At the start of chapter 3 of a once forthcoming second edition of the Routier Gaming Manual, I pontificate: There are no references to dominos in western sources before the middle of the 18th century, when domino games appear to have been played in Italy and France. They are kept in this volume mainly so the … Continue reading Rethinking Dominos
We went to the Museum of Contemporary Art in the city on Saturday. The main exhibition was by a couple of local artists from the Blue Mountains, combining smell, sight, sound and parts of the electromagnetic spectrum that we don't usually experience. Unfortunately, it's precisely what I spent 6 years working on removing - we … Continue reading Why MCA?
It's been a while since I've done a church, so here's a rather nice little one while I build up to Exeter cathedral proper. St Martin's is a small church structurally of the 15th century, but built on the site of a series of churches going back to AD 1065. Managed by the Churches Conservation Trust, … Continue reading The Church of St Martin, Exeter, Devon
I've been doing a little consulting to my nephew*, who has been making a Mongolian bow for a school history assignment. His theory is that the Mongolian bow gave the advantage to the Mongols during their invasion of China in the 14th century, so he's making one and testing it out. I disagree in a … Continue reading Mongolian bamboo arows
At most find-sites that have arrows there will be a non-equal mix of S- and Z-wrap on the bindings. The dig report will assert that left-handed fletchers were responsible for those that aren't the majority direction arrow binding, probably without mentioning whether it's the Z- or S- that they are talking about. I can't find where it … Continue reading In a spin about fletch wrapping
Peasants at Archery, David Teniers the Younger, 1645. Click to zoom in and have a look around. There's enough detail to see that the bows are made from a single stick using the heartwood and sapwood to best effect. The two figures shooting appear to have early recurves with handle binding, the limbs may be spliced within the handle. These … Continue reading Archery, 1645 style
The Black Tapestry is the one surviving member of a theoretical series of tapestries illustrating Roman history. This one depicts four scenes of the history of the Roman king Tarquin the Elder (c 616-c 578 BC). Most likely woven in Brussels around 1425, it is now on display in the museum at the Cathedral of Zamora, Spain, possibly … Continue reading The Black Tapestry of Zamora