Thursday, March 31, 2011

Flagging Heraldry

Holy Roman Empire Coats of Arms

Holy Roman Empire Coats of Arms duo l

Holy Roman Empire Coats of Arms duo h

Holy Roman Empire Coats of Arms duo j

Holy Roman Empire Coats of Arms duo k

Holy Roman Empire Coats of Arms duo f

Holy Roman Empire Coats of Arms duo g

Holy Roman Empire Coats of Arms duo e

Holy Roman Empire Coats of Arms duo b

Holy Roman Empire Coats of Arms duo

Holy Roman Empire Coats of Arms duo a

Holy Roman Empire Coats of Arms duo d

Holy Roman Empire Coats of Arms duo i

Holy Roman Empire Coats of Arms duo c

It's not often - thankfully, for all our sakes - that I get to quote myself, but an uncoloured version of this work was referenced on BibliOdyssey previously, and the information is still relevant:

Wapen. Des Heyligen Römischen Reichs Teutscher Nation' or Koebel's Wappenbuch (Coat of Arms book) is interesting because the heraldic symbols are all featured on flags - although perhaps not so obviously with the two example images - held aloft by the mercenaries known as Landsknechts (seen recently). Published in 1545 by Jacob Koebel, this rare wappenbuch features around one hundred and fifty full page illustrations (by Jacob Kallenberg - monogramme: 'IK') of the puffy shirt-wearing, armour-clad flag bearers; and in passing, I noted a subsequent edition from the late 16th century selling for ~€4000. The complete book is available online at the Bavarian State Library. [via Archivalia]

The heraldic emblem flags seen above display distinguishing elements from the coats of arms of the nobility from the German peoples of the Holy Roman Empire. The flags represent Germanic princes and barons and knights and cities and earls and electors. The publication includes blazons: descriptions employing the grammar of heraldry that will have outlined the colours to be applied by the manuscript painter(s).

The Wikipedia article on vexillology tells us that flags and the study of flags was originally (and still is, in some senses) a "sub-discipline" of heraldry.

Opening Day Baseball New York Highlanders

Title: [Opening Day at Hilltop Park, NY; NY Highlanders (AL) & Phila. Athletics game action (baseball)] Creator(s): Bain News Service, publisher. Date Created / Published: [1908 Apr. 14] Medium: 1 negative : glass ; 5 x 7 in. or smaller. Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-ggbain-00274 (digital file from original neg.)

Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication. There are no known restrictions on the photographs in the George Grantham Bain Collection. Publication and other forms of distribution: No known restrictions.

Credit Line: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [reproduction number, e.g., LC-B2-1234]

The George Grantham Bain Collection represents the photographic files of one of America's earliest news picture agencies. The collection richly documents sports events, theater, celebrities, crime, strikes, disasters, political activities including the woman suffrage campaign, conventions and public celebrations. The photographs Bain produced and gathered for distribution through his news service were worldwide in their coverage, but there was a special emphasis on life in New York City. The bulk of the collection dates from the 1900s to the mid-1920s, but scattered images can be found as early as the 1860s and as late as the 1930s.

Call Number: LC-B2- 56-3 [P&P] Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA .
Opening Day Baseball New York HighlandersNotes:
* Original data provided by the Bain News Service on the negatives or caption cards: N.Y. Americans vs. Philadelphia, opening game, New York, 4/14/08.
* Forms part of: George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress).
* Corrected title and date based on research by the Pictorial History Committee, Society for American Baseball Research, 2006.

* New York
* baseball

* Glass negatives.

* Bain Collection


Pysanka Egg
My very first attempt at Pysanky using one color.
My dear friend Julia and her lovely daughters gave me the Pysanky kit last year
as a gift and I hadn't tried it yet. Using the the kystka to draw is tricky!
But i will continue to practice and make a few more before Easter.

Guess Who Dunnit? Part 1

The other day I received an email from David Roach, who has been a frequent guest author here on TI. David wrote:

"If you’re looking for a few days entries I have a sort of cheeky suggestion for you - which will put me out of my misery. Each day you feature all sorts of great artists, but how about some entries where we don’t know who the artist is? I have some stunning book covers which I know the TI readers would enjoy, but I’ve no idea who they’re by."


