Antique Objects of my Affection

This is a lovely little reproduction of a classical Greek bust, literally!  Her breasts are very balanced and look lovely – but as I’m living in a Muslim country with potential house buyers viewing my house on a regular basis, I thought it best to cover up my little lady’s attributes.

She is currently wearing a bronze or brass neck-piece with various imitation-coins, beads and glass gems that I bought at a souq in Karama, Dubai, a few years ago.  The shopkeeper told me this was a part of an Afghani formal outfit, usually sewn on the dress itself, and dating back to probably 20 years ago.  I have no real way of verifying this information, but I fell in love with the piece and had no way of displaying it properly – until my little Grecian beauty came to live with me.  I consider this a win-win combination, and at least she is not flashing anybody anymore!

I collect all kinds of weird, wacky and downright bizarre items.  Pictured here, is my little steel shopping cart.  I find consumerism a very fascinating topic of study.  Apart from immersing myself in it when I did my first year Bachelor of Visual Arts at UNISA (not complete yet, sadly, because I moved to Dubai), I still like to observe people performing their daily rituals during the act of consumerism.  The ultimate symbol of consumerism is the SHOPPING CART.  I use mine at Amazon quite often!

In the little shrine to consumerism is my antique ostrich egg.  I helped my uncle clear out our great-uncle’s (by marriage) storeroom a few years ago and found this egg.  It has two dried up objects on the inside, which rattle around in the sealed egg.  I wish I could take it for an x-ray to see if it is a little ostrich in there, or just the dried up yolk itself.  Eggs symbolise potential, which is why there is an egg in the new South African coat of arms.  You can read more about it on Wiki:

I love books!  And here is my oldest book, a very worn third edition of A New Method of Chemistry; including the Hiftory, Theory and Practice of the ART: Tranflated from the ORIGINAL LATIN of Dr. BOERHAAVE’s ELEMENTA CHEMIAE, As Published by Himself, To which are added, NOTES; and an APPENDIX, shewing The NECESSITY and UTILITY of Enlarging the Bounds of Chemistry. With Sculptures. By Peter Shaw, M.D. F.R.S., The Third Edition, corrected, Vol II and printed in the amazing year of M.DCC.LIII – which translates (if I remember my Roman numerals correctly) into 1753.

I derive much enjoyment from reading the entries in their original print-form with the bizarre letterforms replacing the common letter “s”.  Some of them use an “f”, while others use a curved s-shape, but elongated like a flourish “f”.  These always make me laugh, especially in such a serious scientific work – for example:  “glafs-veffel” is “glass vessel”, but try to read out loud a whole page of serious scientific instructions in this typographic format WITHOUT laughing!

This is quite a unique book, in many respects.  Boerhaave’s Chemistry is available in current edition format from Amazon and is still in use today.  I bought my copy from a little vintage shop in Pretoria for about R400.00 a few years ago.  I just saw a good condition Volume I for sale on the internet for about R5,700.00.  I don’t know if my copy would be worth as much, because the back cover has torn loose, there are child pencil scribbles on the inside covers and the overall condition is “poor”.

But the most amazing aspect of this little bit of history:  this book was published in 1753.  Marie Antoinette, the doomed Queen of France, was only born two years later!  Not that she would have read it, but as a contemporary object it occupies a special place in my heart.


About lenepieters

Artist, writer, hyper-creative soul, interested in numerous topics and endlessly fascinated by the various components in each amazing minute of life.

Posted on 14/09/2011, in Family and Life and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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