Friday, 8 September 2017

Ein modischer Lockenschopf...

Um ehrlich zu sein, haben es mir Fransen nicht wirklich angetan. Meine eigenen Haare haben eine recht eigenwillige Naturwelle, und als ich mir vor drei Jahren Fransen geschnitten habe (was man nicht alles fürs Hobby tut), ähnelte es nicht römischen Büsten sondern Biedermeierschäfchen. 

Im Ernst, man gucke sich nur die Bilder bei Mme Bettinger an. Oder Weimar in dem Jahr. Definitiv nicht das, was mir steht, und nicht das, was es mir mit meinem Antikenfimmel auch angetan hat.

Also reifte seit geraumer Zeit der Wunsch nach einem Haarteil. 
- Es sollte aus Naturhaar sein.
- Zu mir passen
- Nicht zu eng gelockt
- und nicht künstlich aussehen
- Nicht um den halben Planeten geschippert worden sein. 

Blieb die logischtste Lösung - mein eigenes Haar muss dafür herhalten. Im Mai kam wieder mal ein grösserer Haarschnitt, und ich behielt mir die 12cm Strähne zurück, um mich in einem ruhigen Moment der Fertigung eines Haarteils zu widmen. 

Die Vorlage ist dieses fragile Artefakt, welches im Musée National de Malmaison aufbewahrt wird.

http://musees-nationaux-malmaison.fr/chateau-malmaison/phototheque/oeuvres/toque-de-l-imperatrice-josephine_cheveux-materiau_broderie-technique_tulle-tissu_fil-d-or

Gucken wir mal, wie sich das umsetzen lässt.

Monday, 3 April 2017

A Gift for Monsieur

Monsieur was always very partial to my Wee Practical Thing, and kept saying it over and over; and it became evident that he wanted something similar.

During November and December I've started embroidering in secret, because I wanted to surprise him with a little gift for Midwinter (he received an empty embroidered stocking to hang up at the woodstove during the family celebration).

As you may have noticed, Monsieur is rather partial towards Athena, thus my choice of motive was rather evident.

It was a bit challenging to break it down into a form what could be easily embroidered. I sourced the material in my still extensive collection of silk scraps, and settled on the blue & white colour scheme silk I've used for my little bag, and what Monsieur admired very much.

It was tedious progress, as I needed to stop and hide the WiP as soon as he came in the vicinity. Thus I've kept another embroidery project close, a white embroidered dress, and a larger but lightweight publication about Hortense to cover up the blue pocket book.



Apart from the owl motive and Athena's armour heap it's all embroidered in tiny chain stitch. The motto I've settled on is "Amour et Amitié" - Love and Friendship. Because I believe these are the two things what keep a relationship alive.



Originally I wanted to embroider flaps to close the pockets, but I was about to run out of time, and settled on a very simple way, though I've used a nice striped silk for the lining. His pocketbook is slightly larger than mine, as I wanted it to be big enough to hide his phone.

The inside is lined with striped silk

Now all he needs are letters to fill his pocketbook :-)

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Trouvaille du Jour: Fandango



The bolero, sort of a Spanish song, are very popular as we've mentioned a couple of days ago. 
Now we can affirm that dance follows suit, while most singers have abandoned Romances for the above mentioned, dancers have left the gavotte behind, and only want to dance the fandango .

We've actually danced the fandango the past few years during our Wildegg engagements, it's a catchy dance, easy to follow, gives you an agreeable turn and has everyone in giggles in no time. 

Monday, 20 March 2017

Carnevale :-)

I have some friends who visited Venice recently, and are still pining about the fact that they had to leave again.
I'd like to dedicate this little Trouvaille to them, and my Venetian friends, who have the good luck to live in a place where beauty is omnipresent.


"Happy and careless lives the Venetian of his sunshine and his mussels, bathed his canals, follows processions, sings his love under a easy and calm sky, and regards his carrnaval as one of the wonders of the world."



I don't know about you, but reading about the Carnevale in 1804 (when 1797 was reputedly the last) makes me smile :-)

As does this picture of two happy friends sitting at Florian's on a morning during Carnevale :-)
 

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Why not have a simple white dress and a camisole to go with? You'd cover evening and daywear easily?

