World Of Wonder Exhibit Photographs


Photos From Our Traveling Museum Exhibits

at The Islesboro Island Community Center "ICC"

December, 2016   ISSN 2474-820X 

"Preparations: Ancient Tools & Cooking Implements"   
  "Amusements:  Toys  &  Pastimes  Of  Yesteryear"
Our Amanuensis's Table at The Islesboro Island High School Christmas Holiday Fair

Diversion is a serious undertaking, at any age.

When time and resources are limited, whatever is used for distraction has to do its' job of providing both relief from daily life and rejuvenation so one can get back to life with a fresh start.

We hope you find our exhibits interesting and diverting; they are our gift of a bit of "rest and relaxation" to you and yours. 

Just so you know, when we say something is an "antique", we mean it is over 100 years of age.  

When we say something is "vintage" we mean it is over fifty years of age.


Ancient Tools & Cooking Implements

Ancient Cooking:  Cooking, in the modern world, is optional, to a great extent. The modern world has us cooking less often, using more pre-prepared foods, and eating out more often, by choice or necessity. How has this affected us? It has -- dramatically.

Until now, cooking daily for others and ourselves was essential to survival. Now, we're no longer agricultural; we're far removed from the food sources we eat.  We still bond over a good meal, but we've changed the ways we provide food for ourselves and others. Many of us will may never have to cook daily for a family of six.  

Without practice, we grow rusty; we lose touch with the underlying lessons.  You may or may not realize there is a hidden cost to trading convenience for cooking, To name a few, the lessons in cooking include kindness, consideration, and caring for other's needs, and creatively using scarce resources.  Convenience changes both the level of necessity and obligation, eliminating one of the most precious bonding and reconciliation lessons in establishing ongoing peace that life has to offer.  

    The display includes an international selection of pottery, faience, hand forged metalware, enamelware, toleware and wooden artifacts primarily from the XIXth century.  

There are enamelware lunch boxes, metal carriers and boxes of all kinds, faience pottery cheese sieves, jugs, pots, bowls, serving utensils, and dishes.  

Included are a number of examples of early XIXth century metalwork, such as wall mountable utensil drainers, product tins,  hand soldered tin molds and tin and copper measuring cups, plus a superb set of spelter knife rests in various animal forms.  

There are hand forged iron cremailleres  (kitchen fire cooking chains), hand forged scales, and hand forged steel knives, all from Europe and all dating from the XVIIIth century.

Here are many antique examples of hand carved wooden items, including troughs, spoons, trugs (garden boxes or totes), salt boxes, spice containers and cabinets with drawers, heavy iron mortars and pestles, and pepper grinders.

There is even an antique working French herb press from the very early XIXth century.

The original oil painting of apples and jugs is by the well-listed French artist Marie-Paule Cazaux. Note that all the rugs are entirely hand woven, as are all the blankets, towels, and other linens used in the exhibit.


Toys & Pastimes of Yesteryear

Monet Paintings Denim Duvet Cover Backdrop:  The backdrop you see here, used throughout the exhibits, is a denim duvet cover hand painted in oil paint by Charlene Edmon.

This duvet cover is hand painted recto / verso, on both sides, with large scale reproductions of two famous Monet paintings.  

Jean Monet (1867-1913) On His Hobby Horse Artist: Claude Money (French, Paris 1840-1926, Giverny) Date: 1872 Oil on canvas, Original Dimensions: 23 7/8 x 29 1/4 inches // 60,6 x 74,3 cm Metropolitan Museum, New York   

 When Claude Monet painted this picture of his elder son, Jean, in the summer  of 1872, the artist and his family had returned to France from their self-imposed exile during the Franco-Prussian war.  Through the efforts of the dealer Paul Durand-Ruel, the artist's finances had begun to improve, enabling the once-impoverished Monets to rent a house in Argenteuil, an agreeable suburb northwest of Paris.  

For this portrait, Monet posed the five-year-old in the garden of their new home.  Monet never exhibited the painting but kept it throughout his life.  Source:

Puppets & Marionettes:  You'll find our puppet friends scattered throughout all our exhibits, appearing in many forms: hand puppets, shadow puppets, marionettes (string puppets), sock puppets, finger puppets, and more.  Children are encouraged to say "Hi" to them, and to pick them up and make their acquaintance.  

What are puppets all about anyway? Puppets lend their voices; that's their gift to you. Puppets love to speak for you. That's what puppets do best!  Puppets can speak up for you when you're shy, or scared, and they can get away with saying all those things you're thinking you could never get away with saying.  You don't have to say a word; they can let others know you're thoughts.  So don't be shy. They aren't! Get to know them. That's why they're here.

Note Mister Pop Up Dracula-In-The-Box with his stake in his property, and the magnificent hand painted ferocious faience porcelain Dragon hand puppet.

The original oil painting of guignol marionettes is by the well-listed French artist Melanie Carrouer.

Rare Illustrated Children's Books:  The rare international selection of illustrated children's books on display here are from France, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

The books in the exhibit span the years 1860 to 1960.

Here, we have chosen to "illustrate" an historical shift in children's literature via the little selection of books on display in this exhibit.  

Early children's literature consisted of spoken stories, songs, and poems used to educate, instruct, and entertain children. It was only in the 18th century, with the development of the concept of "childhood", that a separate genre of children's literature began to emerge, with its' own divisions, expectations, and canon.

