Selection of Philly-Bob's 'Free-for-All'
Postings, 2012-2021


Meditation on a Book of Medical Oddities

Digital collage composed of elements from a 1687 Latin book of medical, anatomical, and surgical curiosities titled "Observationum rariorum medic. anatomic. chirurgicarum centuria prior : accedit De unicornu dissertatio : utraque tertia parte auctior, longeque emendatior" (Link1: Google Translate confusing translation: 'Observations rariorurn said. Anatomic. chirurgicarum the century prior: dissertatio De unicornu approaches: both sides of the third part of the increased and most acceptable to emendatior') by Cornelis Stalpart Van Der Wiel. Examining the original title page, I think a better English translation of the title for this old book would be: "Observed Medical, Anatomical, and Surgical Rarities."
I recognize few of the elements -- it's in Latin -- although there is a dead child with an angelic face and terribly deformed legs (left). I marvel at the range of mutations and malfunctions in biological form. I may complain about my genetic portfolio -- major dental problems and Grandpa Bob's predisposition to diabetes, etc. -- but when I look at the full range of birth outcomes, I realize how lucky I am, with ten fingers and ten toes and a baseline of pain-free peasant vigor. The book reminds me of my Philadelphia Center City neighbor Mutter Museum.
Date Posted: Not dated, approx. mid-2012 Date Revised: 12/18/2020
Ornamental Fantasia III in Jewelry

Image from Martin Gerlach's 1880 study of German jewelry industry: Die Perle: Weltorgan für Juwelengold und Silverarbeiter unter Mitwirkung hervorragender Künstler und mit Unterstützung des hiesigen K. K. Museum für Kunst und Industrie (Link1; trans: The Pearl: World organ for jewels, gold and silver workers with the participation of outstanding artists and with the support of the local K. K. Museum for Art and Industry)
Date Posted: Not dated, approx. mid-2012