Monday, October 27, 2008


Act of Capitulation - monogram of Ottoman Sultan Achmed (30 June 1612)

Monogram of Ottoman Sultan Achmed (Ahmed) from June 1612 on a (Dutch) Treaty of Capitulation. As best I understand it, this type of Act/Treaty or privilege essentially granted local legal protection for non-Ottoman citizens, exemption from Ottoman taxing and strengthened the trading ability of the signatory state. In part, an instrument of good will from the Ottoman Empire, these originally benign treaties came to be exploited by European states as the Empire weakened. (see: one {in Dutch, about the monogram}, two, three, four) [image spliced from segments: source]

The Herball or General Historie of Plantes Gathered by John Gerarde

'The Herball or General Historie of Plantes Gathered by John Gerarde' - frontispiece from a reissue of the enlarged 2nd Ed. of 1636.

"Gerard, a London botanist, horticulturalist and barber-surgeon, whose own garden at Holborn contained "all the rare samples," did more than merely compile a list; he stressed the plant's medicinal qualities, drew attention to their ornamental and food values, and included extensive comments on culture and history."

"John Gerard was a member of the Barber-Surgeons' Company, but his true interest lay in botany. He published a catalogue of his garden in 1596, the first complete catalogue ever done. The appearance of the Herball was controversial. The publisher John Norton had originally commissioned Dr. Robert Priest, a member of the College of Physicians, to translate Rembert Dodoens' 'Stirpium historiae pemptades sex', first printed in 1583. Priest died before he finished the translation and the manuscript was acquired by Gerard, who finished it. He rearranged the order of the plants from the method of Dodoens to that of Matthias de L'Obel, who was asked by the publisher to correct errors, of which there were many. The book is not a straight plagiary, for it is filled with Gerard's own observations." [also]

Hosted online by Botanicus, this frontispiece must be close in sequence to the recently passed milestone of 1,000,000 pages now digitally available, courtesy of Missouri Botanical Garden Library. It is far and away the most comprehensive and accessible online repository for historical books and journals on botany.

Stapelia ambigua (1797)

Stapelia ambigua

IN: 'Stapeliae novae, or a collection of several new species of that genus, discovered in the interior parts of Africa', by Henri Masson, 1796-1797.
"[A]n important monograph on the carrion plant. Masson was the first plant-hunter sent to Africa under the auspices of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. In his introduction Masson notes that heretofore only two species of Stapelia had been noted: "In my various journeys through the deserts I have collected about forty, and these I humbly present to the lovers of Botany".
Image spliced together from screencaps from a current Sotheby's auction.

"Fig. 120.--Drawing of the skeleton of the great extinct armadillo-like animal called Glyptodon from the Pleistocene of the Argentine state in South America. The unjointed bone armour of the body, tail, and top of the head is shown. This figure is lent by the Trustees of the British Museum" (detail)
IN: 'Extinct Animals' by Edwin Ray Lankester, 1904 at SICD. {click 'see digitalized document' then the folder icon top left for thumbnail pages}

Related: 'Extinct Birds' by LW Rothschild, 1907 at Wisconsin University {click 'Display gallery view' in the sidebar)

L'Assiette au Beurre (refroidis) 1904 []

L'Assiette au Beurre (refroidis) 1904 (

Page layouts from 'L'Assiette au Beurre' by Gustave Henri Jossot, 1904, recently uploaded by the wonderful Coconino World site. [found via their 2nd newsletter - you can sign up here to get the email: it's only occasional and well worth subscribing if you like rare historic illustrations/cartoons]

What I Saw in the Fire by Alfred Crowquill 1861 (coconino)

"What I saw in the Fire"
By Alfred Crowquill (pseudonym of the Forrester brothers)
1861: I think this was published in Punch Magazine
{also sourced from Coconino World}

carnaval, gallo, guaje, morral (Lotería Huasteca)

'El Carnaval', 'El Gallo', 'El Guaje' and 'El Morral'

Contemporary woodblock prints from the Lotería Huasteca series; each print displaying "an aspect of the cultural diversity of the huasteco region in Mexico".
© Alec Dempster, a Mexican-Canadian print artist.
{via my intrepid, spider-chasing, globetrotting mate, Dinesh}

Codex Telleriano-Remensis, Mexican (Stanford - Chicana Art)

Manuscript page from the 16th century Codex Telleriano-Remensis (Mexico).