The shift to a modern genre of children's literature occurred in the mid-19th century, as the previous age's didacticism made way for more humorous, child-oriented books, more attuned to a child's imagination.Lewis Carroll's fantasy, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, published in 1865 in England, signaled the change in writing style for children to imaginative and empathetic, and was followed by many others that did the same.  

The books on display here "illustrate" this shift, pun intended.

Camera Obscura ~ Pinhole Camera:  The camera obscura on display here was entirely hand made; it was constructed by Debra Spencer using original XIXth century blueprints.

Camera obscura (from Latin "camera": (vaulted) chamber or room, and "obscura": darkened, plural: camerae obscurae), also referred to as pinhole image, is the natural optical phenomenon that occurs when an image of a scene at the other side of a screen (or for instance a wall) is projected through a small hole in that screen as a reversed and inverted image (left to right and upside down) on a surface opposite to the opening.

The surroundings of the projected image have to be relatively dark for the image to be clear, so many historical camera obscura experiments were performed in dark rooms.     

The term "camera obscura" also refers to constructions or devices that make use of the principle within a box, tent or room. Camerae obscurae with a lens in the opening have been used since the second half of the 16th century and became popular as an aid for drawing and painting.

The camera obscura box was developed further into the photographic camera in the first half of the 19th century when camera obscura boxes were used to expose light-sensitive materials to the projected image.   

 Before the term "camera obscura" was first used in 1604, many other expressions were used including "cubiculum obscurum", "cubiculum tenebricosum", "conclave obscurum" and "locus obscurus".

A camera obscura device without a lens but with a very small hole is sometimes referred to as a "pinhole camera", although this more often refers to simple (home-made) lens-less cameras in which photographic film or photographic paper is used. Source: Wikipedia & 14th Edition Encyclopedia Brittanica.

Lisa Larch Hand Painted Toy Chest and Toys:   This original signed one-of-a-kind solid wood toy chest has been painted all over with a continuous montage of charming humorous scenes of children and animals playing together.

Many of the toys in the chest are hand puppets. Also present is a genuine trying-to-be-ferocious Naga Beast made entirely of NagaHide.

The copper pavilion is a music box that plays "Send In The Clowns" and the three Tin Woodman figures on the inside twirl and spin as the music box plays.  

The woven straw Christmas wreath and hand painted tin butterfly milagro are vintage pieces from  Mexico. 

The well-listed American artist Judy Knipe made the original one-of-a-kind hooked rug signed Christmas stocking.

Joe Lyttle Modern Chess Set:  This modern Chess Set by Joe Lyttle is entirely hand made in wood; it is hand painted using oil paint and recycled turned wood chair legs.  

Chess is believed to have originated in Eastern India, c. 280 – 550,[30] in the Gupta Empire,where its early form in the 6th century was known as chaturaṅga, in Sanskrit; literally four divisions [of the military): infantry, cavalry, elephants, and chariotry, whose representative pieces evolved into the modern pawn, knight, bishop, and rook, respectively. Thence it spread eastward and westward along the silk road.

The earliest evidence of chess is found in the nearby Sassanid Persia around 600, where the game came to be known by the name chatrang. Chatrang was taken up by the Muslim world after the Islamic conquest of Persia (633–44), where it was then named shatranj, with the pieces largely retaining their Persian names.  

The oldest archaeological artifacts, ivory chess pieces, were excavated in ancient Afrasiab, today's Samarkand, in Uzbekistan, central Asia, and date to about 760, with some of them possibly older. The oldest known chess manual was in Arabic and dates to 840–850, written by al-Adli ar-Rumi (800–870), a renowned Arab chess player, titled Kitab ash-shatranj (Book of the chess). This is a lost manuscript, but referenced in later works.

The game reached Western Europe and Russia by at least three routes, the earliest being in the 9th century. By the year 1000, it had spread throughout Europe. Sources: Wikipedia, Chess and History Of Chess.

Bill Schoppe Construction Designs: The pillars and display stands used in our traveling exhibits were hand made by Bill Schoppe, who also does custom woodwork to order.

 His work includes fabulous hand made picnic tables, nativities, clothes closet and storage designs and installations, custom framing, and even Murphy beds. Anything you can imagine in wood, Bill can create for you.

Thank you, Bill! 



Our Amanuensis's Table

at The Islesboro Island High School Christmas Holiday Fair

Lucille Tigges is Mrs. Santa Claus


Thanks for visiting.   Merci de votre visite.



All Content is © Debra Spencer, Suit Yourself™ International. Technical Library FAQ Index ISSN 2474-820X. All Rights Reserved.
Please do not reproduce in part or in whole without express written consent. Thank you.


All Content is ©2020 Debra Spencer, Appanage™at Suit Yourself ™ International, 120 Pendleton Point, Islesboro Island, Maine, 04848, USA 44n31 68w91 Technical Library FAQ Index ISSN 2474-820X. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce in part or in whole without express written consent. Thank you.

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All Content is ©2020 Debra Spencer, Appanage™at Suit Yourself ™ International, 120 Pendleton Point, Islesboro Island, Maine, 04848, USA 44n31 68w91 Technical Library FAQ Index ISSN 2474-820X. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce in part or in whole without express written consent. Thank you.
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