Spring has sprung, and with this I see the annual increase in mail reaching me with contents like „I would like to start into the hobby, what do I need?“ or “I am a member of a dance-group, what minimum items do you recommend?” or “I love the look you achieve. How do you do it?”

Back in 2011 I’ve put a comprehensive beginners list on my LJ (I can post it later if there is interest, else those who are on LJ can hop over and have a look)

Now this is now “Ale’s little minimum list for beginners”.  
Please bear in mind this is what I consider to be a basic kit, for about 1800; It is not based on inventories (e.g. the number of shirts), nor is this etched in stone. I do heartily encourage you research and explore your groups or events time and fashion a bit more in detail. 

Pinterest can (doesn’t need to be) be a good start, so are blogs (reading list at the bottom of this article) to have a quick first look. Of course, there is wider reaching literature, originals to study, some patterns even taken from Originals. For a beginner, the amount of information can be overwhelming; that’s why I like to ease people into research (another good set of articles can be found over at American Duchess).

I am a particular fan of the Rijksmuseum's Rijksstudio app, what is limited to their collection, though on the other hand it's not as muddled as Pinterest


https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/nl/collectie/RP-P-2009-1400

One can easily get lost, as it was a time of quickly changing fashion and styles. If your group is mostly doing 1810 events or dances, and their kit is all late Empire early Restauration, you’d like to have the flat front and the puffy sleeves.

That is why my recommended kit is based slap-bang on 1799 to 1800. An LWD can be tweaked with accessories to be a bit more fashion forward or backwards, more formal or more casual. It can have a train, but doesn’t need one. (and of course, you can always make yourself more dresses…)
Over the next few weeks I will be working on such a basic kit with a new dancer, if she consents we will make progress posts on how she advances with her work.

2 linen shirts
Stays
Stockings and garter
Shoes
Petticoat
Dress
Gloves
Hat
Shawl & Fichu
Jacket, Spencer & Canezou
Jewellery, Fan, Parasol


2 linen shirts, with short sleeves
I recommend using short sleeves. They do show at times, but they do protect your dress from sweat and stains. Especially in the beginning, when you only own one dress, you don’t want to mess it up too quickly. And I recommend linen as it won’t smell sweaty after a day of dancing. A pattern can be found at Marquise.de

Stays
Also (and especially) for smaller ladies, as you will not be able to achieve the silhouette without.
If you’d like more in-depth information, check out Sabines great Article  
Basically you want your girls up, and slightly divided for 1800 (the big divorcé look comes later, and squished together is earlier. But rather up and squished together than down and hanging). The available short stays patterns can do the job, but the longer I am wearing long stays, the less I am convinced. 

Stockings & garters
In an ideal world: Invest in some silk stockings and knit/sew/embroider some garters.
Machine made silk stockings clock in at around EUR20-25 a pair (e.g. American Duchess or Nehelenia Patterns). Sally Pointer makes hand-machined stockings (on an 19th century stocking frame), what are a bit more pricey. 
For dancing I recommend cotton knee-height stockings with a bit of elastic (yes, those from the department store) 
You won’t be able to pull those off for a re-enactment event, but not to run after your garters during a full day of dancing is simply an option too good to let pass.

Shoes:
For a beginner, a pair of good simple leather ballerina flats will do. Pointy shape would be nicest, but check what your feet say to them. Leather sole is nice, but if you already own a pair with a rubber sole, go on use them, they are fine enough for a first event. No glitter, animal print, patent leather, cut-out patterns, really weird bows, butterflies etc. Just plain leather will do.

For dancing, I personally love SCD pumps, e.g. from James Senior  if you have slim feet, and Thistle for wider feet– and spend the extra £ for the shock absorber inlay if your producer doesn’t offer them, your back, knees and ankles will thank you. E
lse buy yourself some white ballet practice flats (not the hard point-shoes, the soft shoes). Try them on in your local dance store, a dance shoe needs to fit like a glove, you don't want it to slip while you are skipping around.

