Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Kalsomining and Its Discontents

Some conversations we doubt really got spoken.  1890s-ish American trade card for brushes of different kinds.  Had to look up 'kalsomining' to understand the second frame--the one with the two black post-Recon-struction menial laborers.  One is obviously adept at the practice; the other, foolishly inept.  'To cover or wash with calcimine.'  Calcimine/ kalsomine turns out to be a 'white or tinted liquid containing zinc oxide, water, glue, and coloring matter, used as a wash for walls and ceilings.'  Some kind of whitewash going on here for sure.   Click image to enlarge.

Friday, February 22, 2013

By the Truckload

Where does the fake grass end and the backdrop begin?  The ladies are not to scale with one another, or indeed with the man....    The tree may be real.

Click image to enlarge.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

If I Were On the Telephone

We could talk about anything you like.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

SF Antiquarian Oink Fair

Ah, yes--great fun at the Book Fair this weekend.  Lots of ephemera and a couple of scrapbooky things from which I will no doubt extract material for future posts. 

This card for some reason--along with a gorgeous and surreal hand-colored childrens' book, The Journey of Bangwell Putt, from 1945--were among the trophies of the day.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Zut Alors

Pugh!  Enough with the dreary tintypes!  Feeling a need today for smiles and some Lovely Colors.  I too have an orange glow and little purple mist around my head:   the California Antiquarian Book Show takes place in San Francisco this weekend!--pant, pant.  I will no doubt be seen--much like the inquisitively-pawed young lady here--feeling around in my clothes for my credit card as I circumambulate the exhibition hall.  Some of the dealers have fabu old vintage photos and postcards as well as books!  Zut alors, Fran├žois, wheres moi's Amex?  

Monday, February 11, 2013

Tintypes: Injuries No Longer Felt

Something more or less odd in these three tintypes: man with strange 'backwards' arm; boy with perhaps one eye (?); a crosseyed girl.   Again: the medium invariably adds its melancholy aura.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Pith Helmet, Dead Thinker, Intense Baby Girl with Shrouded Mother

I'm currently putting together a little book of some of the tintypes in my collection.  Hadn't looked at them for a while and I marveled anew at their strangeness and humanity both.

Man in what looks like a kind of pith helmet (though without mosquito net).

Unknown Dead Thinker and (?) Raconteur.

Marvelous little girl--her hands in her lap in almost the same position as those of the Dead Thinker.  This is what's known as a 'Shrouded Mother' tintype: meaning that someone, usually the mother or nanny, has hidden herself under dark drapery in order to hold the child or baby motionless while the image is being produced.  (The pinched drapery here suggests that the mother is holding the girl's head just behind the ears.)  Extraordinarily eerie, of course.  Also unsettling: the child looks like someone I once loved very much.