Sunday, August 23, 2015

All Hail Lord Carrington!

Illuminated Appreciation Albums


From 1885 to 1890 Lord Carrington was a popular Governor of NSW. He and his wife were held in such high regard by the people of NSW that a grand series of presentation albums was created by various community associations and districts to honour their service and bid them farewell when they returned to England at the end of their tenure. The Carrington Albums, as they have come to be known, were sent back to Australia in recent years by a Buckinghamshire (UK) library that housed the series on behalf of Lord Carrington's descendants. NSW State Records has digitised and placed online a number of the illuminated albums. The pages seen below come from volume 14 (they were the largest images from the available albums).
"This ‘most auspicious’ appointment [of Lord Carrington] attracted much ceremony in NSW and as a consequence saw the creation of highly decorative illuminated addresses and photograph albums to be officially presented to he Governor. During his time as Governor of NSW it was said Lord Carrington, aided by his wife, re-established the opulence of Government House and the grandeur of the office of Governor.

Upon conclusion of his time as Governor, Sydney gave Lord and Lady Carrington an unprecedented farewell, with thousands lining the streets and showering their carriage with flowers. In a parting speech, Carrington declared they were 'guests who found their welcome at once an adoption, and whose farewell leaves half their hearts behind’."
The illuminated addresses were produced by watercolour artists from at least one Sydney publishing firm, John Sands Ltd^. There is a definite attempt to decorate the locality-based addresses with flora associated with the particular district, but enough poetic license taken at times that we can conclude that natural history accuracy was not as important in the creative process as aesthetic qualities. Consequently, there are said to be some 'imaginary' plants visible among the known natives.


Carrington presentation album Vol 14 - a



Carrington presentation album Vol 14 - b



Carrington presentation album Vol 14 - c



Carrington presentation album Vol 14 - d



Carrington presentation album Vol 14 - e



Carrington presentation album Vol 14 - f



Carrington presentation album Vol 14 - g



Carrington presentation album Vol 14 - h



Carrington presentation album Vol 14 - i



Carrington presentation album Vol 14 - j



Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Military ABC Book

'Armée Française : Nouvel Alphabet Militaire'
Text by Pierre Léon Vanier
Illustrations by Henri de Sta

This 1880s book - obviously aimed at young people - offers satirical portrayals of various branches and uniforms of the French military and each chromolithograph is accompanied by a page of descriptive text.



Letter 'A'
A is for Artillery



Letter 'B'
B is for Brigadier



Letter 'C'
C is for Cuirassier^



Letter 'D'
D is for Dragoon^



Letter 'G'
G is for Gendarme



Letter 'J'
J is for Justice and Order



Letter 'K'
K is for Képi^



Letter 'O' (courtesy BnF)
O is for Officer



Letter 'Q' (courtesy BnF)
Q is for Quartier Maitre (A marine)



Letter 'R'
R is for Reservist



Letter 'V'
V is for Vaguemestre (Military Postmaster)



Letter 'X'
X is for X. Polytechnicien 
[graduate of École polytechnique (aka: X), a higher ed facility near Paris]



Letter 'Y'
Y is for (?) Commander of supply lines (road or rail trains)



Letter 'Z'
Z is for Zouave^

Biographical quote from LAMBIEK site: "French illustrator Henri de Sta was born in Versailles as Arsène Henri Saint-Alary. He began his career around 1882 with La Vie Artistique and the publishing house of Léon Vanier. Coming from a family of militaries, garrison life became a regular theme in his career. De Sta worked as a humorous illustrator for Le Chat Noir since 1892. He was also present in Le Paris Bouffon (1885), Le Rire (1897) and Le Charivari (1900). He composed military alphabets, illustrated songs and produced comics for La Chronique Amusante from 1896, and for Les Contes Moraux et Merveilleux of the printing firm Pellerin d'Epinal."

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Humble Heather

Early 19th century hand-coloured
engravings of heath flowers


The vast majority of the 860+ species in the genus Erica (heaths/heather) are endemic to southern Africa. Plants from this genus don't respond well to being dug up and relocated and very few specimens were seen in Europe before the late 1700s. Discovery voyages eventually included botanists and specialist plant collectors and handlers. They could successfully preserve, dry or nurture Erica species and their parts, enabling samples to survive the rigours of a three month sea voyage to Europe.

An indication of the proliferation over time of African species of heather in Europe can be seen in this graph of ~publications on Erica species. The first large peak corresponds to the array of heath plants described in the book series from which the illustration plates below were selected.

By way of clarification: the Ericaceae family consists of two very similar genera: Erica (aka winter heather; and more likely called heath) and Calluna (aka summer heather, consisting of one species, Calluna vulgaris, from which the many popular heather varietals - domestic shrubs - have been bred). The species depicted below are from the Erica genus.

