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The Oddment Emporium

A Cornucopia of Eclectic Delights

Posts tagged Antique:

Lady Revivers
As aforementioned, Victorian women were, for one of a number of possible reasons, frequently afflicted by fainting fits. Whilst indoors this might be easy enough to remedy, however, a sudden fit whilst out and about might prove more perilous. Thus, Police constables of the era were equipped with small vials of smelling salts in small containers adorned with a crown - called Lady Revivers - to revive women in the streets.
[Sources: BBC | See Also: io9]

Lady Revivers

As aforementioned, Victorian women were, for one of a number of possible reasons, frequently afflicted by fainting fits. Whilst indoors this might be easy enough to remedy, however, a sudden fit whilst out and about might prove more perilous. Thus, Police constables of the era were equipped with small vials of smelling salts in small containers adorned with a crown - called Lady Revivers - to revive women in the streets.

[Sources: BBC | See Also: io9]

No Nose Clubs
Worn by a mid-19th century women who lost her nose to syphilis, an STI which can cause the bridge of the nose to collapse, the above contraption is testament to an era when sexual promiscuity was far more abundant than the Victorians would have liked us to believe. 
In fact, so common was it to encounter a noseless fellow that people began to form clubs, as The Star reported in a February 1874 article entitled “The Origins of the No Nose Cub”:

Miss Sanborn tells us that an eccentric gentleman, having taken a fancy to seeing a large party of noseless persons, invited every one thus afflicted, whom he met in the streets, to dine on a certain day at a tavern, where he formed them into a brotherhood … This club met every month for a whole joyous year, when its founder died, and the flat-faced community were unhappily dissolved. 

It is questionable whether Miss Sanborn’s account is entirely true, although a version with little variation also exists in A Compleat and Humorous Account of all the Remarkable Clubs and Societies in the Cities of London and Westminster (1756) by Edward Ward. Whatever their veracity, however, there seems to be little doubt that these clubs existed as places where those who had “unluckily fallen into the Egyptian fashion of flat faces” might "show their scandalous Vizards" without fear of mockery.
[Sources: Prospect Magazine | The Telegraph | Papers Past | Science Museum | Edward Ward]

No Nose Clubs

Worn by a mid-19th century women who lost her nose to syphilis, an STI which can cause the bridge of the nose to collapse, the above contraption is testament to an era when sexual promiscuity was far more abundant than the Victorians would have liked us to believe. 

In fact, so common was it to encounter a noseless fellow that people began to form clubs, as The Star reported in a February 1874 article entitled “The Origins of the No Nose Cub”:

Miss Sanborn tells us that an eccentric gentleman, having taken a fancy to seeing a large party of noseless persons, invited every one thus afflicted, whom he met in the streets, to dine on a certain day at a tavern, where he formed them into a brotherhood … This club met every month for a whole joyous year, when its founder died, and the flat-faced community were unhappily dissolved. 

It is questionable whether Miss Sanborn’s account is entirely true, although a version with little variation also exists in A Compleat and Humorous Account of all the Remarkable Clubs and Societies in the Cities of London and Westminster (1756) by Edward Ward. Whatever their veracity, however, there seems to be little doubt that these clubs existed as places where those who had “unluckily fallen into the Egyptian fashion of flat faces” might "show their scandalous Vizards" without fear of mockery.

[Sources: Prospect Magazine | The Telegraph | Papers Past | Science Museum | Edward Ward]

Tipu’s Tiger

'Tipu's Tiger' is an awesome, life-size beast of carved and painted wood, seen in the act of devouring a prostrate European in the costume of the 1790s. It has cast a spell over generations of admirers since 1808, when it was first displayed in the East India Company's museum. Concealed in the bodywork is a mechanical pipe-organ with several parts, all operated simultaneously by a crank-handle emerging from the tiger’s shoulder. Turning the handle pumps … bellows and controls the air-flow to simulate the growls of the tiger and cries of the victim.

Tipu Sultan, the ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore in India for whom the automaton was built, identified himself with tigers; his personal epithet was ‘The Tiger of Mysore,’ his soldiers were dressed in ‘tyger’ jackets, his personal symbol invoked a tiger’s face through clever use of calligraphy and the tiger motif is visible on his throne, and other objects in his personal possession [Source]. The death of a young Englishman named Munro carried off by a man-eating tiger in 1792 was the inspiration … Munro was the son of Sir Hector Munro, one of the East India Company’s generals. His death was seen by [Tipu] … as divine retribution against the British invaders [Source - see also documentary].

(Source: vam.ac.uk)

Cannibal Cutlery
Fijian tribesmen used this macabre set of forks to eat the bodies of rival warriors. The pronged antiques date from the 19th century when tribal chiefs devoured their enemies after they had been killed. Their bodies were brought back to the victors’ village by members of the tribe and served to the community and chiefs. Tribal attendants would hand-feed sections of the meat to their leaders with the forks, which were only used on special occasions.
Cannibalism was practised in Fiji for centuries - but faded away in the late 19th century after Christianity was introduced and British colonial rule imposed. To eat an enemy was to inflict the ultimate humiliation on the island, known as the Cannibal Isles. Some victims were kept alive while their body parts were sliced off and cooked in front of them. Skulls were used as drinking bowls, and sexual organs were hung from trees as trophies of victory in battle. Rev Thomas Baker was murdered, cooked and consumed while trying to spread Christianity in Fiji’s rugged highlands in July 1867. Legend has it that Mr Baker, a Methodist minister born in Playden, Sussex, was murdered after breaking a taboo by taking a comb from a chief’s hair. But historians say the real reason was resistance to the spread of Christianity and complex tribal politics

Cannibal Cutlery

Fijian tribesmen used this macabre set of forks to eat the bodies of rival warriors. The pronged antiques date from the 19th century when tribal chiefs devoured their enemies after they had been killed. Their bodies were brought back to the victors’ village by members of the tribe and served to the community and chiefs. Tribal attendants would hand-feed sections of the meat to their leaders with the forks, which were only used on special occasions.

