Antonine Woman Bust

Antonine Woman Bust


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3D Image

Bust of an Antonine woman, circa 150 CE, Egypt (?), Marble. Made with ReMake and ReCap Pro from AutoDesk.

The hairstyle reflects a trend fashionable under Faustine the Elder, wife of Antoninus Pius (138-161 CE) and mother of the future Emperor Marcus Aurelius.

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The J. Paul Getty Museum

This image is available for download, without charge, under the Getty's Open Content Program.

Portrait Bust of a Woman

Unknown 67.5 × 42.5 × 20 cm (26 9/16 × 16 3/4 × 7 7/8 in.) 83.AA.44

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Currently on view at: Getty Villa, Gallery 207, Later Roman Sculpture

Object Details

Title:
Artist/Maker:
Culture:
Place:

Rome, Lazio, Italy (Place Created)

Medium:
Object Number:
Dimensions:

67.5 × 42.5 × 20 cm (26 9/16 × 16 3/4 × 7 7/8 in.)

Alternate Titles:

Bust of a Woman (Display Title)

Busto de una mujer (Display Title)

Department:
Classification:
Object Type:
Object Description

Although the woman shown in this Roman portrait bust cannot be identified, stylistic features reveal when and where she was made. Her hairstyle copies one worn by the Empress Faustina , the wife of the emperor Antoninus Pius , who reigned from A.D. 138 to 161. The highly polished surface of the bust also signals an Antonine date for its creation . Portraits of the imperial family defined high style and fashion, setting the standards for private portraiture of the social elite.

This woman appears to be of mature years, yet she displays no physical signs of aging. Roman portraits of women tend to be more idealized and less individualized than those of men. The political or social message that a portrait conveyed was as important as its actual resemblance to the person portrayed. For this reason, portraits of Roman women often are concerned more with representing the latest ideas of fashion and beauty than they are with depicting actual features.

Provenance
Provenance
By 1982

Bank Leu, A.G. (Zurich, Switzerland), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1983.

Exhibitions
Exhibitions
Gesichter: Griechische und römische Bildnisse aus Schweizer Besitz (November 6, 1982 to February 6, 1983)
Beyond Beauty: Antiquities as Evidence (December 16, 1997 to January 17, 1999)
Ancient Art from the Permanent Collection (March 16, 1999 to May 23, 2004)
Bibliography
Bibliography

Jucker, Hans, and Dietrich Willers, eds. Gesichter: Griechische und römische Bildnisse aus schweizer Besitz. Bernischen Historischen Museum, November 6, 1982-February 6, 1983. Exh. cat. (Bern: Archäologisches Seminar der Universität Bern, 1982), pp. 160-161, no. 67, ill. (entry by Ines Jucker-Scherrer).

"Acquisitions/1983." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 12 (1984), p. 238, no. 27.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 1st ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1986), p. 38.

Shelton, Jo-Ann. As the Romans Did. 1988, ill. Cover ill.

Stemmer, Klaus (ed.). Kaiser Marc Aurel und seine Zeit. Exh. cat., Abguss-Sammlung Antiker Plastik. Berlin: 1988, pp. 49-50, cat. no. D 23 (F. Zimmer).

Index der antiken Kunst und Architektur: Denkmäler des griechisch-römischen Altertums in der Photosammlung des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts Rom. Begleitband: Register und Kommentar. (New York : K.G. Saur, 1988), fiche 0421, C03.

Pfanner, Michael. "Ueber das Herstellen von Portraets. Ein Beitrag zu Rationalisierungsmassnahmen und Produktionsmechanism von Massenware im spaeten Hellenismus und in der roemischen Kaiserzeit," Jahrbuch des Deutschen Archaeologischen Instituts 104 (1989), pp. 157-257, p. 243.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 3rd ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1991), p. 28.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 4th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 25.

Raeder, Joachim. Die antiken Skulpturen in Petworth House (West Sussex). Monumenta Artis Romanae 23, Mainz: Zabern, 2000, p. 192.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 6th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), p. 25.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Antiquities Collection (Los Angeles: 2002), p. 164.

Grossman, Janet Burnett. Looking at Greek and Roman Sculpture in Stone (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2003), pp. 20, ill.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 7th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2007), p. 9, ill.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Antiquities Collection. Rev. ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2010), p. 163.


Christianity Has Been Handling Epidemics for 2000 Years

The modern world has suddenly become reacquainted with the oldest traveling companion of human history: existential dread and the fear of unavoidable, inscrutable death. No vaccine or antibiotic will save us for the time being. Because this experience has become foreign to modern people, we are, by and large, psychologically and culturally underequipped for the current coronavirus pandemic.

To find the moral resources to tackle COVID-19, both its possible death toll and the fear that stalks our communities alongside the disease, we have to look at the resources built in the past. For me, that means examining how people of my tradition, Christians, and especially Lutherans, have handled the plagues of the past. And while people of all faiths, and none, are facing the disease, the distinctive approach to epidemics Christians have adopted over time is worth dusting off.

The modern world has suddenly become reacquainted with the oldest traveling companion of human history: existential dread and the fear of unavoidable, inscrutable death. No vaccine or antibiotic will save us for the time being. Because this experience has become foreign to modern people, we are, by and large, psychologically and culturally underequipped for the current coronavirus pandemic.

To find the moral resources to tackle COVID-19, both its possible death toll and the fear that stalks our communities alongside the disease, we have to look at the resources built in the past. For me, that means examining how people of my tradition, Christians, and especially Lutherans, have handled the plagues of the past. And while people of all faiths, and none, are facing the disease, the distinctive approach to epidemics Christians have adopted over time is worth dusting off.

