Archive for antiques

Oddities Store

Posted in antiques, creatures, medicine, oddities, taxidermy, vintage with tags , , , , , on February 18, 2015 by shewalkssoftly

If it has “oddities” in the title, there’s a good chance I’ll go down a massive rabbit hole exploring it. Thus, Oddities Store was an enjoyable find indeed.

I desperately need these:
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They have bisected animals…
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Bell jar skulls of all sorts…
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Fish sticks (literally):
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Diaphonized beauties:
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Skulls on plaques:
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Lovely shadow boxes:
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And…Lung Salve!
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Browse the rest of the collections at the Oddities Store.

The Art of the Physician and the Surgeon, 1412

Posted in anatomy, antiques, medicine with tags , , on February 5, 2015 by shewalkssoftly

Morbid Anatomy has a fascinating post on De Arte Phisicali et de Cirurgica (The Art of the Physician and the Surgeon), an illuminated vellum scroll, 542 cm (17 feet 9 inches) by 36 cm (1 foot 2 inches). It is dated 1412 and resides in the National Library of Sweden.

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The manuscript is composed of six vellum skins sewn together. Morbid Anatomy guest writer Michael Sappol explains:

It features numerous painted color illustrations, along with a text written by John Arderne (1307-ca. 1390), a master surgeon who lived in Newark in the county of Nottingham, England. How it got to Sweden is a bit of a mystery, but experts believe that it traveled over the North Sea sometime in the 1420s, sent by King Henry IV of England to help his daughter, Princess Philippa. She had been married off to King Erik of Sweden in 1406 at the tender age of 12 (and died in 1430 at age 34 of a miscarriage).

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The text (in Latin) contains standard medical wisdom of its time: advice on diagnosis and how to treat various conditions in the form of a discussion of cases, along with helpful recipes. (A knowledge of astrology helps with all of this.) The scroll is also supplied with a large number of good-natured, even comical, illustrations. Mostly they show the usual diseases and problems (dysentery, dropsy, colic, pleurisy, belching, insomnia, bellyache) and the usual therapeutic methods (bleeding, cautery, purging and plastering). There are also pictures of surgical instruments, poisonous animals (watch out for toads!) and typical problems of delivering a baby.

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What has attracted the most attention from scholars, and even the public, are the scroll’s painted illustrations of the anatomized body, split open like a book or a butchered animal. These occupy the middle of the scroll, between the two main columns of text (which makes no comment on them), and are very rare for the period, really quite astonishing.

Incredible find, indeed!

Desktop Goodies 1/22

Posted in absurd, advertising, antiques, art, comics, creatures, photography, satire, sci-fi, skulls and skeletons, vintage, you can't handle the cute with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 22, 2015 by shewalkssoftly

Yep, these are real birds…
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…not Tribbles with eyes.
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I wanted so much to believe this is an actual album, but sadly I don’t see it on Amazon or YouTube.
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Now THIS is music! I can almost hear their sweet, fruity harmonizing.
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1926 skull clock created by the German Oswald clockmaking workshop. They eyes rotate to tell the time.
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For maximum safety, place your child in a crib that appears to be a cross between a glass coffin and what magicians use to saw people in half.
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A unique abduction? Eye don’t know.
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MONSTER SOUP OF THE THAMES!
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Never neglect your bowels.
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I wish this were part of a large “Things to Do With a Giant Head” photo collection. There are two fine suggestions here:
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The Shadow is a force, indeed.
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The challenges we rarely think of…
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Antikamnia Chemical Company Skeleton Figures

Posted in antiques, products, skulls and skeletons, wish list with tags , , , on January 9, 2015 by shewalkssoftly

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).

Skeleton Diagnosis
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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.

Dr. Death
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Clown
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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.

Henry Hargreaves: A Trip to the Moon…In Icing

Posted in antiques, craft, film, food, photography with tags , , , , on July 21, 2014 by shewalkssoftly

Artist/photographer Henry Hargreaves has combined two of my favorite things: silent films and cake (well, technically cake frosting, but still). He recreated the iconic image from George Melies’s 1902 film Le Voyage Dans La Lune.

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The original:

Henry Hargreaves
Source

Japanese “Karakuri”

Posted in antiques, automata, japan with tags , , on July 14, 2014 by shewalkssoftly

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:

From Wiki:
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.

The Morbid Anatomy Anthology

Posted in anatomy, antiques, Books, oddities with tags , , , on June 25, 2014 by shewalkssoftly

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!

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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.

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