It was found among the Chicana Art Collection at Stanford University. [launch the Luna InsightBrowser halfway down the page here. Supposedly only for campus use but, *shrug*, it works. >1,300 images available]

Sketch of Two Figures Wearing Masks and in Costume by FH Cushing ( - siris)

Coloured pencil graphite and watercolour "Sketch of Two Figures Wearing Masks and in Costume, Standing On Either Side of Corn Stalk, and Holding Staff in One Hand And Stalk in the Other", undated but ~1880-1890, by Frank Hamilton Cushing. [from somewhere in Siris - must be a leftover from the recent Kiowa Pochoir Prints post]

Steam powered factory (1802)

'Aquarel van stoommachine', 1802

[detail of] Cross-sectional views - spliced together from segments - for a steam-powered factory. It's perhaps just theoretical; I can't make out what the system actually does. [source]

The Oriental Album by Joseph van Huerne (late 18th early 19th c.)

Image from spliced screencaps of an illustration in Joseph van Huerne's 'Oriental Album' (Oosters Album) {~55 pages}.
"The Oriental Album is a jewel from the collection of Joseph collector of Huerne.
The Album (late 18th-early 19th century) illustrates especially the big fascination for the exotic from China these days. The colorful illustrations of daily life are mainly the work of three artists Bruges (Ledoulx, Steyaert, Verbrugge), but the album also includes some original Chinese documents."
Source: Bruges Museum Print Room (click 'consulteren' in the sidebar)

Victor Gruen (

'Drawing Number 13 of Evry, France', © the Estate/Company of Victor Gruen.
(dated to 1969 according to the attached label)

From the University of Wyoming Digital Collection [another Luna InsightBrowser set; search on creator for 'gruen, victor']

Gruen is best known for having designed the first shopping mall, for which we all should be thankful annoyed medicated.

Also: 'Mall Maker - Victor Gruen, Architect of an American Dream' by MJ Hardwick, 2003 / review.

A Partial View of London and the Environs 1813 (Villanova U)

'A Partial View of London and the Environs'

IN: 'Utopia Found: being an Apology for Irish Absentees Addressed to a Friend in Connaught by an Absentee Residing in Bath', 1813 by (or published by) E Mangin.

This illustration comes from the Image Collection at the ever excellent Villanova University Digital Library - a great source for historic Irish material, among other things. [the whole of the 'Utopia Found' book is available at googlebooks, but there are quite a few botched page scans]

Campi Phlegraei - William Hamilton - cabinet exhib. Harry Ransom Center

Rock fragments - Plate XXXXVIII {Hand-colored engraving after sketches in situ by artist Peter Fabris.} IN: 'Campi Phlegraei (Burning Fields): observations on the volcanoes of the two Sicilies' by Sir William Hamilton , 1776.

The image was kindly supplied by the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas in Austin and belongs to a current exhibition, 'A Cabinet of Drawings', on display until 4 January 2009 (note there is video under the display frame [which I haven't watched]; also: the press release has a bit more information)

[For the interesting background and links to all the plates - eg. - from Hamilton's work, definitely see this great Mefi post and this post from the slumbering nonist]

Sri Lanka map (Ceylon - 1751)

1751 map of Ceylon (Sri Lanka)

[click through to the large version; huge version is also available]

Dedicated to the Dutch Indies Governor, Gerrard J Vreeland, and signed by B van Lier, this exceptional map, surrounded by fort schematics, is very much worth seeing in high resolution, whether you are into cartography, typography or art. Really beautiful. The image was pieced together from segments [source]. 'Serendip', as it was once (very appropriately) known, was the first foreign country I ever visited and, irrespective of the ongoing internal problems, the people are some of the happiest and gentlest I've ever met. I would return without any qualms.

