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Inventing History : forgery: a great British tradition (British History)
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Mick Harper
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Where's the fake? She looked real enough to me.
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Hatty
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According to his contemporary, Richard Symonds, "this Belcamp was an under copier to another Dutchman, that did fondly keep the king's pictures and whenever any nobleman desired a copy, he directed them to Belcamp."

Richard Symonds seems to be the only person to have written about Jan van Belcamp's under copying role but then again Symonds was a great recorder

Richard Symonds (1617–1660) was an English royalist and antiquary, now remembered for an eye-witness diary he wrote of events of the First English Civil War

But it turns out Symonds' diary was valued for its antiquarian rather than military content by later historians

Much of the interest of the diary lies in its topographical content, including detailed notes of churches, church monuments, stained glass and heraldry that Symonds had viewed. Most of his entries about the war are accurate but terse. However, his description of the second battle of Newbury is very detailed.

Three volumes of genealogical collections for the county of Essex, compiled by Symonds, were preserved at the College of Arms, to which they were presented in 1710 by Gregory King, into whose possession they came in 1685. In the second volume Symonds gives the pedigree of his own family, and near his own name is an impression, in red wax, of an engraved head in profile, probably that of Symonds himself, by Thomas Simon, the medallist. These collections were used by Philip Morant in his History of Essex. Other notes were used by Horace Walpole in his Anecdotes of Painting in England.

Symonds was a 'delinquent', someone who had to pay a fine to buy back his land, confiscated for having been on the losing side in the Civil War. So how did he get the funds together? A year after the war ended, he decamped to Paris, Rome and Venice though he remained, for a diarist, strangely silent about his time there. Coincidentally or not, the five years, 1648 to 1652, he spent in Europe was the period when Charles I's collection was being catalogued and dispersed. Jan van Belcamp, according to Symonds, died in 1653.

It can be assumed Richard Symonds and Jan van Belcamp were colleagues. Symonds was clearly knowledgeable about things like genealogy and heraldry, presumably useful knowledge to a Flemish painter of aristocratic portraits.
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Grant



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For me the interesting thing about the Bashir/Diana business is why Earl Spencer is making such a fuss. It’s not that she hadn’t already spilled the beans to the press about the marriage.

I think Spencer realises that the British public is losing its sympathy for the Queen of Hearts. He’s trying to sell this silly idea that the only reason she pressed the self-destruct button is because of a disreputable journo and not because she was a manipulative fruitcake.

Next, Bashir gets blamed for Michael Jackson being accused of being a kiddie-fiddler.
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Hatty
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Another type of collection is the 'natural history collection'. Rudolf II had one of the finest in Europe and his personal physician, a Dutch humanist called Anselmus de Boodt, is said to have illustrated it in his Historia naturalis

“12 imperial folio volumes, containing c. 750 highly finished watercolours….”

De Boodt is mostly remembered for his work on mineralogy and his extraordinary watercolours weren't known about for over two centuries. The Riksmuseum says the family held onto the albums until 1844

Emperor Rudolph II was forced to resign his crown in 1611 and died the following year, leaving many unpaid bills. De Boodt stayed in Prague for two years, desperately trying to collect money owed him. His efforts failed, so the frustrated artist took all 750 watercolours back to his native Bruges.

According to Wiki, De Boodt was rather well off having published a seminal work on gems and stones

The publication of the Gemmarum et Lapidum Historia ensured de Boodt's European reputation and he could afford to live in luxury. He still decided to leave the imperial court after the death of Rudolf II in 1612

How come the unpaid artist didn't sell some paintings before decamping back to Bruges? Ah yes, the old keep everything intact and in the family stipulation, even if it's the devil's own work to preserve delicate drawings from damp, mites, general fading and decay, not to mention storage space.

When he died, unmarried, in 1632, at the age of 82, he left everything to two nephews, with one important condition: they were allowed to sell everything except the three vellum portfolios of drawings of “dieren, vogels, en bloemen.” These, he instructed, were to remain together and pass to each generation’s male heir.

Why only male heirs isn't explained but was rather useful as it turned out

By the late 18th century, however, there was no male heir, and the albums came into the possession of Joseph Antoine van Huerne, Mayor of Bruges. When Van Huerne died childless in 1844, his library went under the hammer. The drawings were then bought by a Belgian nobleman, in whose family they remained for the next 150 years.

Why is the nobleman unnamed? Perhaps the collection, if it actually existed, wasn't so valuable after all. Some of the pictures are of mythical creatures, e.g. a 'Draak' and a 'basilisk'. It's not even clear the illustrations were of Rudolph II's collection.

There are probably only three studies in the albums that possibly record live animals, either first- or second-hand from creatures in the Emperor’s zoological park in Prague, for they wear collars or are in cages. Other watercolours may have been drawn from stuffed or dried specimens in Rudolph’s Wunderkammer. The majority of studies, however, are outright copies of printed models from various pioneering natural history publications from the Age of Discovery.

https://theartofinformationblog.wordpress.com/2019/08/13/the-wondrous-story-of-the-de-boodt-albums/

I suppose by 1844 there'd only be dried/stuffed specimens to copy, the rest would have to be made up/copied from other people's Wunderkammern.

De Boodt's Historia naturalis was 'partially published in 1989'. It was finally acquired by Heribert Tenschert, "one of the world's premier dealers of illuminated medieval manuscripts and rare books" in 1999.
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Mick Harper
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Rudolph II, the alchemist emperor, always adds a nought on the end. That's to the nought added by being from the seventeenth century. Maybe two -- how much was it worth in the end? I use the phrase 'in the end' to mean at the end of the alley where the garage is.
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Ishmael


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The name of this thread is, "Inventing History."

I think there's a better name. And maybe the perfect name for your book.



MAKING HISTORY




.
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Ishmael


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I'll give you time to forget I made this suggestion and then come up with the same title on your own. That's fine. So long as you go with it! :-)
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Mick Harper
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I've got a better idea: "Making History". What does everybody think?
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Ishmael


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Brilliant!
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