Never use spray furniture-cleaning products (e.g., Pledge), even those with lemon oil.
Dust with a soft cloth or a vacuum with an extremely soft-bristle nozzle attachment.
Wax gently about once a year with beeswax-based clear paste wax applied with the grain, not in a circular motion, using a very soft cloth; later (15 min.–24 hrs.) buff gently with another clean, soft cloth.
Keep room humidity and temperature constant (i.e. use humidifiers or de-humidifiers as necessary)
Place away from sources of high heat and out of direct sunlight.
Don't place rough-textured or plastic objects directly on the antique.
Illuminate as evenly and dimly as possible since light fades wood, veneers, etc.
A "soft clean cloth" could be a cheese cloth, soft cotton cloth, diaper, or—for cleaning or buffing but not waxing—clean, very soft shoe-polishing brush.
Wet cleaning: If wet cleaning is necessary, use a solution of water with 1% detergent (e.g. Orvus, Triton X-100) applied with a soft cloth (use Q-tips for crevices) then dry immediately with another clean soft cloth.
Antique furniture's patina matters, not its shine whether you value an object's historicity or potential monetary worth.
Re: #1, all spray furniture-cleaning products leave an oily residue and many have ingredients that can harm wood; oil or silicone in such products can darken or become opaque with age, resulting in a dark, dull and often irreparable finish.
Re: #2, avoid feather dusters, broken feathers of which can cause little scratches, and be careful of using dust rags as loose threads can catch on pieces of veneer or marquetry and pull them off.
Re: #3, spread the wax on in a thin, even coat and rub evenly and gently to bring up a high polish. The goal is to seal not thickly coat the wood.
Re: #4, inexpensive humidity sensors can be purchased from conservation suppliers.
Re: #5, excessive light can accelerate a finish's aging and degradation causing a cracked, brittle or "alligatored" appearance, and the heat generated from high light-levels can cause damage to finishes by softening them.
Re: #6, plastics can over time adhere to some finishes or cause discoloration.
Re: #7, move lighting sources, objects' locations on or relative to the antique, or the antique itself to avoid areas of discoloration forming on the antique from uneven illumination.
Tip: If the finish becomes dull between applications of wax it can be buffed to restore the luster of the finish.
Tip: If you are moving antiques, do not wear belts, buckles, jewelry or other items could scratch the surface.
Tip: Grasp antique furniture at its sturdiest area. E.g., Lift chairs by the seat, not arms; the latter are built to resist only downward pressure. Also, don't drag antique furniture as it stresses the wood, especially the legs and feet or tables, chairs, sideboards, etc.
Tip: Remove mold or mildew with a soft cloth moistened with a solution of 10 parts water to 1 part bleach.
Tip: Rely on professional assessment and repair--not home remedies--of serious spills, stains, or scratches.
Tip: A stripped and refinished or heavily restored antique is considered of lesser monetary value than one of close or equal quality but that retains its original finish.
Tip: Unfinished antique wood should never be wet cleaned.
A note about Bakelite repair: If your have a broken piece of Bakelite, slow-setting Araldite® is often recommended. It's important to first remove any glue that's present from previous repair attempts if any. Do not use ethyl-2-cyanoacrylate (the ingredient in Super Glue and similar products) as it dries brittle and cracks easily.The edges to be adhered must be clear and rough. Use a bit of sandpaper to rough the edges slightly if necessary. Mix the Araldite® glue, apply a generous amount on both surfaces, press together firmly--squeezing out any excess glue--and then secure the pieces together (e.g., strips of tape) so they absolutely cannot move. Let it set at room temperature or more for at least 72 hours (some online sources recommend "several days.")
A note about repairing chipped veneer: If you need to glue back on a bit of broken-off veneer, remove all old glue first using fine sandpaper. Don't trim the edges of the veneer chip. Use carpenter glue so you can reposition the chip a bit if necessary to ensure the gains aligns. Make sure all excess glue is removed and then clamp or weigh down the chip. First cover it with a wax paper; also, if clamping, set a buffer block of scrap wood over the newly-glued area and use another block or a soft cloth to protect the other side. Leave it clamped for 2 to 3 dayes. Note: some online sources recommend hot or liquid hide glue for repairing bits of veneer instead of modern commercial products.
At the end of The Divine Comedy, Dante is guided through Heaven by Beatrice, his ideal woman. Here she is surrounded by the four apostles, depicted as embodiments of the symbolic animals with which they are traditionally associated. Luke resembles an ox, a creature Lavater* described as severe and simple, while Mark appears as a lion, which Lavater saw as strong and bold. John has the face of an eagle, which, according to Lavater, means he ‘must be a brave man’. Matthew is shown as a man with idealised, Christ-like features that seem to echo those of Beatrice.
