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I love the almost-human arms and legs on this enormous alligator, which is being attacked, ostensibly, by Native Americans, as depicted by 16th-century artist Theodor de Bry.
"The verisimilitude of many of de Bry's illustrations is questionable; not least because he never crossed the Atlantic. "
Doctor Robert Honeyman of Scotland left his son a human rib from King James V. Why? Well, wouldn't you?
To son Robrt [sic] Bruce Honeyman, 900 acres whereon testator resides, negroes (men Bob, John, boy Lewis, deaf & dumb woman Celia & her children Murvin & Beck), 2 work horses, 4 work oxen, 4 cows/calves, 20 sheep, all hogs, farming/kitchen utensils, all furniture in house, all books (except 10 vol to each dau [sic]), watch, guns, all medicines/surgical instruments, microscopes (except best in shagreen case to son), thermometer, diploma, human rib (of James V, King Scotland) in small trunk in chest...
Among the early settlers of Lauderdale County were Dr. Samuel and Cornelia C. (Honyman) Oldham; her father, Dr. Robt. Honyman [sic], was a noted physician and member of the royal navy, for many years surgeon of the "Portland," a ship of the line, that was sent to St. Helena in 1771, to await Capt. Cook's expected arrival from his first trip around the world, and convey his ship to England. He was also a direct descendant of the Dr. Honyman, who extracted by command, the fifth rib from the side of James V, King of Scotland, which rib was transmitted to him by his ancestors, and he by will to his only son, with the request, "that he will carefully keep the said rib, and carefully transmit it to his descendants."
An illustration for this purpose can be found in a sixteenth-century edition of De Arte Coquinaria
(On the Subject of Cooking).
A 1905 article in the Strand magazine
provides more info about this work:
amongst the dishes herein enumerated we may find hot-pots of cow-heel, pickled broom buds, and Tetrapharmacon, of which latter delicacy we are told that it was made of pheasant, peacock, a wild sow's hock and udder, with a bread pudding over it.
The work is divided into ten books, beginning with soups, pickles, and sauces, and proceeding through the whole art of cookery, with hundreds of recipes, the very reading of which makes one's mouth water. For instance, who could resist "virgin sow drest with broth made of pepper, wine, honey, oyl, and stew'd damsons"? Or dormouse sausages? ...
There are many recipes in the book to dress "cramp-fish, that numb the hands of those that touch them; the cuttlefish, whose blood is like ink; the pourcontrel, or many feet, the sea-urchin or hedgehog." ...
Then, again, we are given minute instructions for the carving of beasts whose flesh was esteemed by the ancients. "In partes of Asia and Africa," we are told, "the oliphant is eaten, not as the Romans and Egyptians were wont to do, sparingly and only as pertain'd to his feete, trunk, and tayle all of which were great delicacies, but his entire carcase is carved and consumed." For the benefit of those who might happen to possess an elephant and be tempted to eat him a chart of carving instructions accompanies the text.