A Woman's World

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Anonymous French albumen print circa 1870s depicting a still life with small book, fancy candle holder, small watch, basket with lace cloth, and statuette of a dancing Maenad. Oval format print mounted on period board. Print size 4.25 x 5.25 inches (11x14 cm).   Price: $250.   ( Inventory# id459 )

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Unusually, the common focus of the objects in this anonymous still-life seems to be the world of the woman -- the small sewing basket with lace, the open book illustrated with some sort of sentimental engraving and perhaps containing period verses, the tiny watch and floral design tiny candleholder would all be normal objects of the period lady's daily life-world. They might even have been left sitting by her on a small table as in this image.

What startles somewhat is the dancing Maenad at center of the composition, beating a small hand drum as she glides along on the tips of her feet. Perhaps she is intended as a decoding or revelation of the spirit which lies behind the lacework, sewing basket, and small volume of sentimental verses.

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Last updated September 8, 2017

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