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Posts Tagged ‘HistoryOfWineImagesAugust2014’

Photograph of an Australian vineyard near Melbourne during the 1860s.

August 21, 2014 1 comment

I have a particular interest in the earliest photographic images of vineyards and wineries.  There appears to be a good but small set of these photographs that were taken in Australia.  This particular early image not only shows neatly trained vines but a substantial stone residence.  The soils seem to be of gravelly soil.  Do you think the building in the background is the winery?

"Double-storey bluestone residence with return verandah" 1860s [1]

“Double-storey bluestone residence with return verandah” 1860s [1]


[1] “Double-storey bluestone residence with verandah.”  Nettleton, Charles.  ca. 1860 – ca. 1870.  Trove. National Library of Australia. URL: http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/177671709?q=+&versionId=193453018

Image of the Tokay vineyard, near Fayetteville, North Carolina from 1883

August 20, 2014 1 comment

The Tokay vineyard image featured in this post was believed “to be the largest single vineyard this side of the Rocky Mountains” according to quotation from”The Wine and Fruit Grower” published in February 1883.  This image is sourced from a  “Tokay vineyard” pamphlet which is promotion material comprised of articles and letters.  This pamphlet even contains an extract from a United States Consular Report describing the exportation of adulterated French wine.  Clearly it would be better to drink this wine from North Carolina rather than the “poisonous” imported French wine.

Tokay vineyard, near Fayetteville, N.C. 1883.

Tokay vineyard, near Fayetteville, N.C. 1883.

The Tokay vineyard was planted with American varieties including Scuppernong, Norton, Cynthiana, Hermann, Martha, Delaware, Cottages, Telegraph, and others.  From these 60 acres of vines some 25,000 gallons of wine were produced from the 1882 harvest.  It was hoped that the 1883 harvest would yield 40,000 gallons.  There was a variety of dry, sweet, white, and red wines produced.  Of this selection, not only would the Old Brown Sherry do “credit to any gentleman’s sideboard and private cellar” but the wine was “highly esteemed by the medical profession” and often prescribed in “certain kidney ailments”.  Sounds like a great reason to have a glass of wine!

Price-List

Price-List


[1] Green, W. J. Tokay Vineyard, near Fayetteville, N.C.: with essay on grape-culture by the proprietor. 1883. URL: http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/009599786

Map showing the viticulture and viniculture of Algeria in 1927

August 19, 2014 1 comment

It is the last week of summer before school starts up again. As I am spending my time outside at the beach today’s post features a great map of Algeria.  Make sure to visit the link below so you can zoom in all the way.

Gouvernement général de l'Algérie, Direction de l'Agriculture, du Commerce et de la Colonisation. Service cartographique. Carte viti-vinicole de l'Algérie / gravée par A. Simon

Gouvernement général de l’Algérie, Direction de l’Agriculture, du Commerce et de la Colonisation. Service cartographique. Carte viti-vinicole de l’Algérie / gravée par A. Simon


[1] Gouvernement général de l’Algérie, Direction de l’Agriculture, du Commerce et de la Colonisation. Service cartographique. Carte viti-vinicole de l’Algérie / gravée par A. Simon. 1927. URL: http://catalogue.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/cb40710733s

Old Dry Brown Madeira, Marcobruner, and 1837 Chateau Latour for Sale in Bombay during 1845

August 15, 2014 1 comment

The Facebook comments about the vineyards of India inspired me to post an historic advertisement for wine sold in Bombay during 1845.  One could certainly drink well with Chateau Haut-Brion, Chateau Lafite, Chateau Latour, and Chateau Margaux listed.  Though the list is heavy on the French wines it also includes Sherry, Port, Madeira, and German wines.

[1] ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Times of India.

[1] ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Times of India.


[1] Classified ad 2 — no title. (1845, Apr 02). The Bombay Times and Journal of Commerce (1838-1859) Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/233698344?accountid=14784

The 1700 Year Old Vineyard of the Niya Site in China

August 14, 2014 1 comment
Panoramic View Taken in Southern Portion of Niya Site. (Vineyard in back right). From On Ancient Central-Asian Tracks: Volume 1.

