Inspired by news and a great photograph of a big barred owl that has recently taken up residence in south Salem, I assembled a little group of owls on my bedroom mantle. Several of these guys come from the two connected shops on Front Street in Salem, Roost and the Beehive, which I stop by with increasing regularity. I love printed and figural representations of birds and animals and am rather enthusiastic about displaying them in our home: elephants are always around —to the point of near-tackiness and maybe beyond—and I’ve gone through bear, deer, swan, snail, and rabbit phases with little restraint. I’m thinking about foxes for the future. I had a brief bout with owls this fall and thought I was done, but apparently not. A passing glance at that great owl on McKinley Road drove me to retrieve my “owl box” in the basement and to my favorite medieval bestiary, the “Salisbury” Bestiary from circa 1250, for the images below. To illustrate the increasingly realistic (and scientific) perception of the owl, I’ve also included images from Konrad Gessner’s Histories of the Animals (1551-58), one of my favorite teaching texts because of its beautiful woodcut illustrations and its nascent empiricism, and John Gould’s more recent Birds of New Guinea and the Adjacent Papua Islands (1875).
January 13, 2011
An Assemblage of Owls
This entry was posted on Thursday, January 13th, 2011 at 12:12 am and tagged with Collectibles, Flora and Fauna, Interiors, Shopping and posted in History, Home. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
Streets of Salem:
Somewhat random but still timely posts about culture, history, and the material environment, from the perspectives of academia, Salem and beyond.
Topicsadvertising American Revolution Antiques Antiques and Collectibles Architecture Art Auctions books Chestnut Street Christmas Collectibles Commemoration Commemorations Culture Decorative Arts design England ephemera Etsy Exhibitions Fashion films Flora and Fauna folklore Food and drink Frank Cousins Garden gardening Gardens Graphic Design great houses Halloween Historic Preservation holidays Home horticulture House of the Seven Gables illustration Illustrations Interior design Interiors Library of Congress Literature Local Events Local History Maine maps Massachusetts Medieval Memory museums Nathaniel Hawthorne New England Peabody Essex Museum Phillips Library Photography Popular Culture Pottery print culture printing Renaissance Salem witch trials Samuel McIntire Seasons Seventeenth Century Shopping Teaching travel Tudors urban planning weather Witch City Witchcraft Witch Trials World War I
Top Posts & Pages
- Attention #otd: getting ready for the visit of President Monroe to #salemma which would not occur for 3 more weeks.… twitter.com/i/web/status/1… 8 hours ago
- Traces of Half-Timbering streetsofsalem.com/2019/06/16/tra… https://t.co/dLD07GtMXi 18 hours ago
- "The Cage", where 14 women accused of witchcraft during the St. Osyth trials in 1582, is now for sale: 'Haunted' Me… twitter.com/i/web/status/1… 20 hours ago
- #proudlywaving for #flagday🇺🇸; Ship Sooloo of #salemma entering Genoa, Domenico Gavarrone, 1848 @skinnerinc @ Salem… twitter.com/i/web/status/1… 2 days ago
- Quite a story here. twitter.com/insidehighered… 2 days ago
Blog CourtesyI always attribute the images that I use in my blog; if you are going to copy them, please do so as well.