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30.11.2013
Music videos, short movies, and other kinds of short visual entertainment.Video musicali, cortometraggi ed altre forme di intrattenimento visivo breve.Get some! This short is the joint effort of Cory Shaw and Ryan Flannery, produced at Secret History by David Simpson. Il corto e lo sforzo congiunto di Cory Shaw e Ryan Flannery, prodotto da David Simpson presso Secret History. Long the darling of the aristocracy, hand made lace has always been an expensive luxury, worn by both men and women to reflect their status in society and their sophisticated taste. Gossamer fine, with patterns too beautiful to believe they were created by needles and thread, lace was not only a highly coveted luxury for the privileged and well-born, it was also an industry that provided work for thousands of workers, and formed a large portion of revenue for many countries. Lace has a long and varied history, I hope by sharing just a few of the highlights, you will be inspired to see the true artistry in a piece of lace, and perhaps begin your own collection.
Cherished for its airy patterns and delicate nature, lace was worn to adorn clothing since the 15th century. Embroiderers started with just an outline of threads and worked a framework over those, filling with decorative sticheds and designs so that parts of the lace grew together as they continued working. The origin of bobbin lace is still hotly debated, both Flanders, Belgium and Venice, Italy insist bobbin lace making started in their cities. A large lace smuggling trade developed, as one of the appealing aspects of lace was that it was a portable wealth, it could easily be moved from one garment to the other, and sold if need be! In the 18th century, lace reached the peak of popularity, at court the aristocracy was so crazy about lace that fortunes were squandered and land was sold to acquire new desired pieces of lace.
The extremely high cost of hand made lace was due to the incredible effort and skill that went into creating it. Heirloom Trousseau Tablecloth with hand made cutwork, hand embroidery and a filet lace edge. I hope that you will join me in my crazy love for these hand made pieces of history, created with threads, will, determination and a skill beyond anything I can even imagine! I’m excited to announce that the winner for Kristy Woodson Harvey’s latest novel Lies and Other Acts of Love was won by Lynn Allen!
Thanks Lidy for writing this piece on Lace, it was fascinating and I learned so many things I never knew! I don’t know that there is anything else on earth, made by hand, so beautiful and precious! Mark Booth, author of the international bestseller The Secret History of the World, uncovers the real-life stories of Dante and The Inferno.Why does Dante describe the Inferno as a real place? Read an ExcerptThe Secret History of Dante 1 Born in Blood Dante Alighieri was born in 1265 in the region we know today as Tuscany. A costo di risultare pedante, in inglese la parola change, oltre a significare cambiamento, che era cio che avevano in mente in Toyota, designa anche il resto, e per estensione le monetine. Lace is one of the most overlooked antiques, in my opinion, I hope that by learning a little more about these precious antique textiles you will grow in your appreciation of this lost art. In the sixteenth century, lace, a decorative openwork “weblike pattern” was developed in Europe.
Needle lace was made with a single needle and fine thread, bobbin lace was made by twisting many threads over a paper pattern attached to a lace making pillow with bobbins.
It is commonly agreed upon that Venitian openwork embroidery was the inspiration of needle lace. By 1520 portraits show that bobbin lace was worn in both countries, and household accounts and estate inventories from this period list bobbin lace items. It required hours and hours of precise work, a 1” piece could take a lacemaker almost 10 hours to make. In 1809, John Heathcoat of England invented a machine that could make mesh ground, the most tedious part of lace. Fortunes were paid for real hand made lace. Industrialists such as the Rothschilds and the Vanderbilts amassed huge collections.


