Thursday, November 3, 2011

At the Baker Street Flat

Another warm and cozy thing to do is to curl up next to the fire and READ Sherlock Holmes. Especially because much of what Holmes and Watson do is hang out at the Baker Street flat, being all warm and cozy themselves — smokin' pipes and sittin' in their comfy cozy chairs.

Illustrations below by Sidney Paget, from 1892.

"The pipe was still between his lips."

"Then he stood before the fire."

"I found Sherlock Holmes half asleep."

"His eyes bent upon the glow of the fire."

"Taking up a glowing cinder with the tongs."

10 comments:

Maurice Mitchell said...

I love Sherlock Holmes novels. I actually have a collection of six books some of which have these same illustrations. They're beautiful. Good find.

Thomas Haller Buchanan said...

Maurice, isn't it amazing that as you read the novels it is so easy to imagine Basil Rathbone saying and acting out the dialogue?

Bob said...

I love Holmes and the Paget illustrations. What do you think of the American drawings done by Frederick Dorr Steele?

Thomas Haller Buchanan said...

I think Steele's illustrative work is solid and excellent.

E.G.Palmer said...

Excellent, you rock Thom!

E.G.Palmer said...

Did you notice there are two specific chairs that appear in these? Holmes chair, and Watson's chair.
In image 2, Watson's chair has rear legs that turn in. Holmes is sitting in this chair in image 4. But the chair Holmes is sitting in, in image 3,and image 5 has a back that cants back further,and rear legs the also angle back and out.

Do you suppose that Paget had these chairs in his studio in real life,and used them with models portraying Holmes and Watson?

I dig period furniture!

Thomas Haller Buchanan said...

I'm guessing that's exactly what Paget had and did. I totally would. You just don't make up stuff like that. Ya gotta wonder who his models were for the Baker Street boys.

Tororoshiru said...

I also love how Paget portrayed with care both Holmes and Watson's idiosyncratic body language: insisting on Watson's constant composure, while Holmes acts distinctly bipolar, looking either more relaxed or more tense than Watson is...

Thomas Haller Buchanan said...

Excellent point, Tororoshiru, and it's fascinating to remember that Paget wasn't reacting to decades of exposure to portrayals of the characters—he was helping to SET the standards for decades to come.

E.G.Palmer said...

And he did just that,didn't he?

I always try and clear my mind when going back to re-read classic books.
Characters like Holmes become cliched to modern readers, but there was a time before they were familiar, and that's the mind set I like to try and recreate when I read them. Get rid of all the accumulated expectations and ideas and try and see them through the eyes of the times they were written in.