1. Trapani Coral
In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries a notable production of works by experienced masters flourished in Trapani [Sicily]…
The history of Trapani coral however has its origins much before and as early as the twelfth century, that famous Arab traveler, Muhammad Idrisi, noted the exquisite quality of the red material.
The discovery of reefs between 1416 and 1418 in the sea of Trapani and in 1439 around San Vito Lo Capo, led to the immigration of religious Jewish families, originally from the Maghreb, who contributed to the processing and commercialization of the coral in the various markets in Italy. After the expulsions of the Jews in 1492/3, some converts remained and their sons continued the work.
The workmanship of the coral was reserved for mastercraftsmen and their assistant coral carvers.
In the hands of talented Trapani expert artisans, coral, which since ancient times was considered to possess therapeutic and apotropaic (warding off evil) virtues, was turned into real works of art often destined for important people…
These free-standing elaborate tableaux were often destined to lavish kunstkammers (cabinets of curiosity).
Toward the end of the nineteenth century, the raw materials in the Mediterranean had declined significantly bringing about a decline of the various types of handicraft and of the art form even in Trapani.
2. Le Bar Bat, a Bygone NYC Dive
When you see the 14-foot copper bat hanging over the street, you’ve arrived.
Found on Tumblr
3. The Drolatic Dreams of Pantagruel (1565)
They’re reminding us of some cross between Brueghel and Studio Ghibli.
Found on the Public Domain Review.
4. These Bulgarian folk costumes giving Midsommar vibes
Found on Instagram
5. The Surrealist Horror movie that was filmed largely at the Disney World theme park without Disney’s permission
6. A Coin-operated Automaton of a Mortuary circa 1900
From the auctioneers: “St. Dennistoun Mortuary” Coin-Operated Automaton, attributed to John Dennison, c. 1900, the mahogany cabinet and glazed viewing area displays a Greek Revival mortuary building with double doors and grieving mourners out front, when a coin is inserted, doors open and the room is lighted revealing four morticians and four poor souls on embalming tables, the morticians move as if busily at work on their grisly task and mourners standing outside bob their heads as if sobbing in grief.”
See it in action:
Found on Dangerous Minds.
7. The dental prosthetic that turned Marlon Brando into Vito Corleone
Found on Vintage Everyday.
8. A pioneer for Black women in print
Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins was among America’s most influential magazine editors and feminists of the 1900s. She was an American novelist, journalist, playwright, historian, and editor. As a shareholder and editor, she sat at the helm of ‘The Colored American’ – the first monthly publication dedicated to African-American culture. She was ousted for being ‘too radical’. Hopkins is also considered a pioneer in her use of the romantic novel to explore social and racial themes.
9. Produced at the height of the Cold War, an American Cartoon about the wonders of oil and free-market capitalism
Made by the American Petroleum Institute in 1956 (still the biggest lobby for the U.S. oil and gas industry).
10. A conceptual art show in the middle of the Saudi Arabian desert
The 2022 desert x alUla theme is “Mirage or Oasis”. The annual show takes place in the Alula desert in Saudi Arabia, along an ancient trading route. They are incredible works of great mass and political symbolism as the artists are asked to create work that responds to the community surrounding the sand valleys of Alula. These incredible desert installations interact with this year’s theme “Mirage or Oasis” both directly and subversively. Using light, sand, reflection and in some cases, just mass and space, these artists have created incredible optical illusions and realities.
Found on The Spaces
11. This street sunshade woven by women in Alhaurin de la Torre, Spain
Found on Twitter
12. This dreamy hotel in Athens
“The airy 6-suite residence from the 1920s is reminiscent of a “hotel particulier” with a flare for whimsy, mystique, and a deep sense of tranquility.”
Found on Hotel Weekend.
13. This aquarium observatory perch for cats
Found on Instagram