antique handles

2

Rare Roman Glass Flask with Handles, 3rd-4th Century AD

With footed base ring, with four applied handles in blue, three of them connecting the lower neck to the body, and one connecting the rim to the body. The flaring rim decorated with blue trail underneath the lip.

Of exceptional quality and very rare: This is the only known example having one of the handles connecting the body and the rim.

10

Chinese double swords with ivory handles

Antique Chinese double swords with carved ivory handles. Guangzhou, 1830 - 40’s

Sword A
Overall length: 66.4 cm / 26.1 inch
Blade length: 51.9 cm / 20.4 inch
Blade thickness: forte 6 mm, middle 5.5 mm, near tip 4 mm
Blade width: forte 31 mm, middle 30 mm, near tip 24 mm
Weight without scabbard: 559 grams
P.o.b. 13.5 cm from guard (handle side)

Sword B
Overall length: 66.7 cm / 26.3 inch
Blade length: 52.2 cm / 20.5 inch
Blade thickness: forte 6 mm, middle 5.5 mm, near tip 4 mm
Blade width: forte 31.5 mm, middle 30 mm, near tip 24.5 mm
Weight without scabbard: 549 grams
P.o.b. 14 cm from guard (handle side)

Origin: China.
Materials: Iron, steel, brass, fragrant wood, ivory, gold
Dating: First half 19th century

Description

Presented is an excellent set of deluxe double straightswords, or shuangjian, with elaborately carved ivory handles, gilt hilt fittings, and fragrant wood carved scabbard in brass mounts. Sets of double straightswords are fairly common on the market, but very rarely they are this good.

Ivory handles

The most striking part of these swords are the intricately carved ivory handles. The handle outer surfaces are carved with designs of flowers and fruits over a fine diaper pattern of lozenges. The designs are framed by a greek key pattern, in each corner is a rose. The center of each handle is deeply carved with scenes of scholars in a classical Chinese garden landscape. The designs are undercut so that the legs of the table, a tree trunk and the beam of a temple are completely cut loose from their surroundings. Each individual’s face is meticulously carved with its own expression.

Antique Chinese double swords with carved ivory handles. Guangzhou, 1830’s - 40’s

Rose Kerr, prominent British art historian and former Keeper of the Far Eastern Department at the Victoria & Albert Museum, dated the work on the handles to the 1830’s or 40’s and noted that it was typical for the work of Guangzhou at the time.1

Guangzhou was one of the major ivory carving centers of the time, and even imperial craftsmen were sent to Guangzhou to work. This was because the humid conditions in Southern China made the ivory less brittle, so that it could be carved to much greater detail than could be done in the imperial workshops in Beijing. There, these craftsmen got exposed to influences of Western art which they incorporated in their designs. Many of these designs were meant for the export trade, but some of it made it back to the imperial palace where the elite of Beijing also developed a taste for these cross-cultural designs.2

Mountings and scabbard

The hilts are of a type that is commonly referred to as “Taoist jian by virtue of the "Eight Trigrams” symbol on the octagonal pommels, around a taiji symbol representing the synergy between yin and yang. They are paired with a ferrule with auspicious coin shaped cutout, and typical zoomorphic guards with a taotie face from which the blade emerges. The taotie’s curling manes form the quillons of the guard. Each hilt is flattened on one side so they fit neatly in the scabbard, side-by-side, as if they are one sword when sheathed.

The scabbard is of reddish fragrant wood, possibly sandalwood, with a separate channel for each sword. It is elaborately carved with a swastika fretwork pattern and greek key patterns on the sides. Amongst the fretwork are carved some accoutrements of the Taoist immortals.3

The left side:
1. Flute of Han Xiangxi, the Patron Saint of Musicians. The flute resembles harmony.
2. Double gourd of Li Tieguai, which contains all magical medicines.
3. Sword of Lu Dongbin, the patron saint of scholars.

Right side:
1. Bamboo drum and rods of Zhang Guo, the eccentric alchemist.
2. Fan of Zhongli Quan, the military man.
3. Lotus of He Ziangu, the female immortal, improver of health.

