Thursday, September 03, 2009

What have YOU had to eat today??

Cataloging old auction catalogs today, and could not resist sharing this piece. It's a German bronze figure, late 16th or early 17th century, of a decomposing man. A very rare representation, it most closely relates to a wood group in the NY Met. attributed to the Master of the Upper Rhine from the early 16th century. This piece was sold by Sotheby's London on December 16, 1971.

I wish i'd been collecting and solvent then, I'd have bought it.


Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Fair is Fair

Wolf Hunting Season in Montana opens today. This is the first wolf hunt in a decade or so, brought about because the Feds have taken wolves off the endangered species list. There are about 800 wild wolves in Montana, which didn't sound like a lot to me, until a hunter reminded me that Montana is a state just a tad* larger than Rhode Island. Of the 800 wolves they're going to shoot 200+, leaving 600 wolves to populate a state approximately the size of eastern Europe.

That might seem like very few wild wolves to many of you, I know it sounded that way to me, but apparently we're all wrong. They had a story about this on NPR yesterday, and the wolf-killing enthusiasts were well-represented. They seemed to have two main arguments-

1. Wolves kill elk for sport, so we need to kill the wolves. (Human hunters, on the other hand, apparently kill elk because... um, well, maybe an elk ran down their grandmother).

2. Having wolves that hunt elk around makes it harder for human hunters to find elk. (Um, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the fact that they're hard to find why we call it, uh, "hunting"?)

Now, I don't want it to seem that I'm completely opposed to hunting wolves. I think it might actually be entertaining- my suggestion would be to throw the wolves and the human hunters all into Montana, close the gate, and let them have at it, but on equal terms, which means no boots, no jeeps and no guns for either side.

That sounds fair, doesn't it?

* 1 tad = 50x.