According to a British psychologist yesterday was Blue Monday or the saddest day of the year. His reasons: Christmas and New Years are in the past so homes are now bare of decorations and resolutions have already been broken; December’s credit card statements have appeared; the weather is less than hospitable here in the Northern Hemisphere; SAD has taken hold of many people; and we are only halfway through the longest (or what seems like the longest) month of the year.
I’m not sure how valid any of that is but I do have to admit that the house seems a little dreary without the decorations and over a week of rain, sleet, snow, fog, ice and cloud make it even more so. However there is a hard and fast rule in our house – the decorations, which go up on St Lucia Day, come down the day after Epiphany. As Laurent was taking them down on January 7th I took pictures of several pieces that decorate tables and window sills here on Water Street at Christmastide .
In one of the arcades between Getreidegasse and Universitätsplatz in Salzburg’s Old Town there is a small shop that sells pewter figurines created by the Wilhelm-Schweizer Company. On each of our Whitsundtide visits Laurent picked up a pewter piece that caught his fancy.
These first three are definitely Christmas decorations.. The tree is approximately 10 inches in height and the figures just a little over five.
Wilhelm-Schweizer has been producing individually cast and hand-painted pewter figurines since 1796 and is still owned by the Schweizer family.
Though their Christmas and Easter collections are their most popular lines – particularly with tourists – the Bavarian folkloric figures are also charming. The little Chimney Sweep does have a New Year connection. In several Eastern European countries there is the tradition of touching a button on a sweep’s jacket for good luck in the coming year. And I suppose the clock seller does have a connection, howbeit tenuous, to New Year’s Eve.
Of course we took a look at their recent catalogue and saw at least two more zinnfiguren that we’d love to add to the small group. Well a return to the Whitsun Festival and Salzburg, if not planned, is at least on the bucket list.
The word for January 17th is:
Pewter pyoo͞′tər: [noun]
1.1 Any of numerous silver-gray alloys of tin with various amounts of antimony, copper, and sometimes lead, used widely for fine kitchen utensils and tableware. The normal ratio is 4 parts tin to 1 part e.g. lead.
1.2 Pewter articles considered as a group.
1.3 A material made of calcined tin, used in polishing marble.
Early 14c., peutre, from Old French peautre (12c.) and Medieval Latin peutrum, from Vulgar Latin *peltrum “pewter”.
6 thoughts on “Odds and Sods Around Our House”
The Christmas ones are particularly lovely, but I like the little clock seller too. Now I’m off to browse the catalogue link!
Celebrate Carnivale, throw pop some purple and gold on the tree and some beads and you’re festive till February⚜️
I hope somebody gets Santa a safety bicycle for Christmas. Those penny farthings are death machines.
Antimony? Lead? Who thought these were good things to fashion kitchenware from?
These are all beautiful. I would be picking something up every time, too
Rules are meant to be broken, if you miss them, make new rules 🙂 As you know we don’t celebrate Christmas back in Turkey, so I used to put up the tree and decorations for the new year around mid-December and take them down at the end of January. After coming here, I started decorating earlier but not left the habit of leaving them up until the end of January. Now I feel festive for longer and looking for new holidays to lengthen the period 🙂
I once had a friend who held an annual party right about now for this reason. It was great time. I am saddened when I was no longer invited.