grrl+dog said...

I always wanted to know the difference, since I adore vintage umbrellas and will pay whatever to aquire one. Thanks for the handy tips.

Sam said...

Oh Chrisy! That Chandelier!!! The Goya!! Can I say this is my favourite post? ...until the next lovely one you do - which will be tomorrow no doubt!! I found the piece on parasols and their usage fascinating and am just about to read the unbrella as self defense! Excellent stuff! :)

Susan Tuttle said...

Such a darling photo of the baby!:)

Thanks for all the umbrella tips!

Snowbrush said...

A great post. Thanks so much for teaching me a few things, both about genteel society AND self-defense for the meaner streets.

Gabbi said...

What a wonderful post! I love the look of parasols... and never wanted one more than now. :)

The Umbrella Chandelier at Escher Museum photograph is amazing. The little sparkles completely bring it to life!

Lemon Shortbread said...

great feature, I've learnt something new! Also the umbrella chandelier is so amazing!

Mimi said...

I want that umbrella chandelier!!! Wow, great post I think I will ask my uncle if he can create this for me.

xo

Sam said...

Hi again Chisy! I've given your beautiful blog an award!

Hot Fudge said...

Thanks for the great tips on the use of an umbrella as a weapon. Now I can take my harmless parasol on board when we leave on our trip in August and no one will even bat an eyelid. Can't you just see a bunch of little old ladies with their Umbrellas of Mass Destruction? Love it!