Painting Plaster Work and the History of Terra Cotta

The 1896 Victorian terracotta Bell Edison Telephone Building – 17 & 19 Newhall Street, Birmingham, England. A grade I listed building designed by Frederick Martin of the firm Martin & Chamberlain. Now offices for firms of architects. Photographed 10 May 2006 by Oosoom

[Reprint from Victoria and Albert Museum included below on Terra Cotta for non-commercial educational purposes.]

Painting on Plaster Work.—Plastering should never be painted until it is thoroughly dry. Portland cement is best left for a year or two before being painted. Plaster work not previously painted will require four or five coats, Portland cement five or six. If plastered work is required to be painted immediately, it should be executed in Keene’s or Parian cement (see Plaster Work). A great deal more paint is of course absorbed by plaster than by wood, just as wood absorbs more than iron.

Blistering and Cracking.—The blistering of painted surfaces may be caused in several ways. If on iron, it may be the result of a particle of rust which, not having been removed in the process of cleaning, has increased in size and loosened the paint. If on plaster, a particle of unslaked lime may have ” blown,” with a similar result. On wood, blistering is usually caused by painting upon a wet surface or upon unseasoned wood.

Blisters may also be caused by the use of too much oil in paint exposed to heat, or the application of one coat upon another before the latter is properly dry. To prevent blistering a method that has been tried with good results is to apply two coats of water paint (washable distemper) and follow by two
coats of oil colour or varnish. Cracking is caused by the use of too much oil in the under coats and too little in the topcoats.

Distemper.—New plaster-work must be quite dry before distemper is applied. The work should be stopped (that is, any irregularities filled up with plaster of Paris mixed with whiting and water to a paste) and then rubbed perfectly smooth with glass paper. Clairecole, a solution of thin size and whiting, is then applied to render the plaster non-absorbent, and this is followed by distemper of the desired colour. Distemper is made by soaking whiting in clean water to a creamy consistency. To this is added size which has been previously warmed, and the pigment required to colour the mixture; the whole is then well stirred and strained to remove any lumps. Many patent wash able distempers under fancy names are now on the market in the form of paste or powder, which simply require to be mixed with water to be ready for use. If applied to woodwork distemper is apt to flake off. The ” one-knot ” brush for cornices and other mouldings and the ” two-knot ” and ” brass-bound ” brushes for flat surfaces are usually employed for distempering and whitewashing. A granular surface is produced by stippling or dabbing the surface with a stiff bristled brush specially made for this purpose.

Gilding, &c.—Very rich effects may be produced both in external and internal decorations by the judicious use of overlays of gold or silver. In their application, however, it must always be borne in mind that they are metals, not paints, and they should only be used in positions such as would be appropriate for the actual metals. ” Dutch metal ” and other imitations cost about one-third of the price of genuine gilding, and require to be protected from oxidization by a coat of lacquer. Gold leaf is affixed with gold size or other adhesive preparations. The best and most durable work is oil gilding, which involves less labour, and results in a richer appearance than other methods. The work is usually primed first of all with a solution of boiled linseed oil and white lead, and then ‘covered with a fine glutinous composition called gold size, on which, when it is nearly dry, the gold leaf is laid in narrow strips with a fine brush, and pressed down with a pad of cotton-wool held in the fingers. As the slips must be made to overlap each other slightly to ensure the complete covering of the whole surface, the loose edges will remain unattached, to be afterwards struck off with a large sable or camel-hair brush. The joints, if the work be skilfully executed, will be invisible. For burnished gilding the work must be covered with various coats of gluten, plaster and bole, which last is mixed with gold size to secure the adhesion of the leaf.

[Reprint from Victoria and Albert Museum included below on Terra Cotta for non-commercial educational purposes.]

Italian Terracotta Sculpture

Relief, probably Lorenzo Ghiberti, 15th century, terracotta, Florence, Italy. Museum no. A.7-2003, © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Through their masterful control of material and a superb sense of artistry, Italian sculptors have explored the versatility of terracotta to create some of the most alluring and expressive sculptures in the history of art.

A history of terracotta

‘Modelling in clay is to the sculptor what drawing on paper is to the painter… In the soft clay the genius of the artist is seen in its utmost purity and truth…’

Johann Joachi, Winckelmann, History of Art, 1776

Clay is an inexpensive and abundant material that has been used since ancient times to make bricks, tiles, pottery, and ritual objects. When fired, clay becomes terracotta, or ‘baked earth’.

In the hands of Donatello and his contemporaries in early 15th-century Italy, terracotta became a fundamental medium of artistic expression and creativity, and remained so until the age of Antonio Canova in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Skill in handling clay became a requirement at art academies across Europe; the development of new technologies fed the demand for clay sculpture, and clay models took on a central role in portraiture and relief sculpture. Clay was essential to the creative process of sculpture during this period.

Origins: The Ghiberti-Donatello style

The potential of using clay to reproduce devotional images was first recognised by two of the leading sculptors in early 15th-century Florence. Lorenzo Ghiberti ran a large workshop while making bronze doors for the Florence Baptistery. He trained most of the leading sculptors, and the young Donatello, who became the most influential sculptor of the period, also spent time there. The use of clay was central to the production of bronzes and Ghiberti recognised its versatility. Clay could be moulded to replicate images which were then fired, painted and gilded, providing a cheap alternative to more expensive materials, such as marble and bronze.

