Sunday, 23 January 2011

"Chapeau haut de forme"

Just showing off!!!  It was a 365er who gave me that information.  What we call a "Top Hat" or "Topper" is called a "chapeau haut de forme" in France.
And poor Eliot suffered the indignity of having to wear it ... 'wear it' is rather a misnomer ... it was all I could do to take two shots of him with it, and one of them was me holding onto it to stop it from being tossed off.
 In a recent blog there was a statue of William III wearing a tricorne.  The top hat is the successor to that and began to become common in the eighteenth century.
A development in shape into 'stovepipe' is associated with Abraham Lincoln.  Rumour has it that he kept important letters inside his hat!

 In the 1850s Prince Albert began to wear the top hat and by then it was often made of silk plush rather than 'stuff' or beaver fur.   It was about the same time that the bowler hat developed and became the more common head wear for the middle and lower classes.
Nowadays the top hat is usually worn only with morning dress or as a fashion statement ... or used as an accessory in stage magic tricks!
 Eliot doesn't like this kind of messing ... he doesn't even like the camera!  So there's usually some form of distraction required to get a half-decent picture.  Often it's taken with the left hand while some treat is being concealed in the right in order to get his attention.
 I never become tired of trying to capture his image ...
... though for the casual passer-by it is possible to have 'too much of a good thing!'
I'd brought a camera to church this evening but there never seemed to be a good moment to begin to take pictures.  It was the annual service held during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and all the churches in south Belfast were well represented.  It was a simple celebration of our shared faith followed by a welcome cup of tea or coffee.  While the words of the hymns were contemporary the tunes were familiar in all our traditions so the singing was good.  Lots of the clergy robed and processed together ... a grand evening.

Eternal Giver of love and power, 
your Son Jesus Christ has sent us into all the world
to preach the gospel of his kingdom.
Confirm us in this mission,
and help us to live the good news we proclaim;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen. 

Book of Common Prayer


ROBERTA said...

I'm loving that first photo - he looks like a 'dapper dan'....very fred estaire-like:)

Kelly Smith-Moore said...

Such a handsome boy!

Loey said...

Aw Eliot! You do look so handsome :)
These photos are just wonderful.
He always has such animation in his face - thank you Elizabeth!

Anita said...

Eliot's adorable.He reminds me so much of my collie, Jake. What fun both of you have!

Freda said...

Lovely to meet you and Elliot - where is his story?