Thursday, October 12, 2006

Ragtag and Whimsy

anagram knights

anagram octopus

anagram bandits

Anagram Bookshop (Prague) promotional images
from Kaspen (alas, no more bookish fare, but they
have a nifty flash site and quite a portfolio of work).

olmec head drawing
'Olmec Head', a drawing by Walter Feldman, 1963.
Feldman has been teaching at Brown University for 46 years.

napoleon satire devil coat of arms
'The Wages of Sin is Death - A Characteristic
Design for the Arms of Buonaparte 1804'

These 2 images come from the Brown Digital Repository Collections University Instructional Image Collection(deprecated)
which requires a Luna Insight browser of ~30Mb download to view (the majority of their
images are Napoleonic satires which are available from a regular browser site anyway)

bushnell submarine cutaway plan
Plan of the first submarine used in combat (1776, unsuccessfully). The plan
was by David Bushnell but this is an updated cutaway produced for a 1996
book by C Chant: 'Submarines of the 20th century'. The image comes from
an interesting page of historical schematics of submarines at Heiszwolf. [via]

2 contemporary calligraphic images by dhikr
Qalam - 'The Pen in Ink' Dhikr - 'Remembrance'

Visual Dhikr, out of the UK, was founded by Ruh al-Alam and Abu Ta-Ha
and they produce contemporary Islamic art and calligraphic design work.
"Visual Dhikr artwork seeks to accomplish the simple aim of 'visual remembrance', remembrance of the Divine through beauty, light and the written word." Highly recommended - go for the ambient tabla sounds, stay for the eclectic imagery. [via the Islamic Artists Society]

four 19th century german family crests

single 19th century german family crest
Family crests from the monograph, 'Familienbuch der von Bülow', 1858
by Jakob Friedrich Joachim and Paul Bülow at the University of Göttingen.

Elisaevs, Ionas, Abdias 1550 engraving
'Elisaevs, Ionas, Abdias' c. 1550.

allegorical tabernacle scene
'Sacri in tabernaculo apparatus partes ex descriptione Mosis' by Pieter Huys,
1571 - IN: 'Dictionnaire de l'Amateur d'Estampes' by Charles Le Blanc, 1888.
Just 2 of the engravings from a wonderful collection of prints
at the Portuguese National Library [thanks Pita!].

'Exposicion Plateria Mexicana' by Adolfo Mexiac, 1952.

'Exposición. Museo Nacional de Antropología' by Francisco Mora 1922

Sein Denkmal Blicke
'Sein Denkmal Blicke in die Vergangenheit und Zukunft
beim Anfang des Jahres' 1814 -- referring to Napoleon --
('Monument to the views to the past and future from
the beginning of the year' .. or thereabouts).

'Das ist mein lieber Sohn' - Napoleon as child of the devil: hand-colored etching.

Order of the march of Queen of Tunquin
'The Order of the March of the Queen Mother and Reigning
Queen of Tunquin when they goe abroad out of Palace'
IN: 'A collection of several relations & treatises singular and curious,
of John Baptista Tevernier, Baron of Aubonne not printed among
his first six voyages' by Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, 1680.
['Tunquin' is otherwise known as 'Tonkin', in the far north of Vietnam, near the
Chinese border - one of the most beautiful places on earth I know well! .]

'Artus, Thomas, sieur d'Embry. Description de l'Isle des Hermaphrodites,
Nouvellement Découverte, Contenant les Moeurs, les Coutumes & les
Ordonances des Habitans de cette Isle, comme aussi le Discours de
Jacophile à Limne, avec Quelques autres Pièces Curieuses. Pour
Servir de Supplement au Journal de Henri III.' 1724.
There were a few more much less sophisticated (or
sympathetic) hermaphrodite images at the same site.

Woodcut of witch being abducted
IN: 'Historia de gentibus septentrionalibus', by Olaus Magnus, 1555.