The scabbard fittings are of a fairly standard cast brass type and not gilt like the handle fittings. They were nevertheless “born” with the scabbard because the scabbard has plain areas exactly following the contours of these fittings. Both swords fit snugly in the scabbard, and each channel is made for a specific sword. They are not interchangeable.

Blades

The quality is not only in the mountings, the blades are slightly longer and heavier than the typical set. They exhibit signs of forge folded steel and inserted hardened edges. It may be made as mostly an ornamental set, it does have rather serious blades of stout proportions and with good tempered edges.

Comparable examples

Various examples of the type have surfaced over the years, but almost always with carved horn or wooden handles of lower quality. They come in two main varieties, one with cast scabbard fittings with archaic motifs like on this example, or with sheet brass fittings with stylized coin cutouts.

There is a set with identical fittings, including the octagonal Eight Trigrams pommels and cast brass scabbard fittings, but simpler ray-skin covered scabbard and less elaborate horn handles in the Metropolitan Museum, accession number 36.25.1480a–c. It came from the George Cameron Stone collection, bequeathed to the museum in 1935.

The only other example I know to exist with such carved ivory handles was published in Robert Hales’ Islamic and Oriental Arms and Armour.4 This example is of the variety with sheet brass fittings with stylized coin motifs.

Conclusion
An magnificent set of Chinese double swords with intricately carved ivory handles. This extremely rare set is one of only two such sets I know to exist. The handles were produced in the workshops of Guangzhou in the early 19th century, the work exhibited on these swords ranks among the best ivory carving from China.

BloodLust - I

BloodLust Masterlist ||

Genre: Drama/Supernatural

Word Count: 2155

Warnings: Mentions of blood


The stories you heard could never have captured the breathtakingly elegant and magnificent nature of the mansion. It was built of smooth grey stone, chipped, cracked and stained black due to years of weathering. In each corner were cylindrical turrets, extending over the slanted roof, forming a sharp, cone-shaped point. Ivy scaled the damaged walls of the ancient structure, covering the bottom half with its evergreen leaves and shielding the lower windows from the light of day.

You stood by the gate with your fingers tightly wound around the iron bars, gazing in awe at the tremendous structure. The setting sun dipped behind the picturesque house, casting an iridescent glow along the edges of the stone. Eventually, you stopped gawking at the grandeur of the miniature castle and focused your thoughts on the true reason of your coming.

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lisaleepersonal  asked:

shallureith- They go to the Space Mall for one reason, and one alone: sparkly things.

Thank you for the prompt! Honestly? She doesn’t deserve one single sparkly thing. She deserves multiple sparkly things.

In which Shiro goes along with Keith’s idea that a dagger was a proper sparkly gift and Coran most certainly brings another Kaltenecker home.

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Sinners Never Sleep

Teaser/Preview

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‘It’s just one shot…it won’t hurt that much…’

He sneers at you from the opposite side of the room, only briefly glancing at you before going back to staring at the door, appearing to be trying to will it open with his mind.

'Besides, neither of us are getting out of here unless you just-’

'Why am I the one to do it?’ he snaps frustratedly, finally unfolding his hunched position and turning himself to face you, leaning his elbow on his knee as he watches you from across the room.

'Well…because clearly you’re the bigger asset- you’re better at fighting, at shooting, you have more to-’

'What the hell are you on about?’ he cuts you off, almost glaring at you with how confused he was about your answer.

'Jungkook-’

'We’re literally locked in here because you slaughtered an entire warehouse of men in 3 minutes, all due to Jimin-hyung not doing what you told him to.’

You raise your eyebrows innocently as he speaks, glancing around the room to avoid his gaze that you know is fixed on you, as you attempt not to think about your little tantrum that you’d had 48 hours prior to being locked in the grey, dingy cell you were currently trapped in.

'I mean…they were trying to kill me.’ you say, cringing at your own weak excuse for your actions, and rolling your eyes when Jungkook barks a laugh at your words before sighing and groaning in irritation.

'Stop trying to distract me.’ he complains.

