Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Book Review: Encounters of Sherlock Holmes

The spirit of Sherlock Holmes lives on in this collection of fourteen brand-new adventures.

What is it?

A collection of short stories featuring our old friends, Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson, Mrs.Hudson and many more familiar faces.

What I Liked

The short stories within are amusing and well written. A few of them particularly stood out. We get a visit from H.G Wells in a science fiction style story (my favorite out of the book) and we encounter a giant squid, black magic and a giant metal "infernal device" type of machine.

What I Didn't Like

Some of the stories began to blur together in places, without enough to define one from the other. What saves the book is the sprinkle of original, different stories throughout. Please take in to account that as a reader I have a penchant for bizarre, dark stories. Those that entangle magic (or the threat of magic) with the mystery. Hence I found the "weird" stories to be more enjoyable. There was an even mix of normal and abnormal though, and should keep most Sherlock fans happy.

In Conclusion

This story collection is well worth adding to your shelf of steampunk reads. 

Oliver the Octopus Gives You 7 out of 8 Octopus legs.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

1800's Clockwork Toy's and other fun finds

1800's Clockwork Toys and other fun finds

I find it fascinating that amidst the Industrial Revolution fantastical inventions and clockwork toys were created. I pictured kids playing with crochet dolls and wooden blocks, yet human ingenuity was vast at work. 

 Here are some unique toys I've found for sale..

1.The Ethiopian Catterpillar I'd love to have something like this in my clockwork toy collection. But this little beauty would run me over $300,000 Dollars!

The Ethiopian Caterpillar is a bejeweled automaton from the year 1820. Attributed to Henri Maillardet, only six automaton caterpillars are known to exist and the other five are in prestigious collections in Europe, include one in the Patek Philippe museum and another two in the Sandoz collection (see Parmigiani for more on them).
The pre-sale estimate for this piece is $350,000-$450,000.

2. Oriental Dancing Man This little beauty is at a no reserve bid on ebay. (Currently $650.00US) It is thought to be made in New York early 1800's.

3. Double Hanging Dancers on Platform Made by Automatic Toy Works Connecticut – Circa 1875 This is an extremely rare clockwork-jigging toy. They were probably less than 10 known examples.   The toy is 10” tall by 6 ¾“ wide. Material: Wood, Fabric and Composition. This fun piece has a starting bid of $1500! 

4. Or perhaps toys aren't your thing. What about a 1800's clockwork meat rotisserie?

There are so many unique early clockwork contraptions to be found for sale. If I had the money I'd buy them all! If you stumble across anything interesting send it my way! -The Clockpunkette