The Virgin and Child was a popular theme, which found classic expression in the works of Donatello and Luca della Robbia. Donatello’s interest was in combining different materials, while Luca adapted pottery glazes to produce more durable and vibrant surfaces. This innovative technique was described by the famous painter and biographer, Giorgio Vasari, as ‘a new, useful and most beautiful art’.

Bust of Cardinal Giovanni de’ Medici (later Leo X), attributed to Antonio de’Benintendi, about 1512. Museum No. A.29-1982, © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

The Renaissance portrait bust

Portraiture is often seen as the quintessential Renaissance art form, and clay was used increasingly during the 15th century to produce life-like busts. It was an ideal medium to make models for portraits in other materials. Most finished clay portraits would have been painted to appear more realistic, like the extraordinarily vivid likeness of Cardinal Giovanni de’ Medici, the future Pope Leo X, based on a mask taken from life. In other cases, like the rare bust of a Young Man in Armour by Antonio del Pollaiuolo, the clay image was painted to imitate the far more costly material of bronze. Its torso is fashioned with coils of clay, like an earthen jar, demonstrating how pottery techniques were adapted for sculpture. The bust of Tommaso Rangone by Alessandro Vittoria was originally created as the model for a portrait in bronze. It was later gilded to produce a more decorative object for display.

Verrocchio and the terracotta model

Model, Verrocchio, about 1476, terracotta, Florence, Italy. Museum no. 7599-1861, © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

By the late 15th century, terracotta models had become an integral part of the sculptor’s production. In Florence, Andrea del Verrocchio ran a large workshop which produced both sculpture and paintings. He made a variety of studies for his works, and raised terracotta to an important art form through projects like the monument to Niccolò Forteguerri in Pistoia. Five artists were invited to submit models in competition for this prestigious commission, and Verrocchio’s terracotta model was declared the winner. It is one of the earliest surviving examples of a sculptor’s model, representing the start of a long tradition which extended well into the 18th century. The Forteguerri relief is a detailed representation of the finished design, but it contains a freshness and lively handling more commonly associated with a sketch. Verrocchio also used draped models to make drawing studies for paintings, which assisted in conveying volume in his painted figures.

Full-scale statuary in clay

Terracotta was often used as a substitute for marble or bronze, especially outside central Italy where there were no available marble quarries. It was a flexible and versatile medium, which could rival painting in its exploitation of colour and movement to create credible figures in the round. Most of these works have been destroyed or remain in their original chapels across northern Italy. The Archangel Gabriel, is a rare example of what had been a common form. Agostino di Duccio, its creator, made a work of exceptional beauty, which would originally have been enhanced by pastel colouring. Traces of the original paint can still be seen. Andrea Riccio’s Virgin and Child is actually a fragment of a full-scale seated statue, which had been cut into sections for firing and then reassembled. Riccio is now best known for his small bronzes, but in his own day he was equally celebrated for his sculpture in clay.

Benedetto da Maiano: The pulpit reliefs for Santa Croce in Florence

Three reliefs, showing scenes from the life and legends of St Francis, were made by the Florentine sculptor, Benedetto da Maiano, in 1481. Together with another panel in Berlin, they represent the only surviving relief cycle in terracotta from the 15th century. They were made as full-scale designs for the reliefs on a marble pulpit commissioned to commemorate the wealthy Florentine banker, Pietro Mellini, who had sat for a portrait bust by Benedetto in 1474. The panels were made within wooden boxes lined with paper. A spatula (a flat modelling tool) was used to create the background and architectural setting for each scene. The high-relief figures were modelled separately and applied to the surface before the reliefs were fired in a kiln. The loss and dark discolouration seen on the Funeral of St Francis occurred during the firing. The reliefs have been mounted to imitate the finished work, and a plaster cast of the pulpit can be seen in the Italian Cast Court (Room 46B) at the V&A.

    

The cult of the model

The sketch model owed its popularity to the preliminary studies by artists such as Michelangelo (1475-1564) and Giambologna, sculptor to the Grand-Dukes of Tuscany. Sculptor’s models were seen to reveal the artist’s initial concept and were prized by both fellow artists and connoisseurs. Giambologna’s models capture the spontaneity of his modelling technique. In the River God it is possible to see the artist’s fingerprints as he gouges and wheedles the clay into shape.

The great master of the clay sketch was Gian Lorenzo Bernini, an outstanding genius who dominated artistic life in 17th-century Rome. Bernini used his models to work out a particular aspect of the design, often leaving the rest of the work unfinished.

A River God, Giovanni Bologna, about 1575. Museum no. 250-1876, © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Sketch model of Pope Alexander VII, Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini, Italy, 1669-70. Museum no. A.17-1932, © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Relief sculpture: From Renaissance to Baroque

Bernini famously said that he wanted to make marble as malleable as wax. But it was his great rival, Alessandro Algardi, who first applied this principle to relief sculpture. Algardi made relief altarpieces fashionable. He exploited the painterly quality of clay and translated it into more permanent marble monuments.

Relief, ‘David Dancing before the Arc’, Alessandro Algardi, Rome, Italy, 1600-1650. Museum no. A.23:1-1959, © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Relief, possibly by Donatello, about 1455-60, gilded terracotta. Museum no. 57:1-1867, © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Terracotta models of the Baroque: Bernini and Algardi

Terracotta model of the Blessed Ludovica Albertoni, Gianlornzo Bernini, Rome, Italy, 1671–4. Museum no. A.93-1980, © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

The two great artists, Bernini and Algardi, were largely responsible for the significance of the clay model in the 17th century. Bernini made thousands of clay models, and around forty have survived. These remarkable works shed light on the evolution of his ideas. Bernini usually began with a quick pen sketch. He then made several clay models to study the impact of his design in three dimensions. There were a large number of models made in connection with the over-life-size marble Angels for the impressive Roman bridge, the Ponte Sant’Angelo. These were mainly made by Bernini with the collaboration of his large workshop. Most are quick sketches or bozzetti in clay, that demonstrate his endless exploration of subtle variations on a theme – almost like freeze frames in the study of movement. In contrast, Algardi’s models tend to be more finished and reflect a wider range of commissions.

