Saturday, June 04, 2011

Photon Bows.

Making Sense of the Past.

In a previous post I wrote this,
"This journey is swathed in mystery, and the path is littered with error.
Each trip a lesson, a rabbit hole of pleasure and pain, of imprecision, of seeking cabbages in an orchard of darkness.
A journey of past life, of love, of obsession, of Passion."

The journey referred to, being my obsessive study of the works of CRM-MMM. When I was producing the cover of the Menu Card by MMM. I said that I couldn't do it justice because I didn't understand it.

A little more light has seeped through the melodious curtain of time and cast it's magic photons upon my retina.

The front graphic, the part of the Menu I covered, shows a Lady holding a rose. Part of her dress appears to be a bow, with twins tails decorated with what might be buttons or something else in the shape of a 'C'.
This I did not understand, but simply drew what I thought I saw. The end page of the original menu, which I have not covered, has what I thought to be a pagoda style graphic, which again, I did not understand.
When fellow Blogger togoh commented on the menu Graphic post, I went back to look at MMM's original, and then noticed the 'CCC' at the bottom of the 'pagoda.' This tied in nicely with the possible 'CCC' on the front of the graphic, but only gave more questions.
Then understanding dawned on my simple brain. The 'pagoda' was a stylised bow with tails, the tails bearing the initials CCC for Catherine Cranston Cochrane.
The front of the menu cover must be showing a tearoom waitress, and part of the uniform must be a bow with tails having CCC embroidered on them.
There is only one picture I know of showing CCC tearoom waitresses' , these Ladies Shown below, being employed in the Room de luxe of the Willow Tea Rooms in Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow.
CRM is reputed to have designed these uniforms, although it is unknown to me if alternative uniform designs were made for the 1911 Exhibition Tea Rooms.
Unfortunately this is not conclusive proof, but I think it goes fairly close to being correct. This may have been quite apparent to those more knowledgeable than I. It seems astonishingly simple when one knows, and complete darkness when one does not.
My brain and I live in darkness.

Sans Update 6th June 2011.
Reading Perilla Kinchin's excellent book' Tea And Taste, The Glasgow Tea Rooms 1875-1975'
she mentions 'elegant pagoda-roofed cake stands' being used in the White Cockade Tea Room at the 1911 Exhibition.
I had to go back and take a look at the only picture of the White Cockade I have, and sure enough, there they were.

This may go some way to explain why MMM stylised the bow as a pagoda. Possibly.

Sans Update 8th August 2011.
The CCC motif was used on light fittings for the Chinese Room CRM designed for Kate Cranston's Ingram Street tearoom in 1911. This may, or may not, be significant.


Blogger togoh said...

does this tearoom actually still exist?

btw..thanks for the link :)

3:12 PM  
Blogger Sans Pantaloons said...

togoh, my pleasure. Yes, the tearoom on Sauchiehall Street stills exists. After CCC retired and sold up it spent a few years as a department store selling clothes and bridal fashions, but thankfully the new owners appreciated the decor and didn't destroy it. It was restored to a tearoom around 1983, and you can have tea & cakes if you visit.
It has a Henderson's Jewellery store on the ground floor, with the tearooms up the stairs.
The website is:
The new owners also opened a tearoom in Buchanan Street, Glasgow, constructed in the Mackintosh style, that they helpfully called the Willow Tearooms as well, but this is not an original Mackintosh tearoom.
There is some video here, that I hope loads for you.

5:26 PM  
Blogger togoh said...

ohh.. they're both in glasgow..

..i'll go on a trip to scotland in autumn, but we'll just visit edinburgh.. that's too bad

7:12 AM  
Blogger Sans Pantaloons said...

togoh, Edinburgh is a beautiful city with lots to see. The International festival is on 12 Aug till 4 Sept.

8:13 PM  

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