Thursday, January 19, 2012


Well, in case you are tired of looking at pictures of art that Mom saw at the gallery, you will be glad to know that this is my last entry on that subject.  At least until Mom goes there again!

There are no dogs in the stuff I'm going to show you today, but there are a couple of ceramic bears.  One of them has a chain in his nose.  I'm not sure why, unless he was a captive bear who was used for dancing or bear-baiting.  Also, I might mention that he looks a little like a pig, but the card with information about this piece said it was a bear.

And here's another bear that doesn't look very much like a bear.  I think this bear looks more like a mouse, or maybe like a cross between a mouse and a monkey.  But I have not been to art school, so that is why I don't understand these things.

This is a big plate that is called a charger.  I don't know why anyone would call a big plate a charger, but that's the name for it.  Anyway, this one has a picture of a hare painted on it.  At first, I thought the animal was an antelope, but Mom told me the card in the museum said "hare," and the museum people should know.  This charger was made in England around 1700.  I can tell you this interesting fact because there is a picture of this charger in Mom's book about the gallery collection.

Now, here is a charger of another kind, which is a horse that charges into war.  It makes more sense to me to call a horse a charger than to call a plate a charger, but nobody asked for my opinion, as usual.  The point of this horse is really just to show off the armor he is wearing.  When Mom was a little girl, this was one of her favorite things to see in the whole art gallery because she was crazy about horses.

This armor dates back to 1565, which means it is very old.  Men used to wear stuff like this when they were jousting or when they went into battle.  The armor was very heavy, so the horses had to be really strong. I don't think it would have been much fun to wear this kind of armor, but I guess it was more fun than getting whacked with a sword.  And anyway, only rich warriors could afford fancy armor.  The poor farmers who went off to war were probably lucky if they even had a pitchfork to fight with.

Well, that's pretty much all the artwork with animals in it, unless you think of demons as animals.  This painting is called The Last Judgment, and it was made by a German man named Lucas Cranach the Elder.  Mom only took a picture of the corner of the painting that shows Hell, where you can see some sinners and some demons.  I'm not sure what the demons are doing to the sinners, except that the demons have beaks like birds, and they are sticking their long tongues out.  One demon has a bayonet sort of thing.  Anyway, I guess it is meant to be scary, but I think those little demon guys are kind of cute and could make good pets.  Either that, or they might be tasty to eat, like birds are.

Here's a little Egyptian boat sort of thing that might be an incense burner or something like that.  It wasn't really made in Egypt, though.  It was made in England, and it's supposed to look like it came from Egypt and could be floating down the Nile, if it could float, which it probably can't.

Mom took pictures of a couple of teapots because she liked them.  I think this first one looks kind of like modern art, but it was actually made in about 1760 in England.

And this other one is probably also from the 18th century, although Mom didn't take notes, like I told you in some of my earlier entries.

Then finally, here is a little jug that was made especially to put sack in, which is a dry white wine that came from Spain and the Canary Islands.  It was very popular to drink in the 16th and 17th centuries in England.  The interesting thing about this jug is that it belonged to a man named William Allen, which you can tell because his name is painted right on it.  And also the family crest is there.

Mom was wondering if maybe William Allen was a distant relative of hers, because Mom's last name is Allen, and her relatives came from England, which is where this jug is from.  Of course, there is a small possibility that there was more than one William Allen, and if one of them was related to Mom, it would be hard to know if this jug belonged to him or to some other William Allen.

Someday, Mom wants to do a bunch of genealogy research to find out who all her distant relatives were, but until she has time for that, she says she will just think of the sack jug as having been in her family a long, long time ago.


  1. I enjoyed the pics. I'm surprised the art gallery didn't just give the "Allen" jug to your mom...I mean it does have her/your last name on it. Art Galleries aren't always helpful in that way. Every time I read about your mom's trip(s) to the gallery...I tell myself I MUST do so too; can you believe I've never been to the Bloch Bldg at the Nelson? AND...I haven't eaten at the restaurant for years!! Hmmm...maybe I do need to get a life! LOL!!
    Love, AP

  2. Nahh the first picture looks like a cat with its mouth in the cup, it's not a good feeling to think of a baited bear...

  3. Hmmm. Well, it does sort of look like a cat with its mouth stuck in a cup. I guess you can just think of it as whatever you want to, and I agree that thinking of a baited bear isn't very nice!