Sunday, December 31, 2006

Dogs and Cats, Cat and 2 Kittens

Cat and two kittens, Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [reproduction number, LC-USZ62-58438.TITLE: [Cat and two kittens], CALL NUMBER: PGA - Fenderich, no. 62 (A size) [P&P], REPRODUCTION NUMBER: LC-USZ62-58438 (b&w film copy neg.), No known restrictions on publication.
Digital ID: cph 3b06248 Source: b&w film copy neg. Reproduction Number: LC-USZ62-58438 (b&w film copy neg.) Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA Retrieve uncompressed archival TIFF version (1,125 kilobytes)

MEDIUM: 1 print. CREATED, PUBLISHED: [no date recorded on shelflist card], NOTES: This record contains unverified data from PGA shelflist card. Associated name on shelflist card: Fenderich.

REPOSITORY: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA.

MARC Record Line 540 - No known restrictions on publication.

Credit Line: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [reproduction number, LC-USZ62-58438

DIGITAL ID: (b&w film copy neg.) cph 3b06248 hdl.loc.gov/cph.3b06248 , CARD #: 2003653665

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An Apothecary's Chemistry

Armes d'Antoine Vallot de Magnant Dandeuille
"Armes d'Antoine Vallot de Magnant Dandeuille"


Frontpiece , Nicaise Le Févre - 'Traicté de la Chymie'
Frontpiece - 'Traicté de la Chymie'


Tour d'Athanor,  Bain de sable,  Bain marie,  Vaisseau pour séparer les huiles distillées,  Fourneau et vaisseaux pour la distillation des eaux, des esprits, et des huiles
"Tour d'Athanor, Bain de sable, Bain marie, Vaisseau
pour séparer les huiles distillées, Fourneau et vaisseaux
pour la distillation des eaux, des esprits, et des huiles"


Vaisseau pour alkoholiser [alcooliser] l'esprit de vin dès la première distillation, Fourneau commun.
"Vaisseau pour alkoholiser [alcooliser] l'esprit de vin
dès la première distillation, Fourneau commun."


Fourneau et vaisseaux pour distiller les végétaux.
"Fourneau et vaisseaux pour distiller les végétaux."


Explication des caractères chimiques.
"Explication des caractères chimiques."


Fourneau et vaisseaux pour faire l'huile de soufre, Cloche pour faire l'aigre ou l'esprit de soufre.
"Fourneau et vaisseaux pour faire l'huile de soufre,
Cloche pour faire l'aigre ou l'esprit de soufre."


Calcination solaire de l'antimoine.
"Calcination solaire de l'antimoine."


Four à lampe, Thermométre, Fourneau pour les sublimations.
"Four à lampe, Thermométre, Fourneau pour les sublimations."


Four à vent ou le fourneau de fonte, Réfrigéré complet, Aeolipile
"Four à vent ou le fourneau de fonte, Réfrigéré complet, Aeolipile"


Nicaise Le Févre (1610-1669) didn't have formal tertiary education. Instead, he apprenticed under his apothecary father until his father died, and subsquently he was taught by a medical Professor from L'Académie de Sedan.

Le Févre worked as a Master Apothecary at his father's business when his training was completed and later moved to Paris where he gave private lessons in pharmaceutical chemistry and became well known as an educator among the Parisian aristocracy. His elite connections resulted in Le Févre being appointed "demonstrator in chemistry at the Jardin du Roi and in 1654 he obtained the privilege of a royal apothecary and distiller."

One of his students was King Charles II who set up Le Févre with a laboratory in St James Palace in London as part of his appointment as Royal Professor of Chemistry and Apothecary to the Royal household. He was also elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.

Le Févre is best remembered for his 1660 publication in 2 volumes, 'Traicté de la Chymie', one of the foremost chemistry texts of the 17th century. It was translated into english, latin and german and a number of editions were released in the following 80 years. The extended title of the work translates (by me, in updated language) as:

***'Compendium of Chemistry' - The first volume will be used as an introduction and for instruction both in relation to the theory of this science in general, and as a means to outline the experimental methods of the art which can be applied to animals, plants and minerals without loss of their essential virtues. The second volume continues to outline the process of making extractions ('juices') from plants and minerals.***