"Do you think it might make an interesting entry of anonymous images which the readers could maybe identify?"


"I don’t know how riveting it would be but I know I’d sure be intrigued to hear who the readers think they might be by."


"Hey, I know it’s not the greatest offer you’ve ever had but I thought I’d throw it out there in case you’re stuck for an entry one time."


Actually, I thought it was a GREAT idea - and I told David so. Before I knew it he was flooding my inbox with scans - wonderful scans! So here is the first batch for your perusal, dear readers.


Can you guess who dunnit?


* For the time being, while these artists remain unknown, I've included them in my British Illustrators Flickr set

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Messerschmitt Me 262A

DAYTON, Ohio -- Messerschmitt Me 262A at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo) is provided as a public service by the National Museum of the United States Air Force, Public Affairs.

Information presented on is considered public information and may be distributed or copied. Use of appropriate byline/photo/image credits is requested.

This file is a work of an employee of the U.S. Armed Forces, taken or made during the course of the person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the file is in the public domain.

Generally speaking, works created by U.S. Government employees are not eligible for copyright protection in the United States. See Circular 1 "COPYRIGHT BASICS" PDF from the U.S. Copyright Office.
Messerschmitt Me 262ADeveloped from a 1938 design by the Messerschmitt company, the Me 262 Schwalbe was the world's first operational turbojet aircraft. First flown under jet power on July 18, 1942, it proved much faster than conventional airplanes. Development problems (particularly its temperamental engines), Allied bombings and cautious Luftwaffe leadership contributed to delays in quantity production.

On July 25, 1944, an Me 262 became the first jet airplane used in combat when it attacked a British photo-reconnaissance Mosquito flying over Munich. As a fighter, the German jet scored heavily against Allied bomber formations. U.S. Army Air Forces bombers, however, destroyed hundreds of Me 262s on the ground. Of the more than 1,400 Me 262s produced, fewer than 300 saw combat. Most Me 262s did not make it to operational units because of the destruction of Germany's surface transportation system. Many of those that did were unable to fly because of lack of fuel, spare parts or trained pilots.

The Me 262A on display was brought to the United States from Germany in July 1945 for flight evaluation. Restored by the 96th Mobile Maintenance Squadron, Kelly Air Force Base, Texas, in 1976-1979, it is painted without operational unit markings as an aircraft that has just left the production line.

Spoon Oil

Spoon Oil
I gave my spoons some much needed love and affection
with Stephanie's wonderful spoon oil recipe.
Just sitting there early in the morning polishing wooden spoons
was incredibly relaxing and almost therapeutic, I highly recommend it :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

William H. Seward Secretary of State Seward's Day

Title: [Portrait of Secretary of State William H. Seward, officer of the United States government] Creator(s): Brady National Photographic Art Gallery (Washington, D.C.), photographer. Date Created/Published: [Between 1860 and 1865]

Medium: 1 negative : glass, wet collodion. Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-cwpb-04948 (digital file from original neg.) LC-B8172-1431 (b&w film neg.)

Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication.

Call Number: LC-B813- 1431 A [P&P] Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA.

* Civil War photographs, 1861-1865 / compiled by Hirst D. Milhollen and Donald H. Mugridge, Washington, D.C. : Library of Congress, 1977. No. 0874
* Title from Milhollen and Mugridge.
* Forms part of Selected Civil War photographs, 1861-1865 (Library of Congress)

* United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
* Seward, William H.

* Portrait photographs.
* Wet collodion negatives.

* Civil War Glass Negatives and Related Prints

Part of: Selected Civil War photographs, 1861-1865 (Library of Congress)

On the evening of March 29,1867, the Russian Minister called at Seward's house and informed him of the receipt of a cablegram reporting the Emperor's consent to the proposition, and then he added that he would be ready to take up the final work the next day, for haste was desirable. With a smile of satisfaction at the news, Seward pushed aside the table where he had been enjoying his usual evening game of whist, and said: "Why wait till tomorrow, Mr. Stoeckl? Let us make the treaty to-night." The needed clerks were summoned; the Assistant Secretary went after Sumner, the chairman of the Senate committee on foreign affairs; the Russian Minister • sent for his assistants; and at midnight all met at the Department of State. By four o'clock in the morning the task was completed.

