Thursday, February 19, 2009
Kate Greenaway & Tea
The British artist Kate Greenaway (1846-1901) is someone I first got to know in the pages of the old Victoria magazine back when it was in the habit of shining a light on women artists and writers. Greenaway's drawings were quite lovely, and when I got into crazy quilting in the early '90s and began to study the earliest examples, I learned that vintage crazy quilts would often incorporate a Kate Greenaway drawing as an embroidery motif.
Yesterday I attended my first Collins and Wood tag sale of the year, and though I left with several goodies, my favorite find was this tiny (4x4-inch) and thrifty (just $1) copy of "Kate Greenaway's Birthday Book," in which I was surprised to find several little tidbits related to teatime. (But why should I be surprised that a famous British artist drew ladies at tea?)
An inscription tells me the book was given as a gift for Christmas 1963, so it's at least that old, but I'm more impressed that the publisher is Frederick Warne and Co. If the name seems familiar, that may be because you've seen "Miss Potter" (which had lots of great tea scenes) and recall that this company published the Beatrix Potter books. Beatrix Potter, Kate Greenaway ... it's so nice when the historic ladies I admire all seem to share a love for teatime!