Friday, April 30, 2010

Portuguese Scenes

Sketches of Portuguese life, manners, costume, and character (1826). A very interesting read. The illustrations form the basis for the narratives. This for example, accompanies the last illustration shown here:
I was in one of these stables, when a slave merchant from the latter place came in and enquired what sort of stuff was on sale. The shopman, anxious to transact business immediately, took a sack of arrow-root (farinha de pao) and placing about a dozen little handfuls of it here and there on the ground, made signal to the slaves to come and eat, just as we see done by a servant to call together the fowls in a poultry yard. The slaves made a rush at the little heaps, and squatting down on their haunches, just like monkeys, began to eat with avidity.
It then goes on to relate several anecdotes and observations regarding the slave trade in this region.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Brazilian Lithographs

Images from Voyage pittoresque et historique au Brésil Volume 1 — Jean Baptiste Debret 1768-1848. Volumes 2 and 3 are available on the site too but I didn't find them as interesting, depicting as they do the 'civilizing' of the natives. You can see them in colour (albeit at lower resolution) via S4U.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Meet the Fuggers

Acquisitive bankers and venture capitalists that took over the Medici reign but didn't always manage to acquire a partner.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Indian Clippings

A selection of images from the the Digital Repository South Asian Studies. The majority are from Sandes[h]a (1913-1934 )– a monthly for young readers, publishing fiction and information on natural sciences. Some also from Girindrakumar Datta, an activist of the Municipal Movement in Calcutta, published in Basantak.