Sunday, June 15, 2008

Archive Flowers

This image was drawn and sent back to France in the early 1800s to demonstrate the different colors of dyes available in Persia. Finding things like this is one of the reasons that I love the archives.

7 comments:

Holly said...

Hmm. Since that's dye (and not pigment) I'm curious what it looked like when it was made. I imagine it was much more brilliant.

Nice treasure!

Haven't said it yet, I don't think, but thanks for putting pics from the archives. I'm really digging it.

Rufus said...

Thanks. I'm hoping it's not an issue with the archives! Actually, though, this is the only thing I've posted that's not widely-available. Most of my pictures I have in my collection are of documents- I think I have about 1000 of those right now, and hope to get about as many more before I leave. I might post a closeup of one just to show how unbelievably gorgeous their penmanship was back then. It's actually inspired me to go back to writing in cursive.

Holly said...

Not an archival issue, I don't think. Dyes are inherently unstable (at a molecular level)--that's what makes them so much brighter than pigments. But it also gives them a shorter lifespan.

Can you post pictures of the handwriting sometime? I've got a good idea of what you're talking about, but it's still nice to see.

rufus said...

Oh, no, I mean hopefully posting it online isn't an issue with the archives! You have to be very careful about what you do with archival documents. In this case, since I'm only posting a small bit of a page of a longer document, I assume it's okay. And the prints are all public domain. But the crazy thing is that there were photographs in the archives that I would have had to pay about 20 bucks to get reproductions of. Needless to say, I did not.

I'll try to get a good picture of the handwriting tomorrow. Everything I have now is of the full documents, so they would come out badly here.

Anonymous said...

Damascus is in Syria, not North Africa.

Rufus said...

Ah, right. I'll fix that. Thanks.

Rufus said...

Actually, I think I know what box it came from now and it wasn't either- it was Persia.