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Carlton House Table & Chair

Ackermann’s Repository of Arts was an illustrated, British periodical published from 1809-1829 by Rudolph Ackermann. Although commonly called Ackermann’s Repository, or, simply Ackerman’s, the formal title of the journal was Repository of arts, literature, commerce, manufactures, fashions, and politics, and it did, indeed cover all of these fields.In its day, it had great influence on English taste in fashion, architecture, and literature. The following excerpt from the April, 1814 edition displays a table and chair set designed for the Prince of Wales‘ Carlton House.

 An early 19th century sketch of the entrance front of Carlton House in London.
An early 19th century sketch of the entrance front of Carlton House in London.

Though no where near as extravagant as the the Royal Palace at Brighton, Carlton House remained an icon of the Prince’s particular sense of style. The glowing terms in the following passage can only be seen as ironic in light of Jane Austen’s own personal struggle with the Prince. In 1815, she would be “invited” to dedicate her upcoming novel, Emma, to him, a figure whom she claimed to loathe. Along with this “invitation” came the opportunity for a personal tour of Carlton House, guided by none other than the Prince’s own librarian, James Stanier Clarke.

This began a series of correspondence between Austen and Clarke. He appeared fascinated by his brush with fame (possibly even painting her portrait) while she later lampooned his topical suggestions for her future novels in her “Plan of a Novel, According to Hints from Various Quarters”.

Fashionable Furniture
We know that a people become enlightened by the cultivation of  the arts, and that they become great in the progress of that cultivation. That a just knowledge of the useful and a correct taste for the ornamental go hand in hand with this general improvement, the dullest observer may be satisfied by looking around him. We now acknowledge, that it is alone the pencil of the artist which can trace the universal hieroglyphic; understood alike by all, his enthusiasm communicates itself to all alike, and prepares the mind for cultivation. A national improvement is thus produced by the arts, and the arts are supported in their respectability by the calls which the improving public taste makes for their assistance; they are inseparable in their progress, and mutually depend on each other for support. In the construction of the domestic furniture of our dwellings we see and feel the benefit of all this. To the credit of our higher classes who encourage, and of our manufacturing artists who produce, we now universally quit the overcharged magnificence of former ages, and seek the purer models of simplicity and tasteful ornament in every article of daily call. Continue reading Carlton House Table & Chair

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Staying Sharp with Jane Austen

 Jane Austen Pencils!

Papa has given me half-a-dozen new pencils, which are very good ones indeed; I draw every other day.
Elizabeth Austen-Knight to Cassandra Austen
October 18, 1813

With school back in session, and the smell of apples, chalk dust and pencil shavings in the air, what could be more fun than taking a bit of Austen with you into class? We promise that a few of these Jane Austen pencils in your desk will make even calculus more appealing! Pair them with notecards or a journal to create a fun gift for any Austen lover or teacher.

jane austen pencils
Visit Austentation.com for a wide range of Austen themed items including gift baskets, holiday items, craft projects, and custom bonnets, reticules and accessories.

To begin, you’ll need:

  • pencils (any type, #2, preferably with white erasers)
  • sandpaper (optional)
  • Modgepodge or white glue
  • a few pages of Austen text (taken from a discarded copy of the book, or printed on a printer. I keep an old copy of P&P simply to upcycle pages for various projects)
  • Scissors
  • foam paintbrush
  1. Take your page and cut it so that it can be rolled around the pencil and lightly overlapped. The top edge should begin at the base of the metal “Cuff” which holds the eraser in place and the bottom should extend slightly beyond the end of the pencil (this is uusually about 7″ x 1″.)
  2. Lightly sand your pencil so that the glue will adhere more closely.
  3. Use the paintbrush to apply a thin coat of Modgepodge or white school glue to the backside of the paper.
  4. Roll the paper around the pencil and overlap. The paper should be snug and not slide. Flatten any air bubbles so that it sticks at all points to the pencil. If necessary, add more glue to the seam in order for it to lay flat and tight.
  5. Allow pencil to dry. Be sure that it won’t stick to anything while drying, by laying it on a baking rack or standing it up in a glass (you can use this time to complete more pencils)
  6. Once pencil has dried, add an additional coat of modgepodge or glue to the outside of the pencil. Let dry again.
  7. Trim the paper so that the end lies flush with the end of the pencil. Embellish with Austen stickers, if desired, sharpen and enjoy!

Pencils such as this can be purchased in gift baskets from Austentation, or individually from Creative Carmelina, on Etsy.


Laura Boyle is an avid Regency enthusiast. Find more fashion information and one of a kind Regency inspired accessories at her shop, Austentation: Regency Accessories