Sunday, May 13, 2007

To Hell In A Handcart

Last week one of the commenters on Big Ass Belle referred to the idiom: going to hell in a hand cart and bingo one of those memory drawers popped open.

When we were living in Warsaw Laurent and I decided we needed a vacation break between Christmas and New Year's. For some reason, don't ask me why, I decided that Dresden would be a great place to see. I was right. It turned out to be one of the most enjoyable vacations we've ever had and the source of the first travel article I had published.

The next morning the sun was bright and a deep cold had set in - a day for museums. One of the legacies of Augustus the Strong's mania for collecting is the Green Vault housed in the Albertinium Museum. I now know how Ali Baba must have felt entering the cave: diamonds, gold, silver, enamels, jewelry, miniatures, serving plates, trinkets-including a wonderful fat gentleman in silver being transported by the devil "to hell in a hand cart." And only a curator with a sense of humor would arrange it so you stumbled out of this Baroque riot into the Tim Burton-like sculptures of Thomas Reichstein and Andreas Feininger's black-and-white photos of a long past America.

Excerpt from Messin' Near Meisen - Warsaw Business Journal, February 5-11, 2001.

For some reason amongst all those treasures that fat little gentleman charmed me most with its mix of humour and silversmith's art.
To Hell in a Handcart - Thomas Lindenberger, Nurnberg - 1562And here he is, ain't he a beauty? And Lynette unless I'm mistaken that's a terrier at the Devil's heels.


laurent said...

I remember this vacation with fondness. One of the best trip we ever went on. We should go back to Dresden to see how it has improved and what has changed since.

BigAssBelle said...

haha!! of course! the terrier would be nipping at the devil's heels, keeping him in line.

the plump fellow on his way to hades in a hand cart has a certain resonance this day, when our country is abuzz with the news of the death of one of the great haters of the last 50 years.

i adore your writing. it's no surprise you're been published as a travel writer. i was transported to that divine museum.

tater said...

I must agree with Belle! Beautifully written. You have a nice voice, it comes through your writing eloquently. That piece is breathtaking (and funny)!