You watch from your place across from him on the stone floor of the cell as his eyebrows pull together, staring at the way he purses his lips and then sucks them into his mouth, continuing to repeat the movement as he appears to think.

He’d been thinking for 2 days.

That was 48 hours that you’d gone foodless.

48 hours you’d gone without a shower.

48 hours you’d gone without seeing the sun rise and set.

48 hours you’d spent staring at him waiting for him to make up a plan….

…waiting for him to pick up the gun.

It had been sat in the exact middle of the floor between the two of you, silent and glinting in the light of the bulb hanging above it, as you sat against the opposite walls of the room, not having touched each other since before you’d been forced into the room 2 days prior to that point- although you don’t really remember this as you’d only been semi-conscious at the time after being tranquilized.

You’d thought about picking it up yourself a couple of times, just scrambling to the middle of the room to grab it…

…but you know he’d stop you one way or another before you’d even have chance to touch it.

You’d decided that whoever had locked you up here, had actually found a good thing with the plan they had, since the whole catch 22 scenario playing out in the room you were in had been going on for 2 days- the length of time being the only downside to it.

'I miss sandwiches.’ you suddenly announce on a huff, staring blankly at the floor and feeling your mouth salivate as you think about the incredible bulgogi and lettuce subs that Yoongi would make you whenever you went over to visit the other guys at the dorm.

'Think about something else.’ was all Jungkook responds with, his monotonous tone making you roll your eyes as you slump to your side to lie on the cold ground, wincing at the feel and groaning loudly for the sake of it, but simply being ignored by the man across from you as he continues to stare at the door.

You didn’t know what was prettier as you gaze at the gun on the floor and then Jungkook sat against the wall, hair almost flattened against his head with grease, a few strands falling into his eyes to aid in his-still- youthful appearance. The glint of its barrell makes you want to lick the gun and savour the gunpowder smell it would smoke out after it was fired, whilst the mere thought that was brought on by the look of the man’s toned and built biceps, has you biting your cheek and moaning quietly as you clamp your thighs together, being reminded that the last pee you had was around 5 hours before- and that had been a horrendously disgusting ordeal.

You continue to stare between the two as you contemplate which you would miss more after all of this was concluded; the antique wood trim handle of the revolver making you want to mourn the missed chance you’d have to fire it, and the bulging thigh muscles trying to break free of Jungkook’s jeans practically begging you to ride them one last time.

That thought brings a mountain of other pleasant images to your brain as you think about the last time you woke up beside him in a bed, your last club night, the last time you’d walked in on him in the shower, your last kill together…

Unfortunately you’re dragged suddenly out of your glorious daydream, by the his next question.

'Do you wanna play russian roulette?’

You sit up straight away, feeling relief for the first time in what felt like years as you nod hurriedly, the thought of being able to get out of the room one way or another forcing you forward as you watch Jungkook too, shuffle toward the circle of light surrounding the revolver.

You pause for a millisecond as you register his expression which in that moment was bordering on exhilaration, prompting you to question his intentions as you glance quickly around the room, although when you look back at him he appeared to be attempting to mask it with frustration and resolve. You don’t question it much more, instead crossing your legs as you come to sit at the edge of the light circle, mirroring Jungkook’s position as he sits across from you, nodding gently as he stares almost intimidatingly at the simple- yet beautiful- gun, before looking up at you with a soft smile.

'Any final words?’ he muses, the sight of him picking up the gun making your heart thud with excitement, and you thread your fingers together beneath your chin as you lean your elbows on your knees, grinning at him as you think of a witty one liner.

’…stop eating the lamb skewers, you’ll get fat.’

'Were all the philosophical thoughts taken?’ he chuckles, shaking his head at you as you laugh before he nods to himself, watching you with a soft, loving smile for a few seconds, before suddenly raising the gun to sit the muzzle in the centre of your forehead.

'Shoot, or be shot.’ he murmurs, keeping his gaze locked on you as he pulls the safety off of the gun,  the move only aiding your heart in thundering harder in your chest as you lean into the muzzle, feeling it dig into the skin on your forehead, but loving the feel as it mirrors the harsh pain mixed with satisfaction that you get whilst staring at the man in front of you.

