The Blue Blot

notes, finds & fragments of research

A Mountain of Mussels, Glass Grapes, and Perfect Peeling ~ Still Foods Under the Hammer

Earlier this week the latest catalogue for this month’s Old Master Paintings auction of Bonham’s London arrived. (…) I stumbled upon five lots of perfectly lively still foods.

October 7, 2017 · Leave a comment

All in good Order ~ An Example of the Importance of describing Portraits (the details, dammit!)

I do wonder about the current quality of research and documentation as presented by auction houses in their catalogues. Or is it no longer of any importance? – that can also be the case.

November 20, 2016 · 1 Comment

The Ball of the Wild Geese – St. Patrick’s Day 1766 in Habsburg Austria

Not nearly as green clovered. Most definitely none of those figurative decorations, bearing outrageously smiling leprechauns. A complete lack of ale and stout.
No traditional meals (…)

March 17, 2016 · Leave a comment

The Hour has come ~ Sadness & Madness in Corsican Passion

And there it was again that clear single, soft note of the cornetto: A song of lament, once placed on that list for good reason as it is bursting with Corsican passion; so heartstakingly beautiful that you feel the sorrow, even if you do not understand the language.

December 12, 2015 · 1 Comment

Opulence, Opera & Opium ~ The Associative Mind at Work

The associative mind, apparently, can work its way through memories and general knowledge – linking them, crossing continents and centuries, to finally land where the music starts.

October 19, 2015 · Leave a comment

To the Indies in the East ~ The Manuscript Journal of a Young Ships-Doctor, 1840-1841

There are moments in the life of a historian that bring on a feeling of utter bliss; often related to either a lucky find or a great new subject to … Continue reading

June 23, 2015 · Leave a comment

Why is a Raven like a Writing-Desk? ~ 150 Year old brilliant Nonsense (in 30 Quotes)

This year, for 150 years children have been enjoying the wonderous mad world of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

June 12, 2015 · Leave a comment

Pulcinella under the Hammer ~ Bumping into an Old Childhood Friend again

Pulcinella is an old childhood friend to whom I was introduced at a very young age – recently, we had again brief meeting through the auction house of Bonhams​ in London.

April 25, 2015 · Leave a comment

Copulating Skeletons on a Roof ~ Rameau’s Rocking Gavotte

This gavotte is hypnotically beautiful, it cheered me up tremendously, and proves that seventeenth century composers were the rockstars of their time.

March 15, 2015 · Leave a comment

Bloody Excuses ~ because Apples don’t fall far from Trees

Hoorah! We finally have scientific support for pushing our personal flaws and problems back to our ancestors. It is not my fault, my grandfather was already born this way.

March 9, 2015 · Leave a comment

Remember, Remember ~ Plotters & Heroes in the Family Tree

Remember, remember the fifth of November,
gunpowder treason and plot,
I know of no reason why gunpowder treason
should ever be forgot.

November 5, 2014 · Leave a comment

Calm & Explosive ~ Another Dutch New Year’s Eve

A new year has begun! To all a happy New Year; with all the best in health, success and happiness possible. I hope everyone had either a calm and relaxed New … Continue reading

January 1, 2014 · 1 Comment

Religion in Tradition ~ Rachmaninoff & Six Generations

Today it was once again made quite clear that I’m not well versed in the Bible. I admire and somewhat envy people who can quote the appropriate verses when you … Continue reading

November 30, 2013 · Leave a comment

Remember me ~ Portrait Miniatures under the Hammer

A sturdy shiver went down my spine as I opened today’s e-mail from Bonhams. No, it was not the invoice for my last purchase there, but the announcement and catalogue … Continue reading

November 19, 2013 · 1 Comment

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