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“The [illustrated] effects of medicine and wine-drinking compared.”

October 18, 2019 Leave a comment

I came across this drawing while perusing the Wellcome Collection to stock an anatomy display at my house for our Halloween party.  On the left, is a thin, gaunt man suffering from the blue devils despite his three bottles of physic.  On the right is a jolly, robust man, holding up a glass of wine, surrounded by wine bottles.  As there are two wine glasses and six bottles of wine, I suspect the thin, gaunt man switched from wine to physic for the worse!

“The effects of medicine and wine-drinking compared.” [1]

Two three bottle men. Wine and physic. What I was. What I am. A hint to jolly dogs.


[1] The effects of medicine and wine-drinking compared. Ink drawing, 18–.. Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY. URL: https://wellcomecollection.org/works/hta2mhfq/items?langCode=eng

Frightening 16th c. Wine-related Images for Friday the 13th & a Full Moon!

September 13, 2019 Leave a comment

“Devil and Man” from Hans von Leonrod. Hymelwag. 1517. [1]

As it is Friday the 13th and a full-moon, I present two frightening wine-related images.  In keeping with yesterday’s post about the popularity of drinking in 15th century Germany, I present two images by Hans Schaufelein found in Hans von Leonrod Hymelwag (1517).  The popularity of intoxication in Germany continued into the 16th and 17th century. As a result, a temperance movement developed, as did books complete with devil-related drinking images.

In the title image of this post, a knight is presented a demijohn of wine by a diablocal creature.  This is the first known image of the “boozing devil” or Saufteufel.  In these books, the vice of drunkenness opened the gates to other vices.  In the second image, we see the same knight with his cup and demijohn of wine riding a cart into the mouth of hell.  He seems oblivious to his fate which is frightening indeed.

“Wagon to Hell” from Hans von Leonrod. Hymelwag. 1517. [1]


[1] von Leonrod, Hans. Hymelwag auff dem, wer wol lebt un wol stirbt fert in das reich der himel. 1517. URL: https://books.google.com/books?id=PNVdAAAAcAAJ&pg=PT6#v=onepage&q&f=false

Hans Folz, Prints In Praise of Distilled Wine from the 1490s

September 12, 2019 Leave a comment

Folz, Hans. Wem der geprennt wein schad oder nucz sei. ca. 1491. [1]

I have periodically looked at Hans Folz’s colorful image Wem der geprennt wein schad oder nucz sei (ca. 1491) for several years now.  I first came across it when I worked on my 16th Century German Wine Books posts.  In this post I present a bit of context.

Hans Folz (1435-1513) was a German barber surgeon, playwright, and printer amongst other occupations.  He is considered a major figure but the breadth of his work was largely ignored in English research until Caroline Huey’s Hans Folz and Print Culture in Late Medieval Germany: The Creation of Popular Discourse (2012).  Folz was based in Nuremberg where he self-published a large number of works including the poem Wem der geprennt wein schad oder nucz sei, vnd wie er gerecht oder felschlich gemacht sei (ca. 1491).  The drinking of wine and beer was very common in the 15th century Germany but towards the end, distilled wine or brandy increased in popularity.  Folz’s poem is focused on this widely popular drink which he praises as a remedy against sadness and hangovers but also warns against immoderate use. [4]  Folz was no doubt an observer of drinking behavior in his city.  In 1496, shortly after he published these works, the Nuremberg city council banned the drinking of distilled wine in the streets and the sale on Sundays and holidays.

Folz, Hans. Wem der geprennt wein schad oder nucz sei. ca. 1491. [2]

Folz’s wine incunabula exists in at least three different forms.  The first two, dated ca. 1491, are in the form of a book and a broadsheet.  The book features a hand colored woodblock print with hand-copied text.[1]  The broadsheet features the same print with printed text.[2]  A few details contain the single color red such as lips, a flask of distilled wine, and some letters.  The two prints are formed from the same wood block given the wear patterns.  For example, two dots appear in the title text between “schad oder” and in the top of the right vertical border are additional signs of wear.  A third form contains an entirely different wood block print.  Though the image is completely different, the key features are the same.

Folz, Hans. Wem der geprant wein nutz sey oder schad. 1493. [3]

In both image types, a merchant appears behind his table which is partially covered with a cloth.  On it are arrayed flasks of distilled wine, a knife, perhaps wooden rulers, maybe some corks or coins, and shallow cups for drinking.  It is certainly a mysterious assortment of items.  The first image type, which takes place outside on the grass, features a line of three men waiting for a drink.  The second image, presumably inside as there is a stone wall and tiled floor, features only one man actively taking a drink.  The different images in book form feature green glass flasks which do not reveal their contents.  The broadsheet, with it judicious use of color, implies the glass is clear as there is red fluid in one flask.

The culture of drinking continued to develop in Germany during the 16th century.  In tomorrow’s post I will present a couple of scary wine-related images.


[0] Huey, Caroline. “Hans Folz and Print Culture in Late Medieval Germany: The Creation of Popular Discourse”. Routledge. 2012.

[1] Folz, Hans. Wem der geprennt wein schad oder nucz sei, vnd wie er gerecht oder felschlich gemacht sei. c. 1491. München, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek — Cgm 407#S.298. URL: https://app.digitale-sammlungen.de/bookshelf/bsb00101646

[2] Folz, Hans: Wem der geprennt wein schad oder nucz sei, vnd wie er gerecht oder felschlich gemacht sei , [Nuremberg], [c. 1491] [BOD Ink F-174 – GW 10121]. Bayerische Staatsbibliothek. URL: http://daten.digitale-sammlungen.de/~db/0010/bsb00101645/images/

[3] Hans Folz: Wem der geprant wein nutz sey oder schad … Bamberg, Marx Ayrer und Hans Bernecker, 1493 | SBB, JH.Inc.typ.IV.322, Bl. 1r. Staatsbibliothek Bamberg.

[4] Spode, Hasso. “The First Step toward Sobriety: The ‘Boozing Devil’ in Sixteenth-Century Germany.” Contemporary Drug Problems 21, no. 3 (September 1994): 453–83. doi:10.1177/009145099402100307.

No School Like the Old-School: A Unique Madeira Advertisement in Washington, DC during 1835

September 7, 2019 Leave a comment

Detail from Tanner, Henry Schenck. City of Washington. 1836. [0]

Thomas H. Jacobs and James Gowen created their Washington, DC, based wine firm Gowen & Jacobs in 1829.  Both men had previous experience as wine importers and merchants in Philadelphia.  In fact, Gowen maintained his establishment in Philadelphia to help with the wine selections down at their Washington, DC firm.  Their aim was to stock an extensive selection of foreign wines and liquors.  In particular, they catered to members of Congress who typically brought their own supplies of wine to Washington.  Gowen & Jacobs aimed to be the new source for all of their vinuous needs.

Congress moved from Philadelphia to Washington, DC during November, 1800.  When Gowen & Jacobs opened their store, the city population was estimated at nearly 19,000.  A decade later, in 1840, it had climbed to roughly 27,000.

Partial Cadastral Map around Center Market. 1836. [2]

Gowen &  Jacobs were located at 7th St NW and Pennsylvania Ave.  This placed them halfway between the President’s House and the Capitol.  There were four markets serving the District at the time and their storefront location placed them across the street from the Centre Market. This market was located between 7th and 9th Streets with the store on the west side of 7th street fronting the market. This was the principal market of the city with one guide book going so far as to state, “in the quality and abundance of the commodities brought there for sale, it is not excelled by any” other.[3]

This prime location placed them within two blocks of the Patriotic and Washington Banks along with Gadsby’s and Brown’s Hotels.  By the end of the year they were fully stocked with Old London Particular Madeira, Old Pale Sherry, Old Champagne, Old Bordeaux, and more including Burgundy, Hock, and Sauternes.[4]

“Old school vintage of 1803” from Gowen’s & Jacobs’ advertisement. 1835. [5]

Gowen & Jacobs laid in a large selection of old wine during the fall of 1835.  In a series of advertisements address to the “Members of Congress” they laid out some enticing selections.  Of importance to this post is their description of one particular wine found amongst a “large stock of Old Bottled Madeiras”.  Here we find “the Stevenson bottled in St. Croix–the old Old school Vintage of 1803″. [Emphasis added.]

The “old school” phrase dates back to the mid-18th century but as far as I can tell, these advertisements are unique with regards to the subject of wine.  As the 19th century progressed, an appreciation for ever older bottles of Madeira continued to develop.  This particular wine of the “Old school Vintage of 1803” would have been bottled just one or two years later.  Its long life in glass made it particularly different than wines which would have gained their age on the Island of Madeira.  These wines would have concentrated in wood before making the long journey to America where they were finally bottled.

“Old Wine and Liquors” from Gowen’s & Jacbobs’ advertisement. 1835.


[0] Tanner, Henry Schenck. City of Washington. [Philadelphia: H.S. Tanner, 1836] Map. https://www.loc.gov/item/88694080/.

[1] Advertisement. Daily National Intelligencer Thursday, Nov 05, 1829 Washington (DC), DC Vol: XVII Issue: 5230 Page: 3

[2] Partial cadastral map of the district around the Center Market, N.W. Washington D.C. 1836. Map. https://www.loc.gov/item/88694081/.