The Christian response to plagues begins with some of Jesus’s most famous teachings: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” “Love your neighbor as yourself” “Greater love has no man than this, that he should lay down his life for his friends.” Put plainly, the Christian ethic in a time of plague considers that our own life must always be regarded as less important than that of our neighbor.

During plague periods in the Roman Empire, Christians made a name for themselves. Historians have suggested that the terrible Antonine Plague of the 2nd century, which might have killed off a quarter of the Roman Empire, led to the spread of Christianity, as Christians cared for the sick and offered an spiritual model whereby plagues were not the work of angry and capricious deities but the product of a broken Creation in revolt against a loving God.

But the more famous epidemic is the Plague of Cyprian, named for a bishop who gave a colorful account of this disease in his sermons. Probably a disease related to Ebola, the Plague of Cyprian helped set off the Crisis of the Third Century in the Roman world. But it did something else, too: It triggered the explosive growth of Christianity. Cyprian’s sermons told Christians not to grieve for plague victims (who live in heaven), but to redouble efforts to care for the living. His fellow bishop Dionysius described how Christians, “Heedless of danger … took charge of the sick, attending to their every need.”

Nor was it just Christians who noted this reaction of Christians to the plague. A century later, the actively pagan Emperor Julian would complain bitterly of how “the Galileans” would care for even non-Christian sick people, while the church historian Pontianus recounts how Christians ensured that “good was done to all men, not merely to the household of faith.” The sociologist and religious demographer Rodney Stark claims that death rates in cities with Christian communities may have been just half that of other cities.

This habit of sacrificial care has reappeared throughout history. In 1527, when the bubonic plague hit Wittenberg, Martin Luther refused calls to flee the city and protect himself. Rather, he stayed and ministered to the sick. The refusal to flee cost his daughter Elizabeth her life. But it produced a tract, “Whether Christians Should Flee the Plague,” where Luther provides a clear articulation of the Christian epidemic response: We die at our posts. Christian doctors cannot abandon their hospitals, Christian governors cannot flee their districts, Christian pastors cannot abandon their congregations. The plague does not dissolve our duties: It turns them to crosses, on which we must be prepared to die.

For Christians, it is better that we should die serving our neighbor than surrounded in a pile of masks we never got a chance to use. And if we care for each other, if we share masks and hand soap and canned foods, if we “are our brother’s keeper,” we might actually reduce the death toll, too.

To modern people acquainted with the germ theory of disease, this can all sound a bit foolish. Caring for the sick sounds nice, but it’s as likely to infect others as to save lives. In an intensely professionalized medical environment, should common people really assume a burden of care?

Here, a second element of the Christian approach appears: strict rules against suicide and self-harm. Our bodies are gifts from God and must be protected. Or, as Luther says in his essay on the topic, we must not “tempt God.” The catechism Luther wrote for Christian instruction elaborates on the Fifth Commandment (“Though shalt not murder”) by saying that this actually means we must never even endanger others through our negligence or recklessness. Luther’s essay encourages believers to obey quarantine orders, fumigate their houses, and take precautions to avoid spreading the sickness.

The Christian motive for hygiene and sanitation does not arise in self-preservation but in an ethic of service to our neighbor. We wish to care for the afflicted, which first and foremost means not infecting the healthy. Early Christians created the first hospitals in Europe as hygienic places to provide care during times of plague, on the understanding that negligence that spread disease further was, in fact, murder.

Since religious bodies in South Korea, Singapore, Iran, Hong Kong, and even Washington, D.C., have been at the forefront of coronavirus transmission, this injunction is worth remembering. Motivated by this concern, I have prepared an exhaustive handbook for churches about how they can fortify their services to reduce coronavirus transmission, informed by guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and my experiences working as a missionary in Hong Kong. The first sacrifice Christians must make to care for our neighbor is our convenience, as we enthusiastically participate in aggressive sanitation measures and social distancing.

This kind of humble care for others is a powerful force. I’ve seen it at work in my neighbors in Hong Kong, whatever their beliefs. The ubiquitous surgical masks may not actually prevent infection, but they serve as a visible reminder that we’re all watching each other’s backs. When good sanitary procedure stops being about saving our own skin and starts being about loving our neighbor, it becomes not just life-saving but soul-enlivening.

This brings me to one of the more controversial elements of historic Christian plague ethics: We don’t cancel church. The whole motivation of personal sacrifice to care for others, and other-regarding measures to reduce infection, presupposes the existence of a community in which we’re all stakeholders. Even as we take communion from separate plates and cups to minimize risk, forgo hand-shaking or hugging, and sit at a distance from each other, we still commune.

Some observers will view this as a kind of fanaticism: Christians are so obsessed with church-going that they’ll risk epidemic disease to show up.

But it’s not that at all. The coronavirus leaves over 95 percent of its victims still breathing. But it leaves virtually every member of society afraid, anxious, isolated, alone, and wondering if anyone would even notice if they’re gone. In an increasingly atomized society, the coronavirus could rapidly mutate into an epidemic of despair. Church attendance serves as a societal roll call, especially for older people: Those who don’t show up should be checked on during the week. Bereft of work, school, public gatherings, sports and hobbies, or even the outside world at all, humans do poorly. We need the moral and mental support of communities to be the decent people we all aspire to be.