The colour: Formal dress shoes for a ball should be white, if your dance shoes are white, either go for black or a quirky colour for your street shoes, to have a more divers look. Once you decide, that the hobby is something you’d like to continue, I’d recommend getting a pair of boots, e.g. from American Duchess or Robert Land, Sarah Juniper or Andy Burke.

Petticoat
If you like to wear a sheer dress, you can’t do without a petticoat. I used the simple “two rectangles gathered into a waistband”, and either baste it onto my stays or wear with straps.

Dress
You may have already your “dream dress” in your mind, maybe something you’ve seen in a movie or on another reenactor. 
Keep that one in mind, yet as a first dress I recommend starting with a simple LWD in cotton muslin or batiste.
An LWD is a “Little White Dress” – what can be styled for a country outing, for an evening at the opera, even for a ball, with a few simple tricks. Start with that, and use this to learn what you like and what you would like to change. And cotton because: It can be washed. If you only go to an event once a year, the dry cleaner (if they accept to clean a hand-sewn garment) is affordable. But if you are in kit about 2-4 times a month or even more often, you'd like to have a washable wardrobe. Especially if your wardrobe isn't that extensive.


A LWD with some coloured accessories - and suddenly it looks different
https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/nl/collectie/RP-P-2009-2314


Around 1800 the sleeves are still narrow; they can extend down to the wrist or be just at elbow-length or really short. They can be separately embroidered or with some lace inserts to render the little white dress more interesting.
The dress typically has front closure (drawstring or apron closing) and still some fullness in the skirtfront. It can have a train, or no train, but usually comes down to your feet (shorter for working women) And yes, one can dance with a train. Tough I personally I am not too much of a fan.

There is a multitude of patterns available, most commercial patterns mess up the neckline in my opinion, by closing off too much. It’s a deep wide neckline, we’ve had a short period of higher necklines in the early to mid-90ies, but nothing shouts “Commercial pattern” as much as a high neckline. You don’t need to worry about “falling out” - that’s where your friendly fichu (Neck-kerchief) comes to the rescue.
My next pet peeve about necklines concerns especially Empire gowns, where the grain of the fabric is completely disregarded, and thus the fit just… off. But more about that later.

Another major issue is the position of the waistline. If the waistline hangs down to the small of your back, or ellbow height - it’s too low. It’s difficult to check that when one works alone, we’ve all been there, when after an event we look at pictures and just go “Duh! Why didn’t anyone tell me it looks so frumpy?”

Skirtpart - Do not skimp. Again. Do.Not.Skimp.You can be short of fabric, but don’t skimp. Add in gores, use the last bit of fabric you have. There are commercial patterns what have very narrow skirts - add your own skirt, burn the pattern.
As a a rule of thumb for a dancer: If you can do anything you’d like to do, you are good to go. To me this translates into a minimal hemline of 1.90, preferably more. If you want a train, lay out your skirt flat, and puzzle in the triangle you need for the transition between front and side and back.

My patterns were created by draping though I did try out some commercial patterns as well, because I want to be able to give recommendations when asked. 
My number one commercial pattern: Saundra Altmans Pattern at Past Patterns what is based on this dress.
I don't recommend using the pattern as it is, as the result is a rather deep waist, but it doesn’t take much to tweak it (Shorten the bodice and add the skirt by logical fabric use instead with the pattern.
It goes together pretty easily, and when using the unaltered pattern but with long sleeves it works very well for the Early to Mid-90ies, and can even stretch a bit further. Added benefit, it fits several ladies, thus a good dress to lend to a first timer. 


The girl front right, with the back to us. Her dress was made using Saundra Altman's pattern.
Photo by Jeannette Heller. 


Another one what I’ve seen done up without issues and with a nice result and without drama: Lieblingskleid by Nehelenia Patterns.
I do in any case strongly recommend making a mock-up and try it on over your stays. (Add the drawstrings by a simple gathering stitch to work as one. And then take a pencil or pen, and draw in where you might need to cut lower (Neckline) or higher (Waistline)  Don’t be scared, look at fashion plates beforehand, draw the new line, cut (or fold) back, and keep it on, then return to the mirror a cup of coffee later. 