Panoramic View Taken in Southern Portion of Niya Site. (Vineyard in back right). From On Ancient Central-Asian Tracks: Volume 1.

Marc Aurel Stein (1862-1943) was a scholar who carried our four expeditions to Chinese Central Asia.  Throughout these expeditions he surveyed, photographed, and conducted excavations.  In 1913 Marc Aurel Stein was granted funding for his third expedition.  His route for this expedition was based on his experiences during his 1906-1908 expedition. Thus on a cold December morning he returned to the Niya Site.  His plan was to explore the ancient river bed and the surrounding ruins in greater detail.

Ancient vineyard seen from foot of tamarisk cone to west-north-west [Niya-Site], 18 January 1931. Image from IDP.

Ancient vineyard seen from foot of tamarisk cone to west-north-west [Niya-Site], 18 January 1931. Image from IDP.

Everything remained as he had previously seen.  Incredibly, there was an ancient wooden bridge, now collapsed on the dry river bed, a partially collapsed residence, and the remains of a fenced in space.  The fence encompassed a space approximately 253 by 149 yards.  Within this space that Marc Aurel Stein found an ancient vineyard and orchard.  The vines were planted in rows spaced twenty feet apart.  Each vines was next to a stout wooden post which supported the trellis that carried the vine branches.  In areas not touched by wind erosion the ancient dessicated vines and their posts stood up to three feet above the ground.  This is staggering because the site dates to the third century.

Site Plan showing Ancient Vineyard.  Innermost Asia. Image from National Institute of Informatics.

Site Plan showing Ancient Vineyard. Innermost Asia. Image from National Institute of Informatics.

The material Stein collected and generated is stored in different institutions.  Several years ago The International Dunhuang Project: The Silk Road Online was launched to provide online access to all material related to the Eastern Silk Road.  Amongst the digitized materials are high-resolution images of this ancient vineyard.  Marc Aurel Stein published several papers and books about his expeditions.  His volumes of Innermost Asia and On Ancient Central-Asian Tracks are available at the National Institute of Informatics – Digital Silk Road Project.   Until I can devote further effort to the history and images of this vineyard I strongly recommend you check out the two websites I have mentioned.

Niya, N.XLIV., vineyard with reed wall behind, from the south, 14 November 2011.  Image from IDP.

Niya, N.XLIV., vineyard with reed wall behind, from the south, 14 November 2011. Image from IDP.

The 19th century Vinery at Qaiser Bagh in Lucknow, India

August 13, 2014 1 comment

The image of The Vinery in today’s post was originally displayed in the exhibition  Photographs of Indian Architecture from The India Museum London.[1]  It was grouped with five other images under the larger category of Mahomedan Architecture.  The Vinery was located in Qaiser Bagh, Lucknow, India.  Qaiser Bagh was a walled palace and garden built by Wajid Ali Shah, the last Nawab of Lucknow.  Construction began in 1848 and was completed in 1850.  These buildings surely attracted attention for Shepherd and Bourne of Simla exhibited a picture of it at the Paris Universal Exhibition in 1867.[2]  The comments on the exhibition at the India Museum London were not kind.  They noted this series of images were “devoted to that mixture of Eastern outlines with Western details which make up that curious jumble of ideas”.   One could not despair for “all the buildings in Lucknow – it became a capital in 1775 – are not equally bad.”    The presence of the Vinery raises such questions as what type of vines were planted, where did they come from, what were the soils like, who was in charge, etc.?  I would expect the Vinery was used for the cultivation of table grapes but were there vines planted elsewhere for the production of wine?

The Vinery, Kaisor Bagh, Lucknow. British Library.

The Vinery, Kaisor Bagh, Lucknow. British Library.