Image (click to enlarge) -- Beatrice Addressing Dante from the Car. William Blake (1757‑1827). Illustrations to Dante's 'Divine Comedy' (1824-7). Ink and watercolour on paper. 372 x 527 mm. Tate Britain.
*Johann Casper Lavater (1741-1801), author of Essays on Physiognomy (1789-1798) which among the illustrations in which were five by William Blake.
Moderator Melvyn Bragg is joined by Janet Soskice, Professor of Philosophical Theology at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Jesus College; Martin Palmer, Director of the International Consultancy on Religion, Education, and Culture; The Reverend Graham Ward, Regius Professor of Divinity at the University of Oxford and a Canon of Christ Church.
During the show, The Athanasian Creed (c. late 400s-early 600s) is mentioned several times. Below is its first part that stresses the equality of the "persons" of the triune God of Christianity. The Nicene Creed (A. D. 325) is far better known and more often recited by liturgical Christian traditions of both the East and West.
From the Nicene Creed:
We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, the maker of heaven and earth, of things visible and invisible.And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the begotten of God the Father, the Only-begotten, that is of the essence of the Father.God of God, Light of Light, true God of true God, begotten and not made; of the very same nature of the Father, by Whom all things came into being, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible.
From the Athanasian Creed:
And the catholic faith is this-- That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; Neither confounding the Persons; nor dividing the Essence. For there is one Person of the Father; another of the Son; and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one; the Glory equal, the Majesty coeternal. Such as the Father is; such is the Son; and such is the Holy Ghost. The Father uncreated; the Son uncreated; and the Holy Ghost uncreated. The Father unlimited; the Son unlimited; and the Holy Ghost unlimited. The Father eternal; the Son eternal; and the Holy Ghost eternal. And yet they are not three eternals; but one eternal. As also there are not three uncreated; nor three infinites, but one uncreated; and one infinite. So likewise the Father is Almighty; the Son Almighty; and the Holy Ghost Almighty. And yet they are not three Almighties; but one Almighty. So the Father is God; the Son is God; and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet they are not three Gods; but one God. So likewise the Father is Lord; the Son Lord; and the Holy Ghost Lord. And yet not three Lords; but one Lord. For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity; to acknowledge every Person by himself to be God and Lord; So are we forbidden by the catholic religion; to say, There are three Gods, or three Lords. The Father is made of none; neither created, nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone; not made, nor created; but begotten. The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten; but proceeding. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts. And in this Trinity none is before, or after another; none is greater, or less than another. But the whole three Persons are coeternal, and coequal. So that in all things, as aforesaid; the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity, is to be worshipped. He therefore that will be saved, let him thus think of the Trinity.
Image #1: an interlaced triqueta (not discussed in the IOT episode), by some called the "trinity knot"--similar to a trefoil knot, which is the simplest mathematical nontrivial knot (that is, a closed loop). It is shown here as three vesica piscis (L. "bladder of fish")--a.k.a. mandorlas (It. "almond")--that geometrically are formed by the equally overlapping perimeters of three circles. Current evidence places the symbol's origins--presumed to be pagan (specifically Celtic or Germanic) but possibly Christian--in the A.D. 600s.
Image #2: Andrei Rublev's Trinity (A.D. 1411 or 1425-27).
David was a Celtic monk, abbot, and bishop. In Wales, Saint David's Day (Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Sant) is celebrated on March 1, the date traditionally held to be that on which David died at the age of 100 in A.D. 569, though the year accepted by historians today is 588 or 589. Though a day of celebration within Wales, it is not an official holiday of the United Kingdom.
David's Day, Dydd Gŵyl Dewi, in Welsh is pronounced, more or less, as "dihth gweel DEH'oo-ee". The ih sound in dyth is a bit tricky--something between the vowel sounds in tea and pin.
Saint David is slightly more popular in Wales than Vanessa "Nessa" Jenkins of BBC Wales' Gavin & Stacey, yet another British television show being turned into a almost-certainly-inferior US-remake, this one called Us & Them, expected this year on Fox.
Saint David is often depicted in sacred art with the attribute of a dove upon his shoulder.
Wales is a gorgeous place. Here's some evocative writing
South Wales is a lovely country, with green hills and deep valleys, flat water-meadows yellow with flowers where cattle grow sleek, oak forests full of deer, and the high blue uplands where the cuckoo shouts in springtime, but where, come winter, the wolves run, and I have seen lightning even with the snow. - Mary Steward, The Crystal Cave. 1970.
