Saturday, October 07, 2006


IN: "The whole works of Sir James Ware concerning
Ireland, revised and improved 1764"

crest or coat of arms

Irish Crown
Irish Crown [detail]

The Prospect of Limerick
'The Prospect of Limerick Bearing Due West, Exactly Shewing the
Batteries Approaches & Breach etc.' IN: "A True and Impartial History
of the Most Material Occurrences in the Kingdom of Ireland During the Two
Last Years With the Present State of Both Armies" by George Story, 1693.

The Town of Youghall
'The Town of Youghall' IN: "Pacata Hibernia ; or, A History of the Wars in Ireland,
During the Reign of Queen Elizabeth : Taken From the Original Chronicles.
Illustrated with Portraits of Queen Elizabeth and the Earl of Totness; and Fac similes
of all the Original Maps and Plans" [first published 1633 by Sir Thomas Stafford] 1810.

The Tower of Ardmore
'The Tower of Ardmor[e]' IN: "Collectanea de Rebus Hibernicis"
Ed. by Charles Vallancey published in 6 volumes between 1770-1804.

armless ancient figures
IN: "Collectanea de Rebus Hibernicis" Ed. by Charles Vallancey
published in 6 volumes between 1770-1804.

6 ancient scenes or symbols
IN: "Collectanea de Rebus Hibernicis" Ed. by Charles Vallancey
published in 6 volumes between 1770-1804.

amulets or jewellery
IN: "Collectanea de Rebus Hibernicis" Ed. by Charles Vallancey
published in 6 volumes between 1770-1804.

The Harp of Brian Boromh and the Irish Crown
'The Harp of Brian Boromh and the Irish Crown' IN: "Collectanea de Rebus
Hibernicis" Ed. by Charles Vallancey published in 6 volumes between 1770-1804.

double-Headed Patera of Gold
'A Curious double-Headed Patera of Gold the Size of the Original Found
in Ireland' IN: "Collectanea de Rebus Hibernicis" Ed. by Charles Vallancey
published in 6 volumes between 1770-1804.

Charter Horn
'The Charter Horn' IN: "Collectanea de Rebus Hibernicis"
Ed. by Charles Vallancey published in 6 volumes between 1770-1804.

A Plan of the Lake of Kilarny in the County of Kerry
'A Plan of the Lake of Kilarny in the County of Kerry' IN: "Hibernia Curiosa. A
Letter from a Gentleman in Dublin, to his Friend at Dover in Kent. Giving a General
View of the Manners, Customs, Dispositions, &c. of the Inhabitants of Ireland.
With Occasional Observations on the State of Trade and Agriculture in that
kingdom ... Collected in a Tour through the Kingdom in the Year 1764" by John Bush.

Tortures pamphlet
'Tortures' - miscellaneous pamphlet from the 18th century.
This is included in the collection so I'm assuming it's from Ireland.

Villanova University in Pennsylvania have a collection of 108 images from old books relating to Ireland. (full set of thumbnails on a single page) Though some of the material appears to be age-deteriorated, it's great to find any material online pertaining to Ireland.

The writings of Charles Vallancey (majority of images above) on the ethnic origins of Irish peoples and theories about Irish antiquities and oriental/aryan/linguistic tropes, are worth noting particularly because they appear to have been based entirely on imagined evidence or spurious assumptions...
"George Petrie says: "It is a difficult and rather unpleasant task to follow a writer so rambling in his reasonings and so obscure in his style; his hypotheses are of a visionary nature." The Quarterly Review declares that: "General Vallancey, though a man of learning, wrote more nonsense than any man of his time, and has unfortunately been the occasion of much more than he wrote. The Edinburgh Review says: "To expose the continual error of his theory will not cure his inveterate disease. It can only excite hopes of preventing infection by showing that he has reduced that kind of writing to absurdity, and raised a warning monument to all antiquaries and philologians that may succeed him." "[source]
air fire earth water symbols

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Cooking the Books

'Tacuinum Sanitatis' Northern Italy (late 14th century)

'Tacuinum Sanitatis' Northern Italy (late 14th century)

L'oignon Platearius, 'Le Livre des Simples Médecines' 1480

'Le Repas Amoureux' In: Boccaccio's 'The Decameron' 1432

'Les étuves' In: 'Le livre de Valère Maxime' 15th century
[I'm obviously going to the wrong restaurants]

Curtius Rufus : 'Geschichte Alexander des Großen'
(History of Alexander the Great) 1465-1475 [Detail]

Curtius Rufus : 'Geschichte Alexander des Großen'
(History of Alexander the Great) 1465-1475 [Detail]

'Le Service' In: 'Histoire de Renaud de Montauban' 1470

'Repas de noce' 'Histoire de Renaud de Montauban' 1470 BNF

'La Marchande de Lait' (Milkmaid) - Cries of Paris 1500

'Le Vin en Tonneau' In: 'Heures à l'Usage de Tours' 1500

Tafelaufsatz aus einem Skizzenbuch
- sketch of table decoration from c. 16th century.

Rumpolt Marx - Kochbuch (cookbook) 1600

Rumpolt Marx - Kochbuch (cookbook) 1600

'The Accomplished Ladies Rich Closet of
Rarities; or, The Ingenious Gentlewoman
and Servant-Maids Delightful Companion' 1696

Apicius - 'De Opsoniis et Condimentis' 1709

Conrad Hagger - 'Neues Saltzburgisches Koch-Buch'
(New Saltzburg Cookbook) 1718

Conrad Hagger - 'Neues Saltzburgisches Koch-Buch'
(New Saltzburg Cookbook) 1718

Maria Eliza Rundell - 'A New System Of Domestic Cookery, Formed Upon Principles Of Economy, And Adapted To The Use Of Private Families. By A Lady.' 1807

Frederick Accum - 'Culinary Chemistry' 1821

Isabella Beeton - 'Beeton's Book of Household Management' 1861

These essentially random images were variously obtained from:
A few other sites of interest, but by no means exhaustive...

