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Kiev-Mezhyhirya Earthenware Factory
This book is a compilation of articles about the famed Kiev-Mezhyhirya Earthenware Factory, which was part of the 10th-century Mezhyhirya Monastery. The factory was founded at the end of the 18th century and produced such quantities of faience that by the mid-19th century it was the largest industrial enterprise in Kiev. The first part of the book is dedicated to the history of the factory, and includes details and illustrations of the wide range of its products, both decorative pieces and more practical ones. The factory hallmarks (seals) are shown ...
Contributed by
National Parliamentary Library of Ukraine
Compilation of Images of Ancient Objects from Private Collections in Kiev
This collection of images was put together by the Kiev amateur archaeologist Nikolaj Leopardov and numismatist Nikolaj Černev, who also collaborated in writing the introduction and explanatory texts. The images of crosses, icons, and other religious items and brief descriptions of them are included in Part I of the book. Part II contains the images of objects from the Bronze Age, mostly axes and knives, and Jewish Cabalistic amulets and coins. Part III contains the images and description of some of the thousands of medieval lead commercial seals from Drohiczyn ...
Contributed by
National Parliamentary Library of Ukraine
Carpathian Ruthenia. Ceramics
This image is part of an album probably published in about 1920 that contains 20 photographs of scenes in Carpathian Ruthenia, a mountainous region, most of which was part of the Austria-Hungary before World War I, but which became part of the new Czechoslovak state in 1919. Today the largest portion of it forms Zakarpattia Oblast in western Ukraine, with smaller parts in Slovakia and Poland. Ceramics have been one of the crafts of Carpathian Ruthenia for centuries, as the region has large deposits of kaolin (china clay). Decorated pottery ...
Contributed by
National Parliamentary Library of Ukraine
Design of the Monument to Alexander I, by Sculptor Martos, 1828
The monument to Tsar Alexander I (1777−1825) was unveiled on October 23 (October 11, Old Style), 1831, to commemorate Alexander’s visit to and death from illness in Taganrog, a village in southern Russian located on the north shore of the Sea of Azov. The tsar’s widow, Elizaveta Alekseevna, chose the site for the monument. Most of the money for its construction was donated by the imperial house of Romanov; the rest was raised by the residents of Taganrog. The bronze figure of the emperor at full height ...
Contributed by
Boris Yeltsin Presidential Library
Design of the Medal and Token Commemorating the Construction of the Monument to Nicholas I in Kiev, Kiev Province, 1895
This ink and watercolor document contains designs for the medal and the token issued to commemorate the construction of the monument to Tsar Nicholas I (1796−1855, reigned 1825−55) in Kiev. The designs are by the academician in architecture Vladimir Nikolaev (1847−1911), who also designed the pedestal for the monument. Nikolaev was the municipal and eparchial (diocesan) architect of Kiev at the time and designed many churches and mansions in the city. The statue of Nicholas was by the sculptor Matvei Afanas’evich Chizhov (1838−1916). The monument ...
Contributed by
Boris Yeltsin Presidential Library
Pre-Hispanic Idol
Shown here are three views of what remains of a terracotta seated human figure in an accentuated stylized form. The figure was discovered in the Painted Cave site at Gáldar, northwest Gran Canaria, in the Canary Islands archipelago of Spain, which lies about 100 kilometers west of Morocco. The cave complex was inhabited before the Castilian conquest of the Canaries in the 15th century by an indigenous people called the Guanches. The head of this figure is missing, but other examples of Guanche ceramics include figures with heads as prolongation ...
Contributed by
Cabildo of Gran Canaria, Canary Islands
The Stele of Buddha Niches at Yique
Shown here are rubbings of the texts on the famous Yique fo kan bei (The stele of Yique Buddha niches), also known as the Stele of Three Niches or the Stele of Three Niches of Longmen. The tablet was erected in the 11th month of the 15th year of the Zhenguan reign (641) during the Tang dynasty, in the Binyang Cave of the Longmen Grottoes, Luoyang, Henan. The texts were composed by Cen Wenben (595−645) and written by famed calligrapher Chu Suiliang (596−658). The horizontal inscription in seal ...
Contributed by
National Library of China
Merovingian Bees
The tomb of Childéric, king of the Salian Franks from 457 to 481 and the father of Clovis, was discovered by chance in 1653 by construction workers near the church of Saint-Brice in Tournai, in present-day Belgium. The treasure found was given to Archduke Leopold William of Habsburg (1614−62), governor of the southern Netherlands (at that time under Spanish rule). The archduke asked medical doctor and antique specialist Jean-Jacques Chifflet to write a study of the find, which was published in Antwerp in 1655 under the title Anastasis Childerici ...
Contributed by
National Library of France
Piece of the Charlemagne Chess Set: The Pawn
The famous chess set called the Jeu d'échec de Charlemagne (Charlemagne’s chess set) was once part of the treasury of the Basilica of Saint-Denis. It was made near Salerno, Italy, at the end of the 11th century. It was long thought to have belonged to Charlemagne, who was said to have received it as a gift from Caliph Harun al-Rashid. In fact, this cannot have been the case, because the game of chess was only introduced to the Western world by the Arabs two centuries after Charlemagne’s ...
Contributed by
National Library of France
Dom Pedro I Square
The Thereza Christina Maria collection is composed of 21,742 photos assembled by Emperor Pedro II (1825-91) throughout his life and donated by him to the National Library of Brazil. The collection covers a wide variety of subjects. It documents the achievements of Brazil and Brazilians in the 19th century and also includes many photographs of Europe, Africa, and North America. This statue, erected in 1862, was the first civic monument in Rio de Janeiro. The sculpture features Emperor Pedro I on horseback. Around the base are four figures in ...
