Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Caravaggio, Mayan Plumbing & Medieval Tiles


- By at least one amusing new metric, Michelangelo’s unofficial 500-year run at the top of the Italian art charts has ended. Caravaggio, who somehow found time to paint when he wasn’t brawling, scandalizing pooh-bahs, chasing women (and men), murdering a tennis opponent with a dagger to the groin, fleeing police assassins or getting his face mutilated by one of his many enemies, has bumped him from his perch :

- Add plumbing to the mysterious arts of the ancient Maya, investigators report. In a Journal of Archaeological Science study, anthropologist Kirk French and civil engineer Christopher Duffy of Penn State report on a conduit designed to deliver pressurized water to Palenque, an urban center in southern Mexico, more than 1,400 years ago :

- The New York Police Department wants the public to know that the figures soon to be gazing down from buildings near a midtown park are an artist's body casts — not residents in distress. Police spokesman Paul Browne said Tuesday that the department was worried the upcoming outdoor exhibit might spark 911 calls reporting possible jumpers :


March 10, 1867: Hector Guimard, French Art Nouveau architect and furniture designer, is born.

March 10, 1915: Harry Bertoia, Italian-born American sculptor and designer, is born.


“Two Letters on the Origin, Antiquity, and History of Norman Tiles, Stained with Armorial Bearings”

By John Henniker.
Printed in London by John Bell, Bookseller to His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales, in 1794 .

DISCUSSION: The earliest work in English located by Solon dealing specifically with tiles, and now very uncommon. The author’s brother, a Captain in the English military, had been a resident of Caen and sent the first description of the armorial tiles to the author, who then tried to interest British antiquarians in them, with apparently limited success.

A scarce and desirable tile book.

DESCRIPTION: Hardcover. 5.5"x8.5", 114 pages plus 3 engraved plates reproducing twenty tile designs.

CONDITION NOTES: Bound in period marbled boards with a new leather spine and new endpapers; boards worn and scuffed. Very minor internal toning and a few light pencil notes but overall internally a very nice copy with wide margins. $600~

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