The Chained Library of Zutphen
I took these pictures during a visit to the 16th-century chained library of Zutphen, in the east of the Netherlands. It is one of three such libraries still in existence in Europe. Nothing much has changed here for 550 years.
garlic press + toothpicks
(fit found by Raina O’Brien)
Gilded bronze 3-Dimensional mechanical mandala, Tibetan.
British Museum, London.
A rapier, manufactured in the mid-19th century by the technology of the old masters as a gift to one high-ranking person. Such exceptionally flexible rapiers were made in Toledo in the beginning of 17th century. They were sold in gun shops and coiled in a circle to show its flexible properties.
“Big” Shaman’s Headdress
The Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography
“This headdress of a “big” Evenk shaman (avun) made of steel was part of a full ritual costume worn by a shaman for very important rites and rituals. The structure of this headdress reflects its symbolic meaning and contains an archaic image of the model of the Universe. The hoop embodies the concept of the closed space of the world of people and solid earth. Two crossing arcs symbolize the parts of the world and the seasons. The cosmic vertical that reflects the sacral center of the Universe is embodied in the horns of the mythical deer that stands for the sun in the mythical beliefs of the peoples of northern Asia. The deer was one of the main characters in the myth about the celestial hunt and embodied the archaic concepts of the day and night and the cosmic order. The horns also symbolized the sacred deer – the helper spirit of the shaman, his draft animal that he rode to travel to other worlds. Long cloth ribbons embody snakes and lizards, the shaman’s powerful helpers that accompany him in his “travels” to the lower world. They also symbolize the sacred birch – the totem tree of the shaman. It is also associated with the World Tree that symbolizes the Universe as a whole and Axis mundi – the cosmic axis connecting the spheres of the Universe. Such ritual headdresses were conditionally referred to as “crowns”.”
The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, Anthropology Department
China (Yuan Dynasty), 13th-4th century
The Brooklyn Museum
“As trade flourished along the Silk Route, so did the production of luxury goods. The design elements on this trunk, a luxury item produced in the city of Wenzhou on China’s south coast, reflect some of the cultural exchanges that occurred as objects traveled over various trade routes. In addition to the dense floral and geometric patterns covering the surface, auspicious animal motifs—such as the circling phoenixes featured on the lid—have also been incorporated. This composite style of ornamentation was not exclusive to either Asian or Islamic culture, but reflects instead a shared aesthetic. Such intricate decoration was achieved using the qiangjin (“engraved gold”) andqiangcai (“engraved color”) techniques developed in China under the Southern Song dynasty (1127–1279). Black lacquer was thickly spread over the coffer’s body, then gold leaf or colored lacquer was applied to designs engraved on the surface. The decorative composition of the container’s lid and side panels recalls compositions inspired by Islamic book decoration and appearing in the art and architecture of the Islamic world.”
Montana Cree Chair and talisman made of buffalo horns, wood, iron nails.Western United StatesCa 1890-1915
Nixie tubes aren’t exactly the most cutting-edge technology, but there’s something to be said for their retro-futuristic glow and style.
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