Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Spirit of Ecstacy

Spirit of Ecstasy
What does a hood ornament have to do with knitting?  Well, first of all,  it isn't just any hood ornament; it is the hood ornament on a Rolls-Royce. The picture here is of the ornament on the Queen's Phantom VI. Now I understand that this figure on the Queen's car actually curtseys.  I'd have to see the ones on the common-garden-variety Rolls to compare.

Secondly there is a love story behind the figure. Apparently a certain Lord Montagu (1916) fell in love with Eleanor Velasco Thornton, a model. Well, because of his title, he could not marry her, so when he eventually married, within his class, he paid tribute to "Ellie" by having a silver nymph, cast in her likeness, mounted, as the hood ornament, on one of the most prestigious cars in the world!

Time passes and we find that the relationship didn't end with the marriage. Both the Lord and the lady (Ellie) were on a cruise to India when their boat was torpedoed. Ellie was lost at sea; Lord Montagu was rescued. All that remains now is a movie - coming later this year.

Dusk Shawl from Queen Anne's Lace
Now, the knitting part. When I saw the nymph, the flowing robes, the silver, I thought of lace - well that's true I am always thinking of lace - but I love the idea of a free spirit, riding around on the hood of a car, with her hair streaming behind, clothed only in a whisper of silk. The image is ethereal and knitted lace transports us to another world.

Dream in silver and lace and drive a Roll-Royce - or reasonable facsimile :)

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