'Traicté de la Chymie' is perhaps a good example of a work that manages to straddle both the middle ages and the modern scientific world. It belongs at once to the fields of alchemy and chemistry and was written by an apothecary and a pharmacist. His 'Traicté' is said to be modelled after the 1636 'Abrégé des secrets Chymiques' by famous alchemist, Pierre Jean Fabre and I noted a passing reference to another famous alchemist, Raymond Llull, in the preface.
"Le Févre's eclectic chemical theory combined Paracelsian, Helmontian and Aristotelian ideas. He believed in five elements, adding phlegm and earth to Paracelsus' tria prima of salt, sulphur and mercury."
Le Févre: "Chymistry is the art and knowledge of nature itself; it is by her means that we examine the Principles, out of which natural bodies do consist and are compounded; and by her are discovered unto us the causes and sources of their generations and corruptions; and of all the changes and alterations to which they are liable."
This notion of an emerging scientific logic from a philosophical or (some might say) superstitious belief system is one that has greatly interested me during the life of this site. It's fascinating observing with hindsight the development of rational thinking from a quagmire of folklore and spurious ideas. The laboratory equipment in the engravings above convey that alchemy/chemistry duality well. Click the images for full size versions - there are no further illustrations in the 2 volumes which are online in full at Pôle Universitaire Européen Lille-Nord.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

ONE LOVELY DRAWING, part nine

There is obviously no such thing as the single greatest drawing in the history of the world. It would be foolish to think about rating art that way.

However, if there was such a drawing...



...it would probably be this one by Michelangelo. It is a preparatory drawing for Michelangelo's illustrations of the Bible for the Sistine Chapel.



I can't think of any object with more grace or beauty with which to end 2006.

This drawing is of the Libyan Sibyl who foretold "the coming of the day when that which is hidden shall be revealed." She had the power of prophecy because she was by birth half mortal and half divine: "An immortal nymph was my mother, my father an eater of corn."

I am just a lowly corn eater myself but I have enjoyed sharing these lovely images with you in 2006 and I wish all of you the happiest of new years.

Dogs and Cats, military working dog

DoD photo by Senior Airman Joshua Strang, U.S. Air Force. (Released) 040818-F-3488S-045Air Force Staff Sgt. Robert Houp and his dog Rin Tin inspect a truck for contraband during routine training at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, on Aug. 18, 2004. Rin Tin is a 7-year-old, 98-pound German Shepard.
Rin Tin's day begins at 4 a.m. with feeding, followed by a 7-point check-up by Houp, grooming, a rub down, obedience training and a run through the confidence course before beginning the day on patrol. At the end of the day, he goes through a de-stress period with Houp by playing with his toys and playing in the grass.

Eielson Military Working Dogs provide antiterrorism and security to the base as well as deployed locations worldwide. DoD photo by Senior Airman Joshua Strang, U.S. Air Force. (Released) 040818-F-3488S-045 High Resolution Image

All of these files (defenselink.mil) are in the public domain unless otherwise indicated. However, we request you credit the photographer, videographer as indicated or simply "Department of Defense."

Generally speaking, works created by U.S. Government employees are not eligible for copyright protection in the United States. See Circular 1 "COPYRIGHT BASICS" from the U.S. Copyright Office.

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London sun




Another shot from the ARTE feature.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Dogs and Cats, "Tige" the White House cat

Tige the White House cat, Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [reproduction number, LC-USZ62-131880 TITLE: "Tige" the White House cat and pet of Mrs. Coolidge has been returned, ALL NUMBER: LOT 12296, v. 2 [item] [P&P, REPRODUCTION NUMBER: LC-USZ62-131880 (b&w film copy neg.)
No known restrictions on publication.
Digital ID: cph 3c31880 Source: b&w film copy neg. Reproduction Number: LC-USZ62-131880 (b&w film copy neg.) Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA Retrieve higher resolution JPEG version (125 kilobytes)

SUMMARY: Benj. Fink, half-length portrait, standing, facing front, holding "Tige" the White House cat. MEDIUM: 1 photographic print. CREATED, PUBLISHED: 1924 March 25.

NOTES: Caption continues: Benj. Fink, guard at the Navy Dept. found Tige promenading around the Navy Bldg. and immediately returned him to the White House. "Tige's" disappearance was broadcasted by Wash. radio stations.