William H. SewardSeward's most famous achievement as Secretary of State was his acquisition of Alaska from Russia. On March 30, 1867, he completed negotiations for the purchase of 586,412 square miles of territory for $7,200,000, or approximately 2 cents per acre.

The purchase of the land was mocked by the public as Seward's Folly, "Seward's Icebox," and Andrew Johnson's "polar bear garden." Alaska celebrates the purchase on Seward's Day, the last Monday of March.

When asked what he considered to be his greatest achievement as Secretary of State, Seward replied "The purchase of Alaska, but it will take the people a generation to find it out"


Oddball Ad Campaigns of the 1940s: White Rock's Topless Tinkerbell

If the purpose of advertising is to grab the viewer's attention and set your product apart from the competition, then kudos to White Rock Beverage's ad agency, circa 1946 - mission accomplished!

White Rock certainly set themselves apart from other soft drink companies with this campaign... and no doubt grabbed the attention of more than a few consumers. I'm just not sure if an ad series featuring a topless girl was the way to do it.


Sure, it probably sounded like a great idea when it was pitched (or maybe the three martini lunches made it sound more reasonable). The company logo featured its mascot, Psyche, a mythological/fairytale character who appeared on White Rock's product labels in what looks to be an old engraving from the 1800s.*


Unfortunately that image of Psyche doesn't quite translate seamlessly into a then-modern context just because the illustrations always showed her with an arm obscuring her bare breasts... or even worse, pretended they weren't bare breasts because they were rendered without nipples!


The audacity of these ads very nearly leaves me at a loss for words. Consider this February '47 offering below, for example. The headline suggests its a classic wife-catches-cheating-husband scenario.


The husband's stammering response confirms he's feeling caught in the act:



The explanation proffered by Psyche is of the sort that would only make sense to someone who had already enjoyed several stiff drinks (mixed with White Rock Sparkling Water, of course).


Ooohhhh, I see.... she's not actually a semi-nudist at a party for people who own clothes - she's a symbol! Amazingly (and only in a White Rock ad) the lady of the house buys it. Sort of.

Apparently the missus is willing to set aside her concerns about her husband hiring a stripper for the dinner party so long as the guests are well lubricated. Just look at the expression on hubby's face. He can hardly believe he's going to get away with this. Priceless!


Long before the streaking craze of the early '70s, White Rock's topless tinkerbell could be seen in all her glory, working her magic...


... from the stage...


... to the screen...


... to the streets.


Thankfully, by mid-1947 Psyche had discovered that her gauzy toga bottom came with enough material to fashion a top.


And by early '48 it was actually safe to have her in the same room with the kids!


In reality, I suspect that someone higher up at White Rock was getting tired of fielding letters of complaint from irate church and PTA groups! (But that's just my sneaking suspicion).

* An article in a 1971 issue of the Journal of the American Institute of Graphic Arts describes how Psyche became the symbol of White Rock beverages:

In the 1890s the executives of the White Rock company were looking for a trademark that would reflect the "clear sparkling purity of their products." At the Chicago World's Fair of 1893, they saw the painting "Psyche at Nature's Mirror" by German artist Paul Thurmann. It was exactly what they wanted. They purchased the trademark rights to the painting and Psyche became "The White Rock Girl."

Noche en la Casa Azul

Noche en la Casa Azul
Noche en la Casa Azul
Noche en la Casa Azul
Noche en la Casa Azul
Noche en la Casa Azul
Noche en la Casa Azul
Noche en la Casa Azul
A little tour at night from the outside peeking in :)
*The bird on the glass back-splash of my stove is a waterslide decal
I printed on my inkjet printer. The brand I used is Lazertran.


The artist Pavel Korin centered his life around one grand ambition: to paint a masterpiece about the impact of the Russian Revolution.

Preliminary study for "Farewell to Rus"
 Korin worked for 42 years in preparation for his painting, developing sub-themes, experimenting with  various compositions and painting detailed sketches.  He researched the science of art conservation to make sure his masterpiece would last for centuries without restoration.  He ordered an immense canvas specially made and installed it on custom built stretchers.  Then he died before he could apply his first brush stroke.