'Be shot, or shoot.’ you murmur back, smiling knowingly at the reference as he quotes something you’d said to him on the very first day you’d met- the memory bringing on another thought which, as soon as you narrow your eyes at him the tiniest bit, has him shooting you an almost barely visible smirk. You see the quirk of his lips as he nods slightly, his index finger caressing the trigger as he watches you carefully, communicating with his eyes and making your smile transform into a grin as you realise what he was saying.

'Time to play, Jagi.’

Bang.

(T.B.C)

Scythian Gold and Turquoise Zoomorphic Handle, Southern Urals, c. 4th century BC

Scythian art combined Eastern elements with influences from the Hellenic states on the northern coast of the Black Sea. The principal feature of Scythian art is its use of a zoomorphic symbology.

The handle is formed of sheet gold, in two halves, hammered over a wooden mold and chased, in the form of a predator, perhaps a wolf, standing four-square, its head down, baring fangs, with clawed feet, the fur rendered as incised spirals, beading fringing the ears, with drop-shaped turquoise inlays on the shoulders and haunches, the interior of the ears also inlaid in turquoise, the bottoms of the feet and mouth once conforming to the curvature of a vessel wall, originally set vertically.

More about Scythian art

First times #10: Boxer shorts

This is a mix of several prompts, because they just fit so well together ^_^

prettybluescarf asked for:

- First time one of Anders’ family walks into his home and finds Mitchell instead.

- First time Mitchell feels at home enough at Anders’ place to wander around in his boxers.

itsmusomuse wanted to read ‘First time Anders introduces Mitchell to his family’ - it’s not a real introduction like you probably imagined, but I’m writing that for another AU of mine so I kind of didn’t want to spoil that. I tried to incorporate it into this story, I hope it’s okay.

And an Anon asked for: First time one of them gets trapped in an embarrassing situation and the other saves them.

Enjoy! :-)

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Mitchell yawns sleepily and scratches at his stomach, the last remains of sleep clinging to him like a petulant child. He pads into the open kitchen, pausing to cast a glance at the clock in the hallway. Almost two in the afternoon, no time to be so sleepy still, but it’s his day off and he’s treated himself to some sleeping in after a tough two-weeks-schedule of night shifts. His lover is out; work - meaning Dawn - having reminded Anders of his duties, and without the sleepwarm blond to snuggle against, the bed isn’t the same anyway. With a sigh that’s more out of habit than frustration, the vampire rises on tiptoes to peek into the overhead cupboard, finding some bagged tea at the very back. Experience tells him how to handle Anders’ antiquated fossil of a kettle; it’s usually him who makes tea in the morning. Anders is comfortable enough leaving such tasks to Mitchell, and Mitchell in turn doesn’t mind.

He scratches at his belly again, running a hand through the hair above the waistband of the slinky black boxer briefs he’s wearing; the hair Anders loves playing with so much. That’s what he is comfortable with, walking around in nothing but his undies, although this is the first time. While Anders has no problem at all displaying nudity, Mitchell has always felt sort of self-conscious about it. He doesn’t mind getting undressed in front of his lover, gosh, no. Even though his birth date falls under the reign of Queen Victoria, he isn’t that prudish. He could spend hours, nay, days in bed naked with Anders and not even bat a lash. But hopping out of bed for a quick snack, or just lazing about in front of the TV sporting nothing but his bare skin - that’s a level of comfort Mitchell hasn’t quite reached yet. Especially when he’s alone in the flat. After all, this is another person’s home, not his own, so it feels strangely inappropriate being nude, even though Anders always assures him, leering, that it’s not. Normally, Mitchell throws on at least a pair of trackie pants or his trademark black jeans; however, when he stepped out of the bathroom earlier, he simply forgot.

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A beautiful example of a mid 18th century dental tooth key,

Used during the 18th and 19th century, the tooth key was a device for extraction teeth.  The key was clamped onto the the tooth, the user then rotated it left, then right, and then pulled out the offending tooth.  This is a particularly luxurious model with a decorative cast bronze and ivory handle.