The Baroque portrait bust

Model for a portrait bust of Cosimo III de’ Medici, Giovanni Battista Foggini, Italy, about 1687. Museum no. 6818-1860, © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

The Renaissance concept of the ‘speaking likeness’ was raised to new heights by the Baroque portrait bust. Algardi’s sensitive terracotta bust of Pope Innocent X served as the basis for the pope’s official portraits and was subsequently painted white to imitate marble. A similar recycling of a terracotta model can be seen in Giovan Battista Foggini’s bust of Cosimo III de’ Medici. Two layers of metal leaf and paint have been applied to the surface to simulate the more precious material of bronze.

Models and finished works in the 18th century

During the 18th century, terracotta was valued as much for its decorative qualities as for its practical uses. Famous sculptures, such as Filippo Della Valle’s allegorical figure of Temperance, were replicated and sold in small, terracotta versions as souvenirs of the Grand Tour. A work like Agostino Cornacchini’s Sleeping Endymion went straight into a collector’s cabinet with bronze and even porcelain copies made from it. The distinguished marble sculptor, Giuseppe Sanmartino, for example, delighted in the expressive qualities of painted terracotta for use in minor works such as the famous Neapolitan nativity scenes. These often contained a vast number of figures that rival the delicacy of porcelain figurines.

Canova

Like Michelangelo and Bernini before him, Antonio Canova dominated the artistic scene of his day. Our perception of his art is based upon the miraculous perfection of his finished marbles, but his initial ideas were worked out in clay. Small sketches, such as the Venus and Adonis or Cupid and Psyche, have an extraordinary power and vitality which echoes the Neo-classical pronouncement: ‘ Conceive with fire and execute with phlegm’. The evolution of Canova’s design for the Penitent Magdalen can be traced from a tiny pencil sketch and a clay model to the finished marble. Towards the end of his career, Canova preferred not to fire his clay models, but made plaster casts from them instead. This allowed him to make copies with the freshness of the clay model but the model was destroyed in the process. Canova’s use of plaster heralded the end of the great tradition of terracotta in Italian sculpture.

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The Hatha Yoga Pradipika

THE HATHA YOGA PRADIPIKA

Translated into English by PANCHAM SINH

Panini Office, Allahabad [1914]

INTRODUCTION.

There exists at present a good deal of misconception with regard to the practices of the Haṭha Yoga. People easily believe in the stories told by those who themselves [...] Read more →

The Billesden Coplow Run

*note – Billesdon and Billesden have both been used to name the hunt.

BILLESDEN COPLOW POEM

[From “Reminiscences of the late Thomas Assheton Smith, Esq”]

The run celebrated in the following verses took place on the 24th of February, 1800, when Mr. Meynell hunted Leicestershire, and has since been [...] Read more →

CIA 1950s Unevaluated UFO Intelligence

 

CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY

INROMATION FROM FOREIGN DOCUMENT OR RADIO BROADCASTS COUNTRY: Non-Orbit SUBJECT: Military – Air – Scientific – Aeronautics HOW PUBLISHED: Newspapers WHERE PUBLISHED: As indicated DATE PUBLISHED: 12 Dec 1953 – 12 Jan 1954 LANGUAGE: Various SOURCE: As indicated REPORT NO. 00-W-30357 DATE OF INFORMATION: 1953-1954 DATE DIST. 27 [...] Read more →

The Legacy of Felix de Weldon

Felix Weihs de Weldon, age 96, died broke in the year 2003 after successive bankruptcies and accumulating $4 million dollars worth of debt. Most of the debt was related to the high cost of love for a wife living with Alzheimer’s. Health care costs to maintain his first wife, Margot, ran $500 per [...] Read more →

Bess of Hardwick: Four Times a Lady

Bess of Harwick

Four times the nuptial bed she warm’d, And every time so well perform’d, That when death spoil’d each husband’s billing, He left the widow every shilling. Fond was the dame, but not dejected; Five stately mansions she erected With more than royal pomp, to vary The prison of her captive When [...] Read more →

Target Practice

Nov. 12, 1898 Forest and Stream Pg. 396

The Veterans to the Front.

Ironton. O., Oct. 28.—Editor Forest and Stream: I mail you a target made here today by Messrs. E. Lawton, G. Rogers and R. S. Dupuy. Mr. Dupuy is seventy-four years old, Mr. Lawton seventy-two. Mr. Rogers [...] Read more →

Napoleon’s Pharmacists

NAPOLEON’S PHARMACISTS.

Of the making of books about Napoleon there is no end, and the centenary of his death (May 5) is not likely to pass without adding to the number, but a volume on Napoleon”s pharmacists still awaits treatment by the student in this field of historical research. There [...] Read more →

Of Decorated Furniture

DECORATED or “sumptuous” furniture is not merely furniture that is expensive to buy, but that which has been elaborated with much thought, knowledge, and skill. Such furniture cannot be cheap, certainly, but the real cost of it is sometimes borne by the artist who produces rather than by the man who may [...] Read more →

What’s the Matter?

