Thursday, 20 April 2017

Q = Quite quirky and queer

Well, I guess I could save us all a bit of time and simply say that for evidence of queer and quirky things in the wonderful world of the Wellcome Collection, please refer to my posts for letters A through to P (with the possible exceptions of O and N). 
But there are far too many candidates for queer crying out for inclusion, too many examples of quirky tapping on my funny ha-ha and funny peculiar bones for me not to present just a small selection for your edification.

Starting with the what-the-? portrait of Sir Henry Wellcome as an insect.

Perhaps the fab hairy-caterpillar moustache inspired this. Or maybe Sir H was a bit of a pest.

Hundreds of thousands of these Pipes of Peace were sold in the early 1900s to people who suffered from asthma and bronchitis. Users inhaled a combination of water and the inventor  Hiram Maxim's own magical concoction, which he called Dirigo (pine, menthol and mint oils).

I took the long photo from behind the exhibit and the item is displayed at the top of a bookcase, hence all the ceiling lights in the pic... but you can still see 
how schmancy (and $£$£$£) some of the peace pipes were. Ironically, amongst Hiram's other hugely successful inventions is the first fully-automatic machine gun. 

A cord soaked in viper's blood was once worn as a necklace to provide protection from mumps. Ewwww... This one was purchased c.1800 from an apothecary in Venice by young Erik Piper on The Grand Tour — AKA The Georgian Gap Year.
I like to think Ez took it home as a gag gift for his dad. Cheeky funster.

Cited as Mr J Kay in the year 1820 and rendered in oil, this fellow is reputed to be suffering from 'a rodent disease'... possibly acquired during his Georgian Gap Year.

Cow pox is a disease transmitted by rats, but La grande verole — the great pox — was the preferred name for syphilis in polite society. 
And young Mr Kay's gnawed-looking nose, when coupled with his vampire-like incisors, suggests that he was afflicted with la grande verole (albeit of the congenital variety).
Mr J Kay... pffftsure
That's not his real name.
I reckon it's Mr JK — Just Kidding. 
Who'd sit for this portrait? 
Another slightly queer quirky thing about JK is that as I moved about in the gallery, attempting to minimise the reflection on the glass that protects the painting so I could take this shot, his eyes were definitely following me in that Disney-haunted-house kind of way. I think he may have known that my pet name for him is Rat Face. It could have been worse. I could have dubbed him Pox Head, but I'm too mature for that.

Amulet made from alabaster with bronze wings,
Pompeii, 100 BC - AD 100

Finally, because of the popularity of the running dick featured in letter K, and in no way because of my level of maturity, I bring you the flying dick.

Officially, it's Fascinus. 
An ancient god.
The divine phallus.
Protector against all evil.

I think several squillion women (and a few men) through history may beg to differ.

During the month of April, I am participating in the Blogging from A–Z Challenge.


  1. Oh dear where did you find all this stuff... That's really quirky �� looks like Mr J Kay (yeah not I too windy of that's a fake name) had a really bad time.

    1. Poor old Ratface. He must have had a miserable time.
      Thanks for droppping by.
      I hope A-Z is living up to your expectations.

  2. The first photo reminds me of The Fly - remember that movie? The original, not the Jeff Goldblum one. And the flying penis???? Oh my.

    1. Yes, I DO remember that movie. And you are right.
      Not a fan of the flying penis? Isn't that a yoga pose?

  3. Paul McCartney's follow up album to Tug of War was Pipes of Peace. I wonder if it was inspired by Hiram Maxim's "Maxim Inhaler", an item I would gladly have in my collection of things if only for the delicious red box and the maker's brilliant monicker. Hiram Maxim...rolls off the tongue a treat. Shame I've already named my first born.

    1. It's a ripper name, isn't it.
      I know i can, trust you to have a Beatles connection for everything under the sun.

  4. Oh, you certainly have some great finds here Wendy. I love the flying phallu (sounds like a train name). Not so keen on old rat face though!

  5. Good grief - can you imagine how many men/women in Victorian or Edwardian England had bits missing due to the pox? Antibiotics were a godsend I'm sure.
    Leanne | cresting the hill