The Christian choice to defend the weekly gathering at church is not, then, a superstitious fancy. It’s a clear-eyed, rational choice to balance trade-offs: We forgo other activities and take great pains to be as clean as possible so that we can meaningfully gather to support each other. Without this moral support, as the citizens of Wuhan, China, can attest—and perhaps soon the people of Italy—life can quickly become unendurable. Even non-Christians who eschew church-going can appreciate the importance of maintaining just one lifeline to a community of mutual care and support.

Be eager to sacrifice for others, even at the cost of your own life. Obsessively maintain a scrupulous hygienic routine to avoid infecting others. Maintain a lifeline to a meaningful human community that can care for your mind and soul. These are the guiding stars that have shepherded Christians through countless plagues for millennia. As the world belatedly wakes up to the fact that the age of epidemics is not over, these ancient ideas still have modern relevance.

Lyman Stone is a research fellow at the Institute for Family Studies and an advisor at the consulting firm Demographic Intelligence.


Boomtown, 1870s: Decade of Bonanza, Bust and Unbridled Racism

I am guessing that on some level lots of us buy into the stereotype of the Bay Area as a hotbed of progressive activism. A place that's bluer than blue, that's quick to march, that's home to the only member of Congress to vote against going to war in Afghanistan after 9/11. A place that's proud to have fostered the Free Speech Movement, the Black Panthers and the fight for gay (now LGBTQ) liberation.

It's true that street activism is very much alive here. The last six years, for instance, have seen what amounts to one long campaign against police violence and social injustice -- a campaign that was sparked by the police killing of BART passenger Oscar Grant, became entwined with the economic justice demands of the Occupy movement and that continues today as part of the Black Lives Matter demonstrations.

Amid those sporadic eruptions, the tech boom got going and itself became enmeshed in protest. You know the story: Armies of mostly young and highly paid programmers, engineers and entrepreneurs -- and the companies that employ them -- are remaking large swaths of San Francisco, Oakland, the Peninsula and Silicon Valley. Rents have soared, lower-income tenants have lost homes and familiar local businesses, watering holes, art galleries and nonprofits have been priced out.

Overnight, or so it seemed, fleets of huge corporate shuttle buses appeared on the streets to whisk the better-paid-than-most-of-us technologists to and from Silicon Valley. Anti-eviction activists turned the vehicles into an internationally recognized symbol for wealth inequality and community displacement.

So that's our tradition of activism as it looks in the early 21st century.

But when you get out your pick and shovel (or your library card, Kindle and Web browser) and start digging through the dense strata of protest, agitation and political turbulence that have been laid down here over the decades, you eventually find yourself in 1870s San Francisco, a sort of perverse twin to today's city. It was a place of magnificent wealth displayed amid a full-on depression. It was crowded with desperate and disillusioned people, and it was home to an activism marked by unbridled intolerance and racism directed at one group of immigrants who had ventured across the Pacific to join the Gold Rush.

B y 1870, San Francisco had experienced two major booms. The first was touched off in 1848 by the Gold Rush and transformed a village of about 800 people into a city of 35,000 in just five years. When the flow of gold from the Sierra slowed in the mid-1850s, San Francisco suffered its first prolonged economic slump. Population growth slowed and the city's real estate bubble collapsed.

But the downturn didn't last long. Another boom got under way in 1859 with the discovery of Nevada's Comstock Lode in the mountains northeast of Lake Tahoe. The Comstock was one of the biggest silver finds in history and touched off a new kind of mining bonanza, one in which speculators, bankers and everyday investors all joined the rush.

The Comstock mines produced more than $300 million in silver in a little more than two decades, wealth that was largely controlled in San Francisco and helped spark the city's rapid growth -- from about 57,000 in 1860 to 150,000 in 1870 and 233,000 in 1880. (The Comstock also drove a secondary mining boom in the hills just south of the small town of San Jose, where mines in the New Almaden district produced mercury crucial to the gold and silver refining process.)

The wealth extracted from the mines was one thing. But there was another source of wealth to be tapped, too, for those who knew how.

Development of the Comstock was financed largely by investment and speculation on San Francisco's new stock exchange, which focused on trading shares in mining concerns. For a time, everyone wanted in on the game. Here's how Gary Kamiya describes the local Comstock mania in his popular history, Cool Gray City of Love:

San Francisco had always been a gambler&rsquos town, but during silver&rsquos 15-year heyday, virtually the entire population succumbed to a gambling mania unlike any it had seen before or would ever see again. What made speculating in mining stocks so addictive was that their values fluctuated so wildly. A rumor that a new vein had been found could cause the value of a mine&rsquos stock to go up 10 times it could plummet a week later. As a result, anyone could make a fortune literally overnight, and many did. The entire city buzzed with tales of chambermaids who bought the rooming houses they had worked in a few weeks earlier and of former ditchdiggers riding down newly fashionable Kearny Street in opulent carriages.

But those who got rich -- and for the most part stayed rich -- were a small group of bankers and investors who controlled both the mines and the exchange.

"By controlling information from the mines," historian Gray Brechin writes in Imperial San Francisco, this group "had an advantage available to few other gamblers on the Exchange. The barest hint of a new discovery in the mines triggered mayhem in San Francisco resembling religious rapture or riot. . Those who had the latest information . used it to manipulate the market to aggrandize their fortunes from the investments of others."

Both Kamiya and Brechin quote Robert Louis Stevenson's description of the scene and the process that was at work as he viewed it from a neighborhood he termed "the hill of palaces":

From Nob Hill, looking down upon the business wards of the city, we can decry a building with a little belfry, and that is the stock exchange, the heart of San Francisco a great pump we might call it, continually pumping up the savings of the lower quarters into the pockets of the millionaires upon the hill.

An 1891 view of Nob Hill, looking north up Powell Street. To the left (west) of Powell at the top of the hill are the mansions of Leland Stanford, Mark Hopkins and James C. Flood. (San Francisco Public Library History Center)

The Comstock made several of those millionaires who built palaces on the hill, including James Flood, whose mansion survives today as the Pacific Union Club, at California and Mason streets. Others who chose Nob Hill as a showcase for their fortunes included Leland Stanford, Mark Hopkins, Collis Huntington and Charles Crocker, the Big Four, the principal founding investors in the Central Pacific, North America's first transcontinental railroad.

While the railroad made the Big Four rich, it didn't turn into the engine of prosperity that promoters promised or that San Francisco expected when it was finished in 1869. On the one hand, the road's completion sent thousands of workers, many of them Chinese immigrants, looking for new jobs. On the other, the railroad served as a conduit for masses of people coming in search of work and land.

There was little land to be had, though. By one account 0.2 percent of the state's population -- that's two-tenths of 1 percent -- controlled half the land, and huge tracts had been granted to the railroads. Jobs were few, too, as the economy of San Francisco and California as a whole sank into a funk.

"The particular point we have in view is the lamentable lack of employment for laborers, which is so crying an evil of the day," wrote the San Francisco Evening Bulletin in early 1870. "There are those who estimate the proportion of laborers in California who are out of work . as high as twenty percent, or one-fifth of the entire mass of inhabitants."

One East Coast commentator wrote that California and San Francisco were experiencing a "revolution," plunging back to earth after the excesses of the Gold Rush and Comstock decades:

"Speculation was the groundwork of all her wealth and her growth uncertainty and irregularity were the laws of her prosperity. High prices and vast profits, a grand and reckless way of business and of life pervaded all her society and her movements," wrote Massachusetts newspaper editor Samuel Bowles, who twice visited the city in the mid- and late 1860s.

Bowles characterized the situation as the city and state "struggling into conformity with the modes and morals and money of the nation," a transition he observed provoked widespread discontent.

"At first the people seemed stunned with the revelation and the revolution," Bowles said. "They cursed the railroad, they cursed the Bank of California, and they cursed the Chinese, one and all, as parents of their disappointment."

"C ursing the Chinese" was something of a constant among California's white population in the state's early decades.

The Chinese, of course, had joined the rush to what they called Gold Mountain in 1849, along with immigrants from the eastern U.S. states, Western Europe, Mexico, Chile, Peru, Hawaii, Australia and New Zealand.

Chinese workers on the Central Pacific Railroad's route through the Sierra Nevada. (Harper's Weekly/Bancroft Library)

White California was not, by and large, a particularly welcoming place for the new arrivals from Mexico and lands south, many of whom were experienced miners when they arrived in the gold fields. Historians note they played an important role in teaching the American novices how to find and remove gold from the streams and hillsides where it lay. Their reward was a state tax on foreign miners and repeated episodes of violence and mistreatment.

Worse was in store for the Chinese.

California -- most of the white population, its lawmakers and their enactments -- reserved a sustained hostility for these early Asian immigrants almost from the first. Arriving in the gold fields, they were generally excluded from all but the poorest mining claims -- those that had already been worked and believed exhausted. They were often the target of violence and were, like blacks and Indians, denied the right even to testify in court against those who robbed and attacked them.

What was the source of the animus, which was soon to have official backing?

Theodore Hittell, who produced a voluminous California history, offered this speculation:

It was the practice of the Chinese then as now to huddle together in special and confined quarters and to dress and live as they had dressed and lived in China. Almost all their clothing and most all their food, which consisted in great part of rice, were imported from their native land. As a class they were harmless, peaceful and exceedingly industrious but, as they were remarkably economical and spent little or none of their earnings except for the necessaries of life and this chiefly to merchants of their own nationality, they soon began to provoke the prejudice and ill-will of those who could not see any value in their labor to the country.

In short, [the Chinese] worked too hard (often for less pay than others were willing to accept), saved too much, and spent too little. In addition, they looked and behaved differently from the majority population. Beneath all the surface rationalizations, this was to be the gravamen of the complaint against the Chinese through the many phases of the anti-Chinese movement in California.

That movement led to a series of state and local laws meant to force the Chinese to leave California or make it extremely difficult or expensive to stay. The tax on foreign miners was increased repeatedly. The Legislature enacted a variety of fees and taxes on arriving Chinese immigrants, then a tax of $2.50 month (something like $60 in today's money) on most Chinese residents. Chinese children were excluded from the state's public schools.

San Francisco's Board of Supervisors joined in the anti-Chinese campaign with a long list of discriminatory ordinances. One attempted to ban Chinese peddlers from the common practice of carrying their goods on poles. Other laws attempted to impose punitive fees on the city's large number of Chinese laundries and to regulate the size of rooms in lodging-houses.

As McClain notes, the Chinese didn't take this continuing assault on their liberty lying down. As the anti-Chinese agitation got under way in the early 1850s, Gov. John Bigler sent the Legislature a special message urging a program of taxes and other measures to stop Chinese immigration.

Among his justifications: the unfounded claim that the Chinese arriving in California were "coolies" -- essentially indentured servants who were little better than slaves for the Chinese contractors who hired them. He also argued that, in essence, the Chinese were inferior, ignorant of the enlightened American way of doing things: incapable, for instance, of understanding the importance of or keeping an oath of citizenship.