A rhetorical question? Genuine concern?

In this essay we are examining another form of matter otherwise known as national literary matters, the three most important of which being the Matter of Rome, Matter of France, and the Matter of England.

Our focus shall be on the Matter of England or [...] Read more →

A Survey of Palestine – 1945-1946

This massive volume gives one a real visual sense of what it was like running a highly efficient colonial operation in the early 20rh Century. It will also go a long way to help anyone wishing to understand modern political intrigue in the Middle-East.

Click here to read A Survey of Palestine [...] Read more →

The Charge of the Light Brigade

Half a league, half a league, Half a league onward, All in the valley of Death Rode the six hundred. “Forward, the Light Brigade! Charge for the guns!” he said. Into the valley of Death Rode the six hundred. Home Top of [...] Read more →

Historic authenticity of the Spanish SAN FELIPE of 1690

San Felipe Model

Reprinted from FineModelShips.com with the kind permission of Dr. Michael Czytko

The SAN FELIPE is one of the most favoured ships among the ship model builders. The model is elegant, very beautifully designed, and makes a decorative piece of art to be displayed at home or in the [...] Read more →

JP Morgan’s Digital Currency Patent Application

J.P. Morgan Patent #8,452,703

Method and system for processing internet payments using the electronic funds transfer network.

Abstract

Embodiments of the invention include a method and system for conducting financial transactions over a payment network. The method may include associating a payment address of an account [...] Read more →

Proper Wines to Serve with Food

Foie gras with Sauternes, Photo by Laurent Espitallier

As an Appetizer

Pale dry Sherry, with or without bitters, chilled or not. Plain or mixed Vermouth, with or without bitters. A dry cocktail.

With Oysters, Clams or Caviar

A dry flinty wine such as Chablis, Moselle, Champagne. Home Top of [...] Read more →

The Stock Exchange Specialist

New York Stock Exchange Floor September 26,1963

The Specialist as a member of a stock exchange has two functions.’ He must execute orders which other members of an exchange may leave with him when the current market price is away from the price of the orders. By executing these orders on behalf [...] Read more →

Country House Christmas Pudding

Country House Christmas Pudding

Ingredients

1 cup Christian Bros Brandy ½ cup Myer’s Dark Rum ½ cup Jim Beam Whiskey 1 cup currants 1 cup sultana raisins 1 cup pitted prunes finely chopped 1 med. apple peeled and grated ½ cup chopped dried apricots ½ cup candied orange peel finely chopped 1 ¼ cup [...] Read more →

The Public Attitude Towards Speculation

Reprint from The Pitfalls of Speculation by Thomas Gibson 1906 Ed.

THE PUBLIC ATTITUDE TOWARD SPECULATION

THE public attitude toward speculation is generally hostile. Even those who venture frequently are prone to speak discouragingly of speculative possibilities, and to point warningly to the fact that an [...] Read more →

Curing Diabetes With an Old Malaria Formula

For years in the West African nation of Ghana medicine men have used a root and leaves from a plant called nibima(Cryptolepis sanguinolenta) to kill the Plasmodium parasite transmitted through a female mosquito’s bite that is the root cause of malaria. A thousand miles away in India, a similar(same) plant [...] Read more →

Guaranteed 6% Dividend for Life. Any takers?

Any prudent investor would jump at the chance to receive a guaranteed 6% dividend for life. So how does one get in on this action?

The fact of the matter is…YOU can’t…That is unless you are a shareholder of one of the twelve Federal Reserve Banks and the banks under [...] Read more →

Public Attitudes Towards Speculation

Reprint from The Pitfalls of Speculation by Thomas Gibson 1906 Ed.

THE PUBLIC ATTITUDE TOWARD SPECULATION

THE public attitude toward speculation is generally hostile. Even those who venture frequently are prone to speak discouragingly of speculative possibilities, and to point warningly to the fact that an overwhelming majority [...] Read more →

The Flying Saucers are Real by Donald Keyhoe

It was a strange assignment. I picked up the telegram from desk and read it a third time.

NEW YORK, N.Y., MAY 9, 1949

HAVE BEEN INVESTIGATING FLYING SAUCER MYSTERY. FIRST TIP HINTED GIGANTIC HOAX TO COVER UP OFFICIAL SECRET. BELIEVE IT MAY HAVE BEEN PLANTED TO HIDE [...] Read more →

Pickled Eels

Vintage woodcut illustration of a Eel

 

This dish is a favorite in Northern Europe, from the British Isles to Sweden.

Clean and skin the eels and cut them into pieces about 3/4-inch thick. Wash and drain the pieces, then dredge in fine salt and allow to stand from 30 [...] Read more →

Art Fraud

A la Russie, aux ânes et aux autres – by Chagall – 1911

Marc Chagall is one of the most forged artists on the planet. Mark Rothko fakes also abound. According to available news reports, the art market is littered with forgeries of their work. Some are even thought to be [...] Read more →

Copper Kills Covid-19 and the Sun is Your Friend

The element copper effectively kills viruses and bacteria.

Therefore it would reason and I will assert and not only assert but lay claim to the patents for copper mesh stints to be inserted in the arteries of patients presenting with severe cases of Covid-19 with a slow release dosage of [...] Read more →

The Apparatus of the Stock Market

Sucker

The components of any given market place include both physical structures set up to accommodate trading, and participants to include buyers, sellers, brokers, agents, barkers, pushers, auctioneers, agencies, and propaganda outlets, and banking or transaction exchange facilities.

