Sunday, February 26, 2017
Ever had that strange experiences of looking something up on Google, only to discover all the top links direct you to a post you wrote on your own blog and had forgotten about? Well that's what these sumptuous illustrations have just prompted here at Callum James Heights. These are illustrations by Kate Seredy that just leapt from the pages of a slightly tatty copy of The Gunniwolf and Other Merry Tales (Harrap, London: 1937), in a bookshop yesterday and I had to have. At the time of buying I didn't even clock the name of the illustrator (it was all a bit of a frenzy, there were just SO many good books in this shop!). So when I got home and Googled, I discover that I wrote this post about more of her work less than a year ago and had completely missed the connection! The Gunniwolf is illustrated in both colour, and black and white and unusually for me perhaps it is the coloured illustrations which appeal the most in this particular instance.
Saturday, February 25, 2017
These publishers' lists are always a delight. Often found tucked inside books from the same year they refer to. This one consists of a folded sheet making four pages of the non-fiction list and then a single sheet, double-sided, with the fiction list. I am struck by how many of these I have never so much as heard of!
Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Anonymous 17th Century Spanish pen and ink of Mercury
Following on a link from the ever informative 'weekend links' of John Coulthart I discover that The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has just opened up images of some 375,000 pieces in its collection on a Creative Commons Zero license. This is brilliant news and paves the way for other large collections to get into the business of sharing their resources when in the public domain. So, of course, the first things one does on hearing such news is to high-tail it over and start exercising the search button. This, for me, usually means a series of thematic searches around my own interests. This is how I know that the museum seems to have a remarkably strong collection of images of the god Mercury, who is a particular favourite of mine. So here, by way of advertising this amazing new resource are just a few of those depictions.
Wenceslaus Hollar, 1654, Illustration to 'The Works of Virgil: Containing his Pastorals, Georgics and Aeneis.' "In a square in Carthage, Mercury approaching Aeneas from the air, warning him to leave the city" Etching
Andrea Schiavone. Etching c.1538
Mercury, the Roman God of Charity, 16th Century
Thursday, February 09, 2017
Paul Hoecker will perhaps be best known to readers of this blog for his portrait of Nino, the lover of Baron Adlesward-Fersen on Capri (bottom). But a friend of Front Free Endpaper has recently sent images of this beautiful and delicate portrait (above). Hoecker was, according to Wikipedia, no stranger to controversy and risque paintings: he had to flee to Italy after it was claimed he used a male prostitute as a model for a painting of the Blessed Virgin. It is unsurprising perhaps then that this little painting has a secret. Hang it as above during the day, but when you are entertaining of an evening among friends of understanding, turn it around and you have a rather more overt image (below) painted on the verso. My friend who sent the pictures and I would be keen to know if anyone can fill out any details of the story about the B.V.M. portrait. If you are able, please either comment on this post or email me using the link a the top right of the blog.
Monday, February 06, 2017
I have always had a bit of a thing for unintentionally abstract vintage photographs and today I bought a large bundle of WW2 Aerial photographs taking during bombing raids over Nazi-occupied Europe in 1943 and 1944. Many of them show the details of the landscape beneath the plane and in some cases even show bombs falling away from the plane. The ones which really caught my eye though are ones like these scanned here which, although possibly useless for the purposes of military intelligence, give a singular impression of what it must have been like to fly on those horrific missions. Dates and places are given on all the photos, even those like these in which you can't see the ground and, poignantly, the name and rank of the photographer is also given.
Monday, January 23, 2017
Two and a Bit by Vernon Stokes and Cynthia Harnett. A charming book this from 1948 tells the story of a brother and sister, who get on so well they might as well have been twins (like all siblings in the 1940s of course) and their little dog, the 'half' of the title. Judging by the initials, it seems that Vernon Stokes did most of the drawing but that they collaborated on some of it.
Friday, January 20, 2017
These six panels were made from glass: sandblasted, acid etched and brilliant cut. They came from both the Mauretanias where they were part of the decorative scheme in the restaurant positioned on both sides of the room over the dumb waiter recesses. Clearly they represent constellations, with the inclusion of Pegasus showing they are indeed constellations rather than zodiacal items. All six panels were offered for sale at Christie's in the 1980s. The auction cataloguers were unable to pin down a designer but noted that the list of names of those responsible decorative schemes for the ships' public rooms included both Marion Dorn and Sigmund Pollitzer who might have had a role in creating these. I don't know where they went from the Christie's sale, nor if anyone since has been able to pin down their creator.