A delicate offering

Photographs from Jesup North Pacific Expedition

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Written by Dave Lovely

September 25, 2009 at 8:29 pm

Posted in Photography

Authors De Luxe

My friend Tonya has just sent me some pics of an intriguing, if incomprehensible card-game featuring famous authors (the likes of Walter Scott, Booth Tarkington, and Oliver Wendell Holmes, to name a few). We’d be intrigued to learn how this game was played. Perhaps it was an early essay at calibrating literary prizes?

Authors de Luxe

one hoss shay


Written by Dave Lovely

August 5, 2009 at 10:10 pm

Posted in books

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Treasures from Portuguese Museums, I


Adelino Lyon de Castro, Sem Destino, 1953

(Museu do Chiado – MNAC. Photo: Luisa Oliveira)



Three portrait details from the St. Vincent Panels, attributed to Nuno Gonçalves, 1460s

(Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga. Photos: José Pessoa)


The prophet Isaiah, somewhat entangled in scrip, from St. Matthew the Evangelist and the Prophet Isaiah, António Vaz, 1550s

(Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga. Photo: José Pessoa)


A rather stunned-looking couple, as well they might be, from Hieronymous Bosch, The Temptation of St. Anthony, c.1505-1506

(Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga. Photo: José Pessoa)

All images ©Instituto dos Museus e da Conservação, I.P. / Ministério da Cultura

Images taken from the rather excellent MatrizPix.

Written by Dave Lovely

August 1, 2009 at 8:34 pm

Posted in art

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This joint is jumpin’

vintage advertising image of two clowns, a grasshopper, and a cereal packet

Page from a most unusual advertising booklet for Quaker Oats, 1898.

Professional instruction is available:


There is inspiration on hand:



…here, too:


…not to mention, here:


Yes, folks, it’s all happening, down at the Ole’ Internet Archive! Cast off your inhibitions, and get on down there.

Or else, I suppose the more enervated among you could always just go and look at the wisteria:


Japanese Lantern Slides From The E. Raymond Wilson Collection

Written by Dave Lovely

May 20, 2009 at 3:27 pm

Immortal longings

painting by Guido Cagnacci, The Death of Cleopatra, 1658

Cleopatra: …The stroke of death is as a Louers pinch, Which hurts, and is desir’d. Dost thou lye still? If thus thou vanishest, thou tell’st the world, It is not worth leaue-taking.

Charmian: Dissolue thicke clowd, & Raine, that I may say The Gods themselues do weepe.

Guido Cagnacci, The Death of Cleopatra, 1658

Written by Dave Lovely

May 17, 2009 at 12:47 pm

Posted in art

Sorry, where was I…?


Roger Hiorns: Seizure, 2008


View of the Old Town, Stockholm,
(Swedish National Heritage Board)


the blue lacunae

Written by Dave Lovely

May 4, 2009 at 3:07 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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They fell to Earth

painting by 19th century Polish artist Witold Pruskowski

Witold Pruskowski, Falling Star, 1884.

illustration from 19th century French literary magazine

‘Willette’, illustration from Le Pierrot, N° 3, 20 July 1888. Via Livrenblog

Recognising that flying over London was contrary to the Royal Aero Club regulations, and yet wishing to get a view of London from above, Capt. Penfold, the Australian aeronaut, decided to make a trip across the metropolis in a balloon. To give a practical side to the trip he arranged with the Sandow Chocolate Co. to disguise himself as Father Christmas and descend at the first suitable point by parachute and distribute samples of Sandow’s chocolate on landing. Through Messrs. Aeros, Ltd., he secured the use of one of Messrs. Spencer Brothers’ balloons of 45,000 cubic feet capacity, which, piloted by Mr. Henry Spencer, and carrying a cinematograph operator, left the gasworks at Battersea at 12.45 p.m. on 23rd ult. Capt. Penfold was seated on the edge of the basket holding the cords of the parachute, which was fastened to the net of the balloon. A 25-mile wind was blowing, necessitating a good deal of manoeuvring before the word to “let go” was given, and after just clearing the gasometer they crossed the Thames at a height of 1,000 ft. At about 1,200 ft. up the only recognisable object was the spire of Westminster Cathedral. The balloon travelled at a height of some 4,000 ft. above the clouds for a long way, and then dropping down through the clouds, the aeronauts found clear country near Chelmsford. At 3,000 ft. Capt. Penfold slid off the basket. He dropped about 500 feet before the parachute opened and the wind swayed him about terrifically. While descending he travelled safely for a distance of about three miles across country and landed safely at Little Baddow, where he distributed the chocolate.

An unseasonal story from Flight magazine, January 4, 1913. The entire archive of this magazine, the first weekly magazine in the world devoted to aviation, starting in 1909, is now online.

Written by Dave Lovely

April 11, 2009 at 2:08 pm