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Washington, United States
loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Friday, February 05, 2016

pangolin bangle

british library on flickr. (PD)
The explanatory citation at the British Library's Flickr collection consists of this tantalizing snippet: "Image taken from page 465 of 'A Voyage in the “Sunbeam.” Our home on the ocean for eleven months ... With 188 illustrations ... chiefly after drawings by the Hon. A. Y. Bingham. [With a preface by Lord Brassey.]'"
So many questions.  Who were the Brasseys? What is a manis?  How did they get one?  How quickly can I post this awesomeness to the Museum?  
A manis is an old term for a pangolin, taken from the species name (for example, the Common Pangolin is Manis temminckii).  Here's how the Brasseys got one.  Anna, Baroness Brassey accompanied her husband Lord Brassey on a number of voyages in their yacht "Sunbeam."  On one of these they were guests of the Maharajah of Johore, who upon their departure presented them with many gifts. One of these was "...a live little beast, not an alligator, and not an armadillo or a lizard; in fact I do not know what it is; it clings round my arm just like a bracelet, and it was sent as a present by the ex-Sultan of Johore."  By the time Anna Brassey's book was illustrated, someone had figured out it was a pangolin.  Wonder how long the little guy lasted.

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