And to answer a request laid at my door regularely -Why I don’t give copies of my own pattern: My current pattern was draped by my friends Cristina and Ester, based on an original garment. As with all draped patterns it has it’s quirks, but I know them by now inside out, and know how to handle it, it is perfectly fitted to me, that’s why I don’t share it. Because you will see, after you’ve worked your first own dress, you will discover that there is a little step from altering a pattern to entirely draped pattern. My recommendation for experienced seamstresses is: Find a friend who also wants to sew, find pictures of what you want to achieve (e.g. Costume in Detail, extant garment pictures, PoF - you name it) and drape it. 

Gloves
Simple: Short sleeves need long gloves, and long sleeves short gloves. 
There are some (very few) exceptions to that rule. Don’t make the common rare and the rare common. Short sleeves, long gloves. 
I recommend going chiner (perusing flea markets, brocantes, ebay, etsy.). Have a pair for “ball” and a pair for “not as fine”. And I do recommend having a pair of sewn mittens for simple strolls, made from either silk, linen or cotton muslin. Great sun protection.

Hat
You need something on your head. For a first outing try with a silk scarf worn as a turban, but then try to find a style what suits you. I like capotes with veil (I love veils…), or a simple tulle-fichu as headdress. But also caps are delightful, and some strawhats can be lifesavers on a hot summer day.


White silk capote with embroidered tulle veil.
Photo Fabrice Robardey

Shawl & Fichu
A fichu is a kerchief, what you wear either under your dress to fill the neckline from inside out, or over your dress to decorate and protect. Just think about it this way - there was no sunscreen 200 years ago. And while it may be fashionable to sport your decollete, having a tanline or a sunburn certainly wasn’t. (Remember Caroline Bingley sneering at Eliza Bennett  “so brown and coarse”


The Lady with the Spanish Comb, with a sprigged muslin fichu


The famous Shawl. Scrap the Paschminas. Honestly, scrap them. Use them for your everyday wear, but they simply don’t cut the mustard, they are too small, too light and the pattern is usually not good enough.
If you have the good luck to find two with a pattern elegant and unobtrusive enough to pass muster, feel free to hack them with Jen Thompson’s trick, else you’d be better off with a 2.7-3m length of plain wool fabric. 

Long embroidered shall, fichu and tulle fichu for the head
Photo by Sabine Schierhoff kleidungum1800.blogspot.com



Jacket, Spencer & Canezou
The easiest way - take your basic pattern, and go from there. For a mere beginner I’d say it’s not a necessity, but you’d soon discover that you’d like a layer more.


Little unlined linen canezou. Photo by Helga Varadi

Jewellery, Fan, Parasol, Reticule
Less is more, that is true with Jewellery today as well. Either save up for something good, or leave it be. A plasticine cameo will always look cheap, a flamenco fan isn’t period, and those lace parasol even less. 
Many admire combs, tiaras and cameos. Of course, so do I. But these are a serious investment of money, and you may wreck a piece of jewellery what survived 200 years, or have it stolen. 
I have a different range of jewels - some for “very fine” - those I wear for high-end events, where I want to sparkle. But for some balls I don’t feel like I’d like to risk my good combs, so I will settle for ribbons or flowers or a veil. (or for everything in one go) 
At flea markets or on online auction platforms you can sometimes score antique pearls or corals (please don’t buy Chinese coral. Please don’t), or not too bad looking Jasperware brooches. 

There are some retailers who have sort of ok’ish looking Brisee fans. If you score one made from white wood, it’s worth the trouble to gently sand it, and add a layer of fine whitewash or lacquer, and rethread it with some silk thread. It’s not perfect, but will look closer like a worked ivory one, without robbing a museum. 
There are also some artisans who make beautiful fans. They cost about the same as a real antique one, but without the risk of ruining an original.

For years I preferred to use a big straw hat and a fichu instead of a parasol what will look wrong. And even today, to some events I don’t bring my parasol (e.g baggage restrictions, or if I am already bringing my big hat)

Make yourself a couple of nice drawstring bags for a réticule, and start looking for inspiration, there are so many nice ones out there what will push your outfit to another level.

