Monthly Archives: October 2019

Christmas Is Coming …

Not the words you necessarily want to hear on Hallowe’en, but I must just put in a plug for my stall at the (Cambridge) Mill Road Winter Fair, on Saturday 7 December. This year I have a pitch on Petersfield, … Continue reading

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Francesco Cupani

The Alpine House @CUBotanicgarden is pretty stunning at the moment, what with the cyclamen, autumn crocus and colchicums – do go and have a look! Among all the incredibly photogenic flowers, I came across Colchicum cupani, which compelled me finally … Continue reading

Posted in Biography, Botany, Gardens, History, Italy, London, Natural history | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments


An appurtenance of any self-respecting apothecary’s shop was, it seems, a pill-tile. Made of pottery, and sometime lavishly decorated like that other essential, the pharmacy jar, it provided a flat, smooth surface on which to roll pills. The Fitzwilliam Museum … Continue reading

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Painting Women

I’m guessing that if you were to ask 100 random people to name an historical (as opposed to contemporary) female painter, some at least would answer ‘Artemisia Gentileschi’ (1593–?1654), who has been in the public eye (in the UK at … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Biography, History, Italy, Museums and Galleries, Venice | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

1687 and All That

If Francesco Morosini is remembered worldwide today, it is probably for the collateral damage caused when a stray Venetian cannon ball hit the gunpowder store which the Turks had so thoughtfully placed in the Parthenon during the siege of Athens. … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Biography, History, Italy, Museums and Galleries, Printing and Publishing, Venice | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments