Three years ago I had the privilege of meeting you at a PostSecret Event. That same night, I also met a guy named Tyler. He was extremely good looking and we both loved PostSecret.
We started dating a month later and it has been an amazing three year journey with him. Just last month he proposed!
We are now in the midst of the crazy, yet exciting wedding planning and I just wanted to say "thank you" for creating such a wonderful project that brings people together - in many ways - through anonymous secrets.
"The House of Savoy was formed in the early 11th century in the historical Savoy region. Through gradual expansion, it grew from ruling a small county in that region to eventually rule—through its branch Savoy-Carignano—the Kingdom of Italy from 1861 until the end of World War II. The House of Savoy ruled unified Italy for 85 years with Victor Emmanuel II [..&c..] as monarchs. The last monarch ruled for a few weeks before being overthrown by a Constitutional Referendum, and a new republic was then proclaimed. [..]The manuscript features the armorial bearings^ of (at least) the House of Savoy and the Habsburg Empire, assorted Dukes, Counts, Marchionesses and Countesses at their investitures, battles and in funereal or marriage portraits; and formal Roman and Greek architectural decoration is mixed in with the stylised grotesques, trophies, arms and strapwork motifs favoured during the Renaissance. The colouring is just gorgeous and adds enormously to the ink and ink-wash foundation. The only written text is in the name plates and scene descriptions (+/- mottoes) in Latin accompanying nearly all the illustrations.
The House of Savoy emerged, along with the free communes of Switzerland, in what is now called Switzerland. The name derives from the historical region Savoy in what is now France and Italy. Over time the house expanded from that region to rule almost all of the Italian Peninsula. Yet their growth and survival over the centuries was not based on spectacular conquests, but on gradual territorial expansion through marriage and methodical and highly manipulative political acquisitions." [source]
'The Album of the House of Savoy (W. 464)' is owned and hosted by the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore within 'The Digital Walters' assemblage of manuscripts: one of the best sites of its kind on the internet.**
The images above were slightly cropped (the illustrations take up nearly the whole of every page) and I don't recall adjusting any of the colour/balance qualities at all. I uploaded very large jpeg images, but the reason The Digital Walters deserves praise is, in addition to sharing all the manuscript images under an attribution share-alike 3.0 CC license, they also supply a range of .jpg and .tiff file sizes, unlike most repositories. So an even LARGER and very high resolution version of each page image can be found on their website.
Re: House of Savoy - I'm not a fan of any of the sites I looked at, in terms of an historical overview, but in addition to Wikipedia, there are: Chivalric Orders, New Advent & Regalis that you may find useful.
**ADDIT: a couple of days later I discovered that the erstwhile curator at The Walters Art Musuem, @WillNoel (of Parchment & Pixel), had participated in a Nov' 2012 conference in New York and his 20 minute talk is available on Youtube. Part of his talk - titled: *The Commons and Digital Humanities in Museums* - includes the evolution of the ethos behind manuscript management in the digital arena at The Walters and it's a very worthwhile talk to listen to, especially if you are in the museum/library/archives sphere; but it's just as interesting for the rest of us too.
This ornate rococo border surrounded the title of a 1516 book printed in Germany:
A woman with heavy clothing and a scarf over her head is serving hot coffee from a wooden barrel to three people gathered around her small table at a street-corner. In the background a baker’s shop is still shuttered up, showing that it’s early in the morning; a poster on the wall advertises a pantomime at the Theatre Royal; that and the holly on the barrel suggest mid Decemer. The two women seated for coffee have baskets: perhaps they are flower-sellers. The man behind them has a pick-axe.
It bears a 'working title' hinting that it contains Dutch migratory birds, carries an Ex Libris stamp identifying it as belonging at some time to the Katsurakawa^ family (2nd fig. below), and is owned and hosted by the State Library of Berlin. I see everything from eagle, pheasants, parrot species and hawk, to rhinoceros hornbill, egret, pelicans and many other species that escape my fairly ignorant abilities. Is Holland on all of their migratory flight paths? Seems unlikely, so I opted for the fail-proof, vanilla post title of 'Bird Album'.
The 110+ page anonymous sketch album from the 19th century is called オランダ持ち渡り鳥類図帖 (仮題) 3巻 (online translation: 'Netherlands have migratory birds such as Figure Pledge (tentative) Volume 3') is available online via the State Library of Berlin website. [SBB Digital Collection homepage]
These delicate drawings are often outlined in ink and ink-wash and filled in with watercolour to a variable extent. Some of the illustrations are un(der)finished and I wonder if this isn't something of a practice or copy album with published book designs appropriated for Japanese natural scenes. It's all speculation of course. In general the birds are displayed quite realistically and are readily identifiable. I wonder, too, whether in those sketches where non-nondescript backgrounds are seen, if those birds were unfamiliar to the aritist(s).
The images above have all been moderately background cleaned and the colour saturation slightly boosted.
Thanks to @pop_ & @tatsushi_eto & @GingaStation.
ADDIT. Gallery page from *Birds in the Art of Japan* - the website associated with a current exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum in New York (until the end of July 2013).
I have a dim memory of playing a game in which we tried to ascribe animal identities to the various members of our family. It's actually sort of a dumb game, and its limitations were no more clear than in the attempt to boil down our mother's attributes to a creature. In some ways, the cat fits, in that she knows her own mind and carries herself with a certain noble reserve; in other ways, an ox, for her tremendous industry and endurance; finally, there's our standard poodle Schubert, with whom Mom shares inexhaustible devotion, a steady-eddie temperament, sharp intelligence and athletic grace. (Schubert wishes he had her vocabulary.)