6th Annual 12th Night Giveaway: Day 11

Well, this is it. The end of our Winter Break. Tomorrow, the kids go back to school–that is, if the weather permits, which is by no means a sure thing.



And of course, after about two weeks of being occasionally confined to the house, the younger natives are restless. They want to go out and “do something,” even when the temps are negative, they just had Christmas, went to the movies, and will, God willing, be in New York City in about a week. Since they are teens, they couple this desire to “do something” with also wanting to sleep in until noon (or after). Sorry, guys. I have no desire to go out when it’s dark and snowy and cold. I like just staying in, mingling household chores, reading, and writing. Now that I have a real workspace that’s not the kitchen or the bedroom, it’s wonderful.


Still, as much as I love my little corner of the living room, it’s not a patch on the parlor of 221 B. There’s no fireplace, for one thing. The cat permits no one else on “his” settee. I’m the one who has to clean it. And my husband plays the saxophone, and not the violin. He’s not bad, but boy, is it loud.

Let’s have a look at 221B’s through history, shall we?


Sidney Paget and one version of the “basket chair.”

dorr steele 221B

Frederic Dorr Steele gives us  a bit of a “craftsman” feel.


Gillette’s 221B is as opulent as his dressing-gown


Eille Norwood’s is rather plain.


Many 221B sets seem too have far fewer books than one would expect. Not so with Arthur Wontner’s version.


Basil-Rathbones-Sherlock-Homes1 (1)

Even the Victorian Rathbone/Bruce films have a 30’s-40’s feel.


From the colorized version of “Dressed to Kill”–that green and brown scream  40’s to me (via Basil Rathbone: Master of Stage and Screen)


Ronald Howard and Marion Crawford, Victorian style. See General Gordon over there?


Peter Cushing with a microscope and a preview of some future funky wallpaper.

wilmer sh

Douglas Wilmer and another Victorian mantel.


We’ll just go for a larger view of this, possibly the most famous television 221B

Sherlock Holmes

RDJ’s 221B has a nice, dusty, cluttered feel, and funky wallpaper.


BBC Sherlock does Victorian in the Abominable Bride. Lovely room, love the fender, but all-plaid suits are not okay.

Sherlock (series 4)

BBC Sherlock’s 21st century flat. Funky wallpaper and not enough books, but lots of pretty.


The most famous recreation, however, is probably this one, at the Sherlock Holmes Museum in London:



Before this, however, came the Sherlock Holmes Exhibition, part of the Festival of Britain. Opening on May 21, 1951, and continuing through August, the Exhibition was hosted by Abbey House (which had the actual address 221 Baker Street), and funded by the Borough of Marylebone. It featured a recreation of Holmes and Watson’s sitting room (accompanied by sound effects such as an organ grinder’s tune), and displays devoted to Holmes in cinema, the Baker Street Irregulars, and Sidney Paget’s illustrations. Both Jean and Denis Conan Doyle gave speeches at the opening ceremony, and the Times declared that the presentation was: “rich enough in detail for the keenest disciple and–here one can only hope–expertly arranged for the most critical.”  Sherlockians being who we are, however, within days the Telegraph was printing letters debating whether or not the exhibit should have given Watson a monaural or binaural stethoscope.

Today’s winner will receive two magazines from that time: a Life magazine which features a double-paged spread photograph, and a New Yorker which, in New Yorker  fashion, doesn’t really have photos, but has pages and pages of erudite description and commentary. Both issues are in decent shape, with all pages intact, so you get to see some interesting ads and 1950’s-style New Yorker  cartoons. In my opinion, they are lovely examples of Sherlockian ephemera.




I kept the photo large so you could read the first page.




And yes, that is the exact same basket chair Paget used.


To enter the drawing, just tell me where in the Canon you can find the following quote:

Finally, in my aimless perambulation, I came to the mantelpiece. A little of pipes, tobacco pouches, syringes, penknives, revolver-cartridges, and other debris was scattered over it. In the midst of these was a small black and white ivory box with a sliding lid. It was a neat little thing, and I had stretched out my hand to examine it more closely when….

Just send your answer via blog comment or PM at the Well-read Sherlockian FaceBook page!

congrats balloon

Day 10 Winner!!!!!!!


Congratulations to T. Rick Jones, winner of his own personal (3-month) book club! Everyone knew that the Day 10 quote came from “The Adventure of the Empty House”-the one where the doctor/war hero faints, and the housekeeper braves a bullet to save her resurrected lodger.


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8 responses to “6th Annual 12th Night Giveaway: Day 11

  1. Ashley F

    The Adventure of the Dying Detective.

  2. shalombresticker

    The Dying Detective

  3. Claudia

    The Quote is from ‘The Adventure of the Dying Detective’, and it’s collected in ‘His Last Bow’

  4. . . . what, to my wondering eyes, should appear . . .

    Just kidding. It’s from “The Dying Detective,” and it’s a good thing Holmes stops Watson at this juncture.

  5. Jim McArthur

    Watson discovered this pretty little purveyor of death in The Adventure of the Dying Detective.

  6. Jim McArthur

    And, congratulations on your new workspace!

  7. Jeanine Patton

    Which issue of the New Yorker is that? And thanks for this super photo history.