hispano moresque

The Boston Hour (5/?)

In which Belle is an Antiques Roadshow super-fan and Gold is her favorite appraiser.

CHAPTER SUMMARY: As the afternoon session comes to a close, Gold gets an opportunity to talk to Belle.
WORDS: 2,509
A/N: Enjoy more of these two dorks trying to flirt with each other! Once again, you can catch up on the TMI Tuesday Q&A for this story here, if you’re into that sort of thing. :)

[Part One] [Part Two] [Part Three] [Part Four] [Read on AO3]

“…The quality and craftsmanship of these pieces began to decline considerably after the fifteenth century. Prior to that time, they were commissioned almost exclusively by nobility, but as the popularity of the style grew, more and more pieces were being commissioned by the bourgeoisie. The pieces produced for these smaller, more numerous commissions lacked the care and attention to detail enjoyed by their predecessors, and as a result, that popularity quickly began to decline. However, in the late eighteenth century, Carlos III of Spain ordered an effort to–”

Rumford was appraising an impressive example of Hispano-Moresque lustreware when a petite figure in a blue dress stepped into his peripheral, completely destroying what little focus he had managed to keep since his conversation with David. Suddenly his thoughts were filled only with Miss French, and he had to force himself to finish his appraisal.

“An effort to p-preserve the ah… the techniques, which inspired a– inspired… a, um… r-r- revival of the style in the… the ah, mid ninth– I mean mid nineteenth– century. Which is… what I– what I believe we h-have here. Based on the ah, the coloring and the patterns used.”

He tore his attention away from the ornate dish like he’d been drowning and Miss French was the breath of fresh air waiting for him at the surface.

And there she was. Miss Belle French, heading in his direction. A Venus with her auburn waves, her plump, berry-stained lips, and towering heels. Good grief. Was it possible that she’d somehow gotten even more beautiful since he’d spoken with her little more than two hours ago? He watched as her friend showed her something on her phone, and she pouted her lips in thoughtful deliberation before nodding. Her friend then whispered something to her and winked, and Belle blushed– her smile blinding in its brilliance as she laughed.

Rumford swallowed hard.

He was going to talk to this woman? He was going to ask her out on a date? Was he out of his bloody mind?

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Frank Cadogan Cowper - Venetian Ladies Listening to the Serenade [1909] by Gandalf’s Gallery

<br /><i>Via Flickr:</i>
<br />Detailing the luxurious textiles of the figures’ gowns, as well as the kilim rug hung over the balustrade, faience tile floor and Hispano Moresque lustreware albarello with flowers, echoes the renewed interest in the applied arts and crafts which emerged in late nineteenth century British art. When the present work was exhibited at the Royal Academy, critics observed that &quot;this use of colour is well enough in the place in such a picture as Mr. Cadogan Cowper's Venetian Ladies Listening to the Serenade, the clearly defined differences of hue enhancing in this instance the impression of the immobility of the listeners. The masses of warm colour to the left of the composition are handsome and splendid... Finery seems in increasing degree of preoccupation of Mr. Cowper.”

[Sotheby’s, New York - Oil on canvas, 88.9 x 128.9 cm]


Hispano-Moresque ware is a style of initially Islamic pottery created in Al Andalus or Muslim Spain, which continued to be produced under Christian rule in styles blending Islamic and European elements. It was the most elaborate and luxurious pottery being produced in Europe until the Italian maiolica industry developed sophisticated styles in the 15th century, and was exported over most of Europe. The industry’s most successful period was the 14th and 15th centuries.

Top Image: Valencia, c.1430-1500

Bottom image: Manises dish, 1430-1450