I hope this is somewhat comprehensive. 

I have some closing remarks:

Hair
Always up. Contrary to many movie and telly adaptations, we don't suffer of the Bobby-pin shortage. Practice how to make an updo, or if all fails, how to bundle them up and wrap a turban around. (Feel free to add hairpieces, it was done in the period as well, called cheveux postiches). Jen Thompson, Lauren Stowell and Janet Stephens have published each a nice tutorial with a nice and neat hairdo including videos.

Make-up
Yes. There was make-up, but it was neither glitzy nor smokey.  I found a portrait from the period what appealed to me, and I tried to copy that look, I thus reach for concealer, fair powder and rouge, all from natural cosmetics.
BTW: I count nail-art into too glitzy as well ;-)

Man-made Skin discolortions, aka Tattoos & Piercings
Cover them up. If you try to be a lady of around 1800, a tattoo will break the look you so carefully tried to put together. A pair of mittens or fichu will be your friend.
Same goes for facial piercings. They may be trendy today, the were not in 1800, and would turn the "Timetraveller" into a "modern woman in costume"





Sabine Schierhoffs charming, well researched and wonderfully geeky blog.
Sarah Wagner’s page. If you speak Swedish (or know how to handle google translate), you find her approach to this list here: (insert link)



Sunday, 1 January 2017

A Paris, où elle tenait salon


It is a phrase we read every so often, but sometimes I think we as in "people of today" don't really understand the meaning.

Tenir salon is often misunderstood as being a hostess with generous supply of coffee, tea and cake, where great minds meet and greet. But is it? I think Wikipedia has a nice introduction to it: 
"A salon is a gathering of people under the roof of an inspiring host, held partly to amuse one another and partly to refine the taste and increase the knowledge of the participants through conversation" 
It's not the quantity or the quality of your tea, but the quality of the mind what would entice interesting people to attend your salon. When we read that Rahel Varnhagen or Johanna Schopenhauer, or Germaine de Staël or Elisa Baciochi or the dowager duchess Anna Amalia, Caroline von Humboldt and many more held salon, it's like a badge of honour, saying that these women were intellectually on a level with their guests, and also gifted with diplomacy and tact. 

Watercolor by Caspar Melchior Kraus, of an evening gathering at the dowager duchess Anna Amalia (ca. 1795). Goethe Nationalmuseum, Weimar

To give an example: a great beauty or a rich lady could easily give a soirée, and certes, some big names and other celebrities would show up. But they would not be salons. You could have spirited conversation at the Tivoli. Or the Frascati. But that wouldn't be salons. 
That name is reserved to someone who inspires mutual conversation with a great mind, what entices that man or woman (though men were more accepted to be intellectual…) to attend your salon, and you might do a bit of name dropping to invite somebody else, and thus widen the circle.
A painter might be interested to hear, what a scholar of ancient history might think of specific great myth, and again that historian would be interested, how a writer or an actor would interpret that feeling, and a politician would try to understand how to mingle it with recent events and they and everyone else would go home feeling that they would have gained a little more insight in that  topic.

Some of the greatest salons didn't even offer any refreshments, or very little, and you'd better bring your own buttered bread along or eat before you attended the gathering. The conversation was the real delight.

And in that light, really think that we ought to pay much more attention to the phrase "She established a salon" or "salonnières", as this leads us to some of the most interesting ladies in our time period, what would frankly blow us away with their knowledge, wit and intellect.

P.S.: Charlotte von Schiller is often seen as a droopy little wife of a genius. But she as well as her sister Caroline established a salon. Should tell us a wee bit about them, shouldn't it?

Found this lovely little gravure of a parisian salon at this art dealers:



Monday, 26 December 2016

Johanna Schopenhauer, and why she matters

My friend Sabine blogged about the project, to have a plaque attached to one of the buildings at the Weimar Esplanade, to remember Johanna Schopenhauer, and the donations being collected for it.

