Recent blog posts

London organ-grinding tweets for October 2017

Lukewarm barrel organ-ish ephemera from Hackney, London and thereabouts. (2017/11/01)

So, would you rather visit Tory party conference or the 1660 Foire de Saint-Germain?

Given the choice (we believe in choice). Featuring castanets, monkeys, marionettes, and human and tortoise castles. (2017/10/03)

London organ-grinder tweets for September 2017

Barrel/street organ stuff. (2017/10/01)

Napoleon II’s Pulcinella toy & the Empire’s collapse

A tragic gallery dealing with 1832: contemporary/posterior mise-en-scène? Plus images of Napoleon as Polichinelle. (2017/09/29)

On the French penchant for inventing things already in existence elsewhere

François Dominique Séraphin, Bourbon favourite and reputedly the father of ombres chinoises (shadow puppetry), began operating 15 years later than is generally thought, and may have copied his techniques from an itinerant Italian or a London Alsatian. Featuring the memoirs of the valet to the later Louis XVII, early descriptions of the delights of the renovated Palais Royal (including a pygmy show), jolly old Baron Grimm on the lamentable state of French opera, shadow plays, and marionettes, and William Beckford's favourite designer of theatrical perversions. (2017/09/12)