A silver Candlestick, with girandoles, with two arms; it is in the newest taste; it is extremely rich in chasing and engraving.
This Candlestick is the work of M. Bouty, Merchant Silversmith, that we have already introduced. - Cabinet des Modes, 11e Cahier, 3e Planche
The 18th-century engravings showing designs and architecture are so detailed and intricate. Beautiful, and at the same time the design books remind me a bit of the Sears catalog.
Cutaway view of 18th-century architecture: “Section of Wansted House,” from the book Colen Campbell, Vitruvius Britannicus: or, the British architect. Containing the geometrical plans of the most considerable gardens and plantations; also the plans, elevations and sections of the most regular buildings, not published in the first and second volumes. With large views in perspective, of the most remarkable edifies in Great Britain. Engraven by the best hands in one hundred large folio plates (London: Joseph Smith, 1725). This book is enormous, so the photo gets a little wobbly around the edges, owing to the binding and not being able to hold the camera far enough away from the page.
For more on 18th-century architecture, see the following Eighteenth-Century Fiction articles:
Gendering Rooms: Domestic Architecture and Literary Acts
This image comes from an llustrated version of the really sad poem by Thomas Gray, “Ode on the Death of a Favourite Cat, Drowned in a Tub of Gold Fishes” (1748). If you want to read the entire poem, see http://www.potw.org/archive/potw90.html. The ode ends with a line sampled from Shakespeare, as many of his fans were wont to do in the 18th century.
For more on sampling, editing, forging, and other forms of “appreciation” in the 18th century, see the following Eighteenth-Century Fiction articles, which are free to read on the journal’s archive.
Forging a Romantic Identity: Herbert Croft’s Love and Madness and W.H. Ireland’s Shakespeare MS
Fact, Fiction, and Anonymity: Reading Love and Madness: A Story Too True (1780)
La Place’s Histoire de Tom Jones, ou l’enfant trouvé and Candide
True Crime: Contagion, Print Culture, and Herbert Croft’s Love and Madness; or, A Story Too True
More ruins! This book is very large in size, not just page number, and also has a tight binding, so sometimes photographing the engravings is a challenge. I left these “au naturel” so you could see the lighting issues I have to deal with in the basement archives. From the book Henry Boswell, Historical descriptions of new and elegant picturesque views of the antiquities of England and Wales: being a grand copper-plate repository of elegance, taste, and entertainment. Containing a new and complete collection of superb views of all the most remarkable ruins and antient buildings, such as abbeys, castles, monasteries, priories…(London: Alex. Hogg, 1786).
For more on antiquities in 18th-century Britain, read the following Eighteenth-Century Fiction articles:
`The Little Republic’ of the Family: Goldsmith’s Politics of Nostalgia
Publication: Eighteenth-Century Fiction
Undersea life from 18th-century exploration books, mainly fishes. I think that “toad fish” looks more like a porcupine puffer than what is today called a toad-fish, and the cuckold-fish is likely the horned trunkfish (aka cowfish).
Can’t come up with a good segue to some Eighteenth-Century Fiction articles, so will just post the results of a random search in the Digital Commons archive: searched “pirate.”
Penelope Aubin and Narratives of Empire
Crown: “I lost a head”; Guillotine: “I’ve found one” (1793)
Well, this is exciting. 14,000 images (and archival material, including what looks like all of the Archives Parlementaires) from Revolutionary France now available online via the French Revolution Digital Archive at http://frda-stage.stanford.edu/
This is such great news! Access to amazing resource of images!
Birds in early American paintings (1700s). I am all about the birds in paintings this morning.
Nicola Cassisa, Still Life of Flowers with Birds beside an Ornate Sculpted Fountain, 18th century
More spectacularly colored birds in 18th-century paintings … So gorgeous.
Abraham Bisschop (1670-1729):
"A Peacock on a fallen Vase by a marble female Bust beside a stone Fountain, with a Turkey, Poultry and Sunflowers in a mountainous Landscape". 1722.
I can barely believe this is real. The colors are magnificent!
Thousands of amazing Hi-Res pics free to use
A growing number of academic institutions are making their image databases available for general use under Creative Common licenses. The Wellcome Library is the latest addition to this lot. And what an addition it is! The London-based Wellcome Institute specializes in the history of public health and its library hosts a fantastic collection of books and other historic materials, spanning over a thousand years. Be like this flea and start jumping through their books by clicking here.
Pic: Micrographia, published in 1665 (Wellcome Library, EPB/C 29309/C). More about this item here. Read more about the Creative Commons move of the library here.
This is such great news. Public domain means “out of copyright.” Let us all share these wonderful historial documents.