The Franks Casket (detail from the front), Anglo-Saxon carved bone casket, ca. 8th century AD, Northumbria, England.
The box is made of whale’s bone, richly carved on the sides and lid in high relief with a range of scenes with accompanying text in both the runic and Roman alphabets and in both Old English and Latin. The front is divided into two scenes: the left is derived from the Germanic legend of Weland the Smith, while the right depicts the Adoration of the Magi, when the three wise men visited the newborn Christ, labelled ‘mægi’ in runes. Surprisingly, the main runic inscription on the front does not refer to the scene it surrounds. It is a riddle in Old English relating to the origin of the casket. It can be translated as ‘The fish beat up the seas on to the mountainous cliff; the King of terror became sad when he swam onto the shingle.’ This is then answered with the solution ‘Whale’s bone.’ It tells us that the casket was made from the bone of a beached whale. - britishmuseum.org
Medieval linen bra, ca. 15th century, Lengberg Castle, East Tyrol, Austria.
Up until now there was nothing to indicate the existence of bras with clearly visible cups before the 19th century. Textiles found in a castle in Eastern Tyrol now prove that there already was clothing similar to modern bras in the 15th century – a discovery made by Beatrix Nutz, an archaeologist from the University of Innsbruck.
This “bra” is the one that resembles a modern bra the most. At the first assessment this garment was referred to in German as “Mieder” (= corselette in English) by the excavating archaeologists. It can also be described with the term “longline bra”. The cups are each made from two pieces of linen sewn together vertically. The surrounding fabric of somewhat coarser linen extends down to the bottom of the ribcage with a row of six eyelets on the left side of the body for fastening with a lace. The corresponding row of eyelets is missing. Needle-lace is sewn onto the cups and the fabric above thus decorating the cleavage. In the triangular area between the two cups there might have been additional decoration, maybe another sprang-work. - pasthorizonspr.com
Prehistoric large cup and ring petroglyph at ‘Laxe das Rodas’, Galicia, Spain.
Cup and ring marks or cup marks are a form of prehistoric art found mainly in Atlantic and Mediterranean Europe. They consist of a concave depression, no more than a few centimetres across, pecked into a rock surface and often surrounded by concentric circles also etched into the stone. Sometimes a linear channel called a gutter leads out from the middle. The decoration occurs as a petroglyph on natural boulders and outcrops and also as an element of megalithic art on purposely worked megaliths, and on some stone circles and passage graves. - wikipedia.com
Fra Filippo Lippi, Coronation of the Virgin (detail), 1441-47, Tempera on wood. Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence.
A bit of Renaissance, for a change :) Here’s a work by Botticelli’s master.
This detail is one of my favorite because of its finesse, its delicate colours and very precise drawing. Lippi appears here as a skilled colourist, particularly in the fabrics, with rich golden silks and a beautiful transparent veil interlaced in this young girl’s hair. The character is perfectly drawn, in the typical canon Lippi invented, with a round face over a small pointy chin.
Ivory carved Pyxis of al-Mughira, 968 AD, Madinat al-Zahra, Spain.
The use of this type of object is uncertain. They could have been used as jewel/precious stones/makeup/perfumes boxes. The recipient of this pyxis was the prince al-Mughira, son of the caliph Abd al-Rahman III. - louvre.fr
This young mammoth on display in the St Petersburg Zoological Museum appears to have been preserved in a peat bog.
It exhibits the classic black, shiny, flattened form of this method of preservation in anaerobic conditions, seen most often in the very detailed remains of humans preserved in peat bogs in northern Europe. - donsmaps.com
Photo: Vladimir Gorodnjanski, 2007.
Red-figures Lucanian pottery, ca. AD 400. Museo Nazionale Archeologico, Italy.
A youthful Dionysos, seated on a rock and wearing high fur-lined boots, fancy head-dress and only a mantle over his thighs , watches a maenad dance to the pipes. Behind him a female wearing an animal skin over a long-sleeved, short-skirted dress and high boots, holds a torch over his head and a situla. A stayr, at ease, watches. - beazley.ox.ac.uk
Early Bronze Age amber necklace from the ‘Golden Barrow’, Upton Lovell, Britain.
One of the richest Bronze Age burials yet discovered in Wessex, it was excavated by William Cunnington in 1803 and may have been the grave of a woman. The central piece was this necklace formed from hundreds of amber beads. - wiltshireheritage.org.uk
La dame à la licorne (The Lady and The Unicorn), series of six tapestries woven in Flanders of wool and silk, late XVth century. The suite, on display in the Musée du Moyen-Âge in Paris, is often considered one of the greatest works of art of the Middle Ages in Europe.
Five of the tapestries are commonly interpreted as depicting the five senses – taste, hearing, sight, smell, and touch. The sixth displays the words “À mon seul désir" (to my only desire). The tapestry’s meaning is obscure, but has been interpreted as representing love or understanding. The one featured here is the "Sight", in which the lady is seated, holding a mirror up in her right hand. The unicorn kneels on the ground, with his front legs in the lady’s lap, from which he gazes at his reflection in the mirror. The lion on the left holds up a pennant. - en.wikipedia.org
This work is even more incredible when seen for real in the museum, believe me.