Contributed by
National Library of Brazil
Statue of Dom Pedro I
The Thereza Christina Maria collection is composed of 21,742 photos assembled by Emperor Pedro II (1825-91) throughout his life and donated by him to the National Library of Brazil. The collection covers a wide variety of subjects. It documents the achievements of Brazil and Brazilians in the 19th century and also includes many photographs of Europe, Africa, and North America. This statue, erected in 1862, was the first civic monument in Rio de Janeiro. The sculpture features Emperor Pedro I on horseback. Around the base are four figures in ...
Contributed by
National Library of Brazil
Monumental Jaguar Sculpture
This painted buff ceramic sculpture was made in southern Veracruz, Mexico, in 600-900 AD, or the Late Classic Period of Mesoamerican civilization. Scholars traditionally have defined Mesoamerica as a cultural region comprising the modern countries of Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, western Honduras, and El Salvador. Its history is divided into an Archaic Period (circa 12,000-1500 BC), a Preclassic or Formative Period (circa 1500 BC-200 AD), a Classic Period (circa 200-900 AD), and a Postclassic Period (circa 900-1500 AD). The tropical jaguar was a major sacred creature in much of Mesoamerica ...
Contributed by
Library of Congress
Carving a Tray
This photograph from Suriname shows a man seated beside a thatched hut carving a large wooden tray from a single piece of wood, using a machete-like implement. The photograph is from the collection of the Columbus Memorial Library of the Organization of American States (OAS), which includes 45,000 photographs illustrative of life and culture in the Americas. Many of the photographs were taken by prominent photographers on OAS missions to member countries. The OAS was established in April 1948 when 21 countries of the western hemisphere adopted the OAS ...
Contributed by
Columbus Memorial Library, Organization of American States
Franc à cheval, John II
The franc à cheval was ordered issued on December 5, 1360 to finance the ransom of King John II (born 1319; reigned, 1350–64), who had been taken prisoner by the English at the Battle of Poitiers in 1356, during the Hundred Years’ War. The ransom totaled a vast 3 million écus, and the fact that the coin was used to secure the release of the king gave rise to the name by which it was known: franc, meaning free. The value of the coin was set at one livre ...
Contributed by
National Library of France
Jewel Book of the Duchess Anna of Bavaria
This unique manuscript was commissioned in 1552 by Duke Albrecht V of Bavaria, the founder of what is today the Bavarian State Library. The manuscript is an inventory of the jewelry owned by the duke and his wife, Duchess Anna, a member of the Habsburg dynasty and a daughter of Emperor Ferdinand I. The work contains 110 magnificent drawings by the Munich court painter Hans Mielich. One of the most impressive of these drawings is the front page miniature showing Albrecht and Anna playing chess, with Albrecht portrayed as a ...
Contributed by
Bavarian State Library
Brabo Monument, Antwerp, Belgium
This photochrome print of the Brabo Monument in Antwerp is part of “Views of Architecture and Other Sites in Belgium” from the catalog of the Detroit Publishing Company (1905). Dedicated to the legendary hero Salvius Brabo, the monument was designed by Jef Lambeaux (1852–1908) and is located on the Grand Place in Antwerp. As described in Baedeker’s Belgium and Holland including the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg (1905), Brabo was “a mythical hero who defeated and cut off the hand of the giant Antigonus. The giant used to exact a ...
Contributed by
Library of Congress
Etruscan Vases in the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg
At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.
Contributed by
Library of Congress
Very Old Tiles Found during Excavations. Kirillo-Belozerskii Monastery, Kirillov, Russian Empire
A major component of the Volga-Baltic Waterway (formerly called the Mariinsk Canal System), linking Saint Petersburg with the Volga River basin, is the Sheksna River, which drains the southeastern part of White Lake (Beloe ozero). One of the most important settlements near the Sheksna is Kirillov, founded in 1397 by the monk Kirill (Cyril) as part of his Dormition Monastery, subsequently named the Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery. Seen in this 1909 photograph are ceramic tiles found during excavations at the monastery. Some of the tiles have polychrome glaze, while others others are ...
Contributed by
Library of Congress
Etruscan Vases in the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg
Shown here from behind is an Etruscan vase in the form of a sphinx as portrayed in Greek art: the head of a woman on the body of a lion, with the wings of a giant bird. The item was photograped in the Hermitage Museum, but the date of this photograph is not known. The photographer lived in Saint Petersburg and could have been taken it at any point during his professional career in that city, from 1901 until 1918. The image is by Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863 ...
Contributed by
Library of Congress
Etruscan Vases in the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg
Produced under the influence of Greek art from the seventh to the fourth ceturies BCE, Etruscan vases occupied one of the most magnificent halls in the New Hermitage, the Hall of Graeco-Etruscan Vases. The bulk of the collection, which numbers some 1,300 items, was purchased in Rome in 1834 and originally displayed at the Imperial Academy of the Arts. With the completion of the New Hermitage in 1851, the collection was transferred to a temple-like setting at the end of the west enfilade. Shown here is a vase in ...
Contributed by
Library of Congress
Etruscan Vases in the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg
Produced under the influence of Greek art from the seventy to the fourth ceturies BCE, Etruscan vases occupied one of the most magnificent halls in the New Hermitage, the Hall of Graeco-Etruscan Vases. The bulk of the collection, which numbers some 1,300 items, was purchased in Rome in 1834 and originally displayed at the Imperial Academy of the Arts. With the completion of the New Hermitage in 1851, the collection was transferred to a temple-like setting at the end of the west enfilade. Shown in this side view is ...
Contributed by
Library of Congress