Sunday, August 31, 2014

Additional Tongs

When I came to babysit Saturday night I brought along new tongs I had discovered for Mabel's collection. She pulled out all the tongs and invented several new ways to use them.

Dinner Table Disappearance

When you are four you sit at the table in a full size chair and eat food with metal utensils and drink milk from a glass made of real glass. Four-year-old Mabel's new mealtime drinking glass has an extra heavy bottom to encourage its own stability. She spilled nothing  not one drop  when I came over on Saturday to share her evening while her parents went out to dinner in the Mission for Daddy's birthday.

Mabel told me her memories of the vacation in Portland this summer when she rode on a ferry boat to get to a zoo where there was a real train that she also rode. She thinks that BART (like we have here) is sort of like a train but the train in Portland was really a real train.

And then she slowly disappeared down to the land underneath the table and became a worm going underground and wriggling secretly through the earth and then popping up right next to her unsuspecting grandfather on the other side of the table and scaring the bejeezus out of him.

Saturday, August 30, 2014


Charles I binding

Yesterday's 17th-century portrait miniatures from the Royal Collection paved the way for today's happy display of 17th-century bindings from the royal library  tooled, inlaid, embossed, embroidered.

Eikon Basilike binding 

Cardinal Alderano Cybo binding

Embroidered Prince of Wales binding

Embroidered Charles II binding

Embossed leather Prince of Wales binding

James II binding

Armorial binding of Charles II, open to engraved portrait and the text of

An Appeal to Caesar : wherein Gold and Silver is Proved to be the King's Majestie's ROYAL COMMODITY / By THO. VIOLET of London, Goldsmith. Printed in the Year 1660.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Portrait Miniatures

Danish school
Frederick III, King of Denmark
c. 1676

Numberless portrait miniatures have  over several centuries  come to rest together in the cabinets of the Royal Collection. The group chosen here were all created during the 17th century, because that is my favorite century.

David des Granges
Queen Henrietta Maria
c. 1638-45

David des Granges
Queen Catherine of Braganza
c. 1660-61

Nicholas Dixon
Anne Hyde, Duchess of York
c. 1682

Nicholas Dixon
Queen Mary II
c. 1685-94

Nicholas Dixon
Young man
c. 1680-90

English school
King Charles II
c. 1661

Pierre Signac
Ulrica Eleanor, Queen of Sweden
c. 1658

Charles Boit
William Wycherley
c. 1695

John Hoskins
 perhaps Henry Cary
c. 1625

John Hoskins
King James I

John Hoskins
Young man

Jean Petitot
A Lady
c. 1650-90

Isaac Oliver
Lucy Harington, Countess of Bedford
c. 1612-16

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Day That Got Away

A couple of weeks ago I spent a cold and foggy day with my celestial granddaughter filling in some idle time on a non-school weekday. I already used a couple of pictures here that had been taken on the fly in the course of our wanderings under heavy grey San Francisco summer skies, but then life shot away from my grasp as other days rapidly succeeded filled with other imperatives and preoccupations so that I ended up forgetting there were still some of the on-the-fly random pictures with Mabel that I could still edit and exploit and share with her world of fans across the continent and around the globe.