One of my favorite pieces from the British Museum is this truly striking La Tène period iron Celtic sword with a fascinating cast bronze scabbard chape. Note the double fullers, flawlessly ground. This culture had an understanding of the circle and the curve that I chase far behind.
These are the richest, however, seen in the Wallace Collection; there exist many, many more of a much less refined and opulent finish, but no less lethally beautiful with a tarnished blade and plain wooden grip scales.
Next is a set of wootz knives, either Turkish or Persian. Apart from the obvious intrinsic value of the materials and the untouchable level of craftsmanship evident, I am most smitten with the composition of the piece, the idea of three knives in a matched set. It's all very aesthetically pleasant.
This may remain the most beautiful knife I have ever seen:
While in London, I fell afoul of the un-endingly generous and awesome Julio Rincones Gamboa, whose graciousness as a host and enthusiasm as a fellow scholar and artist I will never forget. In spite of his grueling schedule as a student of dentistry, he shared many hours with me in conversation philosophical and worldly, hilarious and grave, in museums ogling artifacts and in rare old bookbinders' shops, admiring ancient tomes bound in hardy materials.
|Julio (left) and Lord Nelson (right).|
|"Cat Priest Bathing Troll Dude Regurgitating a Miniature of Himself" - 1490|
In fact, the mutual interests extended also deep into the culinary and brewerial. We have a mutual reverence for the varieties of St. Peter's ales, expensive and rightly so. Julio himself is a fantastic cook; once again, I can attest to the world-class hospitality I was shown as a guest.