Carte de l'Australie, (partie sud-ouest de l'Oceanie). Redigee par A. Brue a

[click through to the large version; huge version is also available]

Vetch proposal for Australian states

This assiduously researched map of Australia (all the text lower left cites their sources) is an ?1842 update of an earlier map by Adrien Hubert Brue and published by Charles Picquet IN: 'Atlas Universel de Geographie Physique, Politique, Ancienne & Moderne' [source]

What's interesting here of course is the embedded mini-map (the detail picture immediately above) showing a suggested 10-state naming system for Australia: I would now be a Guelphite rather than a New South Welshman -
"Australia, according to the Proposed divisions" from The Journal of the Royal Geographical Society, Volume 8, 1838 to accompany "Considerations on the Political Geography and Geographical Nomenclature of Australia by Captain Vetch, Royal Engineers, F.R.S." {see: one ('Australia, Proposed Divisions, 1838'), two, three, four}

Act of Ratification (between Napoleon, French Emperor and Dutch King - calligraphy) for annexation of Holland by France 1810

Act of Ratification (between French Emperor Napoleon and Dutch King) for annexation of Holland by France 1810 [source] - spliced together from segments.

Other things...


**** said...

*WOW* That's all I can say, except, THANK YOU.

Karla said...

1) I am tempted to use Ottoman Sultan Achmed's monogram as my own, or else as a Christmas card, except that the first use would be confusing and I suppose the second would be sacrilegious;
2) And you don't even mention the notorious odor of the carrion plant? (not that I've personally smelled it, but still...)
3) Am pretty sure I had a plastic Glyptodon as a child but this is the first picture of a Glyptodon skeleton I've ever seen (could the creature be in a box in my parents' shed???)
4) The skeletal L'Assiette de Beurre figures bring to mind the decorations on a T shirt I usually drag out around this time of year but these involve more props (did you see any of the Kupka Assiette de Beurre cartoons? some very anti-colonial items but I haven't really investigated Assiette de Beurre and not at all at the site you list)
5) "the first shopping mall, for which we all should be thankful annoyed medicated." Or comatose? And then there's the European hypermarket concept which has taken over my local supermarket (wasn't it enough to be a supermarket?), causing me to avoid grocery shopping
6) And finally, as a Guelph-ite, would you count yourself a White Guelph, Black Guelph, or a Ghibelline? (What would Dante say?)
By the way, the Blogger Comment function has been acting up intermittently and doesn't like previewing and all, not that we can do anything about it...

peacay said...

1. If you were standing in queue behind him at a cashier, you would be praying that he didn't pull out plastic.

2. To be honest, I completely forgot. I was more concerned with ensuring it wasn't malodorous in the splicing-image-together department.

3. Maybe. Maybe not.

4. Kupka appeared, funnily enough, in the first issue of Coconino's newsletter. Perhaps a little too twisted for Bib? Never say never though..

5. Well medicated will get you to comatosed. But really, I hope we are over the hump with respect to the prevalence of shopping malls. They are capitalism's cathedrals and that's a brand now in decline.

6. Dante would say something profound and quotable and lasting.

Re: Make no mistake, need no preview ;- )

Will said...

I am definitely giving your book as a holiday gifts. Can't wait for the sequel.

Thanks for the steady dose of inspiration.

Karla said...

4) Dang, those early Kupkas might indeed be too twisted to post here. Not all of them, but Dieu du Vatican definitely gave me pause. Which as you know is not easy to do. Ciel chrétien aux nègres is a pleasing bit of anticolonialism though. I don't know whether Kupka was still a theosophist-like practicing medium at the time he did these; the fact that he doesn't attack Theosophy is rather suggestive.

5) After the "travelator" incident (I'm still amused by this word, my apologies to the readership at large) I should think Sydney's cathedrals of capitalism should have collapsed for lack of financial buttresses (or even flying buttresses). Ours are merely slowly deflating.