Korin's blank canvas, with preliminary studies
A tough break, but at least fate was more generous to Korin than it was to poor Masaccio, one of the most promising painters of the Renaissance. Vasari described Masaccio as "the best painter of his generation," but after he began work on his famed frescoes at the Branacci Chapel, Massaccio took a side trip to Rome and died unexpectedly at age 26.  He never had a chance to finish his work, and the laurels went to Michelangelo and Raphael instead. 

Many an artist has fallen short of his or her potential by miscalculating how much time they have left to complete their "best" work.  So you have to admire the audacity of artists who gamble on creating one epic work, rather than a lifetime of smaller pieces.  They leave themselves no margin of error; it's all or nothing.

Of course, even if an artist calculates his or her allotted time accurately, they still get no guarantees.  Alexander Ivanov was another artist who built his career around one major painting (The Appearance of Christ Before The People).  Ivanov was called "the master of one work."  He succeeded in completing his painting after twenty years,  but unfortunately the painting turned out to be second rate.  And who could forget artist Bill Pappas who worked methodically for ten years, from 1993 to 2003, on a single pencil drawing of Marilyn Monroe?  Pappas drew every pore on her face in excruciating detail, using 20x magnification lenses.  When he finished his picture on schedule, Pappas had demonstrated a great talent for precision, but little else.

The muse, it turns out, is not always flattered by good time management skills.

Many an artist produces lesser work in order to pay the rent, secretly planning to redeem themselves later.  This requires them to gamble on notoriously fickle actuarial tables. Still, it is impossible to have children and remain insensitive to some of the excellent reasons for compromise.

As philosopher Walter Kaufmann suggested,
One lives better when one expects to die, say, at forty, when one says to oneself long before one is twenty: whatever I may be able to accomplish I should be able to do by then; and what I have not done by then I am unlikely to do ever.  One cannot count on living until one is forty-- or thirty-- but it makes for a better life if one has a rendezvous with death. 

Monday, March 28, 2011

The White Rabbit

The King and Queen of Hearts were seated on their throne when they arrived, with a great crowd assembled about them—all sorts of little birds and beasts, as well as the whole pack of cards: the Knave was standing before them, in chains, with a soldier on each side to guard him; and near the King was the White Rabbit, with a trumpet in one hand and a scroll of parchment in the other. In the very middle of the court was a table, with a large dish of tarts upon it. "I wish they'd get the trial done," Alice thought, "and hand 'round the refreshments!"

The judge, by the way, was the King and he wore his crown over his great wig. "That's the jury-box," thought Alice; "and those twelve creatures (some were animals and some were birds) I suppose they are the jurors."

Just then the White Rabbit cried out "Silence in the court!"

"Herald, read the accusation!" said the King.

On this, the White Rabbit blew three blasts on the trumpet, then unrolled the parchment-scroll and read as follows:

"The Queen of Hearts, she made some tarts, All on a summer day; The Knave of Hearts, he stole those tarts And took them quite away!"

"Call the first witness," said the King; and the White Rabbit blew three blasts on the trumpet and called out, "First witness!"

The first witness was the Hatter. He came in with[Pg 44] a teacup in one hand and a piece of bread and butter in the other.

"You ought to have finished," said the King. "When did you begin?"

The Hatter looked at the March Hare, who had followed him into the court, arm in arm with the Dormouse. "Fourteenth of March, I think it was," he said.

"Give your evidence," said the King, "and don't be nervous, or I'll have you executed on the spot."

The White Rabbit
Title: Alice in Wonderland. Publisher: Macmillan, 1898. First Published 1865. Author: Lewis Carroll. Illustrator. Length: 192 pages, with original illustrations by Sir John Tenniel (28 February 1820 – 25 February 1914)

This Image (or other media file) is in the public domain because its copyright has expired. This applies to the United States, where Works published prior to 1923 are copyright protected for a maximum of 75 years. See Circular 1 "COPYRIGHT BASICS" PDF from the U.S. Copyright Office. Works published before 1923 (in this case 1865) are now in the public domain.

This file is also in the public domain in countries that figure copyright from the date of death of the artist (post mortem auctoris in this case Sir John Tenniel (28 February 1820 – 25 February 1914), and that most commonly runs for a period of 50 to 70 years from December 31 of that year.