This section is for those of you who just want to dig deeper into the historical side of Panache’s concept and the town of Niagara-on-the-Lake. You will find here details about the artwork that was chosen to embellish the walls of our place, a very interesting section about a 19th century Londoner hatter and his work, as well as links that will lead you to some historically inclined places in our region. Enjoy!
As you probably noticed already, there is quite a historical theme running throughout the house and this web site especially through the artwork. Each picture has been meticulously chosen for its subject, its beauty, its creation story. Here is a brief explanation of each one to help you start your research…
King George IV
King George IV, while he was Prince Regent, signed and ratified the Treaty of Ghent, which ended the War of 1812 with the United States. King George IV led a very extravagant lifestyle. He was a patron of new forms of leisure, style and taste. In addition to encouraging the works of both Jane Austen and Sir Walter Scott, as well as making the controversial purchase of the Elgin Marbles, he promoted England's Regency style of architecture.
To complement the Regent room, we found a copy of the original manuscript of ‘’Lady Suzan’’ handwritten by Jane Austen herself possibly in 1794; a little gem!
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, has been one of the leading military and political figures of the 19th century. During the Hundred Days in 1815, he commanded the allied army which, together with a Prussian army, defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo. This victory led to the signature of the Treaty of Paris on November 20th 1815. Wellesley's battle record is exemplary, ultimately participating in some 60 battles throughout his military career.
Near the door of the Wellington room, you will find a copy of a collection of letters handwritten by the Duke himself to Miss Anna Maria Jenkins between 1833 and 1850.
Queen Victoria took the throne of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on June 20th 1837. She was 18 years old. The Victorian era, which coincides with her reign of almost 64 years was a time of peace, prosperity and refined sensibilities as well as a period of industrial, cultural, political, scientific, and military change within the United Kingdom. The beginnings of Canada as we know it today happened during her reign with the passing of The British North America Acts of 1867 which is the first of a series of Acts at the very core of the constitution of our country.
Near the door of the Victoria room, you will find in a display two copies of manuscripts coming straight from the Victorian era. First, ‘’Alice's Adventures under Ground’’, handwritten and illustrated by Lewis Carroll himself in 1864, and also ‘’A Christmas Carol’’ by Charles Dickens, completed in 1843.
The top hat theme
As we were searching for a good concept the Top Hat seemed to be coming back to us over and over again. We just liked the sophistication and historical side of the image, but I needed more…a reason for that theme to be… and I found it in ‘’Lloyd’s Treatise on Hats with Twenty-four engravings’’ published in 1819. The period was right and the work was fascinating and funny too!
Here is an excerpt on ‘’The Wellington’’:
‘’So called from the great Hero; not for the popularity of the name alone, but for the reason that such a Hat was actually worn by him; and, in fact, it is a shape, uncommonly well suited both to his face and person; the former being a sort of long oval, and the latter without the least appearance of bulk: indeed a ponderous body, tall or short, with a round, or what is vulgarly termed a pudding face, cannot judiciously shelter itself under a Wellington. This Hat is not only particularly becoming the person of his Grace, but there is that in its appearance which is strongly characteristic of his great mind; for, to an excellently formed crown of about seven inches deep, overspreading an inch at top, there is united a fine arched brim of small dimensions, taking a smartish sweep of the fourth part of a circle, and when placed on the head somewhat a la Francais, carries with it an uncommon degree of brilliancy and fire: and the fore and hind parts terminating in a close point, clearly shows that, whether advancing or retreating, this modern CAESAR is always sure to carry his point.’’
Follow that link and discover that 19th century Londoner hatter.
Niagara-on-the-Lake, history at every corner!
Our little town is so filled with history, we are personally still discovering and learning about it every day! As you wander through the streets of the Old Town, you can feel the historical significance of your surroundings. There is so much to learn!