A Cloud for a Robe, Rainbows for Tassels.

Someone sits in a mountain vale A robe of clouds, rainbows for tassels The fragrant forest is the place to live The road has been long and difficult With a heart full of doubt and regret A life has passed and nothing has been accomplished Others call it failure I stand alone devoted to this Cold Mountain life.

Hanshan (also known as Cold Mountain)

san antonio

The idea of rainbows for tassels is quite delicious.

I saw these tassels for sale in San Lorenzo market – there seems to be a strong tradition of passementerie in Italy.


Passementerie is the art of making decorative trimming such as tassels, braid, and fringing, used on furniture and clothing (e.g. military uniforms.)


Epaulettes for sale at the Sant’Ambrogio flea market.


Ball and tassels fringing on the curtains in the Palazzo Pitti.



Faded remnants of past splendour.


Braid – “in twisted braids of Lillies knitting, the loose train of thy amber dropping” although I know this refers to Sabrina’s fabulous hair in the poem by Milton this golden brown braid seemed to fit right in.


A rather tawdry heap of ecclesiastical cast offs.


Not a tassel at all but a representation of a human muscle using thread from the Museo Galileo.





Even scientific manuscripts are not too sensible to have a bit of trimming on them.


These last are wooden carved tassels that hung from chandeliers. They remind me of chess pieces.

About pennimania

Artist, entomologist, grumbler.
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