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Leanda de Lisle’s The White King Opens Up A Marvelous Window

By Patrick Hunt – Readers used to courtly fanfare in larger than life Tudor and Jacobean characters – Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, Mary Queen of Scots and even James I –  largely assume a life with only a few cornets pealing...

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Tang Dynasty Terracotta Lady Tomb Figurines: Endearing Subtle Whimsy

Tang Dynasty Terracotta Female Tomb Figurines, 8th c. (image in public domain) By P. F. Sommerfeldt –  Tang Dynasty (618-907 CE) ceramics are otherwise deservedly famous for the sancai triple glaze, but often overlooked are the terracotta...

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When the Past Mattered: The University Collection of Plaster Casts at Munich University

Athena Parthenon model with cast of Athena Parthenios statue, Ludwig Maxmilians University Museum, Munich (image courtesy LMU, 2017) By Andrea Galdy –  German universities are finally starting to engage with a particular kind of treasure...

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The Most Expensive Wine Bottle in the World

  By Nikki Goddard – For most people, splurging on a bottle of wine would mean spending fifty, maybe one hundred dollars. However, when it comes to the finest and rarest wines in the world, collectors are willing to pay exponentially...

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Chinese Jade: The Stone of Eternity

Chinese Qing Dynasty Jade ca 1730-95, “Philosopher’s Repose” Jade Mountain (image public domain) By Patrick Hunt –  Jade is well known globally as a stone with innate translucent beauty, lustrous and vibrant in many...

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Leanda de Lisle’s The White King Opens Up A Marvelous Window

By Patrick Hunt – Readers used to courtly fanfare in larger than life Tudor and Jacobean characters – Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, Mary Queen of Scots and even James I –  largely assume a life with only a few cornets pealing around Charles I, however peevish and absolutist his history appears to be usually writ. […]

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Tang Dynasty Terracotta Lady Tomb Figurines: Endearing Subtle Whimsy

Tang Dynasty Terracotta Female Tomb Figurines, 8th c. (image in public domain) By P. F. Sommerfeldt –  Tang Dynasty (618-907 CE) ceramics are otherwise deservedly famous for the sancai triple glaze, but often overlooked are the terracotta tomb attendant figurines of mingqi (“spirit deities”) who represent court ladies-in-waiting hovering nearby in the tombs to take care […]

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When the Past Mattered: The University Collection of Plaster Casts at Munich University

Athena Parthenon model with cast of Athena Parthenios statue, Ludwig Maxmilians University Museum, Munich (image courtesy LMU, 2017) By Andrea Galdy –  German universities are finally starting to engage with a particular kind of treasure many of them still possess: collections of many diverse categories that may have made a substantial contribution to the history […]

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The Most Expensive Wine Bottle in the World

  By Nikki Goddard – For most people, splurging on a bottle of wine would mean spending fifty, maybe one hundred dollars. However, when it comes to the finest and rarest wines in the world, collectors are willing to pay exponentially higher prices for the opportunity to taste vinous bliss. There are a number of […]

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Chinese Jade: The Stone of Eternity

Chinese Qing Dynasty Jade ca 1730-95, “Philosopher’s Repose” Jade Mountain (image public domain) By Patrick Hunt –  Jade is well known globally as a stone with innate translucent beauty, lustrous and vibrant in many shades of mostly green, although lavender and orange hues also variously show. What we name jade mostly comes in either jadeite […]

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Neanderthals, Scandinavian Trolls and Troglodytes

By Patrick Hunt –  Neanderthal humans (Homo neanderthalensis) are documented in European contexts for around 430,000 years according to new studies,(1) and the accepted genomic contribution of Neanderthal DNA in modern Homo sapiens from Eurasia, including Scandinavian, Siberian, Asian population and the rest of Europe, with a range of around 2-4%  evidences mating between the two […]

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Scripta Manent: News from the Medici Grand Dukes

Medici Maiolica Armorial Plate, 16th. c. (image V&A) By Andrea M. Gáldy –  Alessio Assonitis & Brian Sandberg, eds. The Grand Ducal Medici and their Archive (1537-1743). London/Turnhout: Havey Miller Publishers/Brepols, 2016. Over almost 30 years, the Medici Archive Project (MAP) – from its humble beginnings in the Florentine State Archives during the early 1990s […]

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Viking Legacy: Longships and Seafaring

           Nikolai Rerikh, Guests from Overseas, 1901, Tretyakov Gallery,  Moscow (public domain) By Patrick Hunt – Vikings in the early medieval period have often been odiously depicted as bloodthirsty and berserk raiders, certainly justifiable at times given the infamous Lindisfarne raid event of 793 on England’s northeast coast, with other details […]

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Furies to Juries: A Tale of Four Cities

W.-A. Bouguereau, The Remorse of Orestes, 1862 (public domain, courtesy of Chrysler Museum of Art)   By Walter Borden, M.D. –  “Revenge is a kind of wild justice, which the more man’s nature runs to, the more ought law to weed out; for the first wrong, it doth offend the law, but the revenge of that […]

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Thomas Rowlandson: Legacy of a Genius Social Observer in 1800

              Fig. 1   Thomas Rowlandson, “Bath Races”, ca 1810, (National Maritime Museum, Greenwich) By Cher Beall – Art in Britain during the Georgian period (1714-1830) is characterized by sophisticated oil paintings of landscapes and well-lit portraits by world renowned artists including J.M.W. Turner, Joshua Reynolds, and Thomas Gainsborough. […]

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