Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Steeds: "The Ebony Horse" and "The Saw-Horse"

2.25" x 3.75". gouache.

The Ebony Horse was Kamar al-Akmar's mount.

I'm familiar with some of the other 1001 tales, but not this one, so I had to look it up. Here's the gist:

From the classic ur-anthology The Arabian Nights (1850), it is basically a clockwork horse made from ebony and decorated with gems and gold, etc. It can fly, and Kamar al-Akmar, Prince of Persia, rides it around on his adventures. It even carries him into space, near the sun. The horse is not presented as a magical creature, but a clever invented mechanism driven by wound keys and everything. It is ultimately destroyed at the end of the tale. As such, "The Ebony Horse" is an early example of science-fiction :)

The work is all in the public domain and easily found online.

The Saw-Horse was Jack Pumpkinhead's mount, and my favorite in this bunch :)

Here's a charming illustration from one of the original OZ books. The illustrator was John R. Neill.

No comments: