Garbage castleToday I spent the entire day going through medieval garbage. That is to say, I went though boxes filled with remains of medieval and early-modern books, which were stored in the archives of Maastricht, in the south of Holland. The snippets and sheets were thrown out centuries ago, but were subsequently fished out of the bin because a new purpose was found for them: recycling. Many ended up in the dark inside of bookbindings, where they supported boards and backs. Not the example above, however, which was used for a more artistic purpose, likely in the late 16th century: the large blank space was perfect for doodling a castle on - and two of its inhabitants. A draft, no doubt, a practice run before the real deal was undertaken. Someone liked it enough, however, to hang on to, although the sheet ultimately shared the fate of his peers - the bin. It may have been recycled again, ultimately ending up filed in a box, and then, today, in my hands. I just love this well-traveled garbage castle.
Pic (my own): Maastricht, Regionaal Historisch Centrum Limburg, 18.A Nr. 208.
Great post! The accident of survival never ceases to amaze me. What we have, and what has been lost.