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I am still at the beach

August 30, 2018 2 comments

with a bottle of 2016 Domaine Jean-Claude Marsanne, Saint-Joseph.

 

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Grape clusters on the 18th c. frieze of The Circus, Bath

In Bath, England, between The Royal Crescent and Queen Square, lies The Circus.  The Circus is a completely circular formation of homes punctuated by only three streets at regular angles.  Designed by John Wood the Elder and built by John Wood the Younger, the three arcs were built in phases between 1754-1768.

There is no variation to the fronts of the houses, they are all three stories tall representing three orders Roman Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian.  The frieze of the Doric entablature is decorated with 525 emblems including grapes.  In this instance, a vine with two grape clusters supported by a tree trunk, is shown centered above one pair of columns.

Carved grape cluster of the temple at The Roman Baths, England

The lost pediment and Gorgon’s head from the Temple of Sulis Minerva at The Roman Baths in England, carved in the first century AD, were discovered in 1790.  Additional pieces were revealed in the centuries since.  Today these pieces are installed in a subterranean room at the museum of The Roman Baths.  The pediment was originally supported by four large columns, raising it some 15 meters above the height of any visitors. Found amongst the surviving cornices are a carved cluster of grapes.  A detail of these grapes appears below.

Gilded brass medallion depicting grapes from the ocean liner Normandie, circa 1935

Szabo, Adalbert. “Medallion depicting grapes from the Normandie.” About 1935. Ocean Liners: Speed and Style. V&A Museum, London.

I took this image of a striking gilded-brass medallion at the Ocean Liners: Speed and Style exhibition held at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.  It is one of twelve medallions, designed by Adalbert Szabo, that adorned each pair of doors leading to the first-class private dining rooms aboard the ocean liner Normandie.  The main first-class dining room was immense, some 305 feet long, 46 feet wide, and 28 feet tall.  However, flanking the main dining room, were four smaller, private dining rooms on each side.

Busy with research

Madeira. Funchal from the East. c. 1860. ONB [1]

I apologize for the long silence but I have spent the last few weeks deep in Madeira research.  I hope to return to my regular posting within a week.  Until this enjoy this image of Funchal, Madeira from the east.


[1] Madeira. Funchal from the east. c 1860. ÖNB Map Collection and Globe Museum. URL: http://data.onb.ac.at/rec/baa7964695

William Coombe’s “The manner of drawing pipes of wine on a sledge” from 1821

February 2, 2018 Leave a comment

“The manner of drawing pipes of wine on a sledge” [1]

The image in this post is one of 27 from William Coombe’s book A history of Madeira (1821).  I selected the image because the pipe is branded “N G M” for Newton, Gordon, and Murdoch.  William Coombe (1741-1823) is a writer famous for his Dr. Syntax series of verse illustrated by Thomas Rowlandson.  This familiarity with satire perhaps explains the soft, somewhat jovial facial expressions common in the Madeira illustrations and certainly explains the accompanying verse.

Coombe first comments that the oxen pulling the sledges are “a very beautiful race of animals” with the additional  benefit that “the meat is excellent”.  Or from his own verse:

And now it is the oxen’s task,
To drag along the liquid cask,
Filled with the juice that aids the treat
When they’re cut up, and turned to meat.


[1] “The manner of drawing pipes on a sledge” from William Coombe’s A history of Madeira (1821). Bayerische Staatsbibliothek URL: http://daten.digitale-sammlungen.de/~db/0010/bsb00103983/images/

The title woodcut from Georg Horn’s “Hierampelos” (1585)

February 1, 2018 Leave a comment

Title illustration from Georg Horn’s Hierampelos. 1585. [1]

This image is from the title woodcut of Georg Horn’s Hierampelos.  In this book Horn (1542-1603), a pastor from Hammelburg, writes about viticulture, wine making, and references to the Bible.  Compared to the woodcuts I have posted from other 16th century German wine books this one illustrates the tending of vines, harvesting of fruit, and wine making.  As it is not a cellar-book barrels are not included.


[1] Horn, Georg. Hierampelos : Das ist: Bericht vom Wein-baw, das er mit all seinen angehörigen und verwandten stücken in heiliger Göttlicher Schrifft, wol bekandt. 1585.
Signatur: 1042089 4 Oecon. 191 m 1042089 4 Oecon. 191 m. Bayerische StaatsBibliothek digital.  URL: http://www.mdz-nbn-resolving.de/urn/resolver.pl?urn=urn:nbn:de:bvb:12-bsb10990117-2