Markets are generally set up by sellers as it is in their [...] Read more →

The Charge of the Light Brigade

Officers and men of the 13th Light Dragoons, British Army, Crimea. Rostrum photograph of photographer’s original print, uncropped and without color correction. Survivors of the Charge.

Half a league, half a league, Half a league onward, All in the valley of Death Rode the six hundred. “Forward, the Light Brigade! Charge for the [...] Read more →

A Couple of Classic Tennessee Squirrel Recipes

FRIED SQUIRREL & BISCUIT GRAVY

3-4 Young Squirrels, dressed and cleaned 1 tsp. Morton Salt or to taste 1 tsp. McCormick Black Pepper or to taste 1 Cup Martha White All Purpose Flour 1 Cup Hog Lard – Preferably fresh from hog killing, or barbecue table

Cut up three to [...] Read more →

Indian Modes of Hunting – Setting Fox Traps

Aug. 13, 1898 Forest and Stream, Pg. 125

Game Bag and Gun.

Indian Modes of Hunting. III.—Foxes.

The fox as a rule is a most wily animal, and numerous are the stories of his cunning toward the Indian hunter with his steel traps.

Modern Slow Cookers, A Critical Design Flaw

Modern slow cookers come in all sizes and colors with various bells and whistles, including timers and shut off mechanisms. They also come with a serious design flaw, that being the lack of a proper domed lid.

The first photo below depict a popular model Crock-Pot® sold far and wide [...] Read more →

A General Process for Making Wine

A General Process for Making Wine.

Gathering the Fruit Picking the Fruit Bruising the Fruit Vatting the Fruit Vinous Fermentation Drawing the Must Pressing the Must Casking the Must Spirituous Fermentation Racking the Wine Bottling and Corking the Wine Drinking the Wine

GATHERING THE FRUIT.

It is of considerable consequence [...] Read more →

Abingdon, Berkshire in the Year of 1880

St.Helen’s on the Thames, photo by Momit

 

From a Dictionary of the Thames from Oxford to the Nore. 1880 by Charles Dickens

Abingdon, Berkshire, on the right bank, from London 103 3/4miles, from Oxford 7 3/4 miles. A station on the Great Western Railway, from Paddington 60 miles. The time occupied [...] Read more →

Fortune, Independence, and Competence

THE answer to the question, What is fortune has never been, and probably never will be, satisfactorily made. What may be a fortune for one bears but small proportion to the colossal possessions of another. The scores or hundreds of thousands admired and envied as a fortune in most of our communities [...] Read more →

Why Beauty Matters

Roger Scruton by Peter Helm

This is one of those videos that the so-called intellectual left would rather not be seen by the general public as it makes a laughing stock of the idiots running the artworld, a multi-billion dollar business.

https://archive.org/details/why-beauty-matters-roger-scruton

or Click here to watch

[...] Read more →

The Perfect Salad Dressing

The following recipes are from a small booklet entitled 500 Delicious Salads that was published for the Culinary Arts Institute in 1940 by Consolidated Book Publishers, Inc. 153 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill.

If you have been looking for a way to lighten up your salads and be free of [...] Read more →

Indian Modes of Hunting – Musquash

Hudson Bay: Trappers, 1892. N’Talking Musquash.’ Fur Trappers Of The Hudson’S Bay Company Talking By A Fire. Engraving After A Drawing By Frederic Remington, 1892.

Indian Modes of Hunting.

IV.—Musquash.

In Canada and the United States, the killing of the little animal known under the several names of [...] Read more →

On Bernini’s Bust of a Stewart King

As reported in the The Colac Herald on Friday July 17, 1903 Pg. 8 under Art Appreciation as a reprint from the Westminster Gazette

ART APPRECIATION IN THE COMMONS.

The appreciation of art as well as of history which is entertained by the average member of the [...] Read more →

Beef Jerky

BEEF JERKY

Preparation.

Slice 5 pounds lean beef (flank steak or similar cut) into strips 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick, 1 to 2 inches wide, and 4 to 12 inches long. Cut with grain of meat; remove the fat. Lay out in a single layer on a smooth clean surface (use [...] Read more →

Carpenters’ Furniture

IT requires a far search to gather up examples of furniture really representative in this kind, and thus to gain a point of view for a prospect into the more ideal where furniture no longer is bought to look expensively useless in a boudoir, but serves everyday and commonplace need, such as [...] Read more →

Herbal Psychedelics – Rhododendron ponticum and Mad Honey Disease

Toxicity of Rhododendron From Countrysideinfo.co.UK

“Potentially toxic chemicals, particularly ‘free’ phenols, and diterpenes, occur in significant quantities in the tissues of plants of Rhododendron species. Diterpenes, known as grayanotoxins, occur in the leaves, flowers and nectar of Rhododendrons. These differ from species to species. Not all species produce them, although Rhododendron ponticum [...] Read more →

Some Notes on American Ship Worms

July 9, 1898. Forest and Stream Pg. 25

Some Notes on American Ship-Worms.

[Read before the American Fishes Congress at Tampa.]

While we wish to preserve and protect most of the products of our waters, these creatures we would gladly obliterate from the realm of living things. For [...] Read more →

Tobacco as Medicine

The first published illustration of Nicotiana tabacum by Pena and De L’Obel, 1570–1571 (shrpium adversana nova: London).

Tobacco can be used for medicinal purposes, however, the ongoing American war on smoking has all but obscured this important aspect of ancient plant.

