The Public Domain Review

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Illuminated version of Lord Tennyson’s Morte d’Arthur (1912)

Thursday 25 October 2012 at 11:34

Morte d’Arthur, a poem by Alfred Tennyson, written out and illuminated by Alberto Sangorski; 1912; Reproduced by the Graphic Engraving Co. for Chatto & Windus, London. Alfred Lord Tennyson’s Morte d’Arthur, written as early as the spring of 1835, was a retelling of the third, fourth and fifth chapters of the twenty-first book of Malory’s Romance about the legendary King Arthur, Guinevere, Lancelot, and the Knights of the Round Table. Tennyson later would incorporate a much extended and altered version of the poem into his The Idylls of the King, as the last section titled ‘The Passing of Arthur’. The illuminator Alberto Sangorski (1862-1932) was late to the world of calligraphy, at the age of 43 beginning to work for his younger brother Francis in the famous Sangorski and Sutcliffe bookbinding firm. One of his greatest achievements was a unique jewel bound version of Omar Khayyám’s Rubáiyát, now referred to as ‘the Great Omar,’ which never reached the American collector who commissioned it as it was sent across on the ill fated Titanic in 1912. The book is housed at the Internet Archive, donated by the University of Toronto. Hat-tip to Pinterest user Nancy Cooper. Sign up to get our [...]

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/10/25/illuminated-version-of-lord-tennysons-morte-darthur-1912/


Posed Portraits of 19th Century Baseball Stars

Wednesday 24 October 2012 at 16:30

Selection of studio posed photographs from the New York Public Library’s Spalding Collection, a series of over 500 photographs, prints, drawings, caricatures, and printed illustrations donated in 1921 by early baseball player and sporting-goods tycoon A. G. Spalding (whose name to this day is printed across every ball used in the National League). The photographs below feature players of different teams from New York and Philadelphia and seem to be mostly taken in the 1870s and 1880s. (All images taken from NYPL’s Flickr collection NYC-Philly Vintage Baseball – see this source for info on players and teams, and higher resolution versions). Sign up to get our free fortnightly newsletter which shall deliver direct to your inbox the latest brand new article and a digest of the most recent collection items. Simply add your details to the form below and click the link you receive via email to confirm your subscription!

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/10/24/posed-portraits-of-19th-century-baseball-stars/


Coloured plates from Essai d’Anatomie (1745)

Monday 22 October 2012 at 16:31

Plates from “Essai d’Anatomie” produced by Gautier D’Agoty in 1745 in Paris, France – a remarkably detailed atlas of the head, neck, and shoulder areas of the human body with explanatory text in French. From the Internet Archive description: The anatomical images were based on human cadavers dissected by Joseph Duverney and produced using the mezzotint method of engraving and printing. Mezzotint color engraving printing was invented by Jaques Christophe Le Blon in 1719. Mezzotint (from the Italian phrase “mezza tina” or “half tone”) prints are produced by engraving a metal plate with numerous small holes that hold ink. When used to make a print, the engraved plate produces large areas of subtle shaded color tones. Since the mezzotint technique is quite labor-intensive, it fell out of favor by the 20th century, although it is still utilized by some artists. Most often used to reproduce paintings by famous artists, mezzotint printing was rarely used for original works of art, making the “Essai d’Anatomie” a work of great scientific and artistic significance. The original copy of the “Essai d’Anatomie” held by the Rudolph Matas Library of the Health Sciences at Tulane University was restored, bound, and digitized by William Kitchens. The [...]

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/10/22/coloured-plates-from-essai-danatomie-1745/


Recital of The 23rd Psalm and “He Leadeth Me” (1919)

Friday 19 October 2012 at 18:57

The 23rd Psalm recited by Rev. William H. Morgan D.D. and followed by a rendition by the Calvary Choir of the hymn “He Leadeth Me”, originally written by Joseph Gilmore who had this to say about its creation: As a young man who re­cent­ly had been grad­u­at­ed from Brown Un­i­ver­si­ty and New­ton The­o­lo­gic­al In­sti­tu­tion, I was sup­ply­ing for a cou­ple of Sun­days the pul­pit of the First Bap­tist Church in Phil­a­del­phia. At the mid-week ser­vice, on the 26th of March, 1862, I set out to give the peo­ple an ex­po­si­tion of the Twen­ty-third Psalm, which I had giv­en be­fore on three or four oc­ca­sions, but this time I did not get fur­ther than the words “He Lead­eth Me.” Those words took hold of me as they had ne­ver done be­fore, and I saw them in a sig­ni­fi­cance and won­drous beau­ty of which I had ne­ver dreamed. This recording from 1919 is made by Thomas Edison and housed at the Library of Congress. The 23rd psalm is perhaps the best known of them all, importnat in both the Christian and Jewish traditions. It is particularly popular in the world of cinema where it is used in an interesting variety of scenes [...]

