Royal celebrations


The Queen’s diamond jubilee is finally here, and if you want inspiration for a celebration over this weekend, I can assure you there’s no better place to start than this firework sales catalogue from James Pain & sons (pyrotechnists) published  in 1911. The fireworks in the catalogue are designed for a royal event, the coronation of King George the fifth, and can easily be adapted for a jubilee theme. The suggested finale of the firework display is shown in the picture above “A Colossal fire portrait of their Majesties, artistically portrayed in lines of brilliant fire, with a simultaneous discharge of 100 large rockets forming an immense aerial bouquet of unsurpassed splendour and a tremendous explosion audible for miles.”  

Sounds tempting, doesn’t it? The Pain company was also selling flags, banners with a motto of your own choice, draperies with fringes and tassels and artificial flowers, all intended to decorate houses and gardens for Coronation day. You could hire ‘Crystal devices’, which look like diamante garden furniture: imagine a crystal studded garden arch with sparkly attachments and medallions. Well, it’s for a party, and parties don’t have to be tasteful. Or you could hire wooden display boards 10 feet high, on which were hung hundreds of little lights, spelling “God save the King” in prismatic colours.     

Many of the decorations for sale in ‘Pain’s Coronation fireworks’ would be great for any Jubilee party this weekend: flags, banners, and a range of draperies, fringes and tassels in red white and blue. Artificial floral wreathing, a kite decorated “with portraits of their Majesties the King and Queen” and an inflatable balloon 30 feet high in the shape of an elephant (no inflatable royal family figures, sadly). However you’re celebrating the jublee, have a very good weekend!

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