Reblogged from art-of-swords
Silver-Encrusted Swept-Hilt Rapier
- Dated: circa 1610
- Culture: German
- Measurements: overall length 125 cm / 49.2 inches
With a hilt of blackened iron, formed of oval bars, comprising a pair of horizontal quillons, the sword has a pair of arms each supporting an outer-guard of three rings diminishing in size towards the base. The upper two rings are canted towards the pommel, while the largest ring is joined by a branch to the knuckle-guard and the lower ring filled with a sprung-in solid plate.
The inner-guard of four more slender bars splayed from a common root emerging diagonally from the middle of the knuckle-guard, their four opposite ends grouped in twos and joined to the median points and to the heads of the arms respectively, with large gadrooned globular pommel rising to a button over the apex of the blade tang, and moulded wooden grip bound with wire between wire Turk’s heads.
The pommel and the outer surfaces of the bars profusely decorated with silver-encrusted ornament chiselled in low relief and inspired by the published engravings of Etienne Delaune, constructed as spiralling patterns of leafy strawberry tendrils carrying both flowers and fruit, enriched with pellets and framing a series of three cherub masks at the centre of the outer-rings.
The inner surfaces decorated throughout with delicate patterns of scrolling foliage lightly damascened in silver, and the plate set within the base of the outer-guard damascened en suite and involving a hare pursued by two hounds.
The blade of characteristically slender tapering form, of flattened hexagonal section towards the base, with flattened rectangular ricasso, and struck with a series of small decorative marks enclosing a two-part neo-Italian bladesmith’s signature stamped within the fuller on both sides, the outer face stamped “A.N.T.O.N.I.O.” and the inner stamped “P.I.C.I.N.I.N.O.”
Source: Copyright © 2014 Peter Finer
Reblogged from transomclimber
Ancient post-it notes!
How often do you reach for a Post-It note? Maybe you’re making that to do list, or figuring out your groceries. But you know, what if you lived BEFORE Post-It notes or scrap paper? What would you use then?
In Thebes, where these examples are from, and across the Roman Empire, scraps of used and broken pottery would be used to scribble quick notes. These examples are called ostraka. Most of the ostraka that our conservators and curators are studying right now contain notes on taxes and granary receipts from the second century AD.
The notes are written in Greek script. Kay Sunahara, ROM archaeologist studying these pieces, described the Greek langage at the time as, “the lingua franca of the Mediterranean”. Greek was the most frequently used written language, used to help bridge the gap between speakers of different languages, much like English today.
The majority of these pieces we’re found and acquired in the early 1900’s by none other than ROM founder Charles T. Currelly.
So how are these scrap pieces of pottery useful to archaeology today? Are grocery lists really that vaulabe? For archaeologists, ostraka provide them with a great deal of information about the people who left these notes in the first place. Information such as what people were eating, trading for, in trouble for, and the prices of things, give us a unique look into those who lived far before us, in this case well over a thousand years ago.
Interestingly enough, it also shows us just how similar we are to those who lived long before. Everyone needs groceries, and a reminder letter, maybe from their mom, or from their husband, of what to get from the store.
National Archaeology Day takes place on October 20th at the ROM and many other museums around the world!