Bigler's message brought a response from a Chinese merchant in San Francisco named Norman Asing, who blasted the logic of excluding productive immigrants and questioning who in California really represented an inferior culture.

"We would beg to remind you that when your nation was a wilderness, and the nation from whom you sprung barbarous, we exercised most of the arts and virtues of civilized life," Asing wrote.

More important, McClain says, is that leading members of the Chinese community, centered in San Francisco, approached the Legislature directly to try to stem the tide of punitive taxes and other laws. When that effort met with only modest success, they challenged the anti-Chinese laws in court and got the worst of them thrown out. In the 1850s, for instance, Chinese plaintiffs sued the state to overturn a tax to be levied against all arriving Chinese passengers and another that sought to ban Chinese from landing at the state's ports. Both laws were struck down for interfering with federal powers.

Likewise in the late 1860s and early '70s, Chinese Californians waged long and ultimately successful campaigns to win the right to testify in court and to end enforcement of the discriminatory tax on foreign miners.

T he consistency with which courts struck down the anti-Chinese laws did little to dampen the anti-Chinese movement. Calls for an end to Chinese immigration grew louder as California and San Francisco bumped from one economic trough to another in the 1870s.

Speculation in Comstock mining shares grew fevered in 1872, then subsided with widespread losses. Immense new silver discoveries in 1873 triggered another investment frenzy.

Hubert Howe Bancroft's History of California said the stock exchanges "were weird in their excitement, the brokers crying to one another, like the unseemly harpies of Dante's hell, every cry carrying the Comstock higher."

"If people were wild in those cases or in the excitement of 1872, they now became, so to speak, insane," wrote T.H. Hittell in his own history of the period. He said everyone wanted in:

The race for wealth, which was simply a race to secure stock in the bonanza mines, attracted nearly everybody. The man or woman, who had or could raise money and did not invest, was the exception. Not only the profits of common trade, manufactures and agriculture but often the principal, the slow accumulations of industry, the hard-earned wages of labor, the salaries of professors and preachers, the fees of lawyers and physicians, the deposits in savings banks, the produce of mortgaged homesteads, the money that was inherited or that could be borrowed -- nearly all found their way into the mining-stock market.

William C. Ralston, president of the Bank of California, drowned in San Francisco Bay the day after a run on the bank revealed it to be bankrupt. (Wikimedia Commons)

It didn't take long for the speculation to exact its toll. One of the first and most notable investors ruined in the 1875 fall of mining stocks was San Francisco's William C. Ralston. His Bank of California, the biggest financial institution in the state, was forced to close for a time because of losses incurred in his secret speculation in the mines. Ralston drowned off North Beach the day after a run on the bank, a death many presumed to be a suicide.

A plunge in mining stocks in 1877 wiped out investors large and small in the city and led to a renewed financial panic. Economic conditions were made worse by the effects of a drought that wiped out most of the year's wheat crop and devastated the cattle industry. The effects of a nationwide depression added to the malaise.

In a city with a population that now exceeded 200,000, about one in five adult men were out of work. Charities in the city were feeding about 2,000 people a day. Only the very wealthiest, the insiders who had developed the Comstock mines and those who had built the railroads -- those folks who had put up their palaces on Nob Hill -- seemed to be immune from the hard times that had descended over the city in the summer of 1877.

"Trade was bad, work was scarce, and for what there was of it the Chinese, willing to take only half the ordinary wages, competed with the white labourer," wrote 19th century political historian James Bryce. "The mob of San Francisco, swelled by disappointed miners from the camps and labourers out of work, men lured from distant homes by the hope of wealth and ease in the land of gold, saw itself on the verge of starvation, while the splendid mansions of speculators, who fifteen years before had kept little shops, rose along the heights of the city, and the newspapers reported their luxurious banquets."

Now, the millionaires and San Francisco's roughly 20,000 Chinese residents -- groups at opposite ends of the economic spectrum --- were about to become the targets of a fierce political movement on the city's streets.


Bali & WonderBra

The Bali Brassiere Company was founded by Sam and Sara Stein in 1927 and was originally called the FayeMiss Lingerie Company. The company's best-known product has been the WonderBra, marketed as "The One And Only WonderBra." Wonderbra is the trade name for an underwired bra with side padding that is designed to uplift and add cleavage.

Bali launched the WonderBra in the U.S. in 1994. But the first WonderBra was the "WonderBra - Push Up Plunge Bra," invented in 1963 by Canadian designer Louise Poirier.

According to Wonderbra USA "this unique garment, the forerunner of today's Wonderbra push-up bra had 54 design elements that lifted and supported the bust to create dramatic cleavage. Its precision engineering involved three-part cup construction, precision-angled back and underwire cups, removable pads called cookies, gate back design for support and rigid straps."


The Antonine plague has struck the Roman Empire between 160 and 180 AD and was named after the then emperor of Rome, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. Caused by a naturally occurring disease, it spread throughout the Empire, its death toll being estimated at more than 2,000 per day.

One of the greatest natural disasters that shook the ancient world was the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, which lead to the burial of the entire city of Pompeii under stone and ash. Thousands of victims died, and their gruesome fate was immortalized as the cooling volcanic rock left perfectly preserved “statues” of Pompeii's unfortunate residents.