In album: 1 March to 30 April 1924, v. 2, Herbert E. French, National Photo Company, p. 25, no. 29633. Forms part of: National Photo Company Collection (Library of Congress). Original glass negative may be available: LC-F8-29633

REPOSITORY: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA. DIGITAL ID: (b&w film copy neg.) cph 3c31880 hdl.loc.gov/cph.3c31880 , CARD #: 2002713128

MARC Record Line 540 - No known restrictions on publication.

Credit Line: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [reproduction number, LC-USZ62-131880

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Accumulated Snippets

"Nor rank, nor order, nor condition,
Imperial, lowly, or patrician,
Shall, when they see this volume, cry,
"The satirist has passed us by:"
But, with good humour, view our page
Depict the manners of the age." -Vide Work-

The English Spy - Titlepage
"By Frolic, Mirth, and Fancy gay,
Old Father Time is borne away."


The English Spy by Robert Cruikshank


Cruikshank - The English Spy (elephant on man's back)


The English Spy - 1825
The above illustrations are by [Isaac] Robert Cruikshank - elder brother to the famous George - from an 1825 book: 'The English Spy : An Original Work, Characteristic, Satirical, and Humorous, comprising Scenes and Sketches in every Rank of Society, being Portraits of the Illustrious, Eminent, Eccentric and Notorious'. The copiously illustrated book is available as a zip file from Project Gutenburg.

The author of the work is listed as 'Bernard Blackmantle', a pseudonym for the infamous blackmailer, Charles Molloy Westmacott, who would be lampooned the year after the publication of the book in handbills in which Westmacott was described thus:
"...2 feet 3 inches high, bandy legged, had broad thumbs, that he had served in the capacity of cad, scene shifter, colour grinder, reporter, spy, common informer, evesdropper, sweep, and deliverer of messages on the Liverpool stage, and that any body who would bring him to his disconsolate father, Charles Molloy, chimney-sweeper, Drury-lane, should receive the reward, &c."
CM Westmacott was successful in his court case claiming libel.
I'm not sure of the sources but this post about 'The English Spy' is worth reading.


Zimmerische Chronik


Zimmern Family Chronicle
[I know that this brilliant illustration was completed by Peter Flötner in 1543. A random search turned up his pornographic alphabet in 'The erotics of type', and also inadvertently led (as so many roads happily do) to the excellent Figurative Alphabets post at Giornale Nuovo.]


Zimmerische Chronik - heraldry
"Just as the noble Zimmern family of Swabia was approaching its demise in the second half of the sixteenth century, two of its members produced an extraordinary family history that continues to fascinate readers today. Preserved in two closely related sixteenth-century manuscripts, this history of the Zimmern family has come down to us without a clear title or author."
The above 3 images come from 'Zimmerische Chronik' at, or via, this Wikisource site. Although the original manuscripts are held at Universität Freiburg, I only saw typed sheets for the most part, despite downloading a 170Mb pdf volume (!). So I'm not sure how to access the original (my lack of german is probably showing). [Via Archivalia]
Update: Thanks for comments below by Andreas - see here and here for some relevant information.


A Prince of the Marquesas


The Princess Pittenee

'A Prince of the Marquesas' and 'The Princess Pittenee' come from Harper's New Monthly Magazine, August 1859 - among the 'Galápagos Collection' at the University of Wisconsin Madison Zoological Museum.


Philadelphia Free Library - Edward IV Roll - first 'page'


Edward IV Roll (detail - horse) - spliced from screen captures


Edward IV Roll - detail of sunman

These 2 details (from spliced screencaps in Zoomify) and complete first section are from the 15th century 'Chronicle of the History of the World from Creation to Woden, with a Genealogy of Edward IV' - known as 'Edward IV Roll', which is more of a scroll to my mind - are to be found among the Medieval Manuscripts in the Free Library of Philadelphia . I seem to recall reading somewhere that they have lately enlarged their online presence. I love the letter/font forms under the horse.


Third of 4 sheets of gores to make up a globe
"Relief shown pictorially. Third of 4 sheets of gores to make up a globe. Includes Il Gemelli, Il Cancro and Il Leone. Features a particularly decorative projection of the heavens and is attractively colored, with the constellations shown in their classical forms. Appeared in the author's 'Nuovo Atlante Geografico Universale Delineate Suelle Ultime Osservazioni', Roma : Presso la Calcografia Camerale, 1792-1801."


