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Astronomia Playing Cards (1829)

- July 29, 2021 in Uncategorized

Transcending the earthly concerns of betting and regal motifs, this pack of cards focuses exclusively on the heavens.

Albert Millican’s *Travels and Adventures of an Orchid Hunter* (1891)

- July 27, 2021 in Uncategorized

Millican's memoir of travels and exploits in the budding flower industry.

Picturing Scent: The Tale of a Beached Whale

- July 21, 2021 in Uncategorized

What can visual art teach us about scent, stench, and the mysterious substance known as ambergris? Lizzie Marx follows a “whale-trail” across history to discover the olfactory paradoxes of the Dutch Golden Age.

John Singleton Copley’s *Watson and the Shark* (1778)

- July 20, 2021 in Uncategorized

American-born Copley made a splash at London’s Royal Academy with this depiction of Brook Watson’s dramatic rescue from Havana harbour in 1749.

Solid Objects: 16th-Century Geometric and Perspective Drawings

- July 8, 2021 in Uncategorized

These complex geometrical figures and perspective drawings are preserved in a little-known manuscript at the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel

John Uri Lloyd’s *Etidorhpa* (1895)

- July 7, 2021 in Uncategorized

Sci-fi novel of psychonautical learning long before Albert Hofmann discovered LSD.

Reading Like a Roman: *Vergilius Vaticanus* and the Puzzle of Ancient Book Culture

- June 30, 2021 in Uncategorized

How did Virgil’s words survive into the present? And how were they once read, during his own life and the succeeding centuries? Alex Tadel explores Graeco-Roman reading culture through one of its best-preserved and most lavishly-illustrated artefacts.

Flowers of Fire: Illustrations from Japanese Fireworks Catalogues (ca. 1880s)

- June 29, 2021 in Uncategorized

The illustrations from catalogues for Hirayama Fireworks and Yokoi Fireworks, published by C. T. Brock and Company, the oldest fireworks manufacturer in the United Kingdom.

Seeking Enlightenment: Denis Diderot’s *Letter on the Blind* (1749)

- June 24, 2021 in Uncategorized

During the Enlightenment, when Diderot wrote his letter, blindness had become a topic of intense philosophical debate.

Lewis Carroll’s Illustrations for “Alice’s Adventures Under Ground” (1864)

- June 22, 2021 in Uncategorized

In this early version of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, we find illustrations drawn by the author Reverend Charles Dodgson, better known by the pen name Lewis Carroll.