[1] Watson, John Forbes.  A Classified and Descriptive Catalogue of the Indian Department.  1873. URL: http://books.google.com/books?id=hFZbAAAAcAAJ&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q&f=false
[2] Catalogue of the British Section: Paris Universal Exhibition of 1867.  1868. URL: http://books.google.com/books?id=PdI-AAAAcAAJ&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q&f=false
[3] The Vinery, Kaisor Bagh, Lucknow. Baker and Burke. 1860. British Library. URL: http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/onlineex/apac/photocoll/t/019pho0000938s3u00007000.html

A Vulture Eating a Carcass and Images of Grapevines in Tractatus de Herbis (c. 1440)

August 12, 2014 1 comment
Miniatures of vines with grapes. Sloane 4016. f. 101. British Library

Miniatures of vines with grapes. Sloane 4016. f. 101. British Library

Tractatus de Herbis is a 15th century herbal that was made in Lombardy, Italy.  Herbals typically combine pictures to aid in plant identification and text describing the virtues of each plant.  This particular herbal is simpler, presenting pictures of plants along with names in several languages.  According to the post on The Public Domain Review, which cites Minta Colins, this copy was created for a wealthy book collector rather than a physician.  This copy contains two pages with grape vines.  The first page has illustrations of three vines: vitis comunis (the common vine), vitis agrestis (the wild vine), vitis nigra (the black vine).  I do not think the grape leaves nor the clusters would help anyone identify a vine!  The clusters do appear to show uneven ripening.  The second image is fantastic with its walled garden, man fishing in a stream, wolf, and a vulture eating a dead animal… oh yes, and the vine uva uirrois (sp?).

Miniature of plants, a walled garden, a wolf, a man fishing in a stream with a net, and a vulture pecking a carcass of an animal. Sloane 4016.  f. 108v. British Library.

Miniature of plants, a walled garden, a wolf, a man fishing in a stream with a net, and a vulture pecking a carcass of an animal. Sloane 4016. f. 108v. British Library.


[1] Tractatus de Herbis. Italy, N. (Lombary). c. 1440. Sloane 4016.  British Library. URL: http://www.bl.uk/catalogues/illuminatedmanuscripts/record.asp?MSID=7796&CollID=9&NStart=4016

Two Scenes of Winemaking From the 14th and 15th Century

August 11, 2014 1 comment

Today’s post begins with  a detailed illustration of winemaking from a 14th century Flemish illuminated manuscript.[1]  In the bottom far-left corner of the left-hand column, a man uses a pruning knife to harvest clusters of grapes.  These are in turn carried by two men with woven baskets on their backs who steady themselves with walking sticks.  The grapes are presumably dumped into a wooden vat where they are foot-trodden by two men.  The vat is held together by two courses of hoops made from caning (or rope, I don’t know) with the staves reaching just above waist level.

Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts.  Bodleian Library. Oxford University.

Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts. Bodleian Library. Oxford University.

In the right-hand column there is a man sampling the wine and another man emptying the vat using a bowl.  The bowl is then poured into a large funnel which empties into an elongated barrel.  A potentially interesting detail is that the head of the barrel features a brace.  It is difficult to tell but the man stomping the grapes on the right appears to be the same as the one who is filling the barrel.  Likewise the man support the large grape cluster in the middle appears to be the one sampling the wine.  The clothing and indeed the shoes are different which could indicate the passing of time.  What do you think?

Image from Book of Hours, Use of Rome ('The Dunois Hours') c. 1440- c.1450. France, Central (Paris). British Library.

Image from Book of Hours, Use of Rome (‘The Dunois Hours’) c. 1440- c.1450. France, Central (Paris). British Library.

A French image from nearly one century later is virtually identical in terms of the winemaking.[2]  In this image a pitcher is used to pour the wine into a triangular funnel placed on top of a barrel.  Whereas these barrels have four courses of “hoops” they still have the cross-brace on the head.  For an excellent collection of medieval winemaking images please visit Wine in the Middle Ages at Wine Terroirs.


