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Protective of His Puppy

18 June, 2015

Actually, on second glance, there’s something a bit sinister about this scene.

This detail comes from a large painting with lots of action and many characters located in the National Gallery in London. The Author regrets to report that she neglected to record the title and artist.

Protective of his puppy

Nineteenth Century Graffiti

16 June, 2015

A certain Mr. Charno took it upon himself to carve his name, the date, and most helpfully, the location of his crime, Provins, into the wall of the Caesar Tower in that charming Medieval town. Mr. Charno’s 1835 engraving pre-dates the graffiti found at Bodiam Castle by Mr. H. Wicks. Perhaps it should be comforting to know that there have been vandalising hooligans throughout history, and disrespect for historical monuments is not just a modern affliction.

All of this is positively modern compared to the graffiti that the Author witnessed at Krak des Chevaliers in Syria, where 12th Century Crusaders carved crosses into the castle walls. Alas, we don’t know how that marvelous castle stands today after being caught in the crossfire of the Syrian Civil War.

Provins graffiti

Liver Pills in Newark

11 June, 2015

Charming ghost advertisement in Newark, New Jersey.  At lease the pills are little!

The Arithmeum in Bonn

27 May, 2015

The Author adores museums devoted to a single category, such as the Clock Museum in Vienna. The Arithmeum in Bonn is another favorite. Completely dedicated to calculating machines, the Arithmeum has an array of devices ranging from ancient Mesopotamia to 17th Century Europe to our modern day. The beautiful intricacy of the early devices, with their hand cranks and delicate metal innards, is fascinating to the math-challenged Author. Fast forward a few hundred years and we have microchips, which when viewed through a microscope look more akin to modern art that mathematics.

The Arithmeum also hosts concerts. A delightful idea, but the Author’s poor, unfortunate ears weren’t sophisticated enough for the contemporary classical music on offer the night she visited. Three contemporary Hungarian composers (Zoltán Jeney, László Vidovszky and Balázs Horváth) performed together. Thus commenced a screeching racket of the dueling sounds of flute, violin, clarinet, cello, drums, piano and Lord knows what else. Suffice to say that, although the Author embraces her Hungarian heritage, contemporary Hungarian music isn’t quite to her liking.

A microchip magnified. Postcard from the Arithmeum gift shop

Where Angels Fear t…

25 May, 2015

Nearing the end of Where Angels Fear to Tread, the Author was brought to an abrupt stop by this mis-printed page. One wonders how the printer managed to produce a rogue Quadrilateral page in an otherwise respectable Penguin Classic edition.

What happens on page 107? The Author will never know*.

Please pardon the terrible quality of the photograph.

*Well, she could very well find another, properly printed, edition.

More Wellcome Costumes

20 May, 2015

The Author has previously celebrated the styling of Sir Henry Solomon Wellcome, most notably his evolving facial hair and Casual Canoeing Costume. Henry Wellcome was a fascinating fellow: born in a Wisconsin log cabin, he went on to travel the world, make his fortune in pharmaceuticals and establish the Wellcome trust, one of the world’s largest private medical charities. His other achievements include building an impressive collection of masks (a few examples: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) and wardrobe.

Hunting costume. Please notice the studio setting: rug of ‘grass’, fake tree, painted background.

M0007862 H.S. Wellcome in the costume of a monk Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images Full length photographic portrait of H. S. Wellcome in the costume of a monk, taken 1885. 1885 Henry Wellcome: in costume as: monk  Published: 1885 Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0

Henry Wellcome as a Monk. A curious studio portrait.

L0076781 Sir Henry Wellcome and J. Baiz, his guide Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images Sir Henry Wellcome (left) and J. Bazi, his guide and interpreter, during his journey through Central America. In 1878, the 25 year-old Henry Wellcome set out on an expedition to explore the native Chinchona forests of Ecuador. The bark of Chinchona trees was the prime source of pure quinine, an extract used to treat malaria. At the time Wellcome was working as a salesman for the well-known American pharmaceutical firm of McKesson & Robbins. Wellcome's account of his travels - published at length in pharmaceutical journals on both sides of the Atlantic - established his name amongst his trade peers.  The article paints a vivid picture of a young man with an inquiring mind and a taste for adventure. Photograph 1879 H.S. Wellcome: Personal Collection of photographs, family etc. Published:  -  Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0

Tourist Attire in Ecuador

M0008686 Wellcome Archives: H. Wellcome at Jebel Moya Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images Sir Henry Wellcome with some staff at archeological Excavation Camp, Jebel Moya. Published:  -  Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0

Camel riding costume.

Campaign Memorabilia

15 May, 2015

A rather impractical pince-nez promoting Teddy Roosevelt and his running mate Charles W. Fairbanks’ 1904 Presidential campaign. His opponent, Alton B. Parker, could’ve had a field day with jokes about Roosevelt supporters being unable to see the issues clearly (I would hope he’d come up with something snappier than that). It certainly didn’t hurt, as Teddy went on to win the Electoral College vote and 56% of the popular vote.

Roosevelt campaign glasses

On display at the Roosevelt’s Sagamore Hill house.


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