The above 5 images also require the Luna Insight browser -
(from memory there are about 3 or 4 repository sites who use this
software system, which is not too bad once it's set up. But it does require
taking screencaps and splicing to get decent sized images) - in this case from
the Rare Books and Manuscript Image Collections at Cornell University.
Snagging 3 Napoleon satires was entirely accidental although they constitute
a huge body of illustrative work. Perhaps that is evidence supporting the notion
that Napoleon served as 'the pure archetype of evil in history' before Hitler?

The engraving on the left comes from a very famous book originally
published in 1655 called 'Armamentarium Chirurgicum' by Johannes
Scultetus. The renown stems predominantly from its detailing all medical
instruments of the time and also because of some of the surgical
(especially neurosurgical) procedures it depicts. The image comes from
ebay and I thought it worth collecting because I could only find one other
copy online - a slightly different and not particularly good quality version at
Clendening Library. And while searching around I stumbled across a very interesting exhibition site at the University of Nagasaki.

The engravings from 'Armamentarium Chiurgicum' were hand copied in 1706 by a group, whose name (or work) translates, perhaps worryingly from a patient's point of view, as 'The Crimson Barbarian Surgical Sect'. The original engravings and hand-copied versions are laid out next to each other at the site. Normally I would have devoted a complete entry to this sort of find, but those watermarks are thoroughly intrusive and a real pain to remove. I may have few digitolegal scruples and perhaps variable taste, but maintaining some semblance of an aesthetic standard around here is pretty well fundamental.

'Backpackkopelli' © Bill Amundson via Jaf Project.

This was ready yesterday - ISP problem kept me offline (speaking of intrusiveness and a real pain). At least the desktop is now a bit more organised. It is very strange sitting at a computer without internet access. I nearly played solitaire.


Anonymous said...

Would you be so kind as to tell where does the "Napoleon as child of the devil" etching come from?

P.S. You have a wonderful blog, it has become my every day reference as well as a treat. Thank you for all your work.

peacay said...

Thanks Momiji. That image comes from Cornell. But you need to download a 30Mb Luna Insight browser to view the images I'm afraid. If you click on the Napoleon as a child image above you can see it enlarged.

peacay said...

Sorry, you meant where it originally came from?

Cornell don't give much information...and I can't find much online: I'm sure I've seen it before. Perhaps it was a newspaper or magazine or poster image.


Title: "Das ist mein lieber Sohn"
Subject: Napoléon, Emperor of the French
Notes: Napolean as child of the devil, hand-colored etching
Classification: Drawings
Medium: hand-colored etching
Bibliographic Information: DC203.4C27+++
ID Number: RMC2006_0157
Subcollection: Rare Books
Collection Title Proper: Caricaturen auf Napoleon
Repository: Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Location: DC203.4C27+++

Anonymous said...

thank you, pk, for all your help and information - it is very much appreciated.

Juke said...

Hear hear on the watermark!
Lots of times I just bail immediately regardless how driven toward the image originally.
It's so creepily desperate and anal, and set beside the example of your yeoman work - for free, for everyone - it just looks paltry and weak.
I've fiddled images before to erase them, 25 pixels at a time, but it's a pain.
Any software?


peacay said...

Juke, the program I use is called mouse elbow grease. I just use MS Paint with a dab here, a copy/paste-a-section there, and a bit of spraypainting. It's hugely timeconsuming, although I somehow find it quite soothingly compulsive once I start.

But I really try to limit image adjustments and have rejected images many, many times (particularly in the UK) because of intrusive watermarks.

Varun said...


Could you please tell me who did the Anagram Bookshop artwork? Very interesting! Is the bookshop still open? I read somewhere that it has now shut down. Very interested in that artwork. Trying to find the artist. Thanks!

peacay said...

Sorry Varun, I can't help. It looks like Anagram's site is no longer in use. If I was *you* and this was important to me, I'd at least start my journey with a search of *"worlds create worlds" & campaign* and then start adding in things like advertising agency or ad artist & anagram account.... terms like that. Good luck! It certainly was a fabulous idea and well executed. Ooooh.. don't forget to go on to translate searches into Czech!

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