Tobacco is considered to be an indigenous plant of [...] Read more →

A Few Wine Recipes

EIGHTEEN GALLONS is here give as a STANDARD for all the following Recipes, it being the most convenient size cask to Families. See A General Process for Making Wine

If, however, only half the quantity of Wine is to be made, it is but to divide the portions of [...] Read more →

Mrs. Beeton’s Poultry & Game – Choosing Poultry

To Choose Poultry.

When fresh, the eyes should be clear and not sunken, the feet limp and pliable, stiff dry feet being a sure indication that the bird has not been recently killed; the flesh should be firm and thick and if the bird is plucked there should be no [...] Read more →

Proper Book Handling and Cleaning

Book Conservators, Mitchell Building, State Library of New South Wales, 29.10.1943, Pix Magazine

The following is taken verbatim from a document that appeared several years ago in the Maine State Archives. It seems to have been removed from their website. I happened to have made a physical copy of it at the [...] Read more →

Producing and Harvesting Tobacco Seed

THE FIRST step in producing a satisfactory crop of tobacco is to use good seed that is true to type. The grower often can save his own seed to advantage, if he wants to.

Before topping is done, he should go over the tobacco field carefully to pick [...] Read more →

British Craftsmanship is Alive and Well

The Queen Elizabeth Trust, or QEST, is an organisation dedicated to the promotion of British craftsmanship through the funding of scholarships and educational endeavours to include apprenticeships, trade schools, and traditional university classwork. The work of QEST is instrumental in keeping alive age old arts and crafts such as masonry, glassblowing, shoemaking, [...] Read more →

Origin of the Apothecary

ORIGIN OF THE APOTHECARY.

The origin of the apothecary in England dates much further back than one would suppose from what your correspondent, “A Barrister-at-Law,” says about it. It is true he speaks only of apothecaries as a distinct branch of the medical profession, but long before Henry VIII’s time [...] Read more →

The American Museum in Britain – From Florida to Bath

Hernando de Soto (c1496-1542) Spanish explorer and his men torturing natives of Florida in his determination to find gold. Hand-coloured engraving. John Judkyn Memorial Collection, Freshford Manor, Bath

The print above depicts Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto and his band of conquistadors torturing Florida natives in order to extract information on where [...] Read more →

How to Distinguish Fishes

 

Sept. 3, 1898. Forest and Stream Pg. 188-189

How to Distinguish Fishes.

BY FRED MATHER. The average angler knows by sight all the fish which he captures, but ask him to describe one and he is puzzled, and will get off on the color of the fish, which is [...] Read more →

Cleaning Watch Chains

To Clean Watch Chains.

Gold or silver watch chains can be cleaned with a very excellent result, no matter whether they may be matt or polished, by laying them for a few seconds in pure aqua ammonia; they are then rinsed in alcohol, and finally. shaken in clean sawdust, free from sand. [...] Read more →

The Master of Hounds

Photo Caption: The Marquis of Zetland, KC, PC – otherwise known as Lawrence Dundas Son of: John Charles Dundas and: Margaret Matilda Talbot born: Friday 16 August 1844 died: Monday 11 March 1929 at Aske Hall Occupation: M.P. for Richmond Viceroy of Ireland Vice Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire Lord – in – Waiting [...] Read more →

Christmas Pudding with Dickens

Traditional British Christmas Pudding Recipe by Pen Vogler from the Charles Dickens Museum

Ingredients

85 grams all purpose flour pinch of salt 170 grams Beef Suet 140 grams brown sugar tsp. mixed spice, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, &c 170 grams bread crumbs 170 grams raisins 170 grams currants 55 grams cut mixed peel Gram to [...] Read more →

List of the 60 Franklin Library Signed Limited Editions

The following highly collectible Franklin Library Signed Editions were published between 1977 and 1982. They are all fully leather bound with beautiful covers and contain gorgeous and rich silk moire endpapers. Signatures are protected by unattached tissue inserts.

The values listed are average prices that were sought by [...] Read more →

Birth of United Fruit Company

From Conquest of the Tropics by Frederick Upham Adams

Chapter VI – Birth of the United Fruit Company

Only those who have lived in the tropic and are familiar with the hazards which confront the cultivation and marketing of its fruits can readily understand [...] Read more →

King James Bible – Knights Templar Edition

Full Cover, rear, spine, and front

Published by Piranesi Press in collaboration with Country House Essays, this beautiful paperback version of the King James Bible is now available for $79.95 at Barnes and Noble.com

This is a limited Edition of 500 copies Worldwide. Click here to view other classic books [...] Read more →

Mocking Bird Food

Mocking Bird Food.

Hemp seed……….2 pounds Rape seed………. .1 pound Crackers………….1 pound Rice…………….1/4 pound Corn meal………1/4 pound Lard oil…………1/4 pound

 

Home Top of Pg. Read more →

Country Cabbage and Pea Soup

Add the following ingredients to a four or six quart crock pot, salt & pepper to taste keeping in mind that salt pork is just that, cover with water and cook on high till it boils, then cut back to low for four or five hours. A slow cooker works well, I [...] Read more →

Arsenic and Old Lace

What is follows is an historical article that appeared in The Hartford Courant in 1916 about the arsenic murders carried out by Mrs. Archer-Gilligan. This story is the basis for the 1944 Hollywood film “Arsenic and Old Lace” starring Cary Grant and Priscilla Lane and directed by Frank Capra. The [...] Read more →

A Summer Memory

 

Here, where these low lush meadows lie, We wandered in the summer weather, When earth and air and arching sky, Blazed grandly, goldenly together.