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/10/19/recital-of-the-23rd-psalm-and-he-leadeth-me-1919/


17th century Calligraphy from Germany

Thursday 18 October 2012 at 16:47

Select full page spreads from a 17th century German book on calligraphy entitled The Proper Art of Writing: a compilation of all sorts of capital or initial letters of German, Latin and Italian fonts from different masters of the noble art of writing. Although some can be recognisable as letters, it seems that a penchant for elaborate decoration has made most of them wonderfully illegible. See more images in the whole book housed in our post in our Texts collection. (All images taken from Kunstrichtige Schreibart (1655) housed at the Internet Archive, donated by the The Getty. Hat tip to Pinterest user Frances Macleod). Sign up to get our free fortnightly newsletter which shall deliver direct to your inbox the latest brand new article and a digest of the most recent collection items. Simply add your details to the form below and click the link you receive via email to confirm your subscription!

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/10/18/17th-century-calligraphy-from-germany/


The Proper Art of Writing (1655)

Thursday 18 October 2012 at 16:09

Kunstrichtige Schreibart allerhand Versalie[n] oder AnfangsBuchstabe[n] der teütschen, lateinischen und italianischen Schrifften aus unterschiedlichen Meistern der edlen Schreibkunst zusammen getragen; 1655; Bey Paulus Fürsten Kunsthändlern daselbst, Nürnberg. A 17th century German book on the art of writing. The full title (in English) reads The Proper Art of Writing: a compilation of all sorts of capital or initial letters of German, Latin and Italian fonts from different masters of the noble art of writing. A great range of different styles are represented seemingly increasing in elaborateness, and also illegibility, as the book goes on. See a selection of the full page spreads in our post for the Images collection. The book is housed at the Internet Archive, donated by The Getty. (Hat tip to Pinterest user Frances Macleod) Sign up to get our free fortnightly newsletter which shall deliver direct to your inbox the latest brand new article and a digest of the most recent collection items. Simply add your details to the form below and click the link you receive via email to confirm your subscription!

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/10/18/the-proper-art-of-writing-1655/


Trüth, Beaüty, and Volapük

Wednesday 17 October 2012 at 16:52

Arika Okrent explores the rise and fall of Volapük – a universal language created in the late 19th century by a German priest called Johann Schleyer. Johann Schleyer was a German priest whose irrational passion for umlauts may have been his undoing. During one sleepless night in 1879, he felt a Divine presence telling him to create a universal language. The result was Volapük. It was designed to be easy to learn, with a system of simple roots derived from European languages, and regular affixes which attached to the roots to make new words. Volapük was the first invented language to gain widespread success. By the end of the 1880s there were more than 200 Volapük societies and clubs around the world and 25 Volapük journals. Over 1500 diplomas in Volapük had been awarded. In 1889, when the third international Volapük congress was held in Paris, the proceedings were entirely in Volapük. Everyone had at least heard of it. President Grover Cleveland’s wife even named her dog Volapük. Though Schleyer was German, a large part of the Volapük vocabulary was based on English. “Volapük” was a compound formed from two roots, vol (from “world”) and pük (from “speak”). However, it [...]

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/10/17/truth-beauty-and-volapuk/


Clay animations of Jospeh Sunn (1926)

Tuesday 16 October 2012 at 17:34

From the Prelinger Archive – two early clay animations (The Penwiper and Green Pastures) by pioneering Chinese American animator Joseph Sunn from San Fransisco. These films are part of the “Ralph Wolfe’s Mud Stuff” series. Download from Internet Archive: The Penwiper and Green Pastures Note this film is in the public domain in the US, but may not be in other jurisdictions. Please check its status in your jurisdiction before re-using. Sign up to get our free fortnightly newsletter which shall deliver direct to your inbox the latest brand new article and a digest of the most recent collection items. Simply add your details to the form below and click the link you receive via email to confirm your subscription!

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/10/16/clay-animations-of-jospeh-sunn-1926/


Hirschvogel’s Geometria (1543)

Monday 15 October 2012 at 18:16

Selected pages from Geometria by Augustin Hirschvogel (1503–1553), a German artist, mathematician, and cartographer known primarily for his etchings. In this version from the Deutsche Fotothek, amid the rigid lines of the geometrical sketches appear the chaotic forms of stains which lie on each of the pages. (All images from Wikimedia Commons, originally from Deustche Fotothek). Sign up to get our free fortnightly newsletter which shall deliver direct to your inbox the latest brand new article and a digest of the most recent collection items. Simply add your details to the form below and click the link you receive via email to confirm your subscription!

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/10/15/hirschvogels-geometria-1543/


Cantonese Opera – White Hibiscus at Night (1920)

Friday 12 October 2012 at 17:18

The traditional Chinese song “White Hibiscus at Night” sung by Peony Su, a star of the Cantonese Opera during the 1920s and 30s. Learn more here. MP3 Download Internet Archive Link Sign up to get our free fortnightly newsletter which shall deliver direct to your inbox the latest brand new article and a digest of the most recent collection items. Simply add your details to the form below and click the link you receive via email to confirm your subscription!

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/10/12/cantonese-opera-white-hibiscus-at-night-1920/