Image: Saint David of Wales with his dove, Trevor. (Okay, the dove is only symbolic and doesn't traditionally have a name. But, he looks like a Trevor, right?)
Enjoy Peter Randall-Page's excellent essay on BBC Radio 3.
For 25 years the sculptor Peter Randall-Page has worked Dartmoor's obdurate and unforgiving granite boulders. He reflects on what it's like trying to wrestle with it: "granite is stuff personified, quintessentially dumb matter, it is what the earth is made of, congealed magma, planetary and galactic, inert and unintelligible."
Peter's is the third of four essays in which writers and artists reflect on the way their bedrock geology - their cornerstones - have shaped their favourite landscapes. Peter Randall-Page realises that he's worked his way back through geological time to work with granite: "beginning with the relatively young sedimentary limestone of Bath, through the metamorphic marble of Carrara to the most ancient material of granite."
Various times along the way to Brighton or Lewes, I've noticed a sculpture that I've rather unimaginatively referred to as "the nautilus," which I love to see for it means I'm in Britain and on vacation. Come to find out, it's one of Randall-Page's works, Cuilfail Spiral, located at the north end of the Cuilfail tunnel.
Photo (cropped) by Anthony McIntosh: the Cuilfail tunnel and Cuilfail Spiral
So begins Sue Clifford, co-founder of the arts and environment organisation Common Ground, in her radio essay on what England's limestone landscapes mean to her. Clifford's is the first of a series of four essays--as part 2014's contributions to BBC Radio 3's regular The Essay program--"in which writers reflect on the way their bedrock geology has shaped their favourite landscapes".
Limestone, as Sue Clifford says, is not only the stone of choice for many of Britain's architectural landmarks, but in the wild it also supports a wealth of flowers, creating its own micro-climates in the klints and grykes that characterise karst scenery. Limestone, she acknowledges, rejoices in its own specific vocabulary.
In the other essays, the walker and geologist Ronald Turnbull addresses sandstone, the sculptor Peter Randall-Page describes what it's like working with Dartmoor's obdurate granite boulders, and the Welsh poet Gillian Clarke writes about Snowdonia's slate.
To hear this particular essay, visit: www.bbc.co.uk. My fellow New Yorkers may be especially intrigued by some of the observations in Turnbull's essay on sandstone.
Visit Radio 3's The Essay page to access any of the more than 300 essays available as podcasts. The Essay is "a series of programmes debating and exploring arts and cultural topics." Recent essays have covered topics as diverse as fading English rituals and attitudes ("England Ejects"), the Islamic Golden Age, portraits of great Anglo-Saxons, and much, much more.
You can subscribe to the The Essay podcasts on iTunes.
George Frideric Handel--he of Messiah (1741) and Water Music (1717) fame--in 1713 wrote the cantata Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne, which featured a libretto by English poet and Whig politician Ambrose Philips, to celebrate both the February 6th birthday of Anne, Queen of Great Britain and Ireland, but also the signing of the Treaty of Utrecht the year before, which ended the War of Spanish Succession and was negotiated by Anne's government.
William of Orange of the Dutch Republic (Willem III van Oranje) in 1688 became William III, King of England, Scotland, and Ireland, as joint monarch along with his English wife (and first cousin) Mary II. It was a sort of coup, and bloodless: thus it's name the "Glorious Revolution."
In 1707, upon William's death, Anne, Mary's younger and only living sibling, became sole monarch at the age of 42, by which time Anne was gout-ridden, obese, and in nearly constant pain. She had endured 17 pregnancies that all resulted in either stillborn children or children who died by the age of four.
She was popular throughout her reign, in part because of her personal misfortunes. On August 1, 1714, she succumbed to Erysipelas, "St. Anthony's fire," a type of acute streptococcus bacterial infection, at the age of 48. The Stuart Dynasty ended with her death.
(Alto solo with solo trumpet over sustained strings) Eternal source of light divine With double warmth thy beams display And with distinguish'd glory shine To add a lustre to this day.
(Alto solo, then chorus with orchestra, sing "the chorus") The day that gave great Anna birth Who fix'd a lasting peace on earth.
(Soprano solo, then chorus with orchestra) Let all the winged race with joy Their wonted homage sweetly pay Whilst towr'ing in the azure sky They celebrate this happy day.