Hand made lace is extremely collectable, its exquisite nature, designs, and sheer beauty make each piece of antique lace a work of art, and a testament to the women long ago who labored stitch by tiny stitch to create it.  Collectors are passionate about finding another precious lace for their collection, I hope you will join them! The Rothchilds are actually descendants from a German, Mayer Amschel Rothschild, his sons spread to London, Paris, Naples, Vienna, and Frankfurt, to establish an international banking empire.
I have quite a bit of lace, some made by my grandmother, some from Belgium where I lived for a few years. Here I share the secret stories of antiques to enhance your collectors’ love of the decorative arts. Enabling JavaScript in your browser will allow you to experience all the features of our site.
We know little about the ancient Etruscan civilization which lent its name to Tuscany because the Etruscans were all but wiped out by the Romans.1 It is known, however, that an Etruscan town once stood on the hill where today Fiesole overlooks Florence. In the early 1500’s, Venice, Italy was renowned for exceptional embroideries made in Reticella, an openwork embroidery. By the middle of the 16th century, lacemaking had spread throughout Europe and the British Isles. Lace was worn as  cuffs, collars, ruffs, and shawls, and for the very rich, covered complete ball gowns.  Many rulers created special laws and restrictions on wearing and importing lace from other countries, since during the height of lace admiration excessive amounts of money was spent on obtaining lace. Many of the lacemakers, who were not paid well, went blind from years of working tiny threads into intricate patterns of lace.
The Industrial Revolution made the manufacture of machine-made lace possible, a larger variety of patterned machine laces came on the market.
I hope to inspire you to collect what you love, create a stylish, elegant home, and boost your antique purchasing savvy . Our world of antiques is filled with designers, French and European dealers, exceptional objects, and stories you won't want to miss. The art, architecture, and literature of Florence have illumined our inner lives and fired our imaginations as much as the creations of any city.
A huge thank you to Kristy and her publisher for partnering with me to provide a book for this generous give away!
Here you will find hidden codes, passageways under the streets of Florence, mad monks, mind-bending drugs and terrifying underground rituals. Today Florence is overcrowded and noisy but still a life-affirming place, where almost every turn reveals a beautiful and usually ancient vista to delight the eye. I have an Irish friend who works at the European Institute in Fiesole and is something of a bon viveur, erudite and knowledgeable in all sorts of areas, including the location of the best little trattoria.
Is there a better place to taste the sweetness of being alive than the banks of the Arno on a warm autumn evening when you are ambling along, slightly drunk, and the sun is no longer blazingly hot but the earth, which has been baking over several months, is warming the air and you are on your way to dinner?
There is a statue of a wild boar in the Loggia del Mercato in the middle of Florence which is a famous symbol of the city. In mythology, Adonis, a lover of Venus, was gored to death by a boar, making it also a symbol of love gone wrong and appropriate for a life of Dante.
For a long time its emblem was a white lily on a field of blood.2 The first patron saint of the city was Reparata, a little girl who was tortured to death at the age of ten or eleven. As we shall see shortly, Florence in the time of Dante was a place where secret societies intrigued and sometimes openly clashed, and where hidden, heretical, sometimes occult beliefs led to maiming, torture, mass murder, and even cannibalism. In the eighties my Irish friend used to weird us out with the latest stories of il Mostro, the Monster of Florence, a serial killer who preyed on courting couples and specialized in sexual mutilation. Il Mostro seemed to have almost supernatural powers of stealth and cleverness which enabled him to evade capture. When a culprit was eventually put on trial, Thomas Harris sat through the court sessions, assembling the character of Hannibal Lecter.
John, which sits right in the geometric center of Florence and where he himself had been baptized in his first year.3 We may imagine the impression made on the boy by its golden mosaics, representing the circles of heaven and hell, and its angels and demons, all dominated by a grinning green and brown Satan, who snacks happily on the damned. Later Dante needed to smash sacred marble on the facade of the Baptistery to rescue a child who had got his head stuck in one of its decorative niches, an episode which haunted him and which he remembered in the Commedia.4 He would no doubt have contemplated, too, the bloodred porphyry pillars at the entrance to the Baptistery.


According to legend, these were made from the compacted and ossified flesh of the Titans, the giant enemies of the gods who had been buried underground as a punishment. It was also said that if you polished the pillars at special times of year, you could see the forms of spirits in them—and communicate with them too. The bronze statue of a faun in a piazza next to the Ponte Vecchio, up against the wall in the Via Guicciardini, was said to have been seen dancing on St. Just as in English folklore, fairies in Italy are sometimes thought to be the spirits or folk memories of extinct aboriginal peoples, and fairies wearing ancient costumes were reportedly seen in the vicinity of the Etruscan ruins on the hill at Fiesole. According to this old widow, there were underground passageways and chambers beneath the palazzo where eminent persons she knew to be witches and wizards gathered to perform their ceremonies.
If a witch, or fata, died without an apparent successor, the group would meet at night to discuss the problem. Sometimes she saw finely dressed gentlemen and ladies who were not part of the secret society enter—never to be seen again.
There were rumors of a swinging contraption built into the entrance gate which meant that it actually moved.
When you went to exit, thinking you were about to step into the safety of the street, the contraption suddenly swung around and you were propelled into a pit. It all started in 1439, when a stranger calling himself Gemistus Plethon rode into town from Byzantium. He was carrying a collection of ancient manuscripts said to have originated in the Egypt of the pyramids. The immensely wealthy Cosimo de’ Medici, ruler of Florence, had been employing scholars to translate Plato, but now he told them to put their work aside and concentrate on these scripts that he believed contained an older, deeper magic. The key texts of the Hermetica, as they have become known, were probably written down by priests from the Egyptian temples after they had been closed and the priests forced to go into hiding. There had long been rumors of secret societies and secret teachings that would enable you to bend the world to your will. Now here was a chance for Cosimo de’ Medici and members of his inner circle, intellectuals and artists, to read this wisdom for themselves.
Botticelli is perhaps the Renaissance master in whose work the secret teachings of Neoplatonism lie closest to the surface, and he would also be an early illustrator of the Commedia. It is sometimes rumored that his hideaway is still undiscovered and that it contains a lost hoard of paintings.
Recently, the remains of Lisa Gheradini have been excavated from a tomb in the convent of St.
She was the wife of Francesco del Giocondo and therefore held to be the model for La Gioconda, as the subject of the Mona Lisa has always been known. The painters’ guilds to which artists like Leonardo da Vinci belonged had their own craft.
But en route, as Bondelmonte passed a house belonging to the Donati family, a woman came out to greet him.
Bondelmonte dei Buondelmonti was, after all, a famously gifted and handsome man, he would have to admit.
And when she brought her out to meet him, for Bondelmonte it was like looking into a mirror.
On the morning of Easter Sunday, Bondelmonte dei Buondelmonti was riding over the Ponte Vecchio on a high-stepping white horse, wearing dazzlingly white new clothes and a white cape, with a jaunty garland of flowers on his head.



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