And oft, in that same summertime, We sought and roamed these self-same meadows, When evening brought the curfew chime, And peopled field and fold with shadows.

I mind me [...] Read more →

Catholic Religious Orders

Saint Francis of Assisi, founder of the mendicant Order of Friars Minor, as painted by El Greco.

Catholic religious order

Catholic religious orders are one of two types of religious institutes (‘Religious Institutes’, cf. canons 573–746), the major form of consecrated life in the Roman Catholic Church. They are organizations of laity [...] Read more →

Artist Methods

Como dome facade – Pliny the Elder – Photo by Wolfgang Sauber

Work in Progress…

THE VARNISHES.

Every substance may be considered as a varnish, which, when applied to the surface of a solid body, gives it a permanent lustre. Drying oil, thickened by exposure to the sun’s heat or [...] Read more →

Wine Making

Wine Making

Grapes are the world’s leading fruit crop and the eighth most important food crop in the world, exceeded only by the principal cereals and starchytubers. Though substantial quantities are used for fresh fruit, raisins, juice and preserves, most of the world’s annual production of about 60 million [...] Read more →

Life Among the Thugee

The existence of large bodies of men having no other means of subsistence than those afforded by plunder, is, in all countries, too common to excite surprise; and, unhappily, organized bands of assassins are not peculiar to India! The associations of murderers known by the name of Thugs present, however, [...] Read more →

A History of the Use of Arsenicals in Man

The arsenicals (compounds which contain the heavy metal element arsenic, As) have a long history of use in man – with both benevolent and malevolent intent. The name ‘arsenic’ is derived from the Greek word ‘arsenikon’ which means ‘potent'”. As early as 2000 BC, arsenic trioxide, obtained from smelting copper, was used [...] Read more →

The Human Seasons

John Keats

Four Seasons fill the measure of the year; There are four seasons in the mind of man: He has his lusty spring, when fancy clear Takes in all beauty with an easy span; He has his Summer, when luxuriously Spring’s honied cud of youthful thoughts he loves To ruminate, and by such [...] Read more →

Seeds for Rootstocks of Fruit and Nut Trees

Citrus Fruit Culture

THE PRINCIPAL fruit and nut trees grown commercially in the United States (except figs, tung, and filberts) are grown as varieties or clonal lines propagated on rootstocks.

Almost all the rootstocks are grown from seed. The resulting seedlings then are either budded or grafted with propagating wood [...] Read more →

History of the Cabildo in New Orleans

Cabildo circa 1936

The Cabildo houses a rare copy of Audubon’s Bird’s of America, a book now valued at $10 million+.

Should one desire to visit the Cabildo, click here to gain free entry with a lowcost New Orleans Pass.

Home Top of [...] Read more →

Ought King Leopold to be Hanged?

King Leopold Butcher of the Congo

For the somewhat startling suggestion in the heading of this interview, the missionary interviewed is in no way responsible. The credit of it, or, if you like, the discredit, belongs entirely to the editor of the Review, who, without dogmatism, wishes to pose the question as [...] Read more →

The Shirk – An Old but Familiar Phenomena

STORE MANAGEMENT—THE SHIRK.

THE shirk is a well-known specimen of the genus homo. His habitat is offices, stores, business establishments of all kinds. His habits are familiar to us, but a few words on the subject will not be amiss. The shirk usually displays activity when the boss is around, [...] Read more →

King William III on Horseback by Sir Godfrey Kneller

Reprint from The Royal Collection Trust website:

Kneller was born in Lubeck, studied with Rembrandt in Amsterdam and by 1676 was working in England as a fashionable portrait painter. He painted seven British monarchs (Charles II, James II, William III, Mary II, Anne, George I and George II), though his [...] Read more →

The Basics of Painting in the Building Trade

PAINTER-WORK, in the building trade. When work is painted one or both of two distinct ends is achieved, namely the preservation and the coloration of the material painted. The compounds used for painting—taking the word as meaning a thin protective or decorative coat—are very numerous, including oil-paint of many kinds, distemper, whitewash, [...] Read more →

Chinese 9 Course Dinner

The following recipes form the most popular items in a nine-course dinner program:

BIRD’S NEST SOUP

Soak one pound bird’s nest in cold water overnight. Drain the cold water and cook in boiling water. Drain again. Do this twice. Clean the bird’s nest. Be sure [...] Read more →

What is the Meaning of the Term Thorough-bred Fox-hound

Reprint from the Sportsman Cabinet and Town & Country Magazine, Vol.1, Number 1, November 1832.

MR. Editor,

Will you allow me to inquire, through the medium of your pages, the correct meaning of the term thorough-bred fox-hound? I am very well aware, that the expression is in common [...] Read more →

Tuna Record

TROF. C. F. HOLDFER AND HIS 183LBS. TUNA, WITH BOATMAN JIM GARDNER.

July 2, 1898. Forest and Stream Pg. 11

The Tuna Record.

