Friday, February 28, 2014

Sepia Saturday 217 : 2lbs Of Best Averlenture


Our Sepia Saturday theme image this week features three men up a mountain. One of them is the Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg who composed the incidental music to the Ibsen play, Peer Gynt. The play is all about the search for love and self in a world populated by trolls, gnomes and witches : just the kind of assembly you might find on top of the Druids' Altar, a rock formation between Keighley and Bingley. On this old vintage postcard from the collection of my Great Uncle Fowler Beanland, there is a fine looking Edwardian Lady rather than a collection of Norwegian composers or Scandinavian deities, but it is as close a fit as I could find. 

Turn the card over and you discover a piano concerto of a puzzle. The card comes from my Great Aunt Eliza and informs poor Fowler that it will cost 1/4 for 2lbs of something or other to be sent to him by post. But what is to be sent? To me, the word looks like "Averlenture", but what on earth is that? Google has never heard of "averlenture" (although in a day or two this post will become the only description of the substance known to mankind) and I can't come up with any other interpretations of the writing. So, as usual, we are left with endless questions : did the Averlenture arrive on time, was it worth the 1/4d postage, and what exactly did Fowler do with it. Polished the marble walls of the Hall of the Mountain King, no doubt.

You can find all manner of connections, puzzles and strange words by following the links on the Sepia Saturday Blog.

26 comments:

  1. Hello:

    How very, very intriguing. Even enlarged one cannot, as I am sure you have spent time trying, make out anything different.

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  2. A++++++ on pulling all the above for our theme photo, beginning with this photo as well. Of course I had to fool around with the averlenture because that word itself drew me in immediately.

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  3. Maybe it was code for something else.

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  4. Now I can't stop looking for that word -- I tried Averlenture, and even words beginning with M, N, H, Ch, T. Nothing. But I think we could have great fun inventing something that would have cost 1/4 for 2 lbs in 1907.

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  5. It is a great old card. The view is wonderful and the rock formations reminds me of what I have seen from that area before.

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  6. What hacks me off is why the trolls get so many lovely girls... Adored Grieg's Peer Gynt from when I was even younger than I am now.

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    1. When we look at other people's activities it's hard to piece together what's going on. Some of the context is missing.

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  8. What a bizarre word. No. It looks just as you say. Your great uncle had a great name though.

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  9. The Edwardian lady is does not appear to be looking at the view, perhaps wondering how she is going to get down from the rock. Your word is a mystery, I wonder what would cost one shilling and fourpence. That would be about £6.79 in today's money.

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  10. I've been a fan of Grieg's Peer Gynt works since high school.

    Lovely postcard, too!

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  11. The lovely lady seems to be Photoshopped in, but since there was no "PhotoShopping" back then, I guess she really was there on that cliff!!!

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  12. Cryptic crosswords are easy compared to solving vintage handwriting of archaic words. I've run the last clear letters "enture" through an online dictionary that will search using just the endings. A bit like a rhyming dictionary, but no luck. Clearly it was acceptable to send through the post. How long would 2 lbs of it last?

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  13. Google now has 817 results for a search for "averlenture." Since it is capitalized, I am guessing that it is a forgotten trade name.

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  14. We do love a puzzle but I have no solution to offer either.

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  15. The postcard is great, the mystery even better! I won't be able to sleep tonight with worrying about it.

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  16. We will all be waiting and watching your blog for the explanation now :)
    A great postcard perhaps overshadowed by an even greater puzzle?

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  17. is there a gem "aventurine" or something close to that, seems to ring a bell of sorts with me but not loudly enough of a clamor for me to identify.... a great view from atop a grander rock.

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  18. As delightful as the postcard image is, I'm afraid my mind is now riveted by the thought that I will miss out on being the one to decipher your "2 lbs of averlenture."

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    1. By the way, I think the postage is 1s and 4d, rather than a farthing.

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  19. That is quite some pile of rocks in that postcard. But whatever "Averlenture" is, it has certainly captured many of our imaginations. Like you & others have done so far, I tried every combination of letters I could think of but - nothing. Two lbs of the stuff & it can be shipped by post? Dang! That's gonna bother me all week . . . well, maybe for a couple of days anyway. :))

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  20. That is some photograph, and how on earth did she climb up there in that Edwardian dress?

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  21. 2330 searches for Avenlenture on google and the numbers rising; all I have checked turn up someone named Alan Burnett, even the ones where Alan just seems to be a follower of that blog. I hope you appreciate what you have started with this intriguing postcard of a lady on some rocks.

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  22. I’m going to concentrate on that rather nice postcard which is a good match for the theme. I can’t spare any more brain cells on a puzzle like this. I think perhaps it’s a name she wasn’t sure of herself and used the nearest thing that came into her mind.

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  23. I wonder is that where Jane Austen got the name Bingley to use in Pride and Prejudice, Dramatic countryside

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  24. Excellent post card. What a fascinating place. I had to go look up other photographs of the area. And I hope you find out what averlenture is. Must be cheese or chocolate or something.

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