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The Heritage Journal

Jacquetta Hawkes writing of cromlechs in this area in the 1950s says that around St. David… the plateau of the old sedentary rocks are broken by abrupt outcrops of much harder rocks spewed up by volcano, each one will be seen to have a little farm, edged up against, it is also noted that a very considerable number of dolmens have similarly been built against the volcanic outcrops, perhaps endowed with spirits and local deities“.  The St.Elvis dolmen is not built against an outcrop, but follow the farm trackway and you are well aware of the rock that lies hidden in this area.

Be that as it may, this cromlech was badly damaged by the farmer in the 18th century, he tried to blow it up, but it has survived to the present time carrying with it the remains of its stones, some of which are also said to be…

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The Hochdorf reconstructed burial mound

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The Waggon with the gold dinner plates and bowls!

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Regally laid out on the sofa, though I’m sure cushions and furs were also part of the scene, note the great bronze cauldron with the gold scooping cup

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The vertical loom

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Bietigheimer Museum


The elegant painted walls of the museum formerly a 16th century merchant’s house


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This is the small bed that adults would sleep in upright, lying down meant something like the devil would get you!


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   Me at the top of the stairs


Detail of the ceiling paintings.



The building with the green shutters is the Town Hall, the building behind is the museum.


The museum building



This part of the old town, all the houses were restored during the 20th century, and painted in original colours, so that you could find red and yellow ochre paint on the timbers, and a rather pleasant grey as well.


This is the Bietigheim Museum to which we delivered the 6 paintings, it was rescued from demolition in the last part of the 20th century, an old merchants house 16th century, beautifully painted inside, all of which had to restored after plaster had been applied later on.

Trip to Germany


From this crumpled painting to those photos down below

Today the paintings came out of storage, certain apprehension as they had been stored for 10 years, but they were as fresh and pristine as they must have been 10 years ago when they were laid so carefully into their boxes.  Six paintings to be precise in their new boxes, plus the old boxes have to be carried back and LS is already booking or asking for a driver from Stuttgart to the museum because we cannot carry them on the train!

He is a master craftsman, I am so proud of him sometimes, the attention to a detail and the paintings are beautiful, they represent six  lesser gods or protective beings, from the above photos you will see how creased they were when they arrived in the studio.  The silks are beautiful, and the paintings still bright though there is some wear to the face of the second one, and it has just left the impression ( not rectified because of originality) other parts have been coloured in though, one face has gone back to the original sketch/cartoon.  All paints are mineral, there is an earlier blog with all the dyes that LS has so methodically catalogued.

Even as I write, I have to go down to the studio to take another few photos, for me it is the detail, the pattern of the materials used, there is a female holding in her hand a representation of the moon with a hare inside.

This is but a hasty note of what comes out of the boxes, exciting to unload, but just showing how a Japanese work of art is conserved, the new silks, with the meticulously precise thin white silk banded round the painting, the string, hand made and the bow and knot traditionally tied.  Date not known but could be 500 years old.


005                                                                    The boxes are lightweight, hand crafted in Japan with bamboo dowels for fixing


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Kim – old photos

Kim, long since dead but he lived to 15 years not bad for a labrador, this is an Essex picture when I still lived at home, I would take him long walks in the evenings when back from work, over the fields or to the forest.  Not terribly intelligent but very energetic he came with me through the ups and downs of my life.  When I moved to Calne was probably the best years for him, wandering the downs, chasing down to the river and over the fields every morning, sometimes without me! as he dashed through the front door in eager anticipation.  His companion at home was Max the little black cat who would keep him in order….

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Japanese painting

Enigmatic buddha

This enigmatic seated  Buddha is probably early 17th century, the turquoise blue is azurite, and though you cannot see it properly a lot of gold is used. The work of a Japanese studio, it had several stamps of the studio, which a computer expert identified by taking close-ups of the faint stamp markings, fascinating to watch.  The photo is not too good and has been helped slightly by Picasa, but the large painting had a certain zing to it.