[1] The Romance of Alexander. Scenes of medieval life. Flemish. 1338-1344. Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts. Bodleian Library. Oxford University. URL: http://bodley30.bodley.ox.ac.uk:8180/luna/servlet/s/51s8c3
[2] Book of Hours, Use of Rome (‘The Dunois Hours’) c. 1440- c.1450. France, Central (Paris). British Library. URL: http://www.bl.uk/catalogues/illuminatedmanuscripts/ILLUMIN.ASP?Size=mid&IllID=5839

Fantastic 17th Century Images from Georgica Curiosa (1682)

August 8, 2014 3 comments

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Today’s post featured a fantastic series of vineyard and wine related images from Wolf Helmhardt von Hohberg’s Georgica Curiosa (1682).  This book first came to my attention through the post Noble Country Living.  Wolf Helmhardt von Hohberg published his multi-volume book as a guide to running a landed estate.  As such it contains information on accounting, medicine, animal husbandry, forestry, and yes, viticulture and vinification.  This section is broad ranging covering planting, tending a young vineyard, making wine, and cellar work.  In this post I display the six images from this section.

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Take a look at the strange towered platforms that appear in two of the images.  The first tower appears in the image above which is from Chapter 21 Wein  – Guter or Good Wine.  There appears to be a tent on top of the platform with two men looking out, one of which is pointing.  The chapter begins with a cryptic sentence in Spanish and German about not being good at guarding.  In the background is another tented tower that is tilted.  The final image features an empty platform perilously tilted as well.  If it weren’t for the first platform image and the ladder-like rungs I would think it similar to the Dutch nesting platforms for storks.  Were the men guarding the grape clusters from thieves or from hungry animals and birds?

1408415_crop

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Take a look at the image below.  Is the man beating the the barrel roller?  What do you think?  If anyone is curious to translate portions of this old German text please contact me.  I would love to learn more.

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Hohberg, Wolf Helmhardt von. Georgica curiosa. 1682. URL: http://digital.ub.uni-duesseldorf.de/ihd/content/titleinfo/1452101

Two 17th Century Maps Showing the Vineyards of Vienna

August 7, 2014 1 comment

Umgebungskarte von Wien, 1:150 000, Radierung, um 1685. [1]

Umgebungskarte von Wien, 1:150 000, Radierung, um 1685. [1]

Zoom. Umgebungskarte von Wien, 1:150 000, Radierung, um 1685. [1]

Zoom. Umgebungskarte von Wien, 1:150 000, Radierung, um 1685. [1]

Today’s post features an interesting pair of maps that show the territory around Vienna.  Both of these maps show a number of vineyards.  The first map was published in 1685 and the second map after 1692.  At first glance it appears there was an increase in the area under vine south west of Closter S. Ioseph.   However, if I compare the area under vine between Closter Neyburg and Closter S. Ioseph in the 1685 map I can see a similarity to the area between Closter S. Ioseph and Haderstorff.  In order words, it is the shading that makes the area at the top of the hills the same color as that at the bottom of the hills.  The area demarcated by the little circles which represent trees is the same as in the 1692 map.  Thus the 1692 map simply shows a clear seperation of forest from vineyard and does not show a spread in vineyards.  What do you think?

Umgebungskarte von Wien, 1:95 000, Radierung, nach 1692. [2]

Umgebungskarte von Wien, 1:95 000, Radierung, nach 1692. [2]

Zoom. Umgebungskarte von Wien, 1:95 000, Radierung, nach 1692. [2]

Zoom. Umgebungskarte von Wien, 1:95 000, Radierung, nach 1692. [2]


[1] Viennense Territorium Ob Res Bellicas Inter Christianos Et Turcas : cum Privil. 1685. deutsche FOTOTHEK. URL: http://www.deutschefotothek.de/documents/obj/70305254
[2] Plan De La Ville De Vienne En Austriche et ses Environs.  nach 1692. deutsche FOTOTHEK. URL: http://www.deutschefotothek.de/documents/obj/70305253