I think that what we bought the other day might surprise you.
I know some of you had an idea about what it might be, but believe me, I gave no hints in yesterday’s post. We bought something that I might not have noticed had it not been for Don, who pointed it out to me. As we stood there and stared, we found we couldn’t take our eyes away from it. We’d leave that particular area in the shop and then we’d circle back, together and individually. We took photos.
We knew right where it would go, where it had to go.
There it is, above the piano. It’s a chromolithograph of the Aquitania, circa 1913, one of three ships in the Cunard Line, ships that crossed the Atlantic Ocean in the heyday of transatlantic travel.
These chromolithographs were given to travel agencies to hang on the wall, extolling the wonders of ocean voyages. This one is in particularly good shape. The Aquitania was launched in 1913 and was part of Cunard’s ‘grand trio’ of ocean liners, along with the SS Mauretania and the SS Lusitania. The Aquitania’s nickname was ‘Ship Beautiful.” It was in service for 36 years and held the record for the longest serving Express Liner until into the 21st Century when the Queen Elizabeth 2 became the longest serving liner. The ship also served in both World Wars.
We both love the ocean and Don spent a lot of time on the Pacific Ocean in his youth. The ocean still calls to him. There’s something glorious about the vivid red of the funnels, the choppy seas, the smoke pouring from the funnels, the cloudy skies. I’ve tried to capture its beauty in these photographs.
We can’t take our eyes off it. It’s also highly collectible and a good investment, but that’s not really why we bought it. We bought it because we love it and we wanted it to be a part of our home.
You understand, I know you do. Something touches you, you can’t stop thinking about it. You know, deep within you, that you have to find a way to make it yours.
It is made for this spot above the piano. For the first time, the piano makes sense where it is. I’ve always had a bit of a problem with this massive piece in our little living room, with its dark mahogany finish. It takes up space, and though I love it very much, I struggled with how to make it work. Somehow, this lithograph with its intense colors and its dark frame, makes it all come together.
Some rearranging of the McCoy singing birds and the McCoy vase had to be done. I took away everything but the birds and the vase, then Don and I eyed the whole thing and this is what we ended up with.
Two on one side.
One on the other.
I love the way the lithograph changes depending on the light. It gets dark and moody at times. Then a burst of sun through our windows changes it yet again.
We are more than a little in love.
By the way, the Miss Keyboard sign has been moved to its new home, above the picture window in the den. I can’t get a good shot of it yet because of the light from the window, but I’ll work on it. I was a bit worried about where we would put it, but it actually looks even better there than it did above the piano.
There you go.