lblanchard: (swannfountain)
[personal profile] lblanchard
[This is one in what has now become an almost-weekly series of postings inspired by Abigail Rorer, Mimpish Squinnies: Reginald Farrer's Short Guide to Worthless Plants. Rorer's book includes prints of fourteen plants Farrer considered worthless-- an interesting hybrid of botanically accurate and...different. You can see her work, including all fourteen mimpish squinnies, here: ]

Today's Mimpish Monday is uncharacteristically brief, because I was in Boston for five days at a symposium on medieval manuscripts in conjunction with a three-venue exhibition. If you're curious, you can visit

But the determined Farrerophile can find mimpery just about everywhere. I could hardly contain my glee when I beheld the plant I wrote about last Monday as part of the exhibition. Behold a fifteenth-century (by the skin of its teeth) rendering of my Halloween squinny, Physalis, on display at McMullen Museum, Boston College.

Ms Typ 220. Houghton Library, Harvard University. Figures et fleures peintes: drawings, [ca. 1500]

Then, the next day, I found chrysanthemums of the sort that Farrer described as "moulting mops dipped in stale lobster sauce" in the courtyard of the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum, the second of three symposium/exhibition venues.

I didn't find any mimpish miseries in the exhibition at the third venue, Houghton Library (Harvard), but as the Physalis at Boston College came from the Harvard collections, I feel that I've covered all three bases.

Regular mimpery will resume next week.

Date: 2016-11-08 05:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I am laughing almost too hard to type.

Why "stale" lobster sauce, I wonder? Is fresh lobster sauce redder?


P.S. In re your last comment to me on the previous post, no indeed, you never said that Farrer was perfect. But some of his imperfections are more or less adorable than others.

Date: 2016-11-13 03:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I think Farrer considered those show chrysanthemums to be unappetizing, and stale lobster sauce, rather than fresh, fits in there nicely.

Agreed that some of his imperfections are more adorable than others.

Date: 2016-11-08 12:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes, stale lobster sauce is such an odd comparison!
I like that mum!

As an aside, I had jam made from the fruit of the Physalis this weekend and it is very very good!

Date: 2016-11-13 03:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Physalis jam! I'll have to look for some.

Date: 2016-11-13 09:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This was made by a friend...just the right combination of tart-sweet! I loved it.


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