Tulipa Cypria

The genus Tulipa belongs to the family of Liliaceae that comprises about 100 species of plants that originate in Europe, West and Central Asia as well as North Africa.

21 Jun 2021

Messageries Maritimes

Messageries Maritimes was a French merchant shipping company. Small paddle steamers, owned by M. Rostand, used to sail within the Mediterranean from 1836 but the company as such was created in 1851 as Messageries Nationales, later called Messageries Impériales, and from 1871, Compagnie des Messageries Maritimes, casually known as "MesMar" or by its initials "MM".

14 Jun 2021

The decedents of Aphrodite

It comes as a surprise to members of a small and rather conventional society to be told that in old times, the women of Cyprus were regarded, in the least, of loose morals.

07 Jun 2021

The Baffa diamonds

Arriving in Paphos, in 1589, Seigneur de Villamont, Chevalier of the Order of Jerusalem made the following observation: … it is half-ruined so that it profits little by the beauty of its site and the fruitfulness of the soil. There are found here a great quantity of very beautiful stones called Bafo diamonds: some of them indeed are beautiful enough to deceive many a lapidary.

04 Jun 2021

Mandrake or mandragoras

Mandrake, Master of the life breath, Satan’s apple, Manroot, Devil’s testicle, Circe’s plant, Mandragora. These are some of the names given to this plant which was considered one of the most important plants of the Mediterranean region for centuries.

31 May 2021

Coin of Famagusta 1570

Copper coin, struck in Famagusta during the siege of the city in 1570 to pay soldiers and to purchase provisions. To pass as a besant. It was issued by Marc Antonio Bragadin. Obverse: Winged lion of St. Mark seated left, supporting the gospel with front legs.

25 May 2021

The arrival of Judge Frere to Cyprus.

The pen and ink drawing by Gwendolyn Frere, is a caricature of the arrival of Justice Frere and his entourage in Cyprus by the ship Oxus. A Scottish member of the British administration, judge Frere arrived in 1897 and stayed for several years mostly in Famagusta.

18 May 2021

Charivari – Actualites

When England signed the Anglo-Turkish Convention in 1878 and took the island of Cyprus in exchange for guaranteeing the borders of Turkey against Russian encroachment, the French were furious.

13 May 2021

Higgins German Laundry Soap

When England first took the island of Cyprus through the Anglo-Turkish Convention of 1878, a series of cartoons appeared in the press. The British had to justify their presence on the island and what better way than to claim their beneficial role in bringing civilization to the back of beyond, in this case, into Cyprus.

10 May 2021

The Jasmine

According to poet laureate George Seferis, “Whether it's dusk or dawn's first light the jasmine stays always white”. Είτε βραδιάζει, είτε φέγγει, μένει λευκό, το γιασεμί. And Nicosia is the city of jasmines, this humble four-petal flower has been its symbol for centuries.

03 May 2021

Laikon Coffee Grinding Company Tray

The picture portrays a colourful tin tray made in Czechoslovakia. Within a deep blue border appears the name of the coffee-producing company, surrounding a young black bellboy/servant carrying in his own tray small bags of coffee.

12 Apr 2021

The Dervishes

Dervish or darvesh refer broadly to a member of a Sufi fraternity or to a religious mendicant, who chose or accepted material poverty. Dervishes’ focus is on the universal values of love and service, and abandoning the illusions of ego.

08 Apr 2021

Cupping, or Ventosa or Βεντούζες

Cupping is a type of alternative therapy that originated in China. It involves placing cups on the skin to create suction. The suction may facilitate healing and, according to the Chinese, it can produce life force. Cupping was first performed by a famous Taoist alchemist and herbalist, CE 281-341.

06 Apr 2021

The Circumcision Outfit

Regarding circumcision, the Turkish Cypriots follow the traditions prescribed by their religion. Circumcision is the removal of the foreskin from the human penis.

22 Feb 2021