I love antique maps. The combination of gorgeous ornament, the romantic whiff of aging prints, and magic of Terra Incognita is a winner. It reminds me of the apocryphal ad placed by the legendary Ernest Shackleton looking for a crew:
I've never been one to let the truth get in the way of a ripping yarn [this ad may never have been placed], and Shackleton's voyage South is by far the rippingest of yarns I've ever read. It's that "safe return doubtful" part that gets me every time. I love the idea of these hard-men heading into the blank of a map with naught but a pouch of tobacco and dead reckoning."MEN WANTED FOR HAZARDOUS JOURNEY. SMALL WAGES, BITTER COLD, LONG MONTHS OF COMPLETE DARKNESS, CONSTANT DANGER, SAFE RETURN DOUBTFUL. HONOR AND RECOGNITION IN CASE OF SUCCESS."
On a different note, there was an article in the New Observer recently about the death of blogging; basically saying that any idiot with a 'Sarah Palin' Google Alert and a keyboard can regurgitate other peoples work into a blog entry. Well here's yet another uncreative blog post by me. Other people's work again.
It's always been the case with me that I try to write the blog I wish I had found when I was starting out. Lots of large images and little commentary. So I'll skip the pithy one-liners and the wiki-links this time and just present the work itself, because I think it's beautiful.
Rather than choke the inbox of the few faithfuls who subscribe to this blog, I'm posting just a couple out of my collection of cartouche images here. The rest are here, on my Flickr page.