Competitions nos. 190A and 190B: results

Dyneley Hussey, as I mentioned, sets another ballade. This is inspired by the impending closure of the Alhambra in Leicester Square (the date given when the competition was set was November 4th 1933). However, all the records seem to show that the Alhambra (the Odeon stands on its site) was not actually closed until September 1st 1936 – at which point it was demolished. So these ballades appear to be premature epitaphs.

Alhambra Leicester SquareThere are some slips. Lt. Col. H.P. Garwood apparently writes a good ballade but has Nijinksky dancing there – too highbrow for the Alhambra. Seacape (entering under his main pseudonym, after stints as two others, and his resignation poem earlier in the year) refers to there having been madrigals there – same mistake. As ever, T.E. Casson is just off the money (he has a reputation among the setters for using classical references). The winners are E.W.Fordham and James Hall (the former is wrongly credited as C.W. Fordham).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIf you ask me, both a bit grandiose for their own good ….

The B competition: in The Burlington Magazine of October 1933, the scholar Paul Ganz declared that a painting at Castle Howard of Henry VIII was an original Holbein. This was the subject of much argument (it is a theory that seems to have been discredited) – indeed, the next issue of the Burlington Magazine contained complaints about the paucity of evidence. This is the picture in question:

henryVIII 1542An epigram on the arguments was asked for. Among the entrants was Sir Robert Witt (the art historian friend of WR proprietor Sam Courtauld), who sent in half-a-dozen shots and (rather unfairly) is discounted because he should have chosen his best and sent that in (no reference to this in the rules!). The winners are R.G. (a new name) and D.S. Meldrum (a Scots historian who almost won 118B, which Sir Robert Witt also almost won).

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