The Unabridged Story Of The Biggest Drug Bust In The History Of Darknet

Where there is demand, there will be supply. Unfortunately for us, the age old economic saying holds true even in the case of the international drug market, which continues only to thrive and prosper despite repeated attacks in the hands of law enforcement. Launched in February 2011, Silk Road became the first global marketplace for darknet users interested in the purchase of narcotics, stolen credit cards, malware and other illicit goods. For three years the site grew and prospered, profiting exorbitantly from the unending demand for illicit goods and services, until being shut down by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation in October 2013.

This was considered a gigantic victory for law enforcement, putting behind bars the perpetrator of a million-dollar illicit drug trade on the deep web. For a while, it even seemed that the online market for illegal goods and services might have suffered a serious blow. However, as it is always with things like this, life went on and demands continued, and it was only a matter of time before a different marketplace, one with upgraded security precautions and an even more menacing assortment of illegal goods, sprung forth in its place. That marketplace was AlphaBay.

“People on the dark web make use of a variety of technologies, including Tor, VPN, PGP and Tail OS, to remain anonymous. These technologies, however, are hardly foolproof and there is always the chance of screwing up and leaving a paper trail of clues for the law enforcement to find. Alexandre Cazes, alleged co-founder of AlphaBay, made use of an unprotected email back in 2014, which gave away his identity and proved to be his demise.” - Ali Qamar, Editor in Chief at Security Gladiators

Launched in December 2014 by alleged founder Alexandre Cazes, AlphaBay positioned itself to be the new home for buyers and sellers in the illicit business shortly after the demise of Silk Road in 2013. It boasted 14,000 new users within just ninety days of launch, a number which climbed up to 240,000 users by the middle of 2017. According to information supplied by Europol, there were at least 250,000 separate listings of illegal narcotics and other toxic chemicals on the website by July 2017, a truly unsettling fact if you take into account the number of teenage users who die each year from an overdose of drugs in the United States alone.

Thankfully for us, despite all its security precautions , AlphaBay’s privacy was not nearly as impenetrable as it may have once seemed. The billion-dollar marketplace for illicit trade went mysteriously offline in July 2017, leading to unending speculation as to whether the site was simply down for maintenance or whether it had run away with its users’ money. Neither of these turned out to be true, and as it happens, AlphaBay was shut down thanks to a coordinated attempt by law enforcement organizations in the US, Canada and Thailand, also leading to the arrest of co-founder Alexandre Cazes, who apparently hung himself from the ceiling of his jail cell in Thailand in what seems to be an apparent suicide.

“Not since the days of the now-legendary Silk Road has a single site dominated the dark web's black market as completely, and for as long, as the online bazaar known as AlphaBay. And with the news that the site has been torn down by a law enforcement raid—and one of its leaders found dead in a Thai prison—the dark web drug trade has fallen into a temporary state of chaos.” - Andy Greenberg, Wired

Chaos followed in the week after AlphaBay’s sudden takedown, causing clients and vendors alike to flock to other darknet marketplaces as a means to continue their illicit businesses. What perhaps nobody in the online world saw coming, is that the chaos was intended . Three weeks before the takedown of AlphaBay, Dutch law enforcement had secretly gained possession of the secured servers that ran the dark web marketplace Hansa, which they continued to run as a ruse even weeks after its apprehension. As the takedown of AlphaBay saw an eightfold increase in the user base of Hansa, this gave the Dutch Politei plenty of time to gain access to the huge database of illegal traders who used the darknet as a means of continuing their narcotics businesses.

As Hansa, too, bit the dust last Thursday in the aftermath of the largest sting operation yet in the history of the darknet, law enforcement organizations in the United States, Canada and Netherlands are now left with a steaming pile of potential abusers and drug marketers who have been using the dark web as a means to pursue their transactions. The United States Department of Justice and the Dutch Politei are yet to announce any indictments in the aftermath of the massive operation, though it is only a matter of time before a huge number of criminals in the dark web community are put behind bars. The United States Attorney General put forth the following in a public statemen t shortly after the takedown of AlphaBay:

“Among other challenges, our great country is currently in the midst of the deadliest drug crisis in our history. One American now dies of a drug overdose every 11 minutes and more than 2 million Americans are addicted to prescription painkillers. Every day, as a result of drug abuse, American families are being bankrupted, friendships broken and promising lives cut short… And today, some of the most prolific drug suppliers use what’s called the dark web —which is a collection of hidden websites that you can only access if you mask your identity and your location… Today the Department of Justice announces the takedown of the dark web market AlphaBay. This is the largest dark net marketplace takedown in history… This is likely one of the most important criminal case of the year. Make no mistake, the forces of law and justice face a new challenge from the criminals and transnational criminal organizations who think they can commit their crimes with impunity by ‘going dark.’ This case, pursued by dedicated agents and prosecutors, says you are not safe. You cannot hide. We will find you, dismantle your organization and network. And we will prosecute you.” - Attorney General Jeff Sessions

From where we stand at this point, it is hard to say how much of an impact this will have on the huge underground black market that uses the dark web as its platform for criminal activities. Arrests will be made, that much is certain, and the takedown of two of the largest darknet marketplaces in history is bound to leave a mark. Whether the international police will continue to show this level of enthusiasm in putting an end to illegal dark web transactions in the future, however, remains to be seen.


Life With Mother

Augusta suffered from a paralytic stroke, and Ed spent his life looking after her. He cherished whatever she said and took it deep into his mind.

