Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Lusting after your Great, Great Grandmother


Yesterday seemed to be a book-acquisition day - three big tomes: one on Velasquez, one on Hokusai and one on English, Scottish and Irish antique table glass, not that I need it.

They are all reference books, so I need not feel guilty about not reading them from cover to cover, though I did once buy one on Scottish Jacobite glasses which included a very well-written historical background which read like a period thriller.

The Art books once formed part of the collection of an art-collector friend of mine who died a few years ago. His wife died shortly afterwards, and the other day I found all the books piled on the pavement outside his house, with his son selling them for 50p each - a bit sad. That Hokusai book originally sold for £40, sometime in the 1980s.

I arrived a little too late to get the book of Victorian photographic pornography, but the buyer says he will give it to me when he has 'finished' with it.

It is fascinating to look at, especially when you understand that all the beauties contain within have been dead for at least 120 years. Also, most of the images are stereoscopic, so all 'you' will need to do is to slot the double images into one of those hand-held, twin-lensed viewers to take a trip back in time with sepia-tinted glasses.

I love those old stereoscopes - mountain passes, famous buildings, long-dead people - clothed and unclothed - all in 3D so realistic that you feel you can reach out back in time to touch them.

21 comments:

  1. How sad that such a collection should be broken up in such a way. Makes me think there is something to be said for being buried with all your treasures in a pyramid... In the olden days, when I was a child, I had what was known as a 'viewfinder'. You would slide these round thingies with negatives which you would click through and see the world in 3-D

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    1. You've just reminded me - The Pyramids were a favourite subject for the stereoscopes as well.

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  2. I once, perchance, came across an auction in Horsham where a woman was selling the entire contents of her late husband's studio. The man had been Head of Sculpture at the RCA, and was a well respected sculptor. I bought just one piece and watched as his whole life was knocked down for a pittance. If only I'd had more money, I would have bought all his tools etc, as well as other magnificent works. I could only imagine what the widow must have thought of her late husband.... not too much I suspect.

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    1. And I once, perchance, came upon a massive box-full of Victorian porn on glass slides - for about £30.

      I wish I had bought them - they are worth thousands.

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  3. Or your great-great grandfathers - http://mydaguerreotypeboyfriend.tumblr.com/

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    1. Hmm... not sure about the boyfriend...

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    2. Carol,,,,I adore that website

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    3. Yay - happy that you have seen it, too!

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  4. And look at us, able to stand and face a good gale.
    My friend's 98 year old mother is breaking up house for assisted living. She has everything she has ever owned and is distraught she cannot give away, for instance, half finished knitting projects from the forties. She is anguish itself, in a sea of boxes.
    I made sure I gave my life away when I was fifty and have accumulated nothing of value since then save friends and grandchildren.

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    1. I think the Hokusai book was the only one worth saving - antiquities they were not.

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  5. Nice to see that they were flatteringly curvaceous in those days, rather than stick thin.

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    1. I agree - there are other details that you don't get these days with modern girly pics too, but I won't go into that.

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  6. Replies
    1. I missed out " perv" too

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    2. Shall I put up that picture?

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    3. Too late - I'm off for an early night (the heat, the heat,).

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    4. Shucks..I think you should

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  7. What you need is a What the Blogger Saw machine.

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