Update - I forgot to include this: a thoroughly fascinating site - The Food Timeline. Definitely worth perusing.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Manuscript Castle

Raymond Lull manuscript 1

Raymond Lull manuscript 2

Raymond Lull manuscript 3

Raymond Lull manuscript 4

Raymond Lull manuscript 5

Raymond Lull manuscript 6

Raymond Lull manuscript 7

Raymond Lull manuscript 8

Raymond Lull manuscript 9

Raymond Lull manuscript 10

Another of the german digital media sites I blindly 'peruse' from time to time is Dr Klaus Graf's Archivalia. I followed a link today and gratefully came upon the beautiful 14th century images above, which I began downloading. {click on each image for an enlarged view}

Going back and doing some translating and quite a bit more digging, I found out that this beautiful illuminated manuscript is one of 3,500 (out of a total of 4,200) which, through some interesting legal wrangling, are being returned by Badische Landesbibliothek in Karlsruhe (State library of Baden-Württemberg) to the Baden family, who intend to sell them to pay for the upkeep of Salem castle. They apparently need 70 million Euros to restore and maintain their last remaining property. By all accounts and measures this is a priceless and culturally significant collection and it is surprising that there has been almost no media coverage outside of Germany.

However, the academic manuscript and archive community around the world have been rallying in the last week or so to petition the Baden-Württemberg regional government to prevent the sale and dispersal of the collection.

"The majority of manuscripts in question come from the libraries of
monasteries in the Black Forest, the Upper-Rhine, and Lake Constance.
They document a unique path of spiritual life in this region, and how
it developed. With few exceptions, these manuscripts arrived in the
care of the state 200 years ago during the secularization, which
expropriated the monastic libraries. Since that time, they have been
conserved and made available to the public under considerable
application of technology and public means. This sale will scatter
them to all ends of the globe."
[from a translation of an Open Letter published in 'Neue Züricher Zeitung' accompanying an article entitled "Philistines in Baden: End-of-Season Manuscript Sale in Karlsruhe"]
Links to english language reports/developments/petitions: Archivalia; Cronaca.

With respect to the manuscript images above ('Badische Landesbibliothek St Peter perg. 92': Raimundus Lullus – Thomas le Myésier. Electorium parvum seu breviculum.) -
"The significance of this MS, compiled c.1322 by Thomas le Myésier, lies not only in its illuminations, but also in the extensive texts preserved within these illuminations. A fantastic series of 12 full-page miniatures describes the life of the great Spanish philosopher Lull (died c.1315/16) and presents in allegorical form the content of his work. These miniatures, extraordinary for their artistic merit and originality have texts arranged in various shapes, some of them in gloses that could suggest a precursor of the modern “comic strip”."

The images are all from this page showcasing the manuscripts (tenuously, possibly formerly) held by Badische Landesbibliothek.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Tripelfels Organische Meeresbildungen

Organische Auswuflinge der Vulkane

Organische Susswasserbildungen Blatterkohlen Lager

Organische Susswasserbildungen Ditchte Erden


Verschiedene Organische Gebirgsmassen aus Afrika, Asien und Amerika


Organische Meeresbildungen

Kieselguhre aus Massachusetts

Kreidefelsen von Caffoliea in Sicilien


Krystalloid Bildungen Morpholithe

Kieselguhre I von Eger II von Franzensbad in Bohem

Kleines Leben des tiefen Erdfesten


Cultur-Erden Schnartz-Erde Humusland, Thon, Lehm, Sand, Goldsand

Atlantischer Passatstaub

[click on the images for larger versions]

Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg (1795–1876) from Saxony in Germany, began studies in theology, switched to medicine and he ultimately defended a PhD thesis in mycology. He befriended and accompanied the great Alexander von Humboldt on his Russian expedition and also undertook many of his own scientific excursions, particularly in the Middle East.

Although his central profession revolved around a medical Professorship, his primary interests were the broad areas of study related to microscopy. Ostensibly he had a passion for microorganisms but his enormous collection of plant, animal and soil specimens provided Ehrenberg with a unique opportunity to catalogue a wide range of micro-material for the first time.

Perhaps chief among his many credits, beyond the description of thousands of new unicellular diatoms and radiolaria (Haeckel continued/expanded this work) from the Protist Kingdom, was Ehrlenberg's astonishing report of an immense abundance of microfossils in rock formations. His world wide renown ensured he was plied with geological and organic specimens from all over the globe and I saw mention of many exotic and far flung places in the plates above. Thus did Ehrlenberg establish the scientific field of micropaleontology and he was likewise a pioneer in the geological discipline that came to be known as palynology (study of living and fossilized spores, cysts and associated molecules).

The huge natural bioscience and geological collection amassed by Ehrlenberg is today housed at the Museum für Naturkunde at Humboldt University in Berlin together with a large number of original drawings.

The plates above (from the section 101-140) are from a 2 volume publication by Ehrenberg from 1854 called 'Mikrogeologie'. Venturing into the download section of the Museum für Naturkunde is not for the faint of heart bandwidth, however. I had to download more than 250Mb of plates to collect the images for this post. The average size per plate is ~10Mb. Consequently, I haven't begun to scratch the surface of the legacy of Christian Ehrenberg available online and I'm sure there will be a next time with respect to lining up a clutch of downloads while I go off and watch tv, get a drink, build a house and read a book or 16. But I sense it will be worth it.

Creative Commons License