Monday, August 11, 2014

Baltic Heraldry

Family crests from Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania
in a 1902 calendar of colour woodblock prints

Each coat of arms^ has the corresponding family name printed (in some swish, Art Nouveau-influenced fonts!) on each illustration. Although only heraldic designs are shown below, the album actually consists of a brief calendar section, the series of heraldry illustrations, followed by short family histories.

Kalender (title page)









Luddinghausen Wolff









Bruhns publisher

"This publication [..] contains some two dozen coats and crests in colour of nobility of the Russian Baltic provinces, with short genealogical notices. The selection appears a representative one, and includes, among others less famous, such illustrious names as Rosen, Pahlen, Lieven, Wrangel, and Uexkhuell. The Pahlen-Koskull crest, Drie Schilkolben, is uncommon, and we do not remember another example of bulrushes as helm insignia.

The style of design is, of course, German ; but even for German work the drawing is extremely vigorous, and in some cases the directness of effect obtained is quite excellent, though here and there the detail has a tendency to woodenness (i.e., the fish in the Maydell coat), and the mantling is occasionally stiff. As chromo-xylography [w], too, the work is of great merit."
[source: The Genealogical Magazine 1902]

"The Baltic Coat of Arms Calendar, published by the book and art dealer E. Bruhns in Riga and the Riga Art Institute [..] was only published for one year: 1902. Further issues were well planned initially, [but] were never realised. The signature on some leaves [with MK artist] was Martin Kortmann who worked temporarily after 1900 in Riga for the art institute. After 1905 he returned to Berlin.  
The vertical format calendar contains 24 Baltic Crests for families, namely: Lode, Tiesenhausens, von der Ropp,  Buxhoewden,  Brackelsberg,  Meyendorff-Uexkuell,  Pahlen-Koskull,  Bremen,  Lieven,  Ungern-Sternberg,  Wrangel,  Aderkas,  Rosen,  Stackelberg,  Luedinghausen called Wolff,  Hahn,  Orgies, gene. Rutenberg,  Poll,  Fircks, Manteuffel called. Zoege (Szöge),  Foelkersam,  Maydell,  Rummel and  Howen. Artistic representations of the act, who probably set a clear target for simplicity, although heraldic correct, but awkward and wooden, far removed from the artistic design of a sovereign Otto Hupp."
[source (slightly paraphrased translation; last garbled bit left as is)]

'Baltischer Wappen-Calendar 1902' (Baltic States Coats of Arms Calendar) published in Riga by E Bruhns with illustrations by M Kortmann is available online in its entirety via the National Digital Library of Estonia. High resolution individual .tif files (50+Mb) are available.
[The images above are smaller versions of those with some colour boosting and removal of handwriting from the cover page] Please visit the source site to see both the complete heraldry illustration series and the overall layout of the book/album. Note there is a thumbnail page icon in the header section: 'Indeks'.
--Coat of Arms at Wikipedia.
--Baltic States at Wikipedia.
Previous related on BibliOdyssey:
This post first appeared on the BibliOdyssey website.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Swiss Fruit

An 1860s pomological manuscript documents
the varieties of pears (birensorte) and
apples (apfelsorte) unique to Switzerland

Pomology is a branch of botany relating to the study and cultivation of fruit [W]. I don't believe a post devoted to fruit drawings has ever appeared on BibliOdyssey. It's not for want of material; it's more about the general mediocrity of the genre. Pomological collections tend to be the poor orphan of the botanical world in terms of illustrative qualities. I've saved a lot of samples over the years, but could never quite generate enough enthusiasm to pull the trigger. Until today: this naturalistic and unpretentious set caught my eye. I like it. [Yes, yes: it's all *in my opinion*. Being emperor and guardian of this site has its privileges.]

