Westminster Palace: Analysis of the 1844 Trial of Strafford Painting (Part 1)

My apologies if I seemed to have gone “offline” for a few weeks. It’s taken quite a bit of sorting to be sure nothing got lost from the trip to the UK. I also took time for a badly needed camping and mountain biking trip to Moab (which in turn cost me a bit more time to heal from a crash I had on one of those truly fabulous trails)!

I’ve been keen to share the presentation I gave at Westminster, but struggled mightily to get it into a single article. Having failed that, this will be the first of three in which I will take you through the analysis I shared with the Office of the Curator of the Parliamentary Art Collection last month. This analysis regards the “Trial of Strafford” painting that hangs in the House of Lords side of the parliamentary complex at Westminster, London. Continue reading “Westminster Palace: Analysis of the 1844 Trial of Strafford Painting (Part 1)”

Breakthrough – The Chance Discovery of a Photograph of the Lost Portrait of Sir Richard Lane!

I have searched for the Lost Portrait of Sir Richard Lane(or any image of it) for three years – with no luck. That just changed!

Can you imagine spending three years searching for someone you’ve never seen an image of?  We humans are a visual tribe.  The mind will fill a visual void with a “placeholder” concept of who we picture that person to be. And it’s interesting to note your own reaction at the moment of first sighting. Did you change your opinion of them based just on what they look like? Did you expect the person to be handsome or homely?  Tall or short? Imposing or bookish?  Proud or humble? Would Richard Lane be portly, like his predecessor, Lord Keeper Littleton? Or perhaps gaunt? Would his hair be fair, thin and curly,  or perhaps thick, straight and black? No matter how you imagine someone, it seems a human truth that we never seem to feel a tangible sense of them until we have the chance to “look them in the eye”…

Continue reading “Breakthrough – The Chance Discovery of a Photograph of the Lost Portrait of Sir Richard Lane!”

Homecoming of the Quest for the Lost Lord Keeper

I just love a dramatic breakthrough.  And a month before my recent trip to the UK, the Quest for the Lost Lord Keeper had a couple of them – so it seemed high time to throw a “coming out” party for the Quest!

Continue reading “Homecoming of the Quest for the Lost Lord Keeper”

One of the most interesting days of my life….

There are days you will remember always. This was one of them!

Yesterday was quite a day.  You’d have heard about it last night, but I was simply too tired to do anything but have a glass of wine, savor a bit of chocolate and wonder at the day I’d just had.  Just because you put a lot of work into something doesn’t mean its going to lead somewhere interesting.  Nor does it mean that it will be well received, let alone be referred to as “scholarly”…

Continue reading “One of the most interesting days of my life….”

“Da Vinci Code” Style Forensics: Symbols and Secrets Lurking Within the Pages of an Ancient Law Book (Part II)

I was surprised when the staff at the Middle Temple Archives office introduced me to the obscure craft of papermaking, and the hidden signatures that lie within the pages of old books…

In Part I of this article, we discussed the forensics of book structure, paper types and how to spot various restoration and repair techniques when authenticating an ancient book.  In this article, we step into the world within the paper itself, identifying the craftsman’s watermarks in the pages of my copy of Lane’s Reports, and attempting to “fingerprint” the sheets within that book to the specific screen mould each sheet was produced from.  I believe it possible to extend this analysis to “reverse engineer” the original screen moulds used to make each sheet of paper within my book… Continue reading ““Da Vinci Code” Style Forensics: Symbols and Secrets Lurking Within the Pages of an Ancient Law Book (Part II)”

“Da Vinci Code” Style Forensics: Symbols and Secrets Lurking Within the Pages of an Ancient Law Book (Part I)

I was surprised when the staff at the Middle Temple Archives office introduced me to the obscure craft of papermaking, and the hidden signatures that lie within the pages of old books…

 

The invention of the printing press in the middle 1400’s may have “unlocked the door” to the information age, but it was decidedly NOT flung open.  It required the long, slow process of building the components of the publishing industry and markets to pry that lumbering retardment from its casings!  Continue reading ““Da Vinci Code” Style Forensics: Symbols and Secrets Lurking Within the Pages of an Ancient Law Book (Part I)”

Breaking News! I Have Proven the True Identity of King Charles II’s Groom Named “Richard Lane”!

In the first article on the career of Richard Lane’s son, we led up to King Charles II’s invasion of England to restore his throne, and how his new Groom, Richard Lane (the younger), likely joined him in Scotland around the time of his coronation there in January 1651.  Of course, the throne the young king really had his eye on was that of England.  And the Scottish army now under his command was his means to that end…

Continue reading “Breaking News! I Have Proven the True Identity of King Charles II’s Groom Named “Richard Lane”!”