I recently saw a book about 35cm x 22cm. It started life as a book filled with blank pages. A cadet at the Danish Naval Academy filled it with notes taken in the course of his studies...
Beautiful notes. In a magnificent longhand. With stunning illustrations. 193 pages in all, 34 full page illustrations. 80 or so other illustrations.
If you are quick, and can get to London, you might still be able to see it for yourself. (Or buy it for me for Christmas?) I saw it at Henry Sotheran's, near Piccadilly. (Go to the website, search for "Købke"... if no results arise, you are too late.)
It grieves me that with all the technology available to me that I cannot create one page as beautiful as his 193 pages... but I hope this gives you a taste of how wonderful this volume of notes is.
I should mention that the color of the paper is poorly rendered here... the actual object is much prettier.
Note the subtle shading, what we today would call "drop shadow" around the cannon, which "lifts" it off the page. In real life, what you see above is about 22 cm wide.
Young Købke studied the sort of things a naval cadet at Dartmouth (England) or Annapolis would have been studying in the early 1800s. Either this is just one of many notebooks, or he was being trained as a gunner. The work is, not surprisingly, in Danish. The notebook has much on what I believe to be....
And there are odds and ends which I'm not as sure about!
Here I have of course concentrated on some of the more visually pleasing elements. There is a lot of meticulous text... probably a "fine copy" of an earlier draft, I would say. But the samples on this page are by no means a wide sampling of the many, many illustrations of many sizes.
(Below is a double page spread, and more indulgent in respect of allowing areas of the page to "go to waste", to give a more pleasing appearance, that is common in the book.)
Here is a detail. What is shown is about 10cm wide in the original. See Wikipedia on the "sector", or "military (drawing) compass" for what the instrument shown was for!
(I should mention, in case you are thinking of buying the notes, that I did some minor photo manipulation to remove some small blemishes.)
If this doesn't impress you, try drawing something similar. The x-axis is drawn with a log scale. Note how smoothly the spacing changes. The sslightest error stands out a mile... and I can see only one faint one here. (The diagram is a nomogram... a quick way to convert quantities, do a calculation.)
I've done a separate page with this shown at a higher resolution. It's only 1.3 meg, have a look if your bandwidth allows. So much prettier.
I wish I had time bring you more images! (My thanks to Sotheran's for allowing me to take them.) I wish I had money to add this treasure to my collection of old books!
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