Art from the Lights of Canopus,1847.

The Anvār-i Suhaylī or Lights of Canopus — commonly known as the Fables of Bidpai in the West — is a Persian version of an ancient Indian collection of animal fables called the Panchatantra.
The tales follow the Persian physician Burzuyah on a mission to India, where he finds a book of stories collected from the animals who live there. Much like in the Arabian Nights (which actually uses several of the Panchatantra stories), the fables are inter-woven as the characters of one story recount the next, with up to three or four degrees of narrative embedding.

Many of the fables offer insightful glimpses into human behaviour, and emphasise the power of teamwork and loyalty: one passage describes how a hunter catches a group of pigeons in a net, only for them to be saved by a mouse who gnaws through the rope.
The version celebrated in this post hails from nineteenth-century Iran and is particularly notable for its exquisite illustrations — scenes of tortoise-riding monkeys, bird battles, conversing mice, delicate purple mountains — 123 in total.

The artist behind the images is not mentioned, but the creator of the equally elegant nasta’liq style writing which they serve, is named by The Walters Art Museum (who hold the manuscript) as one Mīrzā Raḥīm.
Source: Illustrations from the Lights of Canopus (1847) | The Public Domain Review

Definition of a ‘Printing Office’ c 1890.

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In my experience the term “printing office” was quite a common term to describe a printing establishment, The Old Guv was known as the Government Printing Office and most of the other States of Australia used the same term, it was also used in the United Kingdom and United States.
The term “print shop” was generally used to describe a small to medium printing establishment. It appears the correct terminology was a bit of an issue back in the 1890s
The 1897 Brit­ish Printer art­icle, below, sets out their thoughts on ‘Print­ing Office’ from that time.
Refer­ring to the use of the term “office” as the name given to a printer’s estab­lish­ment, The Printer and Book­maker says:
“The dic­tion­ar­ies do not recog­nise any mean­ing of office which would jus­tify its use for a place where print­ing is car­ried on. Prop­erly, the busi­ness office of a print­ing office is the only part of the estab­lish­ment entitled to the word. The pro­pri­etor and the book-keeper or type­writ­ist are the only ones who are really jus­ti­fied in say­ing, ‘We are going down to the office now.’
The typos, press­men, et al., should say, ‘We are going down to the shop,’ if they wish to be exact. Cus­tom has sanc­tioned office, how­ever, and its use is prob­ably suf­fi­ciently fixed to last for cen­tur­ies. This being the case, it is time that the dic­tion­ar­ies recog­nised the mean­ing in which print­ers use the word, that the knights of the stick may be backed by lex­ico­graph­ical authority.”
via The Printing “Office” | British Letterpress.

Battle of the Somme telegram found in Peterborough.

The telegram was discovered by Peter Plowman — a volunteer with the local Peterborough History Group.
Mr Plowman spent his working life in printing businesses and did not know why telegram was kept.

PHOTO: Peter Plowman found the telegram while cleaning the Peterborough printing shop. (ABC News: Patrick Martin)
The unlikely find had special significance for the printing buff.
“I had a grandfather that fought at Somme for England, so the telegram has a significance for me as well as the print shop and the local community,” Mr Plowman said.
Lieutenant Colonel David Edmonds unveiled the carefully restored telegram at a public ceremony at Peterborough. Lt. Colonel  Edmonds said the find had significance for the whole region.
“Our information is that the local regiment was the 9th Australian Light Horse Regiment — they formed the 9th Light Horse [Regiment] in the First World War — it was the second light horse regiment to be raised here in South Australia,” Lt Colonel Edmonds said.
“All through the mid north of South Australia, from Peterborough to Port Pirie, Port Augusta all the way down to Kadina and Clare, the 9th Light Horse Regiment drew its soldiers who went away in the First World War.”
“It’s a very important piece of local history and Australian history, too.”
He said it was an honour to unveil the telegram as a former commander of the 3rd/9th Light Horse Regiment, which still existed in Adelaide.
He said the battle — which left more than one million dead and wounded across all sides — represented the last German offensive of the war.
PHOTO: Lieutenant Colonel David Edmonds stands beside the 100-year-old telegram. (ABC News: Patrick Martin)
“The telegram shows that the Germans were still well and truly on the front foot.”
“It was shortly thereafter that the war turned in the Allies’ favour.”
He said the war impacted communities throughout Australia “for decades after the war”.
via Battle of the Somme telegram discovered in workshop a century after it was sent – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Bats by Ernest Haeckel c.1904.

30525603876_2f3ab52093_hPlate 67 from Ernst Haeckel’s visually dazzling Kunstformen der Natur, (Art Forms of Nature), published in 1904.
With the assistance of Jena artist-lithographer Adolf Giltsch, Haeckel produced one hundred plates depicting the forms of animal life.
With this book Haeckel wanted to create an “aesthetics of nature” and to show how the incessant struggle for existence he had learnt from Darwin was in fact producing an endless beauty and variety of forms – Darwin and Humboldt combined together.
Focusing mainly on marine animals, the bat is one of the only mammals featured in the book, but the page of surprisingly cute “chiroptera” is certainly one of the book’s most striking offerings.
The full line up is:
1-2: Brown Long-eared Bat  3: Lesser Long-eared Bat  4: Lesser False Vampire Bat  5: Big-eared Woolly Bat  6-7: Tomes’s Sword-nosed Bat  8: Mexican Funnel-eared Bat  9: Antillean Ghost-faced Bat  10: Flower-faced Bat  11: Greater Spear-nosed Bat  12: Thumbless Bat  13: Greater Horseshoe Bat  14: Wrinkle-faced Bat  15: Spectral Bat
Read more about Kunstformen der Natur and how it relates to Haeckel’s philosophy of “monoism” in our essay “Ernst Haeckel and the Unity of Culture” by Dr Mario A. Di Gregorio; and read more about Haeckel’s role in one of science’s great controversies in our essay “Copying Pictures, Evidencing Evolution” by Nick Hopwood.
Source: Ernst Haeckel’s Bats (1904) | The Public Domain Review

‘Let’s ava Barbie this Arvo mate.’

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If you’d lost your mobes in Melbourne at a barbie on a Sunday arvo you couldn’t be anything but Australian.
In fact, Australians use abbreviations and diminutives more than other English-speakers – and a new study is trying to find out why.
“There are many theories,” says Nenagh Kemp, a psychologist specialising in language at the University of Tasmania, who’s leading the work.”
“Australians who use these diminutives might be trying to sound less pretentious, more casual and more friendly than they would by using the full words.”
Nenagh and her colleague Evan Kidd at La Trobe University in Melbourne have asked more than 100 Australians aged 18-90 to write down as many abbreviations and diminutives (which can be shorter or longer than the original word) as they could think of in 10 minutes.
Abbreviations and diminutives
The most common words they’ve identified so far were barbie (barbecue), arvo (afternoon), footy (football), sunnies (sunglasses), rego (registration), servo (service station), brekkie (breakfast), cuppa (cup of tea) and sanga (sandwich).
But people also came up with a lot of abbreviations for brand names, like Maccas, Woollies, Subie (Subaru) and Suzy (Suzuki).
While there’s a good deal of overlap between the abbreviations used by older and younger Australians, there are also seems to be some differences.
Nenagh and Evan’s preliminary analysis of their results suggests that older people use ‘cosier’, family-oriented words like cardi (cardigan), lippy (lipstick), rellies (relatives) and oldies more often than younger people.
From Australian Geographic