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Queen Charlotte’s Birthday Ball, 2020

Queen Charlotte

The Queen Charlotte’s Ball is named after Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, a German princess who, as the wife of George III, was the Queen consort of Great Britain, Ireland, and Hanover. The first ball was hosted in 1780 by George III in honour of Queen Charlotte’s birthday. The Queen stood next to a giant birthday cake and debutantes curtsied to her. Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz funded a London women’s hospital, later named the Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital, with funds raised from the ball. The ball, which continued to take place annually in celebration of the queen’s birthday, became the premier debutante ball of the London Season.

Join us in the continuing celebration of this patroness of the arts at Montgomery’s Inn on Saturday, January 18, 2020.

For more information on this event and to purchase tickets, click here!

Belgic Shako Featured Image01

The Belgic Shako

Part 2 of the History of the British Infantry Shako

By 1812, the stovepipe shako had become the ugly stepchild.  Britain’s contact with other European armies, both allies and enemies, highlighted the lacklustre visual appeal of the cap.  Other nations had caps festooned with cords and tassels and seemed to dramatize the height of the soldier to greater advantage.  In the final analysis, Britain adopted a cap closely patterned after the Portuguese “barretina” design.  Ironically, at the same time the English were adding cords to their headwear, the French were abolishing them. As usual, no improvement in protection to the head was made by the design change.

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Glengarry Light Infantry shako, visor up and down positions shown

The Stovepipe Shako

Part 1 of the History of the British Infantry Shako

Since the middle of the seventeenth century, soldiers had been wearing broad brimmed felt hats.  The decline of armour as a result of the increased use of firearms had moved headwear into this more practical direction.  For the next one hundred and fifty years the broad brimmed felt hat stayed in use.  Its sides were turned up in various ways, but it retained its essential design.

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Franklins Lost Men

Franklin’s Lost Ships

Production Designer, Locations, Casting

Original Air Date: CBC “Nature of Things” 9-April-2015, 8:00pm EST, Genre: Documentary

Production Company: 90th Parallel Productions Ltd (CAN) / Lion TV (UK), Producer: Andy Gregg, Director: Stuart Elliott

Broadcaster: CBC Nature of Things (CAN); Channel 4 (UK); PBS Nova (US) Continue reading

Camp-X Barracks Look-alike

Possible Origin of the Term “Camp-X”

Charlie Chaplin's "A Great Dictator" - a possible source for the Double-X agents and Camp-X?There is some speculation as to why Camp-X was named thus, however, I believe this is the most plausible reason.

In Ben Macintyre’s Operation Mincemeat How a Dead Man and a Bizarre Plan Fooled the Nazis and Assured an Allied Victory he details: Continue reading

Green Army Guy?

Although these photos may look like a “green army guy,” it is actually a wax “master” that Peter has sculpted and will be used to create a mold for a pewter figurine using the lost wax method.

The actual size of the figure is around three inches high (about 7.5 cm).

Click on the pictures to enlarge and view the detail.

Civil War Dioramas, Pamplin Park Museum, VA

Civil War Diorama

Civil War Diorama created for Pamplin Historical Park by Peter Twist & Sheppard Paine

Peter was asked, in conjunction with Shepherd Paine, to create a series of the American Civil War dioramas for the Pamplin Historical Park.  However, the client insisted that all the scenes should be created in sepia tones since they wanted the single army to represent either side in the war. Continue reading

Canada War Museum, Native Warrior

This sequence of photos shows the authenticity that Peter puts into his exhibits. This could just as easily been a fibreglass casting but would have never achieve the same level of authenticity that Peter does in his artwork.

Below is a short sequence of photos demonstrating the weaving techniques used in creating this “woven” armour. Continue reading

Commissariat Chapeau, Building a Reproduction

Peter’s access to authentic period artifacts gives him the unique ability to recreate period clothing, as they would have been, right down to the last, hand-made stitch.

Many of the projects that Peter creates for museums start with an original artifact such as the one documented in this article. Peter goes to great lengths to ensure that colours, materials and even hand-made stitch lengths are as close to the original as is possible, based on the original artifact and his extensive knowledge of the period.

The first step in any recreation is the detailed examination of the original. This chapeau was held in the Lundy’s Lane Historical Society’s care. Continue reading