One might now ask: "Who was that woman? And why does she matter?" Or "Schopenhauer? You must mean Arthur. Because, who's Johanna?"

Johanna Schopenhauer was for many years not much more than a name attached to a couple of handsome portraits of a woman with strong features and rather dull writing to me. Though it changed after Sabine sent me a copy of Carola Sterns biography about Johanna.
And there she came alive. Not just as a mother of grumpy Arthur. But as a woman inspired by her surroundings, by the writers and thinkers of her time. As a woman who inspires thought and reflection, compassion and a duty to stand for her own convictions.
In a time period, where women were either ostracised or ridiculed for their thoughts and works, she's one more who's spirit survived the centuries, and speaks to us today.

Johanna Schopenhauer and her daughter Adele, by Carola Bardua
Copyright: https://de.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johanna_Schopenhauer



Johanna was widely travelled, she recounts her journeys (we have to thank her for quite some of the early romantic views on Scotland and England) spoke several languages, had the education and polish of an accomplished woman. 
Johanna also experienced what it is to be a woman in the late 18th century, how legal matters were complicated for her, because as a woman she faced restrictions what we esteem as 'backwards and daft' today. We understand that the Declaration of human rights was the beginning of modernity - yet it excluded women. She's a Bourgeoise, but her salon is frequented not just by her equals, but also by members more elevated circles. Her salon was not a formal affair, but an 'Open door'. If you were witty, and had something to say, you would be welcome. If you weren't, you were welcome non the less, you might just need a bit of starting help to find out, in what direction you want to spread your wings.

To me and many others Johanna Schopenhauer isn't just a decorative figure, but as much part of our beloved Weimar as her contemporaries Charlotte von Stein, the interesting person of Christiane von Goethe and many other, much better known ladies. 
That is why I was thrilled to read in Sabines blog, that the Circle of Friends around the Goethe National museum plans to get a commemorative plaque for Johanna.

I would like to share the text of the Freundeskreis Goethe Nationalmuseum e.V. Weimar, as translated by Sabine Schierhoff

Call for donations to build a commemorative plaque for Johanna Schopenhauer in the Schillerstrasse
 Probably the most famous cup of tea in Weimar was served on the 20th October 1806 from the saloniere Johanna Schopenhauer to Goethe's newly wed wife Christiane. With the immortal words "I guess if Goethe has given her his good name, we can kindly offer her a cup of tea" she tore down the wall of rejection, which the Weimar society had bestowed on Goethe's wife to ostracize her.
For this generous and witty gesture alone Johanna Schopenhauer (1766-1838) truly deserves the respect of Goethes family and friends and all of us til today. But she has plenty more merits, which have helped her to become an essential part of the "Classic Weimar". After the two days of marauding and looting past to the lost battle in Jena on the 14th October 1806, the sophisticated, eloquent and charming generous woman was there to keep the deeply shocked Weimar scociety grounded and gradually give them back hope and strenght. She succeeded to do so with her vespertine tee salons, which were open to everyone once introduced to the circle, without invitation. This informal practice of social gathering for both sexes was new to Weimar and quickly well received.
With the help of the Stadtarchiv Weimar (city's archive) the exact place of this salon could be identified. From 1806 to 1813 Johanna Schopenhauer stayed at the house of court counselor Johanna Caroline Amalie Ludecus, whose pseudonym as writer was Amalie Berg, at the Esplanade, later Schillerstrasse No.10, only two houses away on the right from the Schillerhouse. Unfortunately the original building on the grounds of the former town's wall was replaced in 1896/97 by the Gewerbehaus, which today is seat of the District Craft Trades Association.
So far there's no place of commemoration of the once so highly estimated and famous Johanna Schopenhauer in Weimar; her grave is in Jena, the Schopenhauerstrasse dedicated to her son Arthur. It's time to pay tribute to this grand dame of Weimar with a commemrative plaque. The text would read as follows:
"Hier stand das Haus, in dem die Schriftstellerin Johanna Schopenhauer (1766-1838) von 1806 bis 1813 ihren berühmten Salon führte"
(translation: "Here's the place, where the famous writer Johanna Schopenhauer (1766-1838) held her salon (circle) from 1806 to 1813")
The price for the plaque is approx 1300 Euro. If you'd like to support the project of the Freundeskreis Goethe-Nationalmuseum e.V. for long due commemorative plaque, we'd kindly ask you to donate to:
Freundeskreis Goethe Nationalmuseum e.V. 
Sparkasse Mittelthüringen Erfurt
DE34 8205 1000 0365 0003 37 
BIC/SWIFT HELADEF1WEM
keyword: Schopenhauer