Birnensorte Winter-Dechantsbirne (Doyenné d'hiver)
Birnensorte Winter-Dechantsbirne (Doyenné d'hiver)

Birnensorte Wasserbirne
Birnensorte Wasserbirne

Birnensorte Sommer-Apothekerbirne (Bon-Chrétien d'été, Römerbirne)
Birnensorte Sommer-Apothekerbirne (Bon-Chrétien d'été, Römerbirne)

Birnensorte St. Germain (Hermannsbirne)
Birnensorte St. Germain (Hermannsbirne

Birnensorte Sülibirne
Birnensorte Sülibirne

Birnensorte Regentin (Passe Colmar, Beurré d'Argenson)
Birnensorte Regentin (Passe Colmar, Beurré d'Argenson)

Birnensorte Graue Herbst-Butterbirne (Beurré gris)
Birnensorte Graue Herbst-Butterbirne (Beurré gris)

Birnensorte Schweizer Bratbirne
Birnensorte Schweizer Bratbirne

Apfelsorte Schafnase (Naht-Apfel, Baarapfel von Wädensweil)
Apfelsorte Schafnase (Naht-Apfel, Baarapfel von Wädensweil)

Birnensorte Clairgeau's Butterbirne (Beurré Clairgeau, Poire Clairgeau)
Birnensorte Clairgeau's Butterbirne (Beurré Clairgeau, Poire Clairgeau)

Birnensorte Längler (Poire d'Etranguillon)
Birnensorte Längler (Poire d'Etranguillon)

Apfelsorte Weisser Winter Calvill (Calville blanc d'hiver, Calville blanche à côtes
Apfelsorte Weisser Winter Calvill (Calville blanc d'hiver, Calville blanche à côtes

Apfelsorte Waldhöfler Holzapfel
Apfelsorte Waldhöfler Holzapfel

Apfelsorte Schafnase (Naht-Apfel, Baarapfel von Wädensweil)
Apfelsorte Schafnase (Naht-Apfel, Baarapfel von Wädensweil

Apfelsorte Gaesdonker Reinette
Apfelsorte Gaesdonker Reinette

Apfelsorte Pariser Rambour Reinette (Reinette de Paris)
Apfelsorte Pariser Rambour Reinette (Reinette de Paris)

Apfelsorte Luikenapfel
Apfelsorte Luikenapfel

Apfelsorte Hornussecher
Apfelsorte Hornussecher

In mid-19th century Switzerland, the wider agricultural community - farmers and rural agricultural associations -  recognised that fruit production was both an important local occupation and also a significant contributor to the national economy. Fruit-growing stakeholders wanted to safeguard the industry, and had been agitating for a long time in support of creating a scientific guide and visual record of all the fruit varieties in the country. The Swiss Agricultural Society commissioned an extensive and detailed review of the apple and pear varieties, grown in Switzerland, through a St Gallen publishing house.

A committee of gardeners, civil servants and the like was formed to direct the project in consultation with Swiss growers and provincial agricultural societies. They chose the varieties of fruit to include and advised how specimens could be collected. The illustrator (Salomon Bühlmeier) was tasked with sketching specific views of the fruits and the branch twigs on which they grew. The committee also guided the nature of the text that accompanied each of the illustrations when it was published: systematic and common names, geographical distribution, general fruit, flower and tree descriptions, details about growing seasons and harvesting, characteristics of the fruit varieties and how they could be prepared and used in the kitchen. The enterprise was supported by some unnamed pomologists and farming types, including, in particular, one Herr Pfau-Schellenberg.

Salomon Bühlmeier (1814-1876) was an academy trained artist who specialised in painting and etching and taught drawing in St Gallen when the pomological project came up. Between 1863 and 1872, Bühlmeier travelled the country contacting farmers and regional agricultural societies, and he produced an exhaustive study of Swiss apples and pears. His watercolour and pencil fruit and twig sketches were drawn life-size, and were turned into lithographs for publication in serial format. I believe the intention was for twice yearly instalments, each featuring five apples and five pears and the final books (a volume for each fruit) contained up to 200 fruit varieties in total (presumably).

