March 6, 2010

Catawiki, personal catalogue, wiki and shopping website in one

Filed under: Online by Branko Collin @ 11:33 am

Last week the readers of Belgian online magazine Netties, an early supporter of Wikipedia, voted Catawiki the Best Website in the Dutch language.

Catawiki is what you would get if you merged Librarything, an online personal library catologue, with eBay, and squared the result. It was founded in 2009 by René Schoenmakers and Marco Jansen, who bought an existing Flemish comics database with 110,000 entries to get started. Later catalogues for stamps, coins and telephone cards were added. The site bills itself as the catalogue for and by collectors.

Although Catawiki can be used to just show the world which books, comics and even barf bags you own, you can also use it to sell items.


Tags: , , ,

December 13, 2009

Collection of 2,400 ecstasy pills stolen

Filed under: Weird by Branko Collin @ 4:11 pm

When Jan from Eerbeek, Gelderland noticed last Thursday that his extensive ecstasy collection had been stolen, he immediately notified the police. Even though it is believed that the collection is illegal, the 46-year-old sounded the alarm because he fears some of the pills may be poisonous.

The man started his collection 20 years ago. The last 10 years he has hardly worked on it, according to an article in De Stentor. The collector, who tried ecstasy once but didn’t like it, hopes for clemency from the Department of Justice.

“It is a great pity I lost the collection. I would have liked to preserve it for the ages.”

Ecstasy pills are often colourful and come in a great variety of prints. BoingBoing moderator Arkizzle explains the magnitude of the loss of the collection of 2,400 pills:

Pill marks in illicit drug manufacturing are lovely ephemeral things, that come and go as the brand is made and fades. Drugs, obviously, don’t tend to get saved for posterity, so this collection was probably unique. Also, I understand that owning the stamping dies is legally akin to having forgery plates, so they are unlikely to be reproducible.

I once saw a fantastic exhibition of acid blotters in London; original and reprints. Lots of ‘Dead-style artwork, amongst cartoon characters and repeating geometric shapes.

(Photo: DEA. Link: Edmonton Sun / AP / Toby Sterling.)

Tags: , , , ,

January 17, 2008

Golden age collections showcased in Wonder Stage of Nature

Filed under: Art,History by Branko Collin @ 9:00 am

No Dutch Golden Age (17th century) collection of obscure and exotic trinkets and specimens appears to have survived, as heirs tended to sell off these collections to foreign collectors. However, we still have books that illustrate them at least. As Bibliodyssey writes:

The collection obsession of Early Modern Europe, that saw people stocking cabinets of curiosities […] with obscure and exotic trinkets and specimens from the worlds of ‘artificialia’ and ‘naturalia’, emerged in Holland under a local profile of influences.

Unlike most of their European counterparts, the Dutch republic lacked both a royal court or any sizeable aristocracy, so collecting was a hobby cultivated by regular citizens. […]

[There were numerous collections] built up by Dutch carpenters, merchants, tradesmen and artisans. The enthusiasm for collecting, in Holland at least, could be seen at all levels of society, but with the most notable collections owned by burghers and regents, in contrast to the kings, nobles and prelates of other European countries. And there is the rub. It was customary for families to sell off these ‘rariteitenkabinets’ and divide the spoils following the death of the collector. Accordingly, most Dutch collections of significance left the country, purchased by foreign nobility and no intact collections have survived; adding an interesting element of documentary detective work to scholarly assessments.

But at least a documentation of these collections has survived. The wonderful Bibliodyssey for instance liberally quotes a picture book by Levinus Vincent (1658-1727) called “Wondertooneel der Nature” (Wonder Stage of Nature).

Via BoingBoing.

Tags: , ,

December 24, 2007

Photographer Jan-Dirk van der Burg captures the mundane

Filed under: Art,Photography by Branko Collin @ 8:10 pm

Photographer Jan-Dirk van der Burg (Flash) tries to capture the out-of-the-way, the old-fashioned and the corny. Like a Dutch Paul Shambroom he visits backrooms to document commission meetings, office culture, hobbies and small passions.

His photos appear in the weekend magazine of Amsterdam daily Het Parool in a column in which young reporters Alma & Fanny ‘collect collectors’. This photo for instance is of a man who collects toy guns, a hobby that, as the collector mentioned matter-of-factly, greatly increases the time he spends at airports, as he always gets picked out of the line by customs.

According to an interview on his website, Van der Burg started to try and capture the rift between people and their environment after he had visited modern office buildings that were furnished like playgrounds yet where employees were unhappy. In order to keep the interior design unblemished, people weren’t even allowed to put up their own pictures.

Tags: ,