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Parting the Veil of Faery: The Colmore Fatagravures
June 19, 2007 9:43 PM   Subscribe

Parting the Veil of Faery: The Colmore Fatagravures, said to date from the 1890s. "A Scottish adventurer, inventor, and photographer named Neville Colmore claimed to have constructed a device capable of '...parting the veil of Faery...' The device, which he called the Spectobarathrum, along with all of the images he claimed to have made were believed destroyed in a fire. I believe some of these images and related artefacts may have survived." [via Apothecary's Drawer]
posted by mediareport (16 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

 
These astonishing images should not be confused with the later, more familiar, Cottingley garden fairy photos on which the 1998 film "Fairy Tale - A True Story" was based...The Cottingley girls had a literary champion in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and they were cute little English girls. He was a cantankerous Scots scientist with a thick Border accent and was consider quite mad by the majority of his peers in the United Kingdom. Colmore was very bitter about the attention they received.

Battuil of Bogglecleugh #173 is my fave, I think.
posted by mediareport at 9:45 PM on June 19, 2007


This is a fairly (sic) entertaining construct, although it would be more convincing if there were internet references to Neville Colmore that DIDN'T reference this flickr set or include the exact phrase "A Scottish adventurer, inventor, and photographer named Neville Colmore claimed to have constructed a device capable of '...parting the veil of Faery...' ".

Or if, say, wikipedia weren't uncharacteristically silent on the matter...
posted by dersins at 12:15 AM on June 20, 2007


I don't buy it for a minute, but I have to say it's beautifully done; thanks for posting.
posted by El Brendano at 2:39 AM on June 20, 2007


You don't buy the hoax itself, or the hoax of the hoax? Very nice posting... Mr. Swift would be proud, or tired...
posted by ewkpates at 2:56 AM on June 20, 2007


A hoax of a hoax is an intriguing idea, and the images are more appealing than the Cottingly fairies. They're a bit too good for this to be entirely convincing.
posted by louche mustachio at 4:18 AM on June 20, 2007


Great photos.
posted by chuckdarwin at 5:00 AM on June 20, 2007


The real giveaway (I mean, aside from the fact that you have to believe in fairies) is that Coleman is a pal of explorer Walter E. Traprock. As Apothecary's Drawer points out, Traprock was a creation of 1920s architect/writer George S. Chappell; his parody travelogues include The Cruise of the Kawa: Wanderings in the South Seas, which has a description and photo of the famous square eggs of the Fatu-Liva bird, Sarah of the Sahara and Through the Alimentary Canal with Gun and Camera.

dersins, there's nothing about Chappell/Traprock at Wikipedia either, but I promise you I've seen his books. :)
posted by mediareport at 5:22 AM on June 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


I love that first one, whatever it is.
posted by The Straightener at 5:57 AM on June 20, 2007


Wow... full disclosure -- I've known Colmore for something like a decade. Aren't these beautiful? He's really stumbled upon the most magical -- and disturbing -- things. Dr. Traprock has been a huge influence has been a huge influence on Neville's adventurousness.

Mediareport, are you implying that the Fatu-Liva bird does not exist?! You've not properly lived until you've had a square-egg omelette on one of those glorious Filbert Island mornings.
posted by kittyb at 6:54 AM on June 20, 2007


and, of course, Traprock has indeed been a doubly huge influence!
posted by kittyb at 6:56 AM on June 20, 2007


What a lovely post. These are gorgeous!
posted by LeeJay at 12:46 PM on June 20, 2007


What? Y'all don't believe in faeries?!

*claps hands*
posted by deborah at 1:02 PM on June 20, 2007


Great post. Thanks, mediareport.

*dances with joy*
posted by homunculus at 2:20 PM on June 20, 2007


Invitation to Elfland
posted by homunculus at 2:22 PM on June 20, 2007


love this.
posted by exlotuseater at 4:21 PM on June 20, 2007


Shenanigans!
posted by Parannoyed at 9:27 AM on June 21, 2007


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