Avalon. Santa Catalina Island. Southern California, June 16.—Editor Forest and Stream: Several years ago the writer in articles on the “Game Fishes of the Pacific Slope,” in [...] Read more →

Blunderbuss Mai Tai Recipe

Blackbeard’s Jolly Roger

If you’re looking for that most refreshing of summertime beverages for sipping out on the back patio or perhaps as a last drink before walking the plank, let me recommend my Blunderbuss Mai Tai. I picked up the basics to this recipe over thirty years ago when holed up [...] Read more →

Clairvoyance – Methods of Development

CLAIRVOYANCE

by C. W. Leadbeater

Adyar, Madras, India: Theosophical Pub. House

[1899]

CHAPTER IX – METHODS OF DEVELOPMENT

When a men becomes convinced of the reality of the valuable power of clairvoyance, his first question usually is, “How can [...] Read more →

Cocillana Syrup Compound

Guarea guidonia

Recipe

5 Per Cent Alcohol 8-24 Grain – Heroin Hydrochloride 120 Minims – Tincture Euphorbia Pilulifera 120 Minims – Syrup Wild Lettuce 40 Minims – Tincture Cocillana 24 Minims – Syrup Squill Compound 8 Gram – Ca(s)ecarin (P, D, & Co.) 8-100 Grain Menthol

Dose – One-half to one fluidrams (2 to [...] Read more →

A History of Fowling – Ravens and Jays

From A History of Fowling, Being an Account of the Many Curios Devices by Which Wild Birds are, or Have Been, Captured in Different Parts of the World by Rev. H.A. MacPherson, M.A.

THE RAVEN (Corvus corax) is generally accredited with a large endowment of mother wit. Its warning [...] Read more →

Vitruvius Ten Books on Architecture

VITRUVIUS

The Ten Books on Architecture

TRANSLATED By MORRIS HICKY MORGAN, PH.D., LL.D. LATE PROFESSOR OF CLASSICAL PHILOLOGY

IN HARVARD UNIVERSITY WITH ILLUSTRATIONS AND ORIGINAL DESINGS PREPARED UNDER THE DIRECTION OF HERBERT LANGFORD WARREN, A.M.

NELSON ROBINSON JR. PROFESSOR OF ARCHITECTURE IN HARVARD [...] Read more →

How Long is Your Yacht?

Dominion, Royal St. Lawrence Yacht Club,Winner of Seawanhaka Cup, 1898.

The Tail Wags the Dog.

The following is a characteristic sample of those broad and liberal views on yachting which are the pride of the Boston Herald. Speaking of the coming races for the Seawanhaka international challenge cup, it says:

[...] Read more →

Here’s Many a Year to You

” Here’s many a year to you ! Sportsmen who’ve ridden life straight. Here’s all good cheer to you ! Luck to you early and late.

Here’s to the best of you ! You with the blood and the nerve. Here’s to the rest of you ! What of a weak moment’s swerve ? [...] Read more →

Chinese Duck Cooking – A Few Recipes

Chen Lin, Water fowl, in Cahill, James. Ge jiang shan se (Hills Beyond a River: Chinese Painting of the Yuan Dynasty, 1279-1368, Taiwan edition). Taipei: Shitou chubanshe fen youxian gongsi, 1994. pl. 4:13, p. 180. Collection of the National Palace Museum, Taipei. scroll, light colors on paper, 35.7 x 47.5 cm

 

The Field of the Cloth of Gold

Reprint from the Royal Collection Trust Website

The meeting between Henry VIII and Francis I, known as the Field of the Cloth of Gold, took place between 7 to 24 June 1520 in a valley subsequently called the Val d’Or, near Guisnes to the south of Calais. The [...] Read more →

The Kalmar War

Wojna Kalmarska – 1611

The Kalmar War

From The Historian’s History of the World (In 25 Volumes) by Henry Smith William L.L.D. – Vol. XVI.(Scandinavia) Pg. 308-310

The northern part of the Scandinavian peninsula, as already noticed, had been peopled from the remotest times by nomadic tribes called Finns or Cwenas by [...] Read more →

A Cure for Distemper in Dogs

 

The following cure was found written on a front flyleaf in an 1811 3rd Ed. copy of The Sportsman’s Guide or Sportsman’s Companion: Containing Every Possible Instruction for the Juvenille Shooter, Together with Information Necessary for the Experienced Sportsman by B. Thomas.

 

Transcript:

Vaccinate your dogs when young [...] Read more →

Gold and Economic Freedom

by Alan Greenspan, 1967

An almost hysterical antagonism toward the gold standard is one issue which unites statists of all persuasions. They seem to sense-perhaps more clearly and subtly than many consistent defenders of laissez-faire — that gold and economic freedom are inseparable, that the gold standard is an instrument [...] Read more →

The Crime of the Congo by Arthur Conan Doyle

 

Man looks at severed hand and foot….for refusing to climb a tree to cut rubber for King Leopold

Click here to read The Crime of the Congo by Arthur Conan Doyle

Victim of King Leopold of Belgium

Click on the link below for faster download.

The [...] Read more →

Looking for a Gift for the Book Collector in the Family?

Buying a book for a serious collector with refined tastes can be a daunting task.

However, there is one company that publishes some of the finest reproduction books in the world, books that most collectors wouldn’t mind having in their collection no matter their general preference or specialty.

Harry Houdini Investigates the Spirit World

The magician delighted in exposing spiritualists as con men and frauds.

By EDMUND WILSON June 24, 1925

Houdini is a short strong stocky man with small feet and a very large head. Seen from the stage, his figure, with its short legs and its pugilist’s proportions, is less impressive than at close [...] Read more →

Watch Fraud on eBay

EBAY’S FRAUD PROBLEM IS GETTING WORSE

EBay has had a problem with fraudulent sellers since its inception back in 1995. Some aspects of the platform have improved with algorithms and automation, but others such as customer service and fraud have gotten worse. Small sellers have definitely been hurt by eBay’s [...] Read more →