Cannibalism was practised in Fiji for centuries - but faded away in the late 19th century after Christianity was introduced and British colonial rule imposed. To eat an enemy was to inflict the ultimate humiliation on the island, known as the Cannibal Isles. Some victims were kept alive while their body parts were sliced off and cooked in front of them. Skulls were used as drinking bowls, and sexual organs were hung from trees as trophies of victory in battle. Rev Thomas Baker was murdered, cooked and consumed while trying to spread Christianity in Fiji’s rugged highlands in July 1867. Legend has it that Mr Baker, a Methodist minister born in Playden, Sussex, was murdered after breaking a taboo by taking a comb from a chief’s hair. But historians say the real reason was resistance to the spread of Christianity and complex tribal politics

18th Century Dog Cage
This elaborate dog cage epitomizes the luxurious life of the imperial court during the long reign of the Qianlong emperor, when the extravagant display of wealth extended even to the accouterments of the imperial kennels. The body of the cage is decorated with the intricate enameling technique known as cloisonné … The finials at the top of the cage as well as the five-clawed dragons and lions’ heads around the perimeter are gilded, and rows of jade rings complete this miniature palace on wheels. The emperor was said to be especially fond of cloisonné and had workshops that specialized in the process established on the palace grounds in Beijing, where this cage for a favorite pet dog was undoubtedly fabricated. Felice Fischer, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections (1995), p. 34.

18th Century Dog Cage

This elaborate dog cage epitomizes the luxurious life of the imperial court during the long reign of the Qianlong emperor, when the extravagant display of wealth extended even to the accouterments of the imperial kennels. The body of the cage is decorated with the intricate enameling technique known as cloisonné … The finials at the top of the cage as well as the five-clawed dragons and lions’ heads around the perimeter are gilded, and rows of jade rings complete this miniature palace on wheels. The emperor was said to be especially fond of cloisonné and had workshops that specialized in the process established on the palace grounds in Beijing, where this cage for a favorite pet dog was undoubtedly fabricated. Felice Fischer, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections (1995), p. 34.

Romanov Matryoshka Doll.

Romanov Matryoshka Doll.

A Gentleman’s Library

One of the biggest private ‘gentleman’s libraries’ has been revealed, containing first editions from some of Britain’s most celebrated authors. The 4,000 book collection is the result of the life-long passion of lawyer, businessman and historian William Forwood, who died last year aged 84.

The sale, titled ‘A Gentleman’s Library’, is being held at the Cotswold auction house where Mr Forwood, who claimed to have read every page, bought some of his volumes. Interest is expected from all over the world in the collection which includes Charles Dickens, Charlotte Bronte, Wilkie Collins, George Eliot and William Thackeray.

Auctioneer Dominic Winter said: ‘It is rare for a single library this size and of this importance to come up for sale. 'It is an old fashioned library that encompasses all that a well brought-up young man should know about.

(Source: Daily Mail)

Why hide your porno underneath your mattress when you can waltz around with it in your pocket? Indeed, this impulse has informed watchmakers/perversion peddlers for centuries — for the past 300 or so years, tiny mechanical scenes of automata in flagrante delicto have been ferreted away in timepieces, allowing the owner to enjoy this robo-rutting at their leisure. Reuters elaborates on this practice:

The manufacture of watches with explicit motifs — often concealed from immediate view — began in the 17th century for the Chinese market, with the most luxurious timepieces created for the Emperor and his retinue. In the 18th century watchmakers introduced rhythmic interest by incorporating tiny automata to the erotic scenes and watches containing libertine scenes were made for the Far East, followed by India and more recently by the Middle-East.

Here’s an exquisitely salacious collection of watches dated from the 1820s to the 1900s. They depict everything from an enormously endowed voyeuristic Satan, a threesome with some monks, and an inquisitive dog who is not killing the mood. 

Image Sources: Image 1 : Image 2 : Image 3 : Image 4.

(Source: io9.com)

Female Urinal
This is the English equivalent to the French bordalou and would have been used in the bed chamber or as portable relief during travel or perhaps as was supposed the case in Paris even during long sermons at church. c.1800-1850.

Female Urinal

This is the English equivalent to the French bordalou and would have been used in the bed chamber or as portable relief during travel or perhaps as was supposed the case in Paris even during long sermons at church. c.1800-1850.

Victorian Hair Art

Hair art was common throughout the Victorian era. Complex wreaths, simple lockets, elaborate bracelets, toothpick holders, earrings and every other manner of decoration were made from hair. Hair art was used for a variety of functions from recording family history to tokens of affection exchanged between lovers. Naturally, hair art also became a popular means to memorialize loved ones who had passed on. Mourning jewelry created with hair was intensely popular because it did not violate the strict code Victorian society imposed upon the conduct and dress of grieving persons. In this capacity hair art is best remembered. The hair of individuals and sometimes entire families can still be found intricately crafted and solemnly tucked behind glass frames or behind jeweler’s cases at antique stores. [Source]

Appealing to the tendency among Victorian women to incorporate the importance of friends and family into their work, hair served as a tangible remembrance of someone. Often, close companions exchanged hair as tokens of friendship. Hair was also sometimes taken after a person’s death as a means of honor and remembrance. -Helen Louise Allen Textile Museum [Source]

[Image one (wreath) is from here, images 2 - 4 are from here, where there are hundreds more examples, all of which are for sale!]

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