The story of the purchase of Manhattan is one of the most contentious and oft-disputed stories in American history. That modest sale has gone down in history as the biggest swindle ever perpetrated.... But what may be the most surprising fact about the whole transaction is that in 1626, and for a long time afterward, both parties were very happy with it.The complexities of navigating the economics of desire, an excerpt from Aja Raden's Stoned: Jewelry, Obsession, and How Desire Shapes the World [Amazon].
It's Tiara Thursday at The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor, where each week the provenance & history of a different royal tiara is highlighted. You could start browsing from top 15 readers' favorite tiaras or the top 10 ultimate tiara collection, featuring such sparkly as the Danish Ruby Parure Tiara and the Girls of Great Britain & Ireland Tiara. [more inside]
Sandusky, Ohio is probably best known for its roller coasters (and maybe the wineries in the area), but one of the most interesting places--a tiny little island in the Sandusky Bay called Johnson's Island--is very often overlooked. Once the home of a prison camp for confederate soldiers, daring (and not so daring) escapes, convoluted espionage schemes, poetry, and eating rats. [more inside]
On the 18th June 1912 workmen burst through the floorboards of a disused London tenement at 30-32 Cheapside and discovered "Probably the most remarkable find ever recovered from British soil." The stock of an early Stuart goldsmith - the most astonishing array of precious and semi-precious stones from around the world - hidden c.1630, The Cheapside Hoard is the finest collection of Elizabethan jewellery in the world. [more inside]
The Maria Theresa Thaler (or MTT), a coin first minted in 1741 and continuously to this day, remained legal tender in parts of the Arabian peninsula as late as 1970, where it was much prized both as a coin and for jewelry [magazine article] Incredibly important for trade between Europe and the Middle East, the MTT had a great impact on history. For more information turn to Maria Theresa's Thaler: A case of international money an indepth article about the MTT by Adrian Tschoegl.