Sunday, October 28, 2012

Novelty clocks

The earliest surviving working novelty clocks were German automata made in Augsburg in the 1650s involving mechanical figures, either of human or animal form, which performed as the hour struck. They include dogs, and, most extraordinary for the early date, cockerels which flapped their wings and opened and closed their mouth, often making a crowing sound. The earliest novelty clock in history is the celebrated crowing cock of the Strasbourg Cathedral clock, made in 1354 and now preserved in the Strasbourg Museum.

Bradley & Hubbard, Meriden, Connecticut, cast iron novelty Blinking Eye clock, signed, movement with porcelain dial and beveled glass door. Patented July 14, 1857.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Captain Bligh coconut bowl, cup and bullet

This bowl was used by long-suffering seafarer Lieutenant William Bligh (1754-1817) after the mutiny on the Bounty in 1789. The bowl is carved from a smoothed and hollowed coconut shell and inscribed with Bligh's initials, the date, and on reverse side the phrase "the cup I eat my miserable allowance out of". This cup was used by Bligh to during the boat voyage from Tofua to Timor in the 'Bounty's' launch - about 3, 900 miles. The bowl is today the part of the collection of National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, UK.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Heart Book, Denmark 1550’s.

The Heart Book is regarded as the oldest Danish ballad manuscript. It is a collection of 83 love ballads compiled in the beginning of the 1550’s in the circle of the Court of King Christian III. Shown above is the beginning of ballad no. 43, Store længsel, du går mig nær (Great Yearning, thou touches me).

A later reader – the otherwise unknown Christen Masse – has added some notes, i.a. this pious hope: “gvd ende oc vinde alle mit er lende til en god oc gledelig ende amen” (may god end and turn my misery into a good and happy ending amen).
We do not know who compiled the ballads and instigated the writing of the Heart Book. All ballads except one – no. 66 – have probably been written by the same hand.
19.5 x 15 cm.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The object of the day: The Queen Victoria Drawing Room Chair

The Queen Victoria Drawing Room Chair, 1851

Walnut, carved and inlaid, inset with a Worcester porcelain plaque, with an embroidered satin seat.

Victoria & Albert Museum

Given by Mr L. M. Eyles, in memory of his brother, William Sidney Eyles

The chair was made as an homage to the Queen Victoria upon the opening of the Great Exhibition in 1851. The maker, Henry Eyles, described this piece as “a drawing room chair.” Inspired by the popular styles of Eighteenth Century French furnishings, the chair features a “shaped back” and cabriole legs—a style which was considered quite appropriate and fashionable for drawing rooms in the 1840s and 1850s.

With its pale color palette and embroidered seat cover, such a chair would have been intended for the use in a lady’s drawing or reception room.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Pink Lustre pitcher from Sunderland Pottery

Pink Lustre pitcher from Sunderland Pottery with image of Susan and William

Dated: c. 1835 Sunderland
Dimensions: 6.75 inch high
Medium: antique pink lustre luster pottery

Antique pink splash lustre pitcher with underglaze transfer prints and a hand painted anchor motif under the spout. The transfer prints have figures of Susan and William ( the sailor) and an image of a sailing ship title William IV.
The transfers are decorated with enamel colours and the pink luster is strong and vibrant.
The reference to the portrait figures of Susan and William relate to an old sea poem written in 1723 the first two verses give a gist of the topic.
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