Cassini - Globo Celeste

Giovanni Maria Cassini: " "Ring sheet" of zodiacs and 2 polar calottes for mounting on globe furniture. Appeared in the author's 'Nuovo Atlante Geografico Universale Delineate Suelle Ultime Osservazioni' in 1792-1801."

If I'm understanding the notes correctly, these 2 works (among about a dozen) were published in 1792 in Cassini's 'Globo Celeste Calcolato Peril Corrente Anno Sulle Osservazioni de Sigg. Flamsteed e de la Caille' in which Cassini did his own engraving.


Map of Apparent Intensity of 1906 San Francisco Earthquake (Rossi-Forel Scale)
This is a map of the Apparent Intensity of the 1906
San Francisco earthquake using the Rossi-Forel scale.


1906 San Francisco Earthquake World Seismic Readings
These seismic readings from around the world taken in 1906 are from the same San Francisco earthquake book as above, the details for which I didn't catch when I jagged the image. It's interesting to see which world locations were able to register the event. {previously: Earthquake Images}

The Cassini and earthquake images all come from the fantastic David Rumsey site that has uploaded another 1100+ images in the last few weeks. It has taken me a loooong time but I've finally decided that I like using the Insight browser, having discovered how to download enlarged images without having to splice screen captures; although images can be displayed in javascript. The '4 sheets of gores' image above was made from spliced screencaps from a downloaded MrSid formatted file - I just wanted to see how it turned out converted to jpeg format: not too shabby really.


Marriage Present from Victorian Ladies to Princess of Wales 1863
'Presented to the Princess of Wales on her marriage by the ladies of Victoria'; an engraving by Frederick Grosse, 1863. The Princess of Wales would later become Queen Alexandra to King Edward VII. (I'm still not sure if this is an engraving of the present or the engraving was the present)


The Patent Globes - terrestrial and celestial globes
'The Patent Globes' by Thomas Jefferys.
Diagrams of terrestrial and celestial globes.
From: 'New and Complete Dictionary of Arts and Sciences' 1754.


Ein Marquezas Insulaner
"'Ein Marquezas Insulaner aus Nukahiwah'. Punctier instrument. Feodor Petrowitsch ein geb" Probably the first decade of the 19th century. (Tattooing in the Marquesas Islands)

The above 3 images were randomly selected from the extensive National Library of Australia Digital Collections (probably from a search on 'engraving' in Pictures). The NLA and other major Australian repositories can all be accessed from the PictureAustralia website.


Chérubin d'Orléans - Frontpiece to  'La Dioptrique Oculaire'


Chérubin d'Orléans - Macule du Disque (map of moon surface)


Chérubin d'Orléans - Map of the Moon (probably after Hevelius)
Frontpiece and 2 very early lunar map images by Chérubin d'Orléans IN: 'La Dioptrique Oculaire, ou la Théorique, la Positive, et la Mechanique, de l'Oculaire Dioptrique en Toutes ses Especes' from 1671, digitized in full by Université Louis Pasteur.

The lunar topography images are absolutely definitely derived from Johannes Hevelius, whose 'Selenographia' (previously briefly mentioned: I, II) from 1647 established lunar cartography as a scientific discipline. Having said that, Chérubin d'Orléans, who was no slouch in the field of optics (credited at times with, among other things, the invention of the binocular telescope) and appears to have been an assiduous scientist, may have modified the Hevelius moon maps from his own observations. It's a pity that the whole of 'Selenographia' is not, to my knowledge, online as yet.

Searching around on 'Chérubin d'Orléans' brought me back to Dr David A. Fleishman's Antique Spectacles site - a great timesink. From time to time I send David old illustrations with pictures of glasses and pince-nez etc that I come across to add to the great collection he has developed. [More about David from the Wall Street Journal]


Ali Baba
Glyph Jockey has uploaded some images from an undated (?~1890-1910) Dom Bénédictine exploitation of children advertising brochure that employs the Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves story and lush illustrations.


Jalilrasouli Mohammad : Bird in Zoomorphic Calligraphic image
Jalilrasouli Mohammad is one of many Arabic calligraphy artists at Qoqnoos ['Iranian Fames Artists and Artistic Works']. {Previously: zoomorphic calligraphy.} I found Qoqnoos indirectly via the great 'Iranian Typography Now' post at PingMag earlier this month.