[3] Watterson, George.  A Picture of Washington. 1840. URL: https://books.google.com/books?id=VtfC1aNc2VIC&dq=Watterson,+George.+A+Picture+of+Washington.+1840&source=gbs_navlinks_s

[4] Advertisement. United States’ Telegraph Saturday, Nov 21, 1829 Washington (DC), DC Page: 3

[5] Advertisement. United States’ Telegraph Saturday, Nov 28, 1835 Washington (DC), DC Page: 3

[6] Centre Market and Vicinity. Author(s): Washington Topham. Source: Records of the Columbia Historical Society, Washington, D.C., Vol. 26 (1924), pp. 1-88. Published by: Historical Society of Washington, D.C. Stable URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/40067380. Accessed: 06-09-2019 15:54 UTC

Carafes and glasses in Cruikshank’s The Mulberry-Tree, 1808.

September 5, 2019 Leave a comment

Cruikshank. The Mulberry-Tree. 1808. [1]

The “vine-juice” mentioned in The Mulberry-Tree below, is being enjoyed in Cruikshank’s illustration by three gentlemen sitting at a table underneath a mulberry tree.  The wine is found both in the full glass each man holds and in the two carafes resting on the table.  The carafes are triple-ringed, broad shouldered types with very narrow lips.  I would venture they date within a decade or so of the engraving.  Carafes do not use stoppers, as such the inside of the neck is not ground for a tight fit.  Unlike a decanter, they would have been filled in the cellar then put on the table for immediate use.

Cruikshank. The Mulberry-Tree. 1808. [1]

THE MULBERRY-TREE.

The sweet brier grows in the merry green wood,
Where the musk-rose diffuses his perfume so free,
But the blight often seizes both blossom and bud,
While the mildew flies over the mulberry tree.

In the nursery rear’d like the young tender vine,
Mankind of all orders, and ev’ry degree,
First crawl on the ground, then spring up like the pine,
And some branch and bear fruit, like the mulberry- tree.

To the fair tree of knowledge some twine like a twig,
While some sappy sprouts with their fruits disagree;
For which we from birch now and then pluck a twig,
Which is not quite so sweet as the mulberry tree.

The vast tree of life we all eagerly climb,
And impatiently pant at its high top to be,
Tho’ nine out of ten are lopp’d off in their prime,
And they drop like dead leaves from the mulberry- tree.

Some live by the leaf, and some by the bough,
As the song or the dance, their vocation may be,
And some live and thrive, tho’ we know no more how,
Than the dew that flies over the mulberry tree.

But like weeping willows we hang down the head,
When poor wither’d elders we’re destin’d to be,
And we’re minded no more than mere logs when we’re dead,
Or the dew that flies over the mulberry tree.

Yet like lignum-vitae we hearts of oak wear,
Or the cedar that keeps from the canker-worm free,
While the vine juice, we drain to dissolve ev’ry care,
Like the dew that flies over the mulberry tree.


[1] Cruikshank. The Mulberry-Tree.  London, 1808.  Museum number: 1869,1009.30. Prints and Drawings, The British Museum.  Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0). URL: https://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=1670714&partId=1

A 15th century Image of a Man Harvesting Grapes

Detail from Vatikan, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Pal. lat. 963. Petrus <Pictaviensis, Cancellarius>. Compendium historiae in genealogia Christi. [2]

Peter of Poitiers (c. 1130 – 1215) or in Latin Petrus Pictaviensis Cancellarius, was a French scholastic theologian, who was a professor and chancellor of the Church of Paris.[1]  In response to the lack of education of illiterate clerics and poor students, Peter of Poitiers created a series of manuscripts detailing different stages of Biblical history.  Contemporaneously known as Compendium Historiae in Genealogia Christi they feature “historical trees” with names inscribed within circles connected by lines to illustrate relationships.  Alongside these trees appear brief bibliographic details.  The Compendium includes other illustrations, which is where my interest lies, particularly in the detailed image of a man harvesting grapes.

The image is of a 15th century copy of the Compendium held by the Vatican.  The image was first held online by the Universitätsbibliothek Heidelberg [2] then was rescanned by the Vatican in 2018. [3]  It shows a man in medieval clothes harvesting grapes from a trellised vineyard using a knife.  He has filled a large basket with black grape clusters and appears to have switched to a smaller hand basket.  The trellis is constructed of wooden rods set in the ground and lashed together with rope or cane.  The vines are intertwined amongst the trellis.  The vineyard itself sits on lush, green grass with perhaps a few small flowers.

The grape leaves are veined and appear in different shades of green.  The grape clusters combine lighting and shadowing to illustrate each individual berry.  I find this quite pleasing.

Vatikan, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Pal. lat. 963. Petrus <Pictaviensis, Cancellarius>. Compendium historiae in genealogia Christi. [2]


[1] Monroe, William H. A Roll-Manuscript of Peter of Poitier’s Compendium. The Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art, Vol. 65, No. 3 (Mar., 1978), pp. 92-107. Published by: Cleveland Museum of Art. https://www.jstor.org/stable/25159572

[2] Vatikan, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Pal. lat. 963. Petrus <Pictaviensis, Cancellarius>. Arbor consanguinitatis et affinitatis ; Compendium historiae in genealogia Christi — Deutschland, 15. Jh. Universitätsbibliothek Heidelberg. URL: https://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/bav_pal_lat_963/0009

[3] Shelfmark: Pal.lat.963. Author: Petrus <Pictaviensis, Cancellarius>. Title: Arbor consanguinitatis et affinitatis ; Compendium historiae in genealogia Christi. Date: 15. Jh. Place: Deutschland. Rights Attribution: Images Copyright Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana. URL: https://digi.vatlib.it/view/MSS_Pal.lat.963/0009

Two 19th c. variants on “Madeira Wine A Parody” of the song “The Willow”

I find that “Madeira Wine” is a riot of a song particularly since I love both the drink itself and its history.  It appears in at least two published instances during the early 19th century.  The only dated instance is from October 17, 1808, in the Baltimore newspaper Federal Republican & Commercial Gazette.  The second instance is an anonymously published single sheet of music held by The Library of Congress dated to the first decade of the 19th century.  It is credited to “a Baltimorean” whom I take to be the same for both.

“Madeira Wine” is a self-titled parody on the song “The Willow” which is an Elizabethan folk song dating to the late 16th century.  This folk song is famously sung by Desdemona in William Shakespeare’s Othello.   Several times Desdemona sings ,”willow, willow, willow”.  The sheet music fully parodies “The Willow” which we see logically progress as more and more Madeira is consumed.  At first there is, “Mellow mellow mellow” then “Tipsy tipsy tipsy” and finally “I’m drunk, I’m drunk, I’m drunk”.

There is perhaps an allusion taking place in “Madeira Wine”.  I am no musicologist so bear with me. When Desdemona sings “The Willow” she is foretelling her eventual death.  Madeira was certainly the wine of America with Port and Claret that of England.  When the song was published, the turbulent times between America and England were soon to escalate into the War of 1812.  Could the Baltimorean be alluding to the troubles of the time?

Madeira Wine Newspaper

A Parody…Madeira Wine. Oct 17, 1808. [1]

A PARODY
On the famous Song “The Willow,”...to
the same tune.
MADEIRA WINE.

O fill me up another glass of that Madeira
Wine,
O fill me up another glass…for ’tis extremely fine,
I like the taste…so pray make haste,
A bump fill for me;
For here I sit…not quite drunk yet,
Altho’ I’ve drank so free.

I love to drink Madeira…no other Wine
endure,
I love to drink Madeira when it is old &
pure.
Of my full cask…a single flask
Is all that’s left to me;
That flask I’ll try…’tho’ here am I
Half tipsy as you see.
Half-tipsy tipsy
Half-tipsy as you see.

I once lov’d Port and Claret.. I thought
it ne’er would end,
I once lov’d Port and Claret…and so did
you my friend.
My Port so stout…is all drank out,
The Claret’s sour to me;
And I’ve drank fine, Madeira Wine,
Until I’m drunk you see–
I’m drunk, I’m drunk, I’m drunk,
Until I’m drunk you see!!!

Madeira Wine Sheet Music

Madeira wine a parody on the Willow. The LOC. [2]

MADEIRA WINE.
A Parody on the WILLOW.
By A BALTIMOREAN

O fill me up a_nother glass, Of that Madeira Wine,
O fill me up a_nother glass, For ’tis extremely fine
like the taste so pray make haste A Bumper fill for me For here I sit not
quite drunk yet, But mellow as you see Mellow mellow mellow But
mellow as you see.

2

I love to drink Madeira, no other wine endure,
I love to drink Madeira, when it is old and pure;
Of my full cask, a single flask, is all that’s left to me,
That flask I’ll try, tho’ here am I; half tipsy as you see.
Tipsy, &c.

3

I once lov’d Port and Claret, I thought it ne’er would end,
I once lov’d Port and Claret, and so did you my friend;
My Port so stout, is all drank out, the Claret’s sour to me,
And I’ve drank fine, Madeira wine, until I’m drunk you see.
I’m drunk, &c.

 


[1] Federal Republican & Commercial Gazette Monday, Oct 17, 1808, Baltimore, MD Vol: I Issue: 46 Page: 2

[2] Madeira wine a parody on the Willow. [180u, monographic. Publisher not indicated, 180] Notated Music. https://www.loc.gov/item/2015562175/.