Monday, December 1, 2008
A walk along the coast of lovely Bristol, RI, is always a delight. The air feels clean, and after a storm, many fine curiosities and bits of detritus worth investigating invariably wash up. A recent amble surprised me with this very large horseshoe crab shell; It is a full twenty inches to the tip of the tail! I have a much smaller specimen which consists of the top shell portion; the bottom had been torn out by a hungry raccoon. This particular specimen is complete on account of it being a molted shell, which is to say that the crab had grown too large for it, and squeezed its way out so as to form a new armored residence, leaving this perfectly complete, yet empty, shell behind.
Next, I browsed the bric-a-brac at a local thrift store and came away with this framed butterfly collection for 99 cents. Although I do enjoy butterflies, Im not so wild about these common orange and black varieties, and was instead most excited about the round frame fitted with convex (slightly domed) glass. I intend, at some point, to remove the butterflies, paint the frame, and display something a bit more exciting within. I am currently gathering up my materials for the production of wax anatomical specimens, as I intend to re-issue a batch of wax hearts that I had originally produced several years ago; I think perhaps one would look very nice in this new frame!
Below is one of a few displays I produced for my National Museum of Hospital and Pharmaceutical History relating the history of the production of wax anatomical models. This one has one of the hearts; it rotates slowly to reveal all of the details.