Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Objects from the Cuming Museum, London

I must post a big thankyou to someone who has sent me a gift. Apparently Mr. Roland Pangborn from Nichols Canyon Rd. California is a regular follower of my blog and he has kindly sent me a postcard he came across in a yard sale recently. Mr. Pangborn is a postcard collector but managed to relinquish this one and send it to me. I have a section here on my blog (one of the 'other pages') of look-alikes. Several of these are images followers have found and passed on to me. This one will be joining them. 
This postcard shows two interesting archeological artifacts called 'Billy and Charley's'. One seems to be a representation of me although these lead sculptures were from a long time back. 






My investigation has revealed that William (Billy) Smith and Charles (Charley) Eaton were two nineteenth century forgers who made fake 'mediaeval' leaden figures and medallions that they then 'found' in the Thames. These two are in the collection of the Cuming Museum in South London.


Sunday, 13 March 2016

Guatemalan Flying Frog...a chance to see my specimens

Heres news of an imminent opportunity to meet me and more importantly see 'in the flesh' the amazing collection of interesting animal and ghost specimens that have come into my possession and which I have been restoring.
On the weekend of March 19 and 20, 2016 I shall be making available for viewing these remarkable items as part of the Telegraph Hill Open Studios in South London UK. I currently live in the house of artist Brian McKenzie and he is taking part in this annually occuring event. Here is a link with info about the event including map and address....

http://telegraphhillfestival.org.uk/open-studio-2016/

Moving on now....
In my last post I mentioned the frog specimen. Here is the jar as it was when I took possession; incredibly murky but definitely containing an intriguing looking something!



I decided to research and then tackle the restoration of the specimen. I carefully removed the wax sealing material and forced off the long-sealed glass stopper lid. Inside was old preserving alchohol which smelt ghastly and tasted foul. I poured this away to reveal the remarkable critter within. It was quite robust and I was able to handle and gently clean it without causing any major damage.






The creature does, as described on the label, appear to be a frog with wings.
Its eyes are on stalks like a snail.



I refilled the original jar with pure preserving achohol and gently replaced the little being into the jar as quickly as possible to avoid any untoward dissintergation. Here it is now viewable in its full nature. Please come to visit next weekend and see this and the other extraordinary specimens I will make available for display.









Sunday, 3 January 2016

Antique specimens

A blog reader recently contacted me offering a fantastic gift/donation which I gratefully accepted. Tyrone from Basingstoke, Hampshire was clearing the attic of his great Grandfathers house and came across a collection of old Victorian anatomical specimens. Tyrone knew of my interest in such things and I have just taken possesion of some twenty five of them. I am currently cataloguing and cleaning them as several are in a very poor state. I wanted to show some of them on my blog.







 Most jars are numbered and labelled, stating the contents. These images here are of some particuallarly fascinating ones desribed as 'specimen ghosts' of varying sorts. They do indeed seem to be solid manifest entities with solid (white) flesh, if thats the right term, and some even seem to have an internal anatomical structure visible within. The ghosts are generally of small animals or insects. and seem relatively well preserved in their alchohol solutions.










 l'm currently researching how to clean, conserve and re-seal several jars which definitely have something within but which are so murky and clouded that its impossible to see the contents properly. One, No. 278 is labelled 'flying frog from Guatemala', others as 'unknown creature'

Sunday, 31 May 2015

A poem from a follower

Hi and thanks to the kind blog follower who sent me this poem from the twelfth century. It seems very appropriate to me.



I'm also putting up some more of me recent postcard finds from Deptford Market.









Thursday, 14 May 2015

Deptford Market finds

I regularly travel to Deptford Market in South London. The market days are Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and I most like to rummage through the stalls htat are primarily stocked by house-clearance goods. Its a real lottery as to what might be there from day to day but this is one its' appealing features. I am always attracted to boxes of old photographs or postcard collections. One can form some insight into the character of the person who used to own the once treasured items now scattered out on tables for the world to see and buy. A large percentage of it, I'm sure ends up in landfill if it hasnt sold after a couple of weeks. Here are a few gems I have bought recently.














More to show soon in another post.


Sunday, 26 April 2015

Tony from Masterchef

Over the weekend I met up with and old friend and had a fabulous time. Some of my blog followers who live abroad will not know about Tony but for most people living in the United Kingdom at the moment, he is instantly recognizable as one of the (very recent) finalists in this years BBC Mastechef television programme.










Hot on the tail of the competition we had a little 'cook off' and as I had hoped, Tony concocted a delightful little pudding for me which he called Easter Nest. It was delicious, consisting of 'sugar coated pickled plums, crochet cucumber sorbet all sitting in a woven seaweed and samphire nest'.


                                         



 For Tony I whipped up breaded baby hedgehog on langoustine soil, live truffle with carrot and cat litter crumb,vintage chocolate shard with smegma goo.






I learned so much from Tony and may become part of his plans for a change of direction in the future relating to cookery.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Fantastic old postcard

Someone has sent me an image of an old postcard with what is described as 'Bosci aus holz im Schwarzwald'. It appears to be a wooden sculpture of a beast creature very like myself, but strangely painted (I'm guessing) orange. Thanks so much to Gunter in the Black Forest, Germany.