'Fonte des statues Equestre' - cast iron mould for sculpture
'Fonte des Statues Equestres, Figure Equestre de Cire Avec les Jets, les Events et les Ajouts des Cire'. I'm guessing this engraving depicts the method by which a wax mold of a cast iron statue can be made. Mid-to-late 17th century perhaps. Lightning and/or The Matrix came to mind.


Cartoon-like illustration from Alkmaar Archives

The above 2 images come from the Alkmaar Archives in Holland. They had from memory about 30 images from their rare books/prints collection available. It seems many Dutch repositories are using the same digitizing company in which a javascript console is employed to present the images. One side affect (to me anyway) is that decent sized images can't be downloaded without taking awkward screencaps (as was done above). But you can download a large image for €6. To obtain further information about the images - such as their name etc - requires registration but I'm not sure if that also requires a fee. I've seen about 6 similar sites recently: it's all about establishing a revenue stream.


1956 Abominable Snowman from illustrated-history.org


Dirigible from 1926 - 'La Domenica del Corriere'

Illustrated-History.org have quite a few years worth of the Italian weekly illustrated magazine/newspaper 'La Domenica del Corriere' available. This is a very cool site, perched somewhere between kitsch and culture, and worth a look. They have large images (freely) available - search on world location 'luoghi', author 'autore' or narrow it down to a year with the advanced search option 'ricerca avanzata'. The Abominable Snowman is from 1956 and the Italian airship/dirigible is from 1926.


Japanese mammal


strange Japanese acquatic species


Flowers from rare Japanese book


Pelican from rare Japanese book


Frog-like men and monsters from National Diet Library in Japan


strange fish from rare Japanese book

There's a chance I've posted 1 or 2 of these Japanese rare book images before (like that isn't an avocational hazard). Previously I've gone to the National Diet Library and copied kanji ideograms into search fields to trawl for eclectic imagery.

I'm grateful to the Armchair Aquarium (or was it the Annexe?) for pointing out that the National Diet Library have added a new-ish landing page for their natural history holdings (I doubt it leads to the complete online catalogue but still..). Although the landing page is in japanese, it still makes it much, much easier to browse the eccentric and wonderful images among their digitized material. Click everywhere. Sometimes you will find complete books and sometimes you'll find pages of similar subject matter. This Metafilter post contains some direct links to historic scientific books if you want the random serendipity removed from the equation. I think I've probably posted most of the weirdest material previously (see here and/or here).


All of the above images, which have been variously cleaned, dabbed and tweaked in accordance with the adage relating to antique furniture restoration - 'as little as possible' - can be enlarged to varying degrees by clicking on them.


Other thangs (which I've not looked through in depth yet)...
  • Some back issues of The Journal of Artists' Books are available for download as pdf files.
  • "To celebrate its 60th birthday, the Arts Council collection of post-war British art will be made available for all to enjoy on the Internet. The collection, formed in 1946 and administered by the Hayward Gallery since 1987, encompasses some 7,500 works by over 2,000 artists." [via 24 Hour Museum]
  • ¡del Corazón! Latino Voices in American Art at the Smithsonian Institution [via Eye Level - a blog produced by the Smithsonian American Arts Museum that I have assiduously followed since it began - at the same time as BibliOdyssey].
  • Vispo {new to me} - interactive, visual and sound poetry by Jim Andrews [via dbqp: visualizing poetics]
  • 'The Société Anonyme: Modernism for America': an exhibition organised by the Yale University Art Gallery (great flash site). I think this link comes via Wood s Lot. But even if it doesn't I have a feeling Mark will like the site anyway.
  • See! I wasn't laid out on eggnog. Actually, it's quite amusing to view the site statistics when I don't post for a few days. By this I mean that I can hear the disappointed *sighs* when people venture into the BibliOdyssey del.icio.us links and enter the site via 'women'. Heh. On that point, if you are not a fan of rss but you do have a del.icio.us online bookmarks account, some people find it easy to subscribe to the BibliOdyssey bookmarks (click 'subscriptions' at the top of your own del.icio.us page, then 'edit' and then add 'BibliOdyssey' to the bottom box) - I summarize and categorize each entry at del.icio.us at about the same time as I publish the blog entry here. It lets you decide if the entry at BibliOdyssey is of interest and worth visiting or not as well as letting you know when the site has been updated. I only started doing it to help me find things that escape the blogger search engine, but I think it works as a handy alternative way to follow a site.