Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Netsukes and daguerrotypes

I've been warming up my new moleskine with drawings of my two favourite things at the moment - Victorian daguerreotypes and Japanese netsukes:

Netsukes were teeny tiny little sculptures, usually ivory, used as a toggle to fasten the inro (small boxes) which 17th century Japanese men wore instead of pockets.  It's amazing how such a practical and unassuming thing became such a statement.


The daguerreotype, invented in 1839, was the earliest method of photography. It was incredibly time-consuming, and because you would have to sit still for such a long time, the portraits always look so still and solemn - they even used special head clamps to keep you in place.  It was replaced pretty quickly by easier and faster methods, but the notable things with deguerrotypes, is that they could only ever make one copy.  It's kind of the exact opposite of a selfie.


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