Friday, March 30, 2018

The Coral Book, 18th C

Madrepora agaricites (detail)

Millepora miniacea

Madrepora anthophyllum

Madrepora cuspidata

Madrepora natans (detail)

Millepora alciornis

Cellepora leprosa

Millepora polymorpha (detail)

Isis nobilis (Esper coral book)

Madrepora cristata (detail)

Isis ochraea

Madrepora labyrithiformis (detail)

Madrepora porites (Esper coral book)

Subipora musica + purpurea

Madrepora caerulea

Zoologist, lepidopterist and naturalist, Eugenius JC Esper (1742-1810), inherited his father's love of natural history which he pursued as a sideline to his lectureship duties in science at the University of Erlangen in Germany.

He would rise to head the Department of Natural History in Erlangen while expanding their zoological collections substantially (his butterfly collection still exists). He also published a number of copiously illustrated monograph collections relating to seaweeds, butterflies, coral, birds, insects as well as mineralology and general natural history.

The present work is entitled 'Die Pflanzenthiere in Abbildungen nach der Natur mit Farben erleuchtet nebst Beschreibungen' (something like: Natural animal-plants in colour with enlightened commentary) that was first published in ~1791. I get the feeling there were a number of editions or it appeared in excerpts and was subsequently republished as a collection with a variable number of illustrations.

The majority of the images above were sourced from the new natural history collection at the University of Heidelberg. (I've had that bookmarked for months waiting for it to be populated and it looks like almost all the authors have appeared on BibliOdyssey previously). Click on anything below 'Inhalt' at the 'Die Pflanzenthiere..' webpage and then click 'vorschau' to load all the thumbnail pages.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

The Treasures of Troyes, 14th C

2 figures pray before the crossTroyes Musées, inv 2003.3.463. 'Charte de Charles V - Charles V
et Pierre de Villiers en Prière' (Parisian gothic style from c.1367)

judge in courtms.129 'Nicolas de Lyre, Postilles - Maître Enseignant', illuminated
by 2 artists from Troyes in the 1470s as part of a body of work
that was produced for the rich families of Troyes.

illuminated letter Pms.512 'Epîtres de Saint Paul Glosées' from the Roman period
of the 11th and 12th centuries - produced in the Abbey of Clairvaux.

gold illumination letter QTrésor de la Cathédrale: ms.12 'Psautier du Comte Henri'.
A carolingian manuscript from before AD 850.

Illuminated Initiale du Livre d'Ezéchiel

Letter H illuminated with animalThe above 2 images are from ms.28 'Bible de Montiéramey' from about 1160,
a monumental transition work between Roman and gothic style periods.

illuminated letter Bms.92 'Pierre Lombard, Commentaire sur les Psaumes - David Jouant de la Harpe'.
The 'Manerius' style from the late 12th C

illuminated letter Hms.103 'Gratien, Décret - Pouvoir Ecclésiastique et Pouvoir Laïc' - 12th century.

monochromatic illuminated letterms.27 'Grande Bible de Clairvaux' also produced in the Abbey of Clairvaux
which was established by St Bernard in 1132. This 12th century manuscript
is the oldest example of the monochromatic style that became fashionable
when certain embellishments were proscribed by St Bernard.

[click images for larger versions]

The media library in Troyes are said to have the richest collection of illuminated manuscripts in France, outside of the french national library. Documents have been contributed to the exhibition from a number of local public, private and religious sources. The site is in french.

In addition to the flash presentation there are downloadable quicktime (.exe) movies but I'm not sure they are worth the bandwidth. I watched the smallest one (~60Mb) and it was a nicely produced montage, although not particularly additive to the plain jpeg manuscript images. But the films are are also available in smaller format streams.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Locomotive Builders' Prints, 19th C

Mid-1800s Locomotive Builders' Prints 
from The Boston Athenæum

locomotive builder's lithograhic print
Twenty Four Ton Passenger Engine, 
'Gen. Stark'
delineated by Chas F Thomas 
of Taunton Mass.

locomotive builder's lithograhic print
McKay & Aldus Iron Works, East Boston, Mass. 
Manufacture Locomotive Engines & Tenders, 
Marine Engines, Iron & Wooden Steam Ships, 
Sugar Mills, Machinery &c. &c.

locomotive builder's lithograhic print
Wm. Mason & Co. Builders, Taunton, Mass.

locomotive builder's lithograhic print
Amoskeag Manufacturing Co. 

Outside Passenger Engine, 

Manchester, NH

locomotive builder's lithograhic print
Boston Locomotive Works 1854 Holmes Hinkley, 
Agent, No. 380 Harrison Avenue, Boston, Mass.

locomotive builder's lithograhic print
Locomotive for Passengers with Outside Cylinders. 
Built by the Lowell Machine Shop, 1852

locomotive builder's lithograhic print
Manchester Locomotive Works Manufacturers of 
Locomotives, Stationary Steam Engines and Tools

locomotive builder's lithograhic print
Locomotive Engine for Passengers as built by 
the Lowell Machine Shop, Lowell Mass. 1852

locomotive builder's lithograhic print
Portland Company's Passenger Engine, 1854. Portland, Maine

locomotive builder's lithograhic print
Lawrence Machine Shop, 
Lawrence, Mass. 
Passenger Engine 
'Abbott Lawrence', 22 Tons

locomotive builder's lithograhic print
Portland Company's, 
Passenger Locomotive, 
'Minnehaha', 1856
John Sparrow Superintendent

locomotive builder's lithograhic print
Taunton Locomotive 
Manf.g Co. Taunton Mass. 
William A Crocker, Treas.
Willard W Fairbanks, Agent

locomotive builder's lithograhic print
Wm. Mason, Taunton, Mass. 'Highland Light'

"The locomotive industry emerged in mid-nineteenth-century America with the development and rapid expansion of the railroad network. As the number of locomotive manufacturers increased, the industry became intensely competitive, and builders vied with one another to capture the attention of railroad companies, officials, and agents. The first locomotive builders’ prints were created in the late 1830s and ‘40s in response to this industry competition. These lithographic portraits of locomotives were soon considered to be essential to the manufacturers’ promotion of their machines. Locomotive builders’ prints differed from ordinary advertising prints or landscape views with picturesque trains. Instead, they were a unique type of print, a hybrid designed both to attract potential customers and to provide accurate technical information about locomotive engines and cars. [..] 
With the introduction of chromolithography in the 1840s and ‘50s, locomotive manufacturers began commissioning color prints of their engines. Early American locomotives were often painted and colorfully decorated; chromolithographic locomotive builders’ prints offer a rare insight into the decorative designs, finishes, and materials favored by manufacturers. The use of color in the 1850s ushered in what has been called the golden age of the locomotive builders’ prints. Larger in scale than the prints of the 1830s and early 1840s, they were composed of bold, opaque colors with glittering bronze and metallic powders. As locomotive manufacturers competed for the customer’s eye, lithographic artists began portraying locomotives in landscapes often with reference to the factories in which they were built. [..]
These lavish prints were much prized by locomotive manufacturers. [..] The November 8, 1856 issue of the Railroad Advocate stated that these prints were the “appropriate adornments for the offices of every variety of business connected with railroads; they are consulted by master mechanics and locomotive buyers; they are the master-pieces in the parlors of many engineers of good taste. . . .” The time and money invested in producing locomotive builders’ prints indicates that they were not typical advertising ephemera. In fact, they were clearly designed as framing prints to be hung in railroad offices and depots, hotels, saloons, and parlors where they might seduce not only prospective buyers but the general traveling public as well."