(Alto solo, then alto and solo with chorus and orchestra) Let flocks and herds their fear forget Lions and wolves refuse* their prey And all in friendly consort meet Made glad by this propitious day.
(Bass and alto duet, then chorus with orchestra) Let rolling streams their gladness show With gentle murmurs whilst they play And in their wild meanders flow Rejoicing in this blessed day.
(Soprano and alto duet with solo oboe and orchestra) Kind Health descends on downy wings Angels conduct her on the way. T'our glorious Queen new life she brings And swells our joys upon this day.
[Chorus repeated with Alto and soprano, then chorus with orchestra]
(Bass solo, then chorus with orchestra) Let envy then conceal her head And blasted faction glide away. No more her hissing tongues we'll dread Secure in this auspicious day.
(Alto solo then chorus with echo effects,solo trumpet and orchestra) United nations shall combine To distant climes their sound combine That Anna's actions are divine And this the most important day!
* "forget" in some libretti
Images: George Frideric Handel attributed to Balthasar Denner, c. 1726-1728, (National Portrait Gallery, London); Queen Anne by John Closterman, sometime between 1707 and 1711, (National Portrait Gallery, London)
You've probably already seen Isao Hashimoto's 2003 multimedia/video artwork 1945-1998, but to sustain my Anglophilic creds, I'll bloviate on it in light of the UK nuclear tests it shows. Hashimoto's work's gained global recognition recently via YouTube on which it's had more than 3.3 million views. The only similarly impactul time-elapse global map I've seen is the one in the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) concerning human population growth, but Hashimoto's is an artistic work, and as a carefully crafted aesthetic project it may be informative and conscious-raising, yes, but it is also visually mesmerizing, the colors, pacing, typography, electronic tones, and other elements (note how Japan is at the geographic heart of the work) all being considered and working to create a whole that's greater than the sum of its parts.
Notice that Britain's tests include some that occured in the American West. As the U.S.A.'s closest Cold War ally, Britain had access to some of our testing grounds.
But Britain seems through to nuclear testing, and perhaps nuclear deterent in general. In Britain right now there's debate about the UK Trident missile program relative to both regarding both the program's expense and the fact that if Scotland votes to leave the UK in September 2014 the use of the naval bases where the UK's submarine-based nuclear arsenals are harbored, which are mostly in Scotland, will have to be sorted out.
The Scottish complication is the more immediate one. Scotland joined the union voluntarily as an arrangement finalized in 1707 that was in part a sort of economic bailout by England, and there's no mandate through UK constitutional law that the union must exist in perpetuity. If Scotland becomes independent they would, according to the Scottish National Party (SNP) that's driving the independence movement, join the Commonwealth and keep the Queen as head of state. To me is seems the SNP are desperate for the referendum to pass, and they'll likely succeed in lowering the Scottish Referendum voting age to 16. I imagine there'll be lots of showings of Braveheart in Scotland in the next few months, and I suspect the Scottish will vote for independence by a slim majority.
What will happen then? Relative to the Royal Navy bases, it's not clear. In terms of Scotland in general, they'll likely try to follow a Scandinavian model with a sovereign wealth fund supplied by their off-shore oil claims. I suspect they'd not be in NATO, which is all the more reason the rest of Britain will want to retain the entirety of the nuclear arsenal.
"Almighty God, we pray you graciously to behold this your family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed, and given into the hands of sinners, and to suffer death upon the cross; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen." - The Book of Common Prayer (1979), The Episcopal Church.
A radical definition of family for a radical definition of sacrifice.
An atheist friend of mine always attends Good Friday services at his local Episcopal Church, the one time each year he crosses the threshold of a house of worship. Once, I asked him why. "Because the f#$*ing bastards killed Christ." The resurrection he rejects in its literal sense. But, there is for him still the crucifixion, which he recognizes as a distressingly human event, and deeply political, and very significant: the enormity of the betrayal, the abuse of might against right, the exploitation of the mob by cynical figures of authority, the baying for blood, the rejection of meekness, the will to power against a new order offered by an unlooked-for messenger, the process of positive change through sacrifice, the despair that may later be revealed as the tragic beginning of a new dispensation, if not a metaphysical dispensation, then a new way of doing things, a new way of being. First the money-changers' tables were overturned. And now this. This! There is violence in the story, and it is not for the faint of heart.
Photo: St. Mark's Church (Episcopal), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, Good Friday, 2013.
Plaque with the Crucifixion and the Defeat of Hades, mid-10th century
Byzantine; probably made in Constantinople. Ivory
5 x 3 1/2 in. (12.7 x 8.9 cm)
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.190.44)