About 190 of Bühlmeier's actual sketches were donated to the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. These charming artworks were digitised and uploaded only last year. So we are seeing the original drawings above and not the lithographic plates from the final publication (which was called, incidentally, 'Swiss Fruits' (1872), edited by the Swiss Agricultural Society). I saw commentary suggesting that 'Swiss Fruits' was the first ever lithographic publication devoted to fruit species.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Taishō Posters

The images below are Japanese posters 
from ~the first quarter of the 20th century.

"The Taishō period^ (大正時代 Taishō jidai?), or Taishō era, is a period in the history of Japan dating from July 30, 1912, to December 25, 1926, coinciding with the reign of the Emperor Taishō". Some of the posters carry over to the early Shōwa era: Emperor Shōwa (Hirohito)^ reigned from 1926 to 1989.

commercial print of woman holding ink bottle
Title: Puraton mannenhitshu: Puraton inki [Woman with an ink bottle]
Description: A woman holding an ink bottle. Nakayama Taiyodo. Platon ink and pen (プラトンインキ, プラトン万年筆).
Subject (company): Nakayama Taiyōdō; 中山太陽堂

Japanese lithograph of Cuttlefish with typographic advertisement overlay
Title: Shinshin chinka Kattoru = Cuttlefish [Cuttlefish] 新進珍菓カットル
Description: A cuttlefish. "Cuttle" or "Cuttle Fish" (a snack), Chishima-ya Shoten (千島屋商店).
Subject (Company): Snack foods

yellow bird of paradise lithograph advertising poster
Title: Nan'yō Yūsen Kabushiki Kaisha = Nanyo Yusen Kaisha = South Sea Mail S. S. Co., Ltd. [Bird]
Description: A tropical yellow bird flying over the ocean.
Subject (Company): Nan'yō Yūsen Kabushiki Kaisha; 南洋郵船株式会社

illustration of stylised lillies as part of advertising poster for a Japanese bank
Title: Chochiku wa ne no gotoku, heiwa wa hana no gotoshi [Lillies] 貯蓄は根の如く, 平和は花の如し
Description: Chochiku, chokin (Savings)
Subject (Company): Japan. Teinshinshō; Japan. 逓信省

stylised graphic poster featuring candle and words in Kanji script
Title: Kan'i hoken: issunsaki wa yami [Candle] 簡易保險:一寸先は暗
Description: Kan'i Hoken (Postal life insurance).
Subject (Company): Japan. Teinshinshō; Japan. 逓信省

ukioy-e print in colour of woman in traditional Japanese costume walking, with small crowd behind watching her
Title: Kabushiki Kaisha Tōkyō Tsukiji Kappan Seizōsho = The Tokyo Tsukiji Type Foundry, Ltd. [Goddess] 株式會社東京築地活版製造所
Description: A goddess holding a musical instrument. Tokyo Tsukiji Type Foundry, Ltd. (東京築地活版製造所). Marked with "H" [Hirano, Tomiji 平野富二?].
Subject (Company): Foundries

Japanese colour print of coast beach with crane flying above - advertising poster
Title: Santō Tetsudō [Cranes] 山東鐵道
Description: Cranes flying over Shantung. Santo Tetsudo. Shantung Railway Administration in the Chintao Garrison Army. Marked with [Shantung Railway's logo?]. 青島守備軍民政部鉄道部.
Subject (Company): Railroad Companies

lady in red kimono holding fan - Japanese steamship advertising poster
Title: Osaka Shosen Kaisha = Osaka Mercantile Steamship Co., Ltd. [Woman in red kimono]
Description: Osaka Mercantile Steamship Co. Ltd. A woman in red kimono holding a fan. Marked with the company's symbol, a flag with a character "大."
Subject (Company): Ōsaka Shōsen Kabushiki Kaisha 大阪商船株式会社

