Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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

Turning Heads


Airship hangar at King’s Bay, Spitsbergen, 1926.
As used by the ill-fated Italia.


Set of sixty miniature heads used in phrenology, Manchester, England, 1831.
Science Museum, London.


University of Washington Digital Collections: Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition.


Before this boiler is thrown into focus its black cylinder is but an inconspicuous feature of the novel mechanism which stands face to face with the sun. But when, with a few turns of the crank, it swings into the concentrated rays reflected from hundreds of mirrors, it suddenly assumes the appearance of shining silver, or perhaps of a great, gleaming icicle, and becomes the irresistible cynosure of all eyes…




Ivory model of a human skull with moving parts, Europe, undated.
Science Museum, London.

Written by Dave Lovely

March 28, 2009 at 6:14 pm



…But somewhere
In a remote suburb, a solitary house,
Where it is cold in winter, hot in summer,
Where there are spiders, and dust on everything,
Where ardent letters are decomposing,
Portraits are stealthily changing.
People walk to this house as if to their grave,
And wash their hands with soap when they return,
And blink away a facile tear
From weary eyes – and breathe out heavy sighs…
But the clock ticks, one springtime is superseded
By another, the sky glows pink,
Names of cities change
And there are no remaining witnesses to the events,
And no one to weep with, no one to remember with.

The Anna Akhmatova Museum at The Fountain House


Elaine Duigenan – Mysteries of Generation


Ballet du Chasteau de Bicêtre, “Première Entrée des Fantômes”

Daniel Rabel (1578-1637)


Religieuses, Bretagne, 1952

Denise Colomb

Written by Dave Lovely

March 16, 2009 at 12:58 pm

Idyll thoughts


Elaine, the Lily Maid of Astolat
Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-1879), Illustrations to Tennyson’s Idylls of the King, and other poems
(London: Henry S. King, 1875). volume 1, 12 albumen silver prints.
Via Graphic Arts.

ajinayajnopavita : deer skin worn over the left shoulder by Hindu ascetics

bashylk : scythian pointed felt cap

kalabaku : many stringed cummerbund

karnaphul : flower-shaped earring

Glossary of ancient Indian costume, via rose.rose

A pertinent question from a South African book-dealer.:

Who are you, and why are you suddenly buying books that nobody else in the world seems interested in?

Nicholas A. Basbanes on Breon Mitchell’s 2,000 dictionaries of exotic languages, via languagehat.

Also, via a comment on a post at languagehat, here is a picture of Sir Roderick Impey Murchison:

Sir Roderick Impey Muchison directs you to 'look over there'.

A thousand Buddhas. [thanks, MM!]


The Caves of a Thousand Buddhas: Russian Expeditions on the Silk Road, at The Hermitage, St. Petersburg, to the 5th April.

If I had a hammer:


photograph by Étienne-Jules Marey, published in
CH. Frémont – Etudes Expérimentales de Technologie Industrielle – 64e mémoire –
Le Marteau, Le Choc, Le Marteau Pneumatique.
Paris 1923.
via folkcollection

Marking time

A day in a medieval city.

News from an invisible library.


Charme”, “objet sacré”,” objet de pouvoir”, “objet de protection”, “talisman”, “grigri”, “objet magique”, “objet personne”, autant de termes utilisés par les explorateurs, missionnaires et ethnographes d’Afrique pour désigner le fétiche, cet objet fait et utilisé pour établir un lien entre les vivants et les puissances invisibles, pour lutter contre le chaos, pour protéger du mal. …choses ligotées, assemblages, croûtes et enchevêtrements de cordes…

Recettes des dieux, esthétique du fétiche, at the Musée du quai Branly, Paris; via Le Divan Fumoir Bohémien.

girl reclining with a book

Girl reclining with a book

University of Washington Libraries

A watchmaker’s declaration.

What goes around, comes around:


Circular Bridge, Mt. Lowe Railway, 1901

Detroit Photographic Company’s Views Of North America, Ca. 1897-1924

via wood s lot

Written by Dave Lovely

March 11, 2009 at 9:11 am

Sunday standouts, #1


Pattern of light made by violinist Jascha Heifetz’s bow. From a sequence by Gjon Mili for LIFE magazine, 1952.


Étienne-Jules Marey, Bird Flight, Pigeon Landing, 1894. (which came fluttering down into my consciousness first thing this morning via the very wonderful gaslightgirl).

The page The Pioneers : An Anthology : Étienne-Jules Marey (1830-1904) , home of this delightful creature, is full of similar wonders.



Cy Twombly, Untitled, 1970

Written by Dave Lovely

March 8, 2009 at 9:36 pm