CHRISTMAS, 2022 :
As Christmastime and its mysteries draw near,
The sheer 'Wonder of Life'
In my thoughts, reappears :
How from mere gases and dust,
All we know could be thrust -
The mountains, the skies,
The vast seas and their tides,
Forests that abound,
The fauna astounds!
And everything drenched with sunshine and sound,
On this small planet, so blue, so round.
Its 'evolution' seems like a 'Looney Tunes' movie -
Outrageous - Chaotic - Bombastic - Kooky!
Alternating, of course, with idyllic, and unimaginably groovy ...
And lo, in just a short turning of time,
Standing and singing,
Comes along 'human-kind',
With agile fingers and two eyes that shine,
Plus an uncannily fertile and nimble-built mind!
We have found no similar place
Nor yet creatures in distant space.
Perhaps we are singular...
Or maybe quite regular...
A humbling thought, that - quite far beyond 'the cell-ular'.
Yet here we all are in this mystical place,
To marvel at Earth's most bountiful grace,
And 'transform' from its vast divergence and wealth
Our joys for living,
and good health.
TRANSFORMATIONS : 'FROM THE FORESTS'
May we begin with the rambling 'woods',
Filled with countless supplies for our betterment - and good.
In addition to treetop fruits and a bounty of game,
Were 'leaves' we could eat, and make shelter from rains.
From the towering 'timbers', rising strong, supple and fine,
Came tables, 'stuff-storage', and those seats so sublime,
Far more 'buoyant' (than stone) for our weary behinds.
This convenience became, in the long 'bye and bye',
Works of grace and endurance to enchant every eye.
CASE GOODS :
George I Walnut & Walnut Oyster-Veneered Bureau
England, c1720-30, the interior fittings with parquetry stair-step drawer
Early George III Mahogany Chest of Drawers
England, c1760, having original surfaces and brasses,
the tailored caddy top contrasted by cast rocaille brasses
George III Diminutive Cuban Mahogany Dressing Chest
Of dense well figured timbers, having original surfaces and brasses;
the interior fitted with lidded (and hidden) compartments,
the top drawer with a pull-out pen compartment to the side
George II Irish Carved Mahogany Stool
The deep convex apron centering a Celtic 'green man' mask
raised on four shell headed cabriole legs
ending in ball and claw feet below protruding 'fetlocks'
George III Mahogany Framed Library Open Armchair
England c1770, of excellent color and patina;
well carved scrolled handholds and blind fretwork legs; openwork returns
Unusual George III Mahogany & Marquetry Octagonal Tripod Table
The radiating veneered bands of mahogany alternating with sycamore,
and centering a single sycamore flowerhead; wrythen turned standard
Regency Cuban Mahogany & Brass Adjustable Reading or Music Stand
England, c1815, having rich color and patination,
the ratcheting easel top having a rest, two swiveling brass page clips,
and revolving brass candlestand
(In today's world, perfect for an iPad - and beverage of choice!)
("Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree")
"Trees", Joyce Kilmer, February, 1913
From this ancient earth, its skies, seas and sand
Comes all that we know - even made by man's hand.
It is with awe, on this surface, I stand.
NOTES on the MEDIEVAL ILLUMINATIONS :
Hildegard von Bingen (German, 1098-1179),
Book of Divine Works, Part 1, Vision 4: Cosmos,
Body, and Soul, Scivias I.6: Humanity and Life,
Liber Divinorum Operum, or "Book of Divine Works" , c1230;
from a 13th century copy known as the "Lucca Biblioteca Statale", Italy.
Hildegard von Bingen saw many visions during her life :
sights, sounds, tastes and smells which she believed to be messages from God.
She called these visions "the shades of the living light" keeping them to herself, until age 42,
when she received a "more pointed message" to write them down.
In Scivias, her first volume of mystic theology, von Bingen describes her reluctance
to share her gift, which she did through illness in a period of about 10 years.
For larger image of this exceptional illumination,
click the link below - well worth viewing :
(Image : Creative Commons)
Illuminated letters, Book XV. Douce Pliny, Pliny the Elder, Florentine Venice, 1476-27.
An orchard in which a man knocks down fruit with a stick and collects it in baskets.
Pliny the Elder’s "Natural History", first published in 77 AD, is a vast compilation of information,
gleaned from ancient authors on topics from mathematics and geography
to botany, horticulture and mining.
The first translation of "Natural History" into Italian was by Pliny the Elder,
published in 1476 by the Strozzi family of Florence.
The edition of 1,025 copies was printed in Venice by Nicolaus Jenson - mostly on paper.
The Bodleian copy, Arch. G b.6, is one of a few printed on parchment,
and "is truly magnificent".
We are pleased to have received Bodleian Library's permission to share
this copyrighted intimate and intricate 1476 illumination with you.
The entire work is available online, as part of the Polonsky Digitization Project.
Each page, with inscribed text, intricate border illuminations and 'historiated' initials,
is visible in full expandable detail and resolution.
Natural History (also known as 'Douce Pliny'), Translator: Cristoforo Landino
Bodleian Library Arch. G b.6 (formerly Douce 310), folio 170r, Historiated Initial "T",
Copyright, University of Oxford (Image By Permission)
Tacuinum Sanitatis (Maintenance of Health),
originally an 11th-century Arab medical treatise, is known in the West by the Latinized name,
Tacuinum (or Taccuinum) Sanitatis.
It is a medieval handbook mainly on health, aimed at a cultured lay audience.
The text exists in several variant Latin versions, all with profusely illustrated manuscripts.
In the mid-13th-century, its short terse paragraphs were freely translated into Latin
for peaceable inter-cultural contact between the Islamic and European worlds.
In addition to its importance for the study of medieval medicine,
the Tacuinum is also of interest in the study of agriculture and cooking.
The Tacuinum, first printed in 1531, remained very popular in Western Europe during Late Middle
Ages. Four handsomely illustrated complete late fourteenth-century manuscripts of the
Tacuinum, all produced in Lombardy, survive, in Vienna, Paris, Liège and Rome,
well as scattered illustrations from others, as well as fifteenth-century codices.
(Image : Creative Commons)
Inventory Photography : Millicent F. Creech
CHRISTMAS 2022 ,"TRANSFORMATIONS"
'From The Mountains'
Forthcomimg November & December :
'From The Earth'
'From The Sands'
'From The Human Spirit'