Japanese poster for graphic art exhibition 1920s - abstract face and typography
Title: Monbushō shusai Insatsu Bunka Tenrankai = The Graphic Art Exposition: kaiki Taishō jūnen kugatsu nijūgonichi yori jūgatsu nijūgonichi made = from 25th September to 25th October, 1921: kaijō Tōkyō Hongō Ocha no Mizu Tōkyō Hakubutsukan [Insatsu Bunka Tenrankai] 文部省主催印刷文化展覽會: 會期大正十年九月二十五日より十月廿五日まで: 會場東京本郷御茶之水東京博物舘
Description: Graphic Art Exposition - Insatsu Bunka Tenrankai, held at Tokyo Hakabutsukan, September 25 - October 25, 1921.
Subject (Company): Exhibitions / Tokyo

biplane illustration in Japanese advert, early 20th century
Title: Kūkō Hakurankai = The First Aero Show: kaichō Danshaku Shigeno Kiyotake, shusai Kūkō Hakurankai Kumiai: kaijō Kyūshū Beppu Onsenjō, kaiki Taishō jūnen sangatsu jūgonichi yori gogatsu jūsannichi made [Airplane] 航空博覽會: 會長男爵滋野清武, 主催航空博覽會組合: 會場九州別府温泉場, 會期自大正十年三月十五日至五月十三日
Description: First Aero Show, held in Kyushu, March 15 - May 13, 1921, and chaired by Baron Shigeno Kiyotake (滋野清武).
Subject (Company): Shigeno, Kiyotake, 1882-1924 滋野清武, 1882-1924

3 Japanese woman in kimonos at edge of beach near waves with ship in distance
Title: Nippon Yusen Kaisha = Japan Mail Steamship Co. [Three ukiyo-e women]
Description: Three Ukiyoe women in kimono standing at the shore
Subject (Company): Nihon Yūsen Kabushiki Kaisha 日本郵船株式会社

colour printed poster of tall thin pagoda with tree and deer in foreground - tourist poster for Japan
Title: Japan Tourist Bureau [Five-story pagoda]
Description: A deer, a pagoda, and pine trees.
Subject (Company): Nihon Kōtsu Kōsha Japan Tourist Bureau 日本交通公社 (Railroad Companies)

Japanese woman in kimono looking intently at us, the audience; opalescent face
Title: Dai Nippon Seitō Kabushiki Kaisha [Woman in black kimono] 大日本製糖株式會社
Description: A woman in black kimono. Sugar refining company.
Subject (Company): Dai Nippon Seitō Kabushiki Kaisha; 大日本製糖株式会社

tall thin printed poster in colour dominated by crane standing on one leg
Title: Tsuru no Tamago Sekken [White crane] 鶴之卵石鹼
Description: A white crane. Tsuru no Tamago Sekken (soap). Asai Shiten (浅井支店)
Subject (Company): Cosmetics--Manufacture

advertising poster about travel with traditional Japanese woman in kimono and umbrella off to one side
Title: Asia via Honolulu from San Francisco to the Orient: 5 great sister ships [Woman with an umbrella]
Description: An American steamship company
Subject (Company): Pacific Mail Steamship Company

poster: top half is crane with outstretched wings + bottom half has maps of Japan and Japanese locales
Title: Tetsudōin Un'yukyoku [Crane] 鐵道院運輸局
Description: A crane and railway maps of Japan. The Transportation Division of the Railway Bureau
Subject (Company): Japan. Tetsudōshō. Unʼyukyoku Japan. 鐡道省. ǂb 運輸局

poster in colour with young Japanese lady in head band holding open a fan with a ship silhouetted in the sun of a Japanese flag - advertising poster
Title: Toyo Kisen Kaisha = Oriental Steam-Ship Company [Woman with a fan]
Description: A woman in blue kimono holding a fan
Subject (Company): Tōyō Kisen Kabushiki Kaisha 東洋滊船株式會社

The University of Southern California's Digital Library display a series of early 20th century Japanese posters, contributed by USC's East Asian Library.

The poster topics in the collection include: travel, Ministry of Communications, commercial products and companies, and expositions.

Thanks to Will C!
This post first appeared on the BibliOdyssey website.

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