New Rabbit Hole: Folger British Book Illustrations

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From “Proteus ofte Minne-beelden verandert in Sinne-beelden door,” by Jacob Cats (1577-1660). The chair should look familiar to any Peter Follansbee followers.

I follow the Folger Shakespeare Library on social media primarily for the Shakespeare, but today on Instagram, the library announced its new project: British Book Illustrations, with more than 10,000 images, which are searchable by keywords, from early books.

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Birthing chair from “The expert midwife, or An excellent and most necessary treatise of the generation and birth of man. Wherein is contained many very notable and necessary particulars requisite to be knovvne and practised: with diuers apt and usefull figures appropriated to this worke. Also the causes, signes, and various cures, of the most principall maladies and infirmities incident to women. Six bookes compiled in Latine by the industry of Iames Rueff, a learned and expert chirurgion: and now translated into English for the generall good and benefit of this nation,” by Jakob Rüff (1500-1558).

So I’ve been tooling around for an hour now with such terms as “chair,” “table” and “house” (sadly, “workbenches” and “woodworking” bring up nothing).

This is a simply tremendous visual resource!

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Skep (and table on which to put it) from “Insectorum sive minimorum animalium theatrum olim ab Edoardo Wottono, Conrado Gesnero, Thomaque Pennio inchoatum ; tandem Tho. Movfeti Londinâtis operâ sumptibusq´[ue] maximis concinnatum, auctum, perfectum ; et ad vivum expressis iconibus suprà quinge,” Thomas Moffet (1553-1604).

About fitz

Woodworker, writer, editor, teacher, ailurophile, Shakespearean. Will write for air-dried walnut.
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4 Responses to New Rabbit Hole: Folger British Book Illustrations

  1. nrhiller says:

    Holy wow, what a treasure indeed. Thank you so much for making the rest of us aware of this!

  2. johncashman73 says:

    Bloody hell. Chris is going to start building birthing chairs now, isn’t he.

  3. Daniel Williamson says:

    ^ all Chris would need to do would be to cut his stump chair shorter and it’s already done!

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