There was an incident where they visited a certain Mr. Smith and saw him trashing a dog to death. A woman came running out of his house and begged him to stop. But in vain. This scarred Augusta. Not because of the plight of the dog. But because the woman was not his wife and she called the woman as “Smith’s harlot”.(Way to keep priorities straight, lady!)

Augusta died at the age of 67, and Edward was devastated.

lost his only friend and one true love. And he was absolutely alone in the world.

Apparently, his mind too. After this, things started getting creepy.


Working kirtle for the 15th century woman

This is a dress I made several years ago, to have as a simple working kirtle. I never got around to take photos and write proper documentation about it, but now I got some feeling! In these photos, the dress has been used for a couple of years and it has seen wear, washing machines and mending. So here’s my first tutorial for the autumn, and thank you for visiting and reading! (Both old friends and newcomers!)

This is a very simple working kirtle or dress, made to be practical as well as historically possible. The fabric is a plain wool weave, dyed to look like walnut dyed fabric. The skirt is partly pleated, partly flat sewn to the waist, and the upper part of the dress is fitted for bust support, side laced and has short sleeves.

I wear it with loose sleeves, pinned to the short sleeves and a gollar for warmth, under another fancier dress, or as it is if I am going to do lots of work or if the weather is warm.

The dress is hand sewn with wool thread in the same colour as the fabric, and it was one of my first garments made with wool thread instead of linen thread. I really recommend it! At first, I was a bit unsure if it was going to be durable enough, but after several years of using it, washing it in the machine (yeah, because lazy and dirty…) and treating it rather rough, it stays together really well, with only some minor mending.

I used running stitches on all long seams and folded the seam allowances to one side before whip stitching them down. The waist seam and all edges were made with whip stitches, and the sleeves and upper body seams made with back stitches to be a bit more durable than the running stitch is. The running stitch is way more durable than many believe and common in extant finds, but for heavy support, I like whip stitch and backstitching better.

The fabric is a medium tabby weave and I used around 3 meters for a dress. If you are much longer than me (1,6 m) consider buying another half metre. I did a quick pattern outlay for you, since it is old I’m not sure if I drafted the pattern along the selvedge or across the fabric but you will get an idea of what pieces you need to make one for your self.

The dress was made using two front pieces (to have a supportive seam in the front was a good choice since I didn’t have any lining in the dress.) One back piece, two sleeves and the skirt panels. I drafted S-sleeves, but the dress is made with regular sleeves with the seam under the arm. That seems to be the most common in artwork from the time on short sleeves. Your choice!

Do you see that the skirt has way more fabric in the back, while the front is straight? This will give you a nice fall as well as enough width and volume, but if you bend forward to pick up things or work by the fire, this construction will make the skirts remain away from the flames closer to your body, rather than draping forward with your movement. Hard to explain, but try it! It gives you a very practical garment.

The front panels are marked C at the centre front. The back piece is “upside-down” to use as much of the fabric as possible. You could of course piece the skirt together with more panels if you like. On my dress, the front panels lie smoothly in the waist, with only a couple of pleats to allow room for hips and stomach, while the back part is pleated around the back.

Other ways of construction would be to make more panels/gores (see my green 15th c kirtle) or pleat the skirt fabric to the waist seam all the way around (like my 16th c trossfrau dress in purple and blue). Or just make a few decorative folds in the back, like on my blue Weyden kirtle. This is simply one possible way of interpreting contemporary art.

This is (I think) my only wool garment so far that has bust support, but no lining whatsoever. This is possible only because of the plain weave since it is not very flexible across and along the threads in the fabric. A twill weave would not have worked without lining.

The drawing with the front piece has two arrows marking out small details in the fronts seams. At the centre front there is a small bend going in under the bust, and at the side seams there’s another, making the seam run in a bend, and then changing direction after the bust and running straighter over the stomach. This way of sewing will make the bust stay better in place, allowing for bust support without lots of sturdy layers. But the bust will have a rounder form and not as much steadiness as a garment with lining.

I did however put in a narrow strip of linen around the neck opening on the inside, to avoid it getting stretched. There is plenty of ways to make hems sturdier, such as a narrow strip of fabric, running or stab stitching or using another layer or quality of fabric on the inside, for example. You can find this in extant finds such as Herjolfnes and finds from 14th c London, as well as in paintings. It is an easy way to finish your garment, make it last longer while being historically made.

The side lacing is made with sewn holes and a lucet braid in plant-dyed wool thread. A wool thread will be a bit stretchy, and won’t run as smoothly as silk, which makes it a bit slower to lace, but the cord will stay in place. In this photo, you can see the lacing which starts at the sleeve and reaches to the waist seam, a gap where the shift is visible (did I have too much good food this winter?) and also some mending is done on the sleeve. After the waist seam, I tie the cord (I lace it from sleeve to waist) and the skirts are opened another 15 cm to allow for easy undressing. The skirt is not laced, it stays closed anyway, and by sewing some folds in the sides, the opening will not be very visible.

A note on fitting a dress like this:

I always make a fitting for every single item I make, and that is especially important if it is supposed to be tight fitting. I do have a basic pattern, drafted on my own body (a toile) but after I have basted the pieces together I need to try them on before sewing the garment. Every fabric you work with is slightly different, some more stretchy, some supportive and stiff, and by trying the pieces on you can adjust the garment to your taste.

The method for adjusting and fitting a dress like this is the same as I use while making a supportive upper body toile, and you achieve the support by taking in the upper body in the sides and front, sometimes also by stretching the shoulder seams upwards a bit.