Re Preview, it's not so much the preview function (which shows up but didn't want to work yesterday), it's that the comment page is showing up as the whole post with "Post a comment" at bottom and no way to have the comments emailed. Which is why I write this tonight instead of earlier. I'm getting this view intermittently and don't know what's happening that the page shows in this manner. (As you know, everything I write is perfect on the first try and could not possibly be improved on, which explains why I am chopping another 100 or 200 pages purely for pleasure... she said going into a raving delirium.)

Oh and Will has reminded me I was going to say that there are indeed some people who didn't get the book last year so if I can remember who they were in time to order a shipment...

peacay said...

Although I haven't used this new commenty box wotchamacallit much, the beauty of it is -- when it is working properly, and I haven't noticed any problems with its layout myself, save for the previewy thingamajig -- that you can have the comments sent via email by hitting the "Subscribe" link, which appears for me under the right hand side of the comment box. And you can have the follow up comments sent as email by this method without the need to actually comment.

While on this tekknical topic, I have, after much trial and error and seeking of advice, finally reconfigured the template code so that 'older posts' and/or 'newer posts' appear on both the front page and comment pages. I don't remember my rationale for killing it/them in the first place, but I noticed someone on some forum the other day lament their absence here and I was sufficiently intimidated -I mean- persuaded to act.

(Hi Will! And thanks.)

Karla said...

Oh, so you're to blame for the comment box change. Well, I do like being able to scroll up and see what I'm commenting on so that I don't have to open a separate window to remind myself of the details (too lazy to do that generally).

I think the first time I used this format, I wasn't sure whether "Subscribe" would subscribe me to the comments or give me an RSS feed of undefined nature. Currently it doesn't tell me which email address it's going to use--the other format told me but did seem to pick randomly, so sometimes it would switch me back and forth between gmail and the other one.

I don't use Preview all that much, mainly if I'm writing something longer and care more about the phrasing. But in the old version you had to preview if you weren't already signed in and wanted to subscribe to comments. And the first time (I think) I used this version, Preview took me to the old format which I did at least know how to use without thinking.

Older posts/newer posts--you mean the image links on the right? I like having them handy. But they're less vital for the regular readers (we know how to navigate the site, sort of) than for new readers who come to a specific post on a search and might be persuaded to explore. I don't like it when I land on a blog post that doesn't make it easy for me to get to other parts of the same blog. LiveJournal blogs can be annoying that way. I don't know if it's the architecture of their template or just certain blogs.

peacay said...

linky about comment box

Older post (text) link is down this page a bit. On the homepage it's an 'Older PostS' link; an easier way to go backwards in time -- 5 posts at a time -- rather than having only the archives drop down menu in the sidebar.

Karla said...

Ah, I see. Yeah, Older Post is good (if a person notices it) as it takes a minute to figure out how the Archive exactly works (or maybe I'm just dense, I took awhile).

And right now it's not displaying either Subscribe or Unsubscribe. I say this new Comment thing really isn't out of Beta no matter what Blogger claims. And I'm having to re-select my account, but that could be because someone wanted to check their Gmail from my laptop a minute ago (but I'm signed back in so that shouldn't throw it off?). AND (I've backed back into this screen) it's not letting me sign in claiming I'm not allowing cookies. ?*&@#

Ah, interesting, if I follow the link in the email version, it takes me to the older-style comment page. Yeah, not out of Beta at all.

peacay said...

Mm. It's kind of weird they have all the ajaxy stuff for html errors and the subscribe link yet the whole page has to be reloaded for the preview. I might persist with it for the mo', nevertheless. It is a step in the right direction on a number of levels. Hopefully they will tinker with it.

Ralf Wokan said...

Olá Peacay,
the Museums of Portugal have since yesterday about 30.000 pictures online:

please add "e-mail" to your profile.
Nobody can contact you !

peacay said...

Hi Ralf and thanks for the link; I will have a look for sure. I am a happy subscriber to your blog!

My email is in my profile: peacay AT gmail DOT com {maybe I should be clearer - I'm just trying to avoid spam)

{Tara} said...

I just happily discovered your blog. the Jossot and Rock fragment prints are amazing!

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