THE RARE OLD PICTURES COLLECTIONS
These stunning hand-coloured engravings of exotic fish from Sri Lanka (extracted from a .pdf) are from:
‘A Selection from the most Remarkable and Interesting of the Fishes Found on the Coast of Ceylon from Drawings made in the Southern Part of that Island from the Living Specimens by John Whitchurch Bennett, 2nd Ed. 1834’.
The work contains thirty illustrations in total and the Harvard University edition is ‘Natural History of Ceylon’ from 1861
‘An Account of Indian Serpents, collected on the Coast of Coromandel’ by Patrick Russell, 1796. Russell was the botanist to the East India Company in Madras (Chennai). This is apparently the first book devoted to Indian snakes. The image, spliced together from screencaps, comes from somewhere in the Books, Manuscripts & Maps category at Christies (inadvertently following from a comment by Michael some weeks ago).
“This image first appeared in Henry Mayhew’s 1851 or The Adventures of Mr. and Mrs. Sandboys and Family, Who Came Up to London to ‘Enjoy Themselves,’ and to See the Great Exhibition (London: David Bogue, ).”
[image and quote from this entry – where there is more info. – at one of my favourite sites: Princeton Graphic Arts Blog.]
View from the Circus looking up Piccadilly – Proof for an illustration to be included in: ‘1851, or, The Adventures of Mr and Mrs Sandboys’ by Henry Mayhew (from the British Museum Prints Database)
‘An Overland Journey to the Great Exhibition. Showing a Few Extra Articles & Visitors’ by (at one time) Punch Magazine illustrator, Richard Doyle. The book contains no text and the satirical parade of humans and animals on their way to Crystal Palace measured nine feet in length when all of the illustrations were joined together. The composite image is from PBA Galleries and the second illustration comes from the Great Exhibition Humorous Asides page at Kansas University’s Spencer Library.
One of several designs for political caricatures on the Great Exhibition of 1851 drawn by George Augustus Sala (from the British Museum Prints Database)
‘O Ful, Tru, un Pertikler Okeaawnt o bwoth wat aw seed un wat aw yerd, we gooin too Th’ Greyt Eggshibishun, e Lundun, an a greyt deyle of Hinfurmashun besoide’ by Oliver Ormerod (penned under his Rochdale, Lancashire pseudonym, Felley from Rachde).
“The title of the book (translated from the Rochdalian) is “A full, true and particular account of both what I saw and what I heard when going to the Great Exhibition, in London, and a great deal of information besides.” (image and quote also from Kansas U.)
The prompt that made me look around for some satirical prints on the Great Exhibition of 1851 was receiving a (requested) copy of the catalogue (available online) from Melbourne’s Monash University Library exhibition (until August 31) – Fifty Books for Fifty Years. “This is an exhibition of fifty books chosen by Monash academics and researchers.[..] The fifty participants have chosen items they have consulted in the course of their work. The result is a fascinating variety of books, many of which have never been displayed.” If not for the thousand-or-so kilometres, I would definitely go.
Speaking of Melbourne, Sophie Cunningham is a publisher, journalist, writer and current editor of Meanjin, an Australian literary and culture magazine established more than sixty years ago. Sophie has posted a set of photographs of Meanjin covers to Flickr. Both the stylised Aboriginal figure in ceremonial* attire and emu head cover illustrations above remain under copyright and have been posted here with permission.
These engravings come from the first of Johann Forkel’s ambitious 2-volume work, ‘Allgemeine Geschichte der Musik’ (General History of Music) [1788-1801]. These, together with a couple more similarly interesting illustrations can be found on the last pages of Tome I at the Universities of Strasbourg Digital Library (very little of visual interest in Tome 2). I presume the schematic in the first illustration above is a pedal control unit for a pneumatic organ. It’s too early for steam. Forkel was a biographer of Bach and is often regarded as the founder of modern musicology. He was never able to complete the planned third volume in the series so this first German attempt at documenting the history of music stops at the beginning of the 16th century. (See: i, ii, iii)
Titlepage from ‘Facetiae Pennalium’, 1622, by Julius Zincgref from HAB. I know nothing about this book although I suspect it is philosophical in nature. Somewhere around I have a couple of links to emblemata books by him which might materialise here in the future.
THE aRDJOENO mOUNTAIN OF pASOEROEAN eAST jAVA
Despite the terrible rendering of online translation of Dutch, I’m fairly confident all four images above relate to the Java region of Indonesia and are all* the first three are approximately from the second half of the 17th 18th century [*see the comments at the end of the post]. They are spliced screencaps from a new cartographic database of several hundred images relating to the Dutch East India Company (VOC). The collection consists mostly of maps (of course) – many fort outlines and lots of interesting and artistic map sketches – but there are the occasional scenic watercolour pictures as well. From the ‘Collectie/Archief’ drop down menu, select ‘Kaarten van de VOC’, change the number of thumbnails you want to display per page down the bottom and then hit ‘zoek’. It’s all easy.
This chromolithograph world map [spliced together from two sections] was made by Konrad Miller in 1896 and is a reproduction of a mappamundi produced in Hanover (I think) in 1300. Although the largest version doesn’t quite magnify all the details, it nevertheless remains an interesting map. Note that Christ’s head, hands and feet mark the vertical and horizontal axes. The digital version is hosted by MDZ.
the map – the German equivalent of the ‘Hereford Mappamundi’ – is known as the ‘Ebstorf Mappamundi’ (image) and was produced in 1234 by Gervase of Tilbury.
ZIEL DUS VELGAARN VAN kERMISVREUGH AF
These fabulous squid and mosquito engravings come from Jan Swammerdam’s classic ‘Bibel der Natur’ (1752). The whole book is (finally!) online at Berlin’s Humboldt University E-Doc server. (note the thumbnail link top left; the text may be photocopy quality but the engravings are great: ‘Höhere Auflösung’=high resolution)
The Dutch microscopist, Jan Swammerdam, conducted groundbreaking research into the development of insects and made significant contributions to human anatomy and scientific methodology.
these odd engravings from ‘Mathesis Caesarea’ (1662) just because the idea of adding putti (cupids) to an otherwise rather dry reworking of Albert von Curtz’s ‘Amussis Fernandea’ by Gaspar Schott (the book being about mathematics, geometry and military architecture) seems amusingly incongruous..
These plates (extracted from a .pdf) come from the beautiful book, ‘Illustrations of the Botany and other Branches of the Natural History of the Himalayan Mountains and of the Flora of Cashmere’ by J. Forbes Royle, 1839.
‘Allegorie op de Vrede’ (Allegory of Peace) is by A. Zürcher 1814
‘Zoilus’ by Cyprian Norwid (search on his name at the Polish Digital Library – they have a large number of his works. As previously noted, Matt from Rashomon made a beautiful five minute collage-film from a range of Norwid prints)