Monday, September 28, 2009

Part I, Chapter 7

THE ETERNAL FIGHT: The Al-hambra at Vezérhalom

The story of how the Hungarian "Al-hambra" palace at Vezérhalom, originally built and owned by a Hungarian "financial baron", came to belong to the Russian Tsar Constantin's daughter. The man in question had had many magnificent buildings built all in different (inter)national styles (there is even a mention of a hippodrome built in Pekingese style).

After his death, the Al-hambra was left to his "majoresco" (Buttler?) who was eventually in a poor enough financial state to want to be rid of it. After several years of problems and poor management at the hands of the subsequent owner, eventually the building was sold to the recently dethroned Tsar Constantin. And after Tsar Constantin's death, the building became property of his daughter, Hermione Peleia.

It is mentioned that most of the decorative objects in the Al-hambra, as in many other newly built palacse, are "copies", since in the 20th century everything can be made by factories that thereuntil had to be produced through manual labour.

Oil pressings can create Rubens and Tintoretto copies that are faithful to the point of deception.

Lithopany can handle encaustica (wax-painting).

Benvenuto Cellini's ciselirization's can be reproduced with hair-strand accuracy through galvanoplasty.

Gobelins can be produced by the sewing-chair.

Ivory is no longer carved, but as per Rouvier's invention, poured into form after mixing the ground bone with schellak (?) and alcohol.

The once expensive corinthian ore is mimicked by "princmetall", gold by "chrysorin"; previously hammered metal objects are now poured into form. Numismatic (coins) rarities are multiplied by the thousands, using "alfenoid" and "bathmetall" instead of silver, marble and lapis azuli is well mimicked by Lippmann and Schrechenburger's invention of mixing ground limestone, marble-dust, flax-oil, and sulphuric acid.


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