Archive for the antiques Category
Oh Victorian Trading Co., you’ve outdone yourself! The purveyors of new goods with antique style are now producing figurines from the Antikamnia Chemical Company Calendars (which I was certain I posted about but cannot find here at the moment).
These skeleton figurals are inspired by the watercolour artistry of 19th c. illustrator Louis Crucius, commissioned to create a calendar for the company in 1898.
I do plan to frame some calendar images at some point, and while nobody needs Antikamnia figurines, I think they’d make a fine addition to the home.
This is one of the most skilled antique automata I’ve seen. Most have limbs that move, but this one actually carries out the task of drawing a bow and shooting an arrow! This particular masterpiece was made 200 years ago. Watch:
Karakuri puppets are traditional Japanese mechanized puppets or automata, originally made from the 17th century to 19th century. The word karakuri means “mechanisms” or “trick.” The dolls’ gestures provided a form of entertainment. Three main types of karakuri exist. Butai karakuri were used in theatre. Zashiki karakuri were small and used in homes. Dashi karakui were used in religious festivals, where the puppets were used to perform reenactments of traditional myths and legends.
My The Morbid Anatomy Anthology just arrived, and I absolutely must sing its praises. I can’t wait to dive in and devour every word and image!
Since 2008, the Morbid Anatomy Library of Brooklyn, New York, has hosted some of the best scholars, artists and writers working along the intersections of the history of anatomy and medicine, death and the macabre, religion and spectacle. The Morbid Anatomy Anthology collects some of the best of this work in 28 lavishly illustrated essays. Included are essays by Evan Michelson (star of Science Channel’s hit show Oddities) on the catacombs of Palermo; Simon Chaplin (head of the Wellcome Library in London) on public displays of corpses in Georgian England; mortician Caitlin Doughty on demonic children; and Paul Koudounaris (author of Empire of Death) on a truck stop populated with human skulls. In addition are pieces on books bound in human skin, death-themed cafes in fin-de-siècle Paris, post-mortem photography, eroticized anatomical wax models, taxidermied humans and other animals, Santa Muerte, “artist of death” Frederik Ruysch, and much more.
There are some brilliant minds and expert curators behind this book (namely, Joanna Ebenstein and Colin Dickey). If you are a fan of this blog, you should definitely pick it up! It’s an amazing treasure trove (and really fairly priced…even for a penny pincher like me!). Support these great folks. They deserve it.
Though I’ve come across many over time, I have never made a concerted effort to seek out automata by Henry Phalibois. After seeing this fishing monkey, I’m inspired to check out his entire viewable collection (they seem to be spread all over the internet without one definitive source).
When in motion, the monkey lifts his fishing rod up and down, puts his pipe to his moving lips (which are quite eerie!), turns his head to look at you, and the fish in the pond swim around.
Here’s a truly unique modification: the Victorian Hearse Aquarium. It was up for auction (and has since ended), but is worth showing for the craftsmanship.
Large Victorian Ebonized Aquarium Cabinet, 19th century and later. Fashioned from the rear glazed doors of a New Orleans style horse drawn hearse, adapted on modern stand to accommodate tank, filter and lighting, all included, 80.5″ x 57″ x 41″ – 204.5 x 144.8 x 104.1 cm.
What do you think of this item? Too goth? Completely awesome?