'Coloured Engravings of Heaths' by HC Andrews is a 4-volume series from the early 19th century (seen below), and is particularly noteworthy because the author is believed to have also taken on the roles of artist, engraver, publisher and hand-colourist. That level of multi-tasking is fairly rare in the world of scientific publishing, at least in my experience.
"This work exemplifies the 'Erica-mania' that dominated English horticulture at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Numerous newly discovered South African species were being introduced through the enterprise of nurserymen like Lee and Kennedy^, and several hundred species and varieties were available and in cultivation." [source]


Erica savileia
Erica savileia



Erica racemifera
Erica racemifera



Erica primuloides
Erica primuloides



Erica pinifolia discolor
Erica pinifolia discolor



Erica mutabilis
Erica mutabilis



Erica mucronata
Erica mucronata



Erica kibbertia
Erica kibbertia



Erica hirta, var viridiflora
Erica hirta, var viridiflora



Erica erubescens
Erica erubescens



Erica emarginata
Erica emarginata



Erica elegans
Erica elegans



Erica echiiflora
Erica echiiflora



Erica densa
Erica densa




Erica decora
Erica decora




Erica clavata
Erica clavata



Erica calycina major
Erica calycina major



Erica aurea, flore pallida
Erica aurea, flore pallida



Erica aspera
Erica aspera



Erica aristata
Erica aristata


The full title of Henry Charles Andrews' publication is: 'Coloured Engravings of Heaths. The drawings taken from living plants only. With the appropriate specific character, full description, native place of growth, and time of flowering of each; in Latin and English. Each figure accompanied by accurate dissections of the several parts (magnified where necesary) upon which the specific distinction has been founded, according to the Linnæan system'. It appears Andrews was author-publisher of some six or eight botanical works in total (including a few multi-volume series); most on Erica/heath species, together with monographs on some rare plants and flowers. His name(s) make(s) tracking down his publishing record difficult to say the least.
"'Coloured Engravings of Heaths' published between 1794 and 1830 is regarded as the most significant work of the botanical artist Henry Charles Andrews {fl. 1784-1830) (Cleevely & Oliver 2002). He has always been something of an enigma. His dates of birth and death have not been discovered. His family background is obscure, apart from a link to the nurseryman John Kennedy (1759-1842) through his marriage to ^Kennedy's daughter, Anne (b. 1784). For much of his life Andrews lived in London, and judging by his numerous business addresses between 1813 and 1825, was rather unsettled. He described himself as ''Botanical printer and engraver" but from the evidence of a paper slip^ preserved in one copy of Coloured engravings he had another occupation, for this announced that 'H. Andrews respectfully informs the nobility. Gentry &c. that he continues to Teach DRAWING and COLOURING correctly from Nature, ETCHING, &c on the most reasonable terms.' " [source]

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Japanese Falconry

These woodblock illustrations of falcon 
training come from a mid-1860s
album called 'Ehon Taka Kagami' 
(~The Illustrated Mirror of Falconry)

"Kawanabe Kyôsai (Gyôsai) (1831-89) was a Kano painter, printmaker, and illustrator, the son of a Samurai. At the age of six he entered the studio of Utagawa Kuniyoshi^, and from the age of nine became a student of the academic Kano school, studying under Maemura Towa and then Tohaku Chinshin, who gave him the name "Toiku". He exhibited at the Vienna International Exposition in 1873, and at the first and second Paris Japanese Art Exhibitions of 1883 and 1884. In the early years of the Meiji period (1868-1912) he attained considerable popularity with his political caricatures, for which he was arrested and imprisoned in 1870. His famous 'Kyosai Gadan' (1887), an attempt to show a variety of traditional Japanese and Chinese painting styles, was widely appreciated in Europe, and was issued with English captions for the export market.

Kyosai's 'Ehon Taka Kagami' is the major resource on Japanese falconry, with wonderful woodcuts of hawks, field work, breeding, hoods, gloves, and other associated tools and items of equipment. It records the ancient Japanese methods of care, raising, and training of the Siberian Goshawk, considered the best variety for use in falconry since ancient times. Harting 371. Schwerdt III p. 245; see G. Schack. Kyosais Falkenjagd." [source]

"A major resource on Japanese falconry, the capture, taming & teaching of falcons, the grooming, feeding and culture of the bird of prey. Wonderful illustrations of falcons, the associated tools & equipment, stands, methods of warming in winter before the hunt, winter hunting, respect for. On the flushing to expose game birds to be hunted by the falcon, the kill, capture of the quarry. How to tether, hoods, master's gloves and other accoutrements, field work, breeding, bathing &c." [source: removed ebay auction listing]



Ehon Taka Kagami 8



Ehon Taka Kagami 15



Ehon Taka Kagami 12



Ehon Taka Kagami 7



Ehon Taka Kagami 3



Ehon Taka Kagami 4



Ehon Taka Kagami 10



Ehon Taka Kagami 15



Ehon Taka Kagami 6



Ehon Taka Kagami 5



Ehon Taka Kagami 13



Ehon Taka Kagami 1



"This magnificent work was issued once in a single first and only edition, and is complete in five volumes. The first series: 3 vols. were published in 1877, followed by the second series consisting of 2 volumes in 1879. [..]
This marvelous work uses crushed mica as an integral part of the hand-made Washi paper. These tiny flecks of mica give a sparkle to the illustrations, and are especially effective on the feather portion of the falcons. Mica gives a realistic and "high-tech" touch to the wood-cut printing technique. [..] The collation of the set is: vol. 1,3,4,5, each have 10p.; vol. 2 has 11p. Every page is nicely illustrated, it contains some 111 illustrations in all. [..]

This work is the most comprehensive single monograph devoted to Japanese falconry ever published in the 19th century or in prior periods. Gyôsai's superb artistic skill and solid ability to capture the essence and feel of real and live Japanese falconry has yet to be surpassed in woodcut media. The application of mica dust is now a lost art, and never done. The work outlines the ancient methods and culture of the falcon. This work records the last of the ancient falconry methods of care, raising and training, again a lost art in Japan." [source]



 
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