Saturday, October 17, 2015

Saturday post

I have been brooding on what to write this week, when I found the Hochdorf photos, I came across others that were part of the visit to the German museum to hand back six scrolls that LS had given a new life to.  These 6 scrolls belonged to a 19th century doctor Erwin Balz who lived in the town of Bietigherm Bissingen and had collected an awful lot of Japanese stuff, there was a section in the museum charting his life.
The scrolls were of very ugly gods, flamboyantly dressed and probably all with their own tales to tell. LS gave a talk as well.

Our plane journey landed us at Stuttgart late evening, and we had two large suitcases with the scrolls and boxes in.  We had to try several taxis before we could fit them in, so at about midnight we arrived at our hotel in the snow with LS worrying about the method to get in, it was just a numbered key lock, and luckily it worked.

You can read the history of this doctor in the Wiki entry above, but a couple of photos show him in Tokyo,  he was an advisor to the Emperor.
Here he is being pulled in a rickshaw,  The top photo is of 'ethnic' people

inside the museum
He occasionally crosses my mind, bringing back his treasures, why do people collect I wonder? Such stuff ends up in museums getting dusty in the back room.  A year back or so, a client of LS's turned up with several boxes of icons which had been stored in his cousin's basement for 30 years, never looked at.  They were all opened, unwrapped from their tissue paper and then wrapped away again to go back into storage - weird.
The scrolls are beautiful in their own way, details are meticulous, the hare captured in the moon...

Before restoration

After conservation

A Japanese garden in the doctor's honour


  1. Why indeed do people collect things? What happens when they have gone? Anything of real archeaological value, or artistic value will be welcomed by a museum. Then, as you say, gathering dust for years. I had a friend who collected over a thousand pigs - china, bronze, pictures - you name it. I often wonder what happened to them all. When she had them she had special shelves built all round the room. I am now at the age when I am beginning to shed things rather than collect them, although I am ashamed to say I cannot bear to part with any of my hares!

  2. Well, I collect books. That stems back to my childhood when we couldn't afford them, and most of my books came from the library. I had very few books when I was small and was desperate for more once I'd learned to read. Now I have my own library of hundreds and hundreds on different topics which interest me. As for china and other "stuff" - I collect Torquay Pottery because of the Devon connection with my roots (and hence my dad I suppose). Blue and white china - I don't add to the collection but I do keep the bits I have had for years. Why people bring home things from abroad, like the good Dr did, I guess it is because they have an interest and by owning something special they feel closer to their chosen interest and can understand it more? Dunno. Like Pat, I've definitely got too much stuff . . .

  3. Talking about collecting things< I love Elephants and at one time I used to collect them, once your friends and family know of this, they come flooding in Christmas and birthdays...

  4. Sorry everyone, hope I have not hit too many nerves on collecting, I was just musing after all. Ana I love elephants to but only have one, and as you say you end up with lots given by friends.
    As for books Jennie, I collect books to, I suspect though that having to get rid of an awful lot of stuff through divorce, has opened my eyes as to the joys 'of not owning stuff'.
    Shedding stuff Pat, is what has happened in this latest move, some things I still hanker after, was I too strict with some things, or was it because I was worried about filling the removal van? ;)