The Germab original Text: 
Spendenaufruf zu einer Gedenktafel für Johanna Schopenhauer in der Schillerstraße 
Die wohl berühmteste Tasse Tee Weimars wurde am 20.Oktober 1806 von der Saloniere Johanna Schopenhauer an Goethes frisch angetraute Gattin Christiane gereicht. Mit den unsterblichen Worten "ich dencke wenn Göthe ihr seinen Namen giebt können wir ihr wohl eine Tasse Thee geben", durchbrach sie die Mauer des Schweigens, mit der die Weimarer Gesellschaft die Lebensgefährtin Goethes bis dahin geächtet hatte.
Allein für diese ebenso große wie geistreich formulierte Geste verdient Johanna Schopenhauer (1766-1838) bis heute Hochachtung der Freunde Goethes und seiner Familie. Doch hatte die Schopenhauer durchaus noch andere Verdienste, die sie zu einer unentbehrlichen Persönlichkeit im "Klassischen Weimar" haben werden lassen. Nach den zweitägigen Plünderungen im Gefolge der verlorenen Schlacht bei Jena am 14.Oktober 1806 war die weitgereist-weltläufige, hochgebildet-redegewandte und charmant-großzügige Frau genau die Richtige, um der schockgelähmten Weimarer Gesellschaft zunächst Halt und nach und nach wieder neuen Mut zu geben. Dies gelang ihr durch Einrichtung abendlicher Teegesellschaften, in die sich jeder, sobald er in den geselligen Kreis einmal eingeführt war, ohne weitere Anmeldung einfinden konnte. Diese offene Form der Salongeselligkeit für beide Geschlechter war neu in Weimar und fand großen Anklang.
Mit Hilfe des Stadtarchivs Weimar konnte nun der genaue Ort des ersten und bedeutenden Salons der Schopenhauer ermittelt werden. Von 1806 bis 1813 wohnte sie im Haus der Hofrätin Johanna Caroline Amalie Ludecus, die sich als Schriftstellerin Amalie Berg nannte, in der Esplanade, später Schillerstraße Nummer 10, also nur zwei Häuser weiter rechts neben dem Schillerhaus. Allerdings ist das auf der alten Stadtmauer errichtete Gebäude 1896/97 durch das sogenannte Gewerbehaus ersetzt worden, in dem heute die Kreishandwerkschaft ihren Sitz hat.
Bisher gibt es in Weimar keinen Ort des Erinnerns an die einst so hoch geschätzte und weit über die Grenzen der Stadt hinaus bekannte Johanna Schopenhauer; ihre Grabstätte befindet sich in Jena, die Schopenhauerstraße meint ihren Sohn Arthur. Es ist an der Zeit, diese große Dame Weimars mit einer eigenen Gedenktafel zu ehren. Der Tafeltext könnte wie folgt lauten:
"Hier stand das Haus, in dem die Schriftstellerin Johann Schopenhauer (1766-1838) von 1806 bis 1813 ihren berühmten Salon führte"
Der Preis für eine Tafel mit diesem Text liegt bei ca. 1300 Euro. Wenn Sie dieses von zahlreichen Verehrerinnen und Verehrern in und außerhalb Weimars schon lange geforderten Vorhaben des Freundeskreises des Goethe-Nationalmuseums e.V. Weimar unterstützen möchten, bitten wir Sie herzlich um eine Spende auf folgendes Konto:
Freundeskreis Goethe Nationalmuseum e.V. 
Sparkasse Mittelthüringen Erfurt
DE34 8205 1000 0365 0003 37 
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Stichwort: Schopenhauer