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San Diego Sarah has posted 1952 annotations/comments since 6 August 2015.

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About Pearls

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

In 1665 or thereabouts, Johannes Vermeer painted Girl with a Pearl Earring -- or did he?

Yes, he painted the masterpiece known as Girl with a Pearl Earring, but look closely again. Think you see a pearl dangling exotically from her ear? The bauble is but a pigment of your imagination. With a flick of the wrist and two expert dabs of paint, Vermeer tricks your visual cortices of the occipital lobes into seeing a pearl. Squint as much as you like -- there is no loop connecting the ornament to her ear.

Vermeer’s precious gem is an optical illusion, which reflects back on ourselves, and our own illusory presence in the world.

About Pearls

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

The word baroque derives from the idea of an “imperfect pearl”: something lustrous with a beguiling flaw.

About Pearls

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Were did all these pearls come from?

According to:
http://www.sonofthesouth.net/slavery/history-sl...

Pirates love treasure, as we remember:

The first royal Aztec treasures that Cortés looted were shipped across the Atlantic in 1521. But they never reached Madrid. The treasures, which included gold and silver jewelry, pearls, jade, and three live jaguars, were intercepted and looted by a flotilla of French privateers led by an Italian variously named Jean Fleury, Giovanni da Verrazano, Juan Florentino, or El Francés (when sailing with French financing).

Thus the first real treasure of the New World arrived at the royal court in Paris: half a tonne of gold, 300 kilograms of pearls, and an emerald as large as a man's fist.

Although Jean Fleury's ships were legally warships acting for the King of France during wartime, the Spanish executed him as a pirate when they captured him in 1527.

Later, in Manila, the Spanish and Chinese merchants made fortunes as Spanish (New World) silver was traded for spices, silks, ivory, pearls, jade, gold, jewels, and other luxury goods, most of them from China. The Chinese trade flourished late in the 16th century, so the streets of Manila became paved with granite cobble-stones brought from China as ballast in Chinese and Spanish ships.

It didn't take many generations for the wealth of South America to be transferred to China. Spain, the wealthiest country in the world, lost it all.

The Chinese always have been very good at supplying luxury goods people want to consume.

About New Samuel Pepys £2 coin

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

I received mine today, in a beautiful presentation package. I'm glad I "voted" for Mr. Pepys' inclusion in this year's commemorative coins. If you have a history lover on your list of "people who have everything" this would be a nice gift.

About Sunday 22 April 1666

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"I wonder if all the afternoon's to and froing was simply to stay near the Cockpit to see off Albemarle when he showed ..."

There seems to have been no other reason, unless he was avoiding Elizabeth and William Joyce. Or he wanted Lady Castlemaine to see his "new black coate, long down to my knees, ..."

If Albemarle's taking the fleet, there has been no obvious preparation. Give us information, Pepys! We need more.

About Friday 20 April 1666

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Pepys had his outing with Betty Martin set up for a while.

He said: "Anon comes home my wife from Brampton, not looked for till Saturday, which will hinder me of a little pleasure, but I am glad of her coming."

About Friday 20 April 1666

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"What could there possibly be about Sam and Bess to gossip about?"

Does Pepys know that a prophet is never recognized in his own country? His neighbors have seen/met his parents, so they know of his humble origins ... seen Balty, so they think Elizabeth a suspect pretentious French woman ... and listened to Wayneman's howls. They see his house growing larger and more opulent every year. They give him rides in their coaches, host parties and have him to lunch, which he rarely reciprocates, all while begrudging them their "gratuities."

Seems to me he has been doing his best to ignore the neighbors for years already.

About Thursday 19 April 1666

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

I'm sure Elizabeth is fairly well informed about Pepys' financial affairs ... but the strong box is in his closett, and he has the key. I believe he looks carefully at the end of the month accounts she prepares. I presume he regularly gives her money to buy food, and I trust he gives out more than we are told for clothing and livery for Tom. I think he has a quiet chuckle with her when he pulls a fast one, or marvels at the generosity of Mr. Warren. She may not know the exact figures involved, but she knows that portrait is symbolic of having "made it" ... she enjoys the silk wall paper in her room ... she polishes that carved staircase with pride, and sits on her new balcony with pleasure. She knows her clever husband can find a way to give Pall more, and he can afford more now for his parents than he could when their deal was agreed. I think this self-confidence grew last summer when she was mostly on her own for six months. It even sounds like she rode unescorted in the coach from Brampton this time (daring the highwaymen to show themselves?). Pepys appears to be enjoying his more liberated wife than the passive-aggressive, sulky one he had for a couple of years before the plague. He is certainly proud of her painting talent and beauty, and trusted her with these negotiations. They are maturing into full-grown adults and partners.