1. Yup…

    Also, now I’m curious how many paintings feature scale models as part of their subject matter. I recall at least one model ship represented within a painting posted from It’s Priceless.

    The scene in the painting reminds me of the recent news items noting the return of old-fashioned past times during the lockdown such as jigsaw puzzles and plastic model kits. Looks like Mr. Beard is finally going to finish that model he started 20 years ago.

  2. The woman in the pic, Victoria, Lady Welby-Gregory, has a much bigger Wikipedia entry than her husband, who was a Conservative politician. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victoria,_Lady_Welby

    Her father died when she was seven, but as a kid she travelled widely with her mother to places like Syria and South America. Then her mother died when she was 18. Lady Victoria W-G was well-connected – at 21 she moved in to live with her mother’s friend, Victoria, who was mother of Queen Victoria, and the Queen herself was her godmother, and she became a maid of honour (too many Victorias! though Queen Victoria’s original first name was Alexandrina).

    Wiki says she (Lady Victoria from the painting) had had little formal schooling, but after all her children had left home (so when she was pushing 50) she began an intense process of self-education, writing lots of articles and books on the philosophy of language. She published her first philosophical book, What Is Meaning? in 1903 (by which time her husband was dead), following it with Significs and Language: The Articulate Form of Our Expressive and Interpretive Resources, in 1911, and also wrote a book on the reality of time, Time As Derivative (1907). She communicated with people like William James and Bertrand Russell, founded the Sociological Society of Great Britain and the Decorative Needlework Society.

    Despite “little formal education”, she presumably was pretty literate as she started writing her first travel book at 12 and it was published when she was 15: “A Young Traveller’s Journal of a Tour in North and South America During the Year 1850”, pub 1852. You can see a digitised edition of it from the link in Bibliography at the bottom of the wikipage.

    I’d never knowingly heard of any of these people before this morning, not even, I think, the painter, Frank Dicksee. So it is odd what little rabbit holes you find yourself sliding down!

  3. And yes I think it is just a random non-sequitur. (Interesting background info on the lady in the painting currently held up in moderation – it’s not racy interesting, though!)

  4. It is not a non-sequitur. They are going over building plans for their grand house and she is proposing they also have an indoor court for the (not yet existent) sport of racquet ball. The thing is…indoor tennis, and variants of it, were around from at least the days of Henry VIII who was said to be quite good at it. So while it may be a *bit* anachronistic, it is actually not all that farfetched.

  5. It’s like the joke:


    Descartes and and Voltaire are sitting at a bar when Descartes says, “I wish I had a computer with a word processor.”

    Voltaire asks, “What are those?”

    Descartes replies, “I don’t know.”


    Not the best joke in the world, but same idea.

  6. Then there was the confused guy who claimed that DISCOURSE ON THE METHOD was published way back in the second century B.C. and somehow influenced subsequent Latin poetry. He was guilty of putting Descartes before the Horace.

  7. How about this. Brian goes into a workshop and sees Kevin intently crafting something.
    “What are you making, Kev?” says Bri.
    “A portable,” says Kev.
    “A portable what?” says Bri.
    “I don’t know, I’ve only made the handle.”

  8. I would have thought that Melcher would have chosen a different picture by an artist with such a remarkable name, seeing as one of his favorite categories is “Great Moments in Phallic Portraiture“.
    P.S. It is singularly unfortunate that even though all of the captions in “That is Priceless” are added in digital form, Melcher does not bother to submit the text into the GoComics index, making the image library there utterly unsearchable.

  9. There was a Dilbert comic strip once in which Dilbert was telling Dogbert about his ancestor, an inventor in Italy.

    The scene shifts to Renaissance Italy where we see Dilbert’s ancestor Dilbertio and his dog Dogbertio.

    Dilbertio: Here it is! My greatest invention!
    Dogbertio: What is it?
    Dilbertio: Sliced bread! This is the greatest invention since … since …
    Dogbertio: Unsliced bread?

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