Sunday, October 22, 2017

Slate (the Stone) at the British Museum

Anonymous European Cameo
Half-figure of a lady as Minerva
16th century
carved onyx backed on slate
British Museum

And his strange property sets sighs to move
And wills man look into unformèd space
Rousing there thirst
                                that breaketh into flame.  
None can imagine love
                                     that knows not love;
Love doth not move, but draweth all to him;
Nor doth he turn
                            for a whim
                                              to find delight
Nor to seek out, surely,
                          great knowledge or slight.
Look drawn from like,
                        delight maketh certain in seeming.
Nor can in covert cower,
                      beauty so near,
Not yet wild-cruel as darts,
So hath man craft from fear
                             in such his desire
To follow a noble spirit,
                         edge, that is, and point to the dart,
Though from her face indiscernible;
He, caught, falleth
                             plumb onto the spike of the targe.
Who well proceedeth, form not seeth,
                                 following his own emanation.
There, beyond colour, essence set apart,
In midst of darkness light light giveth forth
Beyond all falsity, worthy of faith, alone
That in him solely is compassion born. 
Safe may'st thou go, my canzon, whither thee pleaseth
Thou art so fair attired that every man and each
Shall praise thy speech
So he have sense or glow with reason's fire,
To stand with other
                               hast thou no desire.

 Guido Cavalcanti (ca. 1255-1300), from the canzone Donna mi prega, translated by Ezra Pound in Make It New (1935)

attributed to Christoph Weiditz
Portrait-bust of Admiral Andrea Doria
ca, 1533
carved slate medallion
British Museum
bequeathed by Sir Hans Sloane

Anonymous Italian Cameo
Laureate-head of an Emperor
16th century
carved shell backed on slate
British Museum
bequeathed by Sir Hans Sloane

Gaspare Morone Mola
Hercules battling Centaur
wax on slate model for medal
British Museum

Georg Schweigger
Birth and naming of St John the Baptist
carved slate relief after Albrecht Dürer's 1510 woodcut 'Death of the Virgin'
British Museum

Giovanni Martino Hamerani
Profile-portrait of Queen Christina of Sweden
ca. 1680
wax on slate model for medal
British Museum

Ermengildo Hamerani
Venus and Hercules
wax on slate model for reverse of medal commemorating
marriage of James Stuart (the Old Pretender) and Clementina Sobieski
British Museum

Anonymous European cameo
Two bearded heads facing one another
before 1753
carved slate
British Museum
bequeathed by Sir Hans Sloane

Josiah Wedgwood
Frieze of Cupids in chariots
ca. 1775-95
wax on slate model for unrealized plaque
British Museum

John Henning
Mould for miniature reproduction of the Parthenon frieze
carved slate
British Museum

William Wyon
St George and the Dragon
ca. 1815-51
wax on slate medallion with glass cover
British Museum

William Wyon
Lion pacing to left below date-bearing palm
ca. 1815-1851
wax on slate model for reverse of Indian gold Mohur coin
British Museum

William Wyon
Winged Victory crowning bust of Lord Nelson on a monument
ca. 1830-40
wax on slate model for medal
British Museum

William Wyon
Queen Victoria holding orb and resting sceptre on lion
ca. 1837-51
wax on slate model for reverse of five-pound piece
British Museum