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Compiled by Bryan McMullin

What follows is a random assortment of art and antiques related websites that we have visited and enjoyed in the last few weeks. Your discoveries and suggestions are always welcome.         lure box.jpg (96558 bytes)

Everything you ever wanted to know about collectible fishing lures and more! We never would have even thought about this collecting field until several years ago when a lure sold at auction for over $20,000. That is the extreme, but part of the attraction to this collecting field is its accessibility. This site shows the uninitiated, and we would assume the more sophisticated collector as well, an amazing variety of lures and highly collectible lure boxes (how many people saved a fishing lure box?). There is a vast amount of information here with dozens of articles about this specialized collecting field, lure identification checklists, links to other fishing related sites, and most of all prices!

If you ever come across an old tackle box at a flea market or on a house call, it could be worth some serious money. This is the site youíll want to know about!      Art Nouveau.gif (22785 bytes)

We have been here before, the main page of the National Gallery, but there is an interesting new element here. Through January 28th the National Gallery is featuring an exhibition focusing on the Art Nouveau movement around the world. They have also created an informative section in the site relating not only to the objects in the exhibition, but a behind the scenes look at the creation of a museum exhibition as well.

From the home page you click on "Art Nouveau" and then on "Anatomy of an Exhibition". This takes you to the pages relating to the show. There is a lot of educational material regarding the history of the Art Nouveau "movement", but perhaps most interesting is the background of the show itself, the years of research, the logistics, and the creation of a setting for the exhibition. There is an fun time-lapse movie showing the actual building of one of the exhibition halls and an audio tour of some of the objects in the show is in the works but not yet operational. If you canít get to Washington, D.C. to see the show, this might just be the next best thing.          

There is something strangely ironic about a website that uses 21st century technology to explain the history of a medieval "tapestry" and the story of the battle that took place in 1066 AD which inspired it. This site does that admirably, using richly colored images and animations to enhance an explanation of the history, back-ground, and artistry behind one of the earliest and most impressive examples of western culture.

The Bayeux Tapestry is an extraordinary object not only in that it is still largely intact, but in its very creation. The who, why and how of this historic textile are still shrouded in mystery, but the tapestry itself (really not a tapestry but an embroidery) is presented here in such excellent quality images that individual stitches are discernable. For more dedicated history buffs there is an associated site at which goes into extensive detail about the Battle of Hastings in 1066 and the profound effect it was to have on western civilization. Whatever your interests though, this is an excellent example of the educational potential of the Internet.

For anyone interested in the arts and culture of the Victorian era this is the site to visit. is commercially supported, providing lots of links to related businesses as well as a Marketplace section of items for sale, but there is also a "study center" with what must be one of the most comprehensive listings of 19th century related sites on the web. This long list of links will take you to sites originating all over the world, ranging from your typical museum and historic association sites, to elaborate sites focusing on specific topics. One we found interesting, and would not have found otherwise, was about gothic revival designer A.W. Pugin produced by the Pugin Society in England, but there are dozens of others to suit just about any interest.

Other parts of this extensive site include one with dozens of articles relating to the Victorian era, another section, "Behind Closed Doors", focuses on articles pertaining to private lives and lifestyles in the 19th century, while another link takes you to a list of actual 19th century articles originally published in Harpers Bazaar. With the wealth of information available here this is certainly a site to bookmark, it would take days if not weeks to check it all out.