A front laced kirtle is a bit easier to adjust to a bigger bust, but you can make it work with a side lacing as well, just remember to make the same adjustments to the laced side as the sewn together side, and maybe lacing it double one turn just below the bust for greater support.

For a complete outfit linen shift, wool hose and leather shoes under the kirtle. A simple belt to hang the money purse from (change is very important for today’s trader) and a veil on the head. Here I have a simple cap under the Great Veil, to have a base to pin it on. The veil can then be worn in many different ways, depending on how you like to wrap or fold it. 2-3 brass pins secure the veil to the cap under it.

Whoho! Finally documented this dress a bit, so now I don’t have to feel “bad” about forgetting it all the time. As you have noticed, this is not a complete step-to-step tutorial but rather a post with guidance if you want to make a similar dress.

Many readers ask me to share more sources and such material on the blog, but according to copyright laws I am not free to post all the stuff that inspires me on the internet, and therefore you will often find links, reading tips and Pinterest notions where you can find artwork and resources of your own. Hope you understand my take on this!


Sheriff discusses Mississippi's largest drug bust in history

President Trump’s Homeland Security Secretary, John Kelly, says when it comes to the drug war, weed isn’t the problem. Veuer's Nick Cardona (@nickcardona93) has the story.

Sheriff Jody Ashley, standing, and two of his investigators with the more than 70 kilos of cocaine confiscated in March 2016. (Photo: Courtesy of the Wayne County Sheriff's Department)

When Wayne County Sheriff Jody Ashley took office in 2016, the department was so poor that the man he replaced had to drive his own personal vehicle.

"Six months before I took office I went to the board and asked them for some patrol cars," Ashley said.

Ashley also said former Wayne County Sheriff Darryl Woodson went to bat for him. "If y'all don't get him some cars he'll never get started," Ashley said Woodson told the board.

Ashley said the county had just had 27 homicides in a year, all drug related, before he took office. There was one narcotics officer, and he was part-time. As many rural cops will say, when a department doesn't have resources to wage the war on drugs, the war is waged on them. So the board used leftover money from Woodson's budget to buy cars for Ashley.

Nobody knew then that Wayne County deputies would soon conduct what officials say is the biggest cocaine bust in state history.

When a traffic stop was made on the very rural Myrick Strengthford Road in Wayne County in March of 2016, Ashley wasn't prepared for what he was about to hear from his deputies.

A 2004 Ford F-250 had been stopped at a safety checkpoint and the couple that were inside, who were traveling from Houston, Texas, couldn't really give police a good explanation of why they were in that area. The driver, Berenice Benitez-Jaramillo, did not have a driver's license but did show an identification card from Mexico. Passenger Daniel Sanchez Penaloza also did not have a driver's license.

They told investigators they were going to visit some friends in Waynesboro on their way to Atlanta. That just didn't make any sense, officials said.

According to a federal court indictment, Deputy Johnny Smith was given permission to search the vehicle. As he searched, Smith, who has experience in construction, noticed that there was packing tape on some boxes of Sheet

Smith also found 70 bricks of a substance that turned out to be cocaine. Some of the bricks were in the boxes and some were hidden in a hot water heater. The total weight of the haul was about 163 pounds.

The estimated street value of the cocaine was between $2.5 million and $3.5 million, officials said. They would find out later that it was reportedly the largest cocaine bust in Mississippi history.

The federal Drug Enforcement Agency was called in, and Penazola and Benitez-Jaramillo were indicted on charges of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, possession with intent to distribute (aiding and abetting), and transportation in aid of racketeering enterprises.

"Everything was good. The paperwork was perfect," Ashley said. "And we're getting ready for trial and we learn who these people are, and they're huge and they've got some high-profile attorneys."

The sheer cost of the attorneys hired by the pair raised questions as to who was backing them, the sheriff said.

"A mule doesn't hire this type of attorney, you see. These are the best of the best," Ashley said.

As authorities prepared for the federal trial, near-disaster struck. Smith left the sheriff's department over some issues not related to the case, Ashley said. Smith's departure almost proved disastrous.

"We had a hearing in court and he didn't show up. This is where I got so stressed. We try to locate him and we can't find him. He's off the map," Ashley said.

Authorities began a full-on search for Smith. His phone was dead and his family didn't know where he was, and rumors swirled, Ashley said. Given the possibility that Penaloza and Benitez-Jaramillo were connected to players in a cartel or other criminal organization, there was great reason to be concerned, Ashley said.

"He was the only narcotics officer who had permission to search, and they knew this and the cartel knew this," Ashley said. "For weeks, he's nowhere to be found, and things go through your head. 'Where is he, and what took place?'"

Without Smith as the key witness, the case was over. Ashley said even though it was no longer his case, he couldn't stand to see that happen.

"The magnitude of this case, and it was in jeopardy," he said.

Ashley vowed to fight for his case anyway, contacting his state representative and staying in close contact with the U.S. marshals as authorities searched for Smith. Finally, Smith turned up. He had simply been working construction in North Carolina. When he resurfaced, Ashley said, the suspects who had initially pleaded not guilty changed their plea.

"It was a win for me, but also something nobody would believe," Ashley said of the story. "I knew I was headed for federal court, and I knew I'm just gonna have to trust God and the system, and finally they plead them guilty."

The hot water heater the drugs were found in will be donated to a museum, Ashley said. The truck confiscated in the bust has been given to the local fire department. And Ashley hopes the ripple effect of the epic